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Central Asia – Multi-Stan Adventure

With their reputation for welcoming visitors and their unique cultural footprint, the countries of Central Asia will remind you why you travel. This comprehensive 23-day tour will take you through all the 'Stans we visit, offering a fascinating glimpse at a beautiful part of the world most travellers miss. Stay at unique homestays, sleep in traditional yurts, discover the breathtaking mountain and desert scenery, enjoy free time in the Uzbek city of Tashkent, and roam gorgeous buildings built centuries ago. See Central Asia with a group of like-minded adventurers and an expert Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and cross off an entire and unexpected region of the world from your must-see list.

What's Included

  • City tour (Almaty)
  • Charyn Canyon stop
  • Karakol city tour (half-day)
  • Yurt building presentation (Kizil Tuu)
  • Felt-making workshop visit
  • Burana Tower visit
  • Half-day city tour (Bishkek)
  • Dushanbe city tour
  • Local home stay (Iskanderkul, 2 nts)
  • Hikes and picnic lunch
  • Mug Teppe settlement visit (Ura-Tube)
  • City tour (Khujand)
  • Khujand market visit
  • City tour (Tashkent)
  • Orientation walk (Samarkand)
  • City tour including a Registan visit
  • Plov-making demonstration and dinner with a local family
  • Nurata Shrine visit
  • Alexander the Great fortress visit
  • Desert yurt stay (Aydar K?l)
  • Guided walking tour (half-day, Bukhara)
  • Community homestay (Fann Mountains)
  • Overnight in a Yurt (Song Kul)
  • Walking tours (Khiva)
  • Internal flight
  • Transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Holiday Highlights

  • Learn about the diverse cultures of Central Asia, soak in scenic beauty of mountains and deserts, connect with the locals during community village and yurt stays, marvel at colourful mosaic buildings.
From
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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

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 800m (max altitude 2200m). Whilst we travel slowly allowing plenty of time to acclimatize you may experience headaches, nausea, lethargy, especially when visiting Iskanderkul. 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.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.