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Best of Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Discover a part of the world that's getting noticed for its beautiful landscapes and its warm people. This 9-day tour takes you off the beaten tourist path and into the cultures of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Begin in Almaty and drive through the stunning Charyn Canyon. Spend one night in a traditional yurt and get to know the welcoming families of the nomadic Kyrgyz culture. Enjoy city time in Bishkek as well as optional activities like day hikes and horseback riding to get you closer to the stunning nature here.

What's Included

  • City tour (Almaty)
  • Charyn Canyon stop
  • Karakol city tour (half-day)
  • Yurt building presentation (Kizil Tuu)
  • Felt-making workshop visit
  • Yurt stay (Song Kul)
  • Community-based tourism (CBT) stay
  • Burana Tower visit
  • Half-day city tour (Bishkek)
  • Transport to/from all included activities and between destinations.

Holiday Highlights

  • Learn about the diverse cultures of Central Asia, soak in the breathtaking mountain scenery, connect with the locals during a yurt stay, wander the Soviet streets of Bishkek.
From
£0
pp
Travel Style: Classic
Physical Rating: 3 - Average
Service Level: Standard
Trip Type: Small Group

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Itinerary

Day 1 Almaty

There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

Included Activities

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2 Almaty

Take a city tour of Almaty including the the historical centre, the Zenkov Cathedral and the Monument of Independence. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore. Opt to climb green hill for a panoramic view or visit the local market.



Included Activities

City Tour

Included Meals

1B

Day 3 Almaty/Karakol

Drive via scenic Charyn Canyon to take in more of the Kazakh landscape. Reach the border and cross into Kyrgyzstan. Enjoy an evening in Karakol.

Included Activities

Charyn Canyon Visit
Border Crossing (Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan)

Transport

Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s), 420km)

Included Meals

1B

Other Information

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. CULTURE
Central Asia is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Mixture of Soviet heritage and Islam, summer heat and winter cold, religious conservatism, traffic and crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge.

2. DRESS CODE
Though you can see lots of people in traditional clothes, Central Asia has adopted western style clothing as well. Don't hesitate to pack your usual travel clothes: in summer it can be shorts and t-shirts, sandals etc. We recommend not to bring tank tops/singlets and any types of clothes with bare shoulders and backs - it is unacceptable in most areas, even in bigger cities. Our tour takes us to many religious sights, where dress code is very strict. We recommend women to have a headscarf in their day bags to cover up when going inside mosques (it's also a great help in the heat in summer). Best things to pack for the hot Central Asian climate is loose, long clothing - long trousers and sarongs or long skirts for women. In colder months (from the end of October through the end of April) it can rain and snow - bring warm clothes, jackets and comfortable warm shoes for walking.

3. ALTITUDE CONSIDERATIONS
This trip operates at altitudes over 1400m (max altitude 3000m). Whilst we travel slowly allowing plenty of time to acclimatize you may experience headaches, nausea, lethargy, especially when arriving in Almaty and visiting the Song Kul area. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one's tolerance especially on long driving days.

4. MONEY
Due to the restrictions on changing money in Central Asia region, only notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition will be accepted for exchange. Usually 50 and 100 USD/EUR notes get better exchange rate. We recommend to bring smaller denominations as well - many vendors accept them if you don't have local currency.

5. RAMADAN
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 27th and June 25th, 2017. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.