To the Aral Sea via Kyzylkum Desert

Stunning tour to Uzbekistan 2024: Adventure Jeep Tour to the Aral Sea
and Sightseeing in Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand


Country: Uzbekistan View route map »»
Duration: 15 days / 14 nights
Itinerary: Tashkent -  Samarkand -  Nurata - Yurt camp in Kyzylkum desert - Aydarkul Lake - Bukhara - Khiva - Khorezmian fortresses  - Nukus - Aral Sea - Nukus - Tashkent

The Aral Sea and Oasis of Ancient Cities. Group tour to Uzbekistan

The tour Itinerary combines the two most popular types of travelling in Uzbekistan: a guided tour of the country with excursions to the legendary historical cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand with grandiose architectural monuments and a jeep trip to the Aral Sea across the uninhabited and stunning Ustyurt Plateau.

This tour of Uzbekistan will cover the most popular travel sites, the best places to visit and the country’s main tourist attractions. You will thus travel in two absolutely different dimensions – first in the world of unique nature and enormous areas with extraterrestrial landscapes away from civilization, and then in the urban world of human genius, centuries-old culture, oriental cuisine and authentic hospitality.

May your vacation and adventure holidays in Uzbekistan be interesting, eventful and diverse!

  • Itinerary
    Services & Cost
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    Route Map


Tour itinerary 2024
Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent.
Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Tashkent is the multifaceted capital of Uzbekistan and the republic’s center of cultural and political life. Tashkent’s architecture is striking in its diversity and variety: archaeological monuments from the Zoroastrianism era that are more than 2200 years old, architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages, monumental buildings of the late 19th century, the most beautiful underground subway in the world, and of course, the numerous modern buildings.
Guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Chor-Su Bazaar, Kukeldash Madrasah; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.


Day 2. Tashkent – Samarkand by a high-speed train (2 hours).
Early breakfast at the hotel (or breakfast boxes). Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Samarkand by Afrosiab high-speed train (07:28-09:42).
Samarkand is as old as Rome; it is one of the most ancient cities in the world and former capital of the great Tamerlane empire. It is a museum city, a city which was once the heart of the caravan trade in the midst of the Great Silk Road. Samarkand conserved its unique aura of the Oriental medieval age until this very day.
Upon arrival in the city, we start our busy day in a jewel of the ancient and modern Silk Road.
Sightseeing in Samarkand: there is the mysterious jade mausoleum of Gur-i-Emir, the graveyard of Tamerlane. One of the greatest treasures is Registan Square, Temur’s outstanding creation, a huge complex of minarets, mosques and madrassas. Further we move on to Bibi Khanum Mosque, the gorgeous necropolis of Shah-i-Zinda, and the old observatory of Ulugbek, the greatest Muslim astronomer, and the neighboring Ulugbek museum. 
Accommodation at the hotel in the evening, rest.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.


Day 3. Samarkand.
Continuation of the sightseeing tour in Samarkand. Visit Afrosiab museum and settlement, Saint Daniel’s tomb, Khujum carpet factory, Silk paper workshop and Siab Oriental bazaar.
Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Rest.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

Registan squar

Day 4. Samarkand – Nurata – Yurt camp in Kyzylkum desert by road (270 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the yurt camp at Aydarkul Lake via a small town of Nurata. Sightseeing tour in Nurata: visiting Namazgoh Mosque and ruins of fortress of Alexander the Great. Proceed to the yurt camp located near Aydarkul lake. Accommodation and lunch. Walk in the surroundings. Dinner.
Overnight at the yurt camp.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Kyzyl-Kum Desert

Day 5. Aydarkul Lake – Bukhara by road (300 km).
Breakfast at the yurt camp. Camel-back ride to the lake. After a short camel adventure return to the camp and further transfer to Bukhara.
Bukhara is another ancient city in Uzbekistan which also used to be part of the Great Silk Road. Medieval Bukhara was one of the main political, cultural, and religious hubs of the Middle East. Over 140 architectural monuments have been preserved here. The historical center of Bukhara is included in the list of World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO.
Accommodation at the hotel on arrival. Rest. 
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

Aydarkul Lake

Day 6. Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Chashma-Ayub Masoleum, Po-i-Kalyan Complex, Kalyan Minaret, Ulugbek Madrasah, Lab-i-Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah, Ismail Samani Mausoleum, and Ark Fortress.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah

Day 7. Bukhara.
Continuation of the city tour in Bukhara. Today we will make a transfer 20 min from the old city center and visit the out-of-town sites: Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa, the summer residence of the last emir of Bukhara and Bakhouddin Naqshbandi ensemble old sufi shrine.
Return to Bukhara. Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

Kyzyl-Kum Desert

Day 8. Bukhara – Khiva (road transfer, 440 km).
Transfer to Khiva through the famous Kyzylkum desert along the Amu Darya River. We will pass along the road, where many Silk Road caravans once slowly followed. “Kyzylkum” translates as “Red Sands”, and the local sand really has a reddish tint. We will make several stops and walk along the picturesque dunes, admire the amazing panorama of the Amu Darya River from a viewing point. Lunch en route.
Arrival in Khiva. Leisure time. Visiting traditional workshops and souvenir shops is recommended.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

Kyzyl-Kum Desert

Day 9. Khiva.
After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Khiva. Visit the sights of Ichan Kala (historical inner city): Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hoja Madrasah & Minaret. After lunch visit Tash Khauli Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret & Madrasah. In the evening return to the hotel for rest.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

Khiva, Uzbekistan

Day 10. Khiva – Khorezmian fortresses – Nukus by road (200 km).
Breakfast at the hotel and further transfer to Nukus. En route we will stop twice to explore the ruins of the anceint Khorezmian fortresses of Ayaz-Kala and Toprak-Kala.
On arrival in Nukus – accommodation at the hotel for freshen up.
Nukus is the capital of the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan which is part of Uzbekistan. It is a green oasis located amongst three deserts – the sandy Karakum and Kyzylkum and a stone desert Ustyurt Plateau. Another desert joined the list recently and became the fourth one surrounding the city – it is the sandy-saline desert Aralkum (Akkum), which is the bare bottom of the Aral Sea.
After lunch time visit famous Savitskiy Art Museum. Themuseumis famous all around the world for its unique collection of Russian avant-garde paintings of the first half of the twentieth century. In three buildings of the museum with a total area of 7 thousand square meters, there are about 90 000 exhibits, including items of material and artistic culture of ancient Khorezm, a collection of Karakalpak folk arts and crafts, which is the second largest collection of Russian and Turkistan avant-garde paintings in the world, among others.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast.

The I.V. Savitskiy State Art Museum

Day 11. Nukus – Usturt Plateau – Barsa Kelmes lake – Sudochie lake – Aral Sea by road (400 km).
Departure from Nukus at 8 o’clock in the morning to discover the Ustyurt Plateau and the Aral sea life. En route we pass Khojeyli and Kungrad districts, which were the Trading centers during the Silk Road period.
Proceed to Barsakelmes Natural Saltpit, which is a huge salt lake. After that we transfer further to the Sudochie lake. Upon arrival at the lake we stop at the ancient Light House hill. Then you can visit the abandoned settlement of the repressed Russian and Polish people in 1900-s. We will see the ruins of the hospital, cane houses and old Fish Factory.
Further transfer to Aral sea yurt camp, arrival in  the evening. Dinner.
Overnight at the yurt camp.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

The Aral Sea

Day 12. Aral Sea, day trip to Kurgancha-Kala Fortress, Nomads cemetery and Aktumsik Mis.
Early wake up to take pictures of sunrise over the sea. After breakfast we will visit the ancient fortress of Kurgancha-Kala of 13th centrury. Drive further along the edge of Ustyurt Plateau, on the way stop at the ancient cemetery of Nomads, walk down to the canyons, slight hiking on Mis Aktumsik, take pictures of the beautiful canyons and collapsed lands. 
Have a walk on the sea shore and take a swim. The mud is very helpful for the leg and the salty sea water is good for the skin. Free time to look for the Megaladon Shark teeth (2-35 million years old). Dinner at the yurt camp and rest.   
Overnight at the yurt camp.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 13. Aral Sea – Komsomolsk settlement – Muynak – Mizdakhan – Gaur-Kala Fortress – Nukus by road (400 km).
Leave the yurt camp and transfer back to Nukus via Myunak. En route we will make a stop at the cemetery of Nomads, and visit the settlement of Kubla Ustyurt on the Plateau. Meet the local people and taste the camel milk.
Then continue our way through the bottom of the dried Aral Sea. Arrival in Myunak town. Lunch at the local guesthouse.
Visit the cemetery of Ships, local museum and watch the short documentary film about Myunak life in the times of its florishing. In the 80-s, when the sea started to catastrophically shallow, the moored ships remained standing in the port. And they are still here to this day – Muynak harbor has turned into a "Ships cemetery" in the middle of the bare sea. The former bottom of the Aral Sea has already become overgrown with saxaul and has turned into a full-fledged Aralkum desert (“Akkum” – “White Sands”). Abandoned ships of various sizes, that remained only in the form rusting skeletons, that are partially covered with sand and overgrown with desert vegetation, and shells remind of the sea that once was flowing here.
Proceed to Nukus. Stop at the architectural complex of Mizdakhan and Gaur-Kala Fortress ruins.
On arrival in Nukus, accommodation at the hotel and rest.
Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch.

Sudochye Lake

Day 14. Nukus – Tashkent by morning flight.
After breakfast transfer to the local airport for further flight back to Tashkent.
Meet at the airport on arrival and transfer to the hotel (check-in time at 14:00).
Free day.
Meals: breakfast.

Ships in the sands

Day 15. Departure from Tashkent.
Transfer to the international airport. The end of the tour program.
Meals: breakfast.


Cost of the tour in USD per person, season 2024:

Group 1 pax 2-3 pax 4-5 pax 6-7 pax 8-9 pax 10-11 pax Supplement for single accommodation
Hotel 3* 3086 USD 1815 USD 1533 USD 1390 USD 1386 USD 1339 USD +250 USD
Hotel 4* 3289 USD 1988 USD 1699 USD 1560 USD 1554 USD 1507 USD +280 USD

Tour price includes:

  • Accommodation at the hotels, mentioned above, or in similar, but of the same category in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check in on day 1 in Tashkent; check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00.
  • Meals - all breakfasts; 1 lunch and 1 dinner at the yurt camp near Aydarkul; 3 lunches and 2 dinners in the Aral Sea region.
  • Services of English-speaking local guides for sightseeing.
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour, including ‘airport-hotel-airport” transfers.
  • Railway transfer from Tashkent to Samarkand by a high-speed train (economy or business class tickets).
  • Bottled mineral water per day/per person.

Tour price does not include:

  • The cost of international flights.
  • The cost of the local flight from Nukus to Tashkent - about 80 USD/per person (economy class).
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and museums listed above - about 80 USD/per person (can be paid on the spot).
  • Meals not mentioned above.
  • Medical expenses and insurance.
  • Porters at the hotels, railway stations and airports
  • Tips and gratitudes.

*Tickets for a high-speed train are subject of availability and cannot be guaranteed in advance

Information on the hotels

City Hotel 3* Hotel 4*
Tashkent Sato Hotel 3* or similar Inspira-S Hotel 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar Grand Samarkand Hotel 4* or similar
Aydarkul lake Yurt camp Yurt camp
Bukhara Devon Hotel 3* or similar Asia Bukhara Hotel 4* or similar
Khiva Arkanchi Hotel 3* or similar Asia Khiva Hotel 4* or similar
Nukus Jipek Joli Hotel 3* or similar Jipek Joli Hotel 3* or similar
Aral Sea Yurt camp Yurt camp

Information on the vehicles

Group Vehicle
Group of 1-2 pax "Chevrolet Lacetti" or similar
Group of 4 pax "Hyundai Starex minivan"
Group of 6-8 pax "King Long minivan" or similar
Group of 9-15 pax "Eurise minivan" or similar


Visa to Uzbekistan:

Visa-free regime for up to 60 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Visa-free regime for up to 30 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Singapore
  • the Vatican
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

A great number of other countries can obtain an e-visa to Uzbekistan by simply visiting the governmental portal

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»


Frequently Asked Questions

  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

  1. Is it necessary to get a stay permit (temporary registration of stay) while visiting Uzbekistan?
    Any foreigner to Uzbekistan is to get a stay permit within 3 working days (consecutive or not) during his / her visit to the country. If he / she stays at an Uzbekistan hotel or a guesthouse, such a stay permit for the period of stay at it is granted automatically. (Inquire whether the hotel / guesthouse you want to stay at provides such a permit unless your accommodation is organized by a host tour operator. Also make sure you are given your stay permit certificate with the seal of your hotel / guesthouse when you check out.) If you stay at other lodging facilities during your visit, you will have to get your stay permit from a local visits registration police department.
  2. What is Uzbekistan’s currency? Where can I exchange money?
    The national currency of Uzbekistan is the som (UZS). There are 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 5.000, 10.000 and 50.000-som banknotes used currently. The banknotes are similar in size but vary in color; they depict Uzbekistan’s cultural and heritage sites.
    You can exchange money at Uzbekistan’s National Bank outlets, most of the hotels and official currency exchange offices commonly located near bazaars and at shopping centers. You will need your passport to exchange money through them.
    Note that the most common foreign currency in Uzbekistan is US dollars. The US banknotes you exchange in the country should be in good condition - without defects, bad folds, worn areas and scribbles - or it will be hard to exchange them.
  3. Can I use credit cards in Uzbekistan?
    You can use Visa and MasterCard cards mainly in Tashkent and at fewer locations in Samarkand and Bukhara for cash withdrawals through ATMs (cash machines) in their large hotels or banks. You can also make payments with these cards at some hotels, restaurants and stores in Tashkent. However, technical failures of the card handling equipment may occur, so it is advisable to always have enough cash on you.
  4. What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
    It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.
  5. Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country?
    Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.
  6. Can I bring alcoholic beverages into Uzbekistan?
    A person is permitted to bring a maximum of 2 liters of alcoholic drink(s) into the country.
  7. What maximum amount of cash can I bring into Uzbekistan?
    There is no limit on the amount of cash in a currency that is foreign to Uzbekistan a person can bring into the country. If you bring in over 5,000 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies), you will be given a ТС-28 certificate. If you bring in over 10,000 USD, you will have to pay a 1% duty on this sum.
  8. What maximum amount of cash can I take out of Uzbekistan?
    The amount of cash (in a currency foreign to Uzbekistan) you can take out of the country must not exceed the sum you brought in as per your arrival customs declaration. Taking out the amount exceeding the sum you brought in is possible if permitted by Uzbekistan’s Central Bank or another Uzbekistan’s authorized bank. Note that taking out Uzbekistan soms is not permitted unless they are several souvenir coins or banknotes.
  9. Can I use a photo / video camera at the tourist sites?
    Photographing and videoing at the tourist sites is allowed unless a site has a prohibition sign. They charge fees for using cameras at most tourist attractions though. Photographing and videoing is prohibited in Tashkent metro, at the airports and railway stations. Using a camera at the functioning mosques is possible if allowed by the worshippers there.
  10. What kind of clothes should I wear in Uzbekistan? Are there any clothing requirements for women in the country?
    Clothes made of cotton and other natural textiles will be the best choice in warm and hot weather. Both men and women will feel best in T-shirts and shorts. Your footwear must be comfortable, light and strong, since you will have to walk a lot. Have sunglasses, a light headwear and sunblock lotion.
    If you travel early in spring (March to the beginning of April) or at the end of autumn (October to November), it is advisable to take a windbreaker, a sweater or a similar garment. In winter the temperature may fall to minus 10°С or so, so a raincoat, a warm coat and headwear will be necessary.
    There are no strict limits on women’s clothing in the country. However, you should be considerate towards the local traditions, culture and religion. While visiting religious places women should wear loose garments covering most of their arms and legs, and of course the cleavage. Headscarves will also be advisable to put on. Note that you will have to take off your shoes while entering some of the sacred places.
  11. What languages do people in Uzbekistan speak?
    The official language is Uzbek; it is spoken by a majority of the population. Russian is spoken by the country’s largest Slavic minority and is still used widely in business and as a lingua franca, especially in Tashkent and other major cities. Tajik is widespread in Samarkand and Bukhara for their large Tajik ethnic minorities. Karakalpak is spoken in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan where it is an official language besides Uzbek. English is popular as a foreign language to study but there is little chance of coming across a good English speaker in the street. However, in the historic cities of Bukhara and Samarkand many young souvenir sellers dealing with foreigners speak elementary English.

Photos of the tour:

Tour to Aral Sea, Uzbekistan Tour to Aral Sea, Uzbekistan Tour to Aral Sea, Uzbekistan Tour to Aral Sea, Uzbekistan

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