The Five Stans of Central Asia

The Best of Central Asia in 15 Days Tour

 

 

Countries: TurkmenistanUzbekistanTajikistanKyrgyzstanKazakhstan Route map »»
Tour length: 15 days / 14 nights
Itinerary: Ashgabat – Darwaza gas crater – BukharaSamarkand – Penjikent – SamarkandTashkentKokandRishtanOshBishkekBurana TowerIssyk-Kul Lake – Karakol – Charyn canyon – Almaty

Scheduled arrival dates:

2024

Group #01. 12.04–26.04.2024fully booked
Group #02. 17.05–31.05.2024guaranteed!
Group #03. 31.05–14.06.2024guaranteed!
Group #04. 16.08–30.08.2024guaranteed!
Group #05. 06.09–20.09.2024guaranteed!
Group #06. 04.10–18.10.2024guaranteed!

2025

Group #01. 11.04–25.04.2025scheduled
Group #02. 16.05–30.05.2025scheduled
Group #03. 30.05–13.06.2025 scheduled
Group #04. 15.08–29.08.2025scheduled
Group #05. 12.09–26.09.2025scheduled
Group #06. 10.10–24.10.2025scheduled

Fergana Valley + Classical tour: Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara

The Five Stans adventure is amazing travel itinerary through the five former USSR republics of Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan – Kazakhstan, also known as the Stans, includes the main tourist attractions and must-visit destinations at the centre of the Silk Road. This region is unified by the common past and a number of similar traditions; nevertheless, each of the countries is highly unique and characterized by a range of distinctive features.

During this fascinating and very deep trip we will visit the main highlights in each country; many of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the best itinerary to visit Central Asia and its impressive historical monuments and nature's beauties, taste traditional food and enjoy the unique local culture of hospitality.

Join Five Stans tour and explore the Best of Central Asia in one trip!

 


  • itinerary / services & cost

  • Visa
  • Useful Information
    Route Map

 

Itinerary:
Day 1
Fri
Arrival in Ashgabat. Day trip to Kow-Ata underground lake.
Arrival in Ashgabat early in the morning. Meet at the airport and further group transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and rest.
After breakfast meet the local guide. Today we make a day trip to Nohur village, located in Kopetdag Mountains – there we visit tribal cemetery and pilgrim site; get acquainted with the local craftsmen, specializing in silk weaving.
En route to Nohur village – visit Turkmenbashi mosque-mausoleum and Kow-Ata underground lake. Return to Ashgabat in the evening.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Kow-Ata underground lake

Day 2
Sat
Ashgabat, round trip to Darwaza gas crater by road (600 km).
After breakfast start of the half-day sightseeing tour around Ashgabat. Visit National Museum of Turkmenistan, Parthian Fortresses of Nisa (UNESCO Heritage site), Independence Park and Neutrality Arch.
After lunch transfer to the most unique site in Central Asia – Darwaza burning gas crater. Arrival in Darwaza before sunset. Enjoy barbeque dinner near the burning gas crater; watch and make photos of the crater during the nighttime.
Return to Ashgabat (slow driving after dark). Arrival at the hotel before or just after midnight.

Meals: breakfast, dinner.
Overnight at the hotel.

Darwaza gas crater

Day 3
Sun
Morning flight Ashgabat – Mary. Mary – Merv ancient city – "Farap" land border – Bukhara by road (385 km).
After breakfast meet the guide and further transfer to the airport; flight to Mary in the morning. Upon arrival – transfer to visit the ancient city of Merv, one of the world’s greatest vanished cities, once the Silk Road metropolis, which is also included into the list UNESCO Heritage Sites. Exploring the region.
Further transfer to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities. Meet Uzbek team of guide and driver and further transfer to Bukhara. Accommodation at the hotel on arrival, rest.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Merv ancient city

Day 4
Mon
Bukhara.
Bukhara is ancient city in Uzbekistan which was the 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.
After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah.
After lunch visit Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah. Visit the shopping district with domed shopping arcade of the 16th century, where national arts and handicrafts workshops are presented.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Bukhara

Day 5
Tue
Bukhara – Samarkand by a high-speed train.
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning. At 11:00 meet the guide and visit the out-of-town site, located in 20 min driving from Bukhara – Sitorai-Khosa Palace, the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara.
Further transfer to the railway station and transfer to Samarkand by a high-speed train.
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.
On arrival – accommodation at the hotel and rest.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Samarkand

Day 6
Wed
Samarkand.
After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand:
Registan square – the most spectacular square in Central Asia. It is surrounded on three sides by majestic buildings: Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century), Sher-Dor Madrasah (17th century), and Tilla-Kari Madrasah (17th century). Historically, it was a place for public gatherings, especially on Sundays, when the market would welcome its guests. It was also the place where emir decrees were announced, and the spot for festivities and demonstrative public executions. After that we will visit Gur-e-Amir mausoleum (15th century) – one of the grander buildings located in Samarkand, it is the dynastic tomb of Timur and his descendants, which served as a prototype for the mausoleums that were later built in Delhi and Agra (Humayun and Taj Mahal respectively). Inside the mausoleum you can find the famous jade tombstone situated right over the grave of Timur. Timur’s ashes rest here, in an underground crypt.
The next sight is Rukhabad Mausoleum (from the outside) and Bibi-Khanym Mosque (14th–15th centuries) – the largest cathedral mosque in Central Asia, full of royalty and beauty. It was named after Timur’s beloved wife. The grand mosque is richly decorated with majolica, frescas, carved marble, and some of the finest ornaments you will ever see.
Another grand building is Shakh-i-Zinda ensemble (11th–15th centuries) – an extensive complex of eleven monumental medieval mausoleums and one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Muslims. The last sight is Ulugbek observatory (15th century) – one of the most significant observatories of the Middle Ages. A place where a grandiose goniometer (sextant) has been preserved underground. Return to the hotel, rest.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Samarkand

Day 7
Thu
Samarkand, day trip to Tajikistan by road (120 km).
After early breakfast we take a day trip to Tajikistan – the important part of ancient Sogdiana.Transfer to the land border with Tajikistan. Border formalities. Meet Tajik guide and driver and drive to the region of Seven Lakes. The Seven Lakes are located in the west of Fann mountains; each of them has its own color. At the last of Seven Lakes – Khozorchashma Lake we enjoy a picnic.
After lunch drive to Penjikent. Sightseeing in Penjikent includes visiting of the following sites: Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Further visit ancient Penjikent which was a major Sogdian city and was destroyed by Arab conqueror.
By the evening – return to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities and transfer to the hotel in Samarkand, rest.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at the hotel.

Penjikent

Day 8
Fri
Samarkand – Tashkent by road (330 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Road transfer to Tashkent.
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.
Arival by the lunch time. On arrival – start exploring the capital city of Uzbekistan. Visit Minor white Mosque, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and Tashkent metro. Accommodation at the hotel in the evening.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Tashkent

Day 9
Sat
Tashkent – Kokand by train (4 hours). Kokand – Rishtan – "Dustlik" land border – Osh by road (195 km).
After early breakfast transfer to the railway station for further transfer to Kokand by morning train, 07:55-12:16 (clean carriages, normal speed, seated places).
On arrival in Kokand – one of the ancient cities of Fergana valley, start the city tour.
Kokand is located right at the entrance to the fruitful Fergana valley, was an important stop point of the Great Silk Road and used to be a part of the ancient state of Davan. Its flourishing happened in the 18th century when it became the capital of Kokand khanate and the religious center of the region – in the past, there were 40 madrasas and 300 mosques in Kokand.
Visit Palace of Khudayar Khan and Juma Mosque.
Further transfer to Rishtan, the main ceramics center of Uzbekistan. The city is famous for its incredible glazed ceramics which are popular among tourists as souvenirs. Luch at the guesthouse and watch the pottery.
After lunch transfer to the land border with Kyrgyzstan. Border formalities. Meet Kyrgyz team of guide and driver and further transfer to Osh.
En route to the hotel – evening sightseeing tour in Osh. Osh is the “southern capital” of Kyrgyzstan. The city is located on the east side of the Fergana valley, at an altitude of roughly 1000 meters, and is surrounded by low rocky spurs of the Alay Range on three sides. Accommodation at the hotel, rest.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at the hotel.

Kokand

Day 10
Sun
Osh – Bishkek by morning flight.
After breakfast meet the driver and transfer to the airport. Further flight to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, a cozy green city with a population of about 1 million people which is located in the middle of the Chuy valley, at an altitude of 750 meters, and right at the foot of Kyrgyz part of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range.
On arrival in Bishkek meet the guide. Today we will visit Ala-Archa National park. Then visit the main sights of Bishkek: the central Ala-Too Square, flagstaff (and changing of the guard), statue of Lenin and Freedom Monument, Monument to Manas the Great.
Transfer to the hotel, accommodation.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Osh

Day 11
Mon
Bishkek – Burana Tower – Issyk-Kul Lake by road (280 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide and driver and drive to the second largest alpine lake in the world Issyk-Kul Lake.
On the way visit the ruins of the ancient city Balasagyn and Burana Tower complex (minaret of the Burana settlement, 10th-11th centuries). It is an archaeological and architectural monument located in the depth of the ruins of Buraninsky settlement. It is an outstanding ancient building and plays a very important part in the Kyrgyz cultural heritage. Its height today is 21.7 meters, but initially the tower was at least 40 meters tall, however, its upper part was subsequently destroyed by an earthquake.
Upon arrival accommodation at the hotel and rest.
High-altitude Lake Issyk-Kul (“warm lake”) – is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America, and the second (after lake Baikal) lake with the clearest water in world. The lake is located at an altitude of 1620 meters and is surrounded by mountains all around. The water in Issyk-Kul is a little salty, it does not freeze in the winter and in the summer its temperature warms up to 24 degrees Celsius. The northern shore of Issyk-Kul is a famous resort zone with well-developed infrastructure.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Issyk-Kul Lake

Day 12
Tue
Issyk-Kul – Karakol by road (150 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Start driving to Karakol along the Eastern shore of Issyk-Kul. On the route visit the museum of Petroglyph’s in Cholpon-Ata and museum of the famous Russian explorer of Central Asia N.M. Prjevalsky.
Upon arrival city tour in Karakol. Visit a Dungan mosque (19 century), a unique construction built in Chinese style with no nails used. Also, see the wooden Russian Orthodox Cathedral of The Holy Trinity built at the end of the 19th century. Walk around the central bazaar to feel the real life of the city.
Transfer to the Jeti-Oguz Gorge on the northern slopes of the Terskey Ala-Too Ridge, viewing red rocks "Broken Heart" and "Rocks of Seven Bulls". Jeti-Oguz gorge is one of the most beautiful places in Kyrgyzstan: a ridge of red rocks of unusual texture covered with forest thickets. The length of the rock range is about 37 kilometers. Huge dark green woods spread over red sandstone mountain slopes and create an incredible color contrast.
Return to Karakol, check-in at a hotel.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Karakol

Day 13
Wed
Karakol – "Kegen" land border – Charyn canyon – Almaty by road (380 km).
Early breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Karakol at 08:00. Transfer to the land border with Kazakhstan. Border formalities.
Further transfer to Almaty. En route visit spectacular Charyn Canyon. The Charyn Canyon is located in the Charyn National Park about 215 km east of Almaty and approximately a 3 hour drive via the A 351 and A 352. The Canyon has been described as the Grand Canyon’s little brother. The Canyon itself is approximately 150 km long, and, in places up to 300 meters deep. One area of particular interest is an area of 2 km called the Valley of Castles, due to the pillars and rock formations forming imposing, almost man-made structures.
Arrival in Almaty by the evening. Accommodation at the hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at the hotel.

Charyn canyon

Day 14
Thu
Almaty.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, the sightseeing tour in Almaty (10 hours). Visit the following places: the Green Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. Next visit of the Kok-Tobe hill with the tallest TV tower in the world. Short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway.
After lunch, transfer to Medeo – an essential part of the Ili Alatau park and it is a historical object of Almaty’s development as a city. Located at the height of 1,690 meters, the Medeo skating rink is the highest rink location in the world. Visit Shymbulak mountain resort, which is located at the elevation of 2,260 meters above sea level. Take a cable car to 3200 meters altitude to enjoy breathtaking landscapes. Transfer to the hotel.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Almaty

Day 15. Almaty, departure.
Transfer to the International airport of Almaty. Departure from Kazakhstan.

Meals: breakfast.

Optional extension – you can extend the tour and visit the capital of Kazakstan – Astana city.

Almaty

COST OF THE TOUR:

Twin/double share. 3595 USD
SGL accommodation +480 USD

This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.

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 Ashgabat; check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00.
  • Meals - breakfasts at the hotels and 1 camp-style dinner in Darwaza and 3 lunches according to the program.
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and museums listed in the tour program.
  • Services of English-speaking local guides for sightseeing.
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour, including ‘airport-hotel-airport” transfers.
  • Local flight from Ashgabat to Mary (economy class).
  • Railway transfer from Bukhara to Samarkand on a high-speed train (economy or business class).
  • Railway transfer from Tashkent to Kokand by train (business class).
  • Local flight from Osh to Bishkek (economy class).
  • Bottled mineral water per day/per person.
  • Visa invitation to Turkmenistan.

Tour price does not include:

  • The cost of international flights.
  • Meals not mentioned above.
  • Medical expenses and insurance.
  • Porters at the hotels, railway stations and airports.
  • Tips and gratitudes.
  • Visa fees.

 

ASTANA ADD-ON

Tour itinerary:
Day 15
Fri
Almaty – Astana by morning flight.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning transfer to the airport for further flight to Astana.
Upon arrival and after passing the border control and collecting your luggage, you will be met by a local guide holding your nameplate.
11:00 Start the sightseeing tour in Astana.
Sightseeing tour in Astana will last from 11.00 to 19.00. The tour includes:
This day you will visit the city’s main attractions. Our first stop is National Museum – opened in 2014, currently the museum is the biggest in Kazakhstan and consists of 10 thematic halls, including ancient and medieval history, ethnography, history of Kazakhs and other.
  • Hazret Sultan mosque is the 2nd biggest mosque in Central Asia that can place 10,000 persons at one time. The building is designed as an Oriental palace.
  • Palace of Peace and Reconciliation – pyramid that was designed by world famous architect - Norman Foster. The uniqueness of this building is its golden section proportion: 62 meters of length and 62 meters of height.
Then you are going to visit another fabulous work of Mr. Foster – Baiterek Monument. This is a main symbol of Astana. The height of the tower is 97 meters and visitors can go up by lift and experience the panoramic view of the city.
After the excursion, we visit Khan-Shatyr, one of the new symbols of the capital, the first and only lifestyle center of Astana. The center combines shopping and entertainment under one roof. The building itself is the world’s biggest tent–shaped installation, which makes it unique.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Kow-Ata underground lake

Day 16
Sat
Astana.
After breakfast, head 45km to the west of Astana to witness what the region was like in the past. There you will visit former “ALZHIR” camp – unofficial name of the special branch of Karaganda Camp of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs. ALZHIR means Akmola Camp for Wives of Traitors of Motherland. This is another dark spot in the history of the USSR when millions of people were arrested, imprisoned and sent to different camps. Those were different political, social and intellectual figures, as well as their family members. Nowadays, the former camp has become a museum.
En route back visit Assumption Cathedral – a highly spiritual location and one of the preferred destinations for believers and tourists.
After lunch, we continue our tour by visiting “Nur Alem” center – the world's largest spherical building 80m in the diameter and 100m tall, the first hi-tech museum in Kazakhstan. The complex is a legacy of EXPO 2017, which was held during summer 2017 in Astana. It takes around 3 hours or even more to cover all eight floors of the Museum of Future, where basic types of energy are on display: those of the space, sun, biomass, wind, water and kinetics.

Meals: breakfast, dinner.
Overnight at the hotel.

Darwaza gas crater

Day 17
Sun
Astana, departure.
Transfer to the International airport of Astana. Departure from Kazakhstan.

Meals: breakfast.

Merv ancient city

Cost of the AAA-ON in USD per person, season 2024:

Group 1 pax 2-3 pax 4-5 pax 6-7 pax Supplement for single accommodation
Hotel 3* 1425 USD 765 USD 515 USD 410 USD +85 USD

Tour price includes:

  • Accommodation in a 3* hotel for 2 nights; check-in at - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00;
  • Meals - breakfast;
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and museums listed above;
  • Services of English-speaking local guides for sightseeing;
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour, including ‘airport-hotel-airport” transfers;
  • Bottled mineral water per day/per person.

Tour price does not include:

  • Flight from Almaty to Astana - from 120 USD per person;
  • Meals not mentioned above.

Information on the hotels

City Hotels
Ashgabat Sport Hotel 4* or similar
Bukhara Devon Hotel 3* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar
Tashkent Leader Hotel 3* or similar
Osh Sunrise Hotel 3* or similar
Bishkek Discovery Hotel 3* or similar
Issyk-Kul Lake Raduga Hotel or similar
Karakol Karagat Hotel or similar
Almaty Kazakhstan Hotel 3* or similar
Astana add-on Alanda Hotel 3* or similar

Information on the vehicles

Uzbekistan and other countries Venicle
Group 1-2 pax "Chevrolet Lacetti" or similar
Group of 4 pax Hyundai Starex minivan or similar
Group 6-8 pax "King Long" or similar
Group 9-15 pax "Eurise" or similar

 

Visa to Uzbekistan Visa to Kyrgyzstan Visa to Turkmenistan Visa to Kazakhstan Visa to Tajikistan

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 e-visa.gov.uz.

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»

Visa to Kyrgyzstan

Under current rules visa-free stay within unlimited period on the territory of Kyrgyzstan is granted for the nationals of the following countries:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belorussia
  • Cuba
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Laos
  • Moldova
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Vietnam

List of states granted visa-free stay up to 90 days: Mongolia, Ukraine

List of states granted visa-free stay up to 60 days

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Britain
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican

Visa-free access to Kyrgyzstan up to 30 days: Malaysia.

Read more about visa to Kyrgyzstan here »»

Visa to Kazakhstan

Visa-free regime for up to 90 days has been established for citizens of countries below:

  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Cyprus
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

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

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Great Britain
  • Hungary
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Israel
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • UAE
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • USA
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Uzbekistan
  • Finland
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Czech
  • Chile
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Estonia
  • Japan
  • UN

Visa-free regime for up to 14 days has been established  for citizens of: Hong Kong

Read more about visa to Kazakhstan here »»

Visa to Tajikistan

Currently the foreign citizens have an opportunity to obtain Tajikistan visa on-line on the official web here: www.evisa.tj.
Visa invitation from the MFA of Tajikistan is not necessary. Cost of visa online is 50 USD/per person and cost of the GBAO permit is 20 USD/per person.

Please, note, this program does NOT require the necessity of GBAO permit.

Read more about visa to Tajikistan here »»

Visa to Turkmenistan

Citizens of all foreign countries, intending to enter Turkmenistan, are obliged to have visa. Visa to Turkmenistan can issued only on the basis of preliminary issued visa invitation. The visa invitation is being issued by our company on the basis of the following documents of yours:
- filled-in application form (sample of the application form is being send beforehand);
- scanned copy of your passport of good quality;
- a photo of good quality (size 3:4).

After receiving these documents we apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan for visa invitation issuance for our tourists. The process of visa invitation issuance takes 7-10 working days. On the basis of the visa invitation a tourist can get Turkmenistan visa at the embassy of in any country, where there is Turkmenistan Embassy, in Ashgabat airport or at the consular department on the border.

Read more about visa to Turkmenistan here »»

 

Information
about Kyrgyzstan
Information
about Uzbekistan
Information
about Tajikistan
Information
about Turkmenistan
Information
about Kazakhstan

Useful Information on Traveling to Kyrgyzstan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Uzbekistan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Tajikistan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Turkmenistan:

Useful Information on Traveling to Kazakhstan:

Route Map

Route Map

s

Photos of the tour:

View all photos »»

Our video gallery:

Traditional cuisine of Central Asia
Cuisine of Central Asia
Pilafs in Tashkent
Pilafs in Tashkent
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Uzbek fruit and vegetables
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables

View all videos »»

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Feedbacks from tourists to the tour «Five Stans».


Neil Farragher 04.07.2019 14:37

Hi Victoria,
Can I firstly send my gratitude to yourself and all of the tour operators for an outstanding tour. From the moment I was picked up at the airport to being dropped off everything ran so smoothly. That is down to the fantastic organisation of your team.
Secondly the tour guides and drivers were highly professional and went over and above the call of duty with their assitance and information.

Furthermore the hotels were of an excellent standard that provided great welcomes.
I have no hesitation recommending this tour to friends and family. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or assistance.
---
Тhe trip was fantastic and I could not of asked for more. Each country was unique in its own right but my personal highlights were the unusual nature of Turkmenistan, the amazing 7 lakes of Tajikistan, the nature of Kurdistan and both the history and warm and kind nature of the people of Uzbekistan. Personally I was sad to leave Uzbekistan as I enjoyed it so much.

Again when you book a trip of this nature you don't know what to expect but it was so well organised and all of our needs were met. I can probably speak on behalf of the group but everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The trip was value for money and we fitted in so much. The danger can be making the trip too long but personally speaking after two weeks your concentration can wane. So in that respectacular I feel this particular tour has the balance of cost, activities and time spent travelling to perfection.

Aaron Luo 02.07.2019 11:04

Hi Victoria

Here is our review of the tour: thank you so much again and we do enjoyed our trip in Central Asia especially Uzbekistan.

Planning/Booking process
A significant amount of time was spent with Victoria planning, fine tuning the trip and making numerous adjustments in particular with the itinerary and hotels. Victoria was accommodating and helpful - always reassuring that she was trying her best to get the work done. She is an asset to the travel industry and overall it was a pleasure to work with her and will definitely use her services again when we travel in the region again.

Almaty
Our guide Ansar was excellent. Young, charming and very friendly, he was always trying his best to ensure all the needs of the group were looked after. He was extremely polite and his smiling and generally positive attitude was very good. Everyone enjoyed his company and his knowledge on Khazak culture and people was very good. We learnt a lot about his country and more importantly, his enthusiasm for showing us around was great.

Hotel Rixos was very nice - a large hotel with very comfortable rooms and in a good location. Breakfast was also excellent and we enjoyed our stay here.

The sights in Almaty were interesting and we had no idea the weather would be so cold and in a few instances, were not prepared for the weather as we did not bring enough warm clothing. Perhaps this is one area where advance warning could be given to the group to let them know to bring sufficient warm clothing.

Kyrgyzstan
Crossing the border was made easy as Ansar followed us all the way through - it was nice to have him there as it was re-assuring to know the procedures and to understand what was to be expected. Ansar handed us over to our next guide Timur.

Timur was nice enough - he was knowledgeable and friendly. Our daily program was all arranged and he did his best to ensure we followed the program. He seemed pre-occupied with personal issues (his car apparently had broken down).

Solutel Hotel was fine. New and located in safe area, it was acceptable. Meals were easily self arranged as the location was close to several nice restaurants. Timur took us for lunch on our last day to a great local eatery - ended up being one of our best & cheapest meals.

The flight to Tashkent was fine but the arrival was chaotic as those travelling Business class and those on economy class arrived at different terminals. The representative who was supposed to meet us was at neither location on our arrival and we waited over 30 minutes to finally meet him (after calls to Victoria to find out what was happening). This was not a nice welcome to Tashkent and we were all tired and hungry and arrived at the Hyatt Hotel late (after the club lounge stopped serving any food) so it was not the best situation. However, we met up with Victoria and our guide Faruk the next day and things improved and Victoria made a nice offer of giving us a free wine tasting in Samarkand as an apology for the mix up - and this was much appreciated by the group.

Faruk was also knowledgeable and seemed experienced at handling tour groups - however he brought us to supposed “master-class” factories or craftsmen which were not interesting. We did not get to see any real demonstrations of crafts work and it was all simply uninteresting sale pitches. But it was obviously the usual thing for tourists to be brought to such places - we were bored by this. The only interesting place was the carpet factory where a few of us ended up buying carpets.

From here - we went to Bukhara and Samarkand and enjoyed this very much. The sights and things we saw were excellent.

In Bukhara - Our Hotel Amulet was excellent. Small, cosy and service was very good. Breakfast was simple but one of the best we had. It was a different atmosphere and we enjoyed staying there.

In Samarkand, Platane hotel was also fine. The restaurant was excellent and we had one of our best meals on our trip here. However breakfast was not so good and the waitstaff serving breakfast are different from the night crew serving dinner. The breakfast staff are not good - indifferent and chaotic service - they simply were not interested in what they were doing. The dinner staff were excellent and knew exactly what they were doing.

We were dropped off by Faruk at the border with Turkmenistan and the situation at the border could have been better. Faruk did not brief us on the complicated procedures (taking a bus from where we were dropped off to the border and then again another bus to the Turkmenistan immigration control. It was chaotic and we basically had to arrange all this ourselves. It would have been nice to have been briefed on what to expect and how much to pay for the bus etc. Fortunately we managed to navigate our way through all this and it was a relief to meet Olga at the Turkemenistan checkpoint where she took everything in control and arranged for our visa on arrival ad ensured we could go through in a special queue. It took us just over 2 hours to clear the immigration and customs checkpoint and arrive in Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan
We loved that the buses in Turkmenistan were all large and luxurious.

Overall Olga is an excellent guide - she was informative and very knowledgeable and it was obvious she was well experienced in handling tourists and ensuring we did the right thing.

The hotel in Ashgabat seemed nice but did not function well. It was luxurious and decor very grand but service and food was not so good. It was a pity we could not stay at our 1st choice (Yldyz Hotel).

Olga managed our time very well and we got to see all the sights as suggested. She also managed our meals well and took us to places that we enjoyed.

Uzbekistan
By far - this was the best country. All cities were impressive : Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. We loved the hotel in Khiva - staying in the madrassa was unique but we were not happy with the rooms given to us initially. We were allocated twin rooms on the ground floor. The rooms were dark and small. Whereas rooms on 2nd floor were double rooms, bigger, brighter and even had a small balcony at the back of the room. Apparently Faruk made the change with reception instructing them we wanted twin rooms instead of double rooms (the bookings were all double rooms and not twin rooms). I was lucky enough to change to a 2nd floor room later but one room changed to 2nd floor only on next day and another one, no chance to change to 2nd floor due to fully occupied - so some of us are very disappointed that Faruk just changed our room type which check-in but didn’t ask us while we were just next to him. And when I asked him later why he changed our rooms but he didn’t say sorry.

Overall Faruk was a good guide but several areas could be improved upon. He often made decisions without consulting us; in particular our meals. Perhaps he is used to taking groups who have meals included and therefore everything has to be ordered and set. For our group, our meals are not included and we would have liked to have been consulted before he ordered our meals. Also choice of restaurant would have been nice if he had discussed with us first. We were simply taken to restaurants that obviously all other tourists are taken to as it was obvious we kept bumping into the same people. We would have preferred something more customised and perhaps personal.

On our return to Almaty to catch our international flights home - it was very nice to see Ansar again and thank you for arranging the same guide to meet us & to ensure we were looked after till we checked into our flight. Ansar is a cut above the others and really made our stay special.

Thank you
AARON

Richelmy Aragao 02.07.2019 10:58

Dear Victoria,

I hope you´re fine

Finally, we came back home and had some time to write you some lines... I´d like to congratulate you for the excelent work that has been made for us. Everything happened in a great way, with only few small troubles which are not worth to talk about, once was not your fault...
I´d like to make some compliments to our guides... they were excellent and made everything to make our trip more comfortable, however is necessary to make a special compliment to Mr.Artyom (the best one) and Mr.Iasha from Turkmenistan (the second best)
Thank you for all!!!

Kind regards!!
See ya!!!
Richelmy

Ivar Iversen 25.07.2018 10:46

"Perfect planning and good service
We used Central Asia Travel for our 3 weeks travel through the 5 Stans in June 2018.
Starting in Almaty and finishing in Ashgabat. The trip was based on a standard package but as long as we were only two travelers CTA was helpful with modifications all the way. Everything worked pr the plan and so many thanks to Victoria in Tashkent that made this trip possible. Thanks also to the many guides and drivers on the route.
Ivar, Norway"
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293968-d1217665-r592889678-Central_Asia_Travel-Tashkent_Tashkent_Province.html#

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