Central Asia Explorer

08/19/2020 through 10/01/2022
08/19/2020 through 10/04/2022
Intrepid Travel

Central Asia Explorer

Be entranced by the beauty of Kyrgyzstan and historical wonders of Uzbekistan on this 17-day tour. Traverse landscapes of alpine lakes and mountains interrupted only by dots of yurts, feel the divine artistic power of the detailed mosaics and towering minarets of ancient cities, and be welcomed into homes and family-run businesses by locals. A mix of ancient nomadic cultures, various iterations of both conservative and progressive Islam, Soviet influence and post-independence nationalism mean Central Asia is home to unique traditions. Travels here will leave you raving about the region for years to come and planning your next trip back as soon as you get home.

Activities

  • Bishkek – City Tour
  • Shamsy Valley – Burana tower
  • Don Aryk – Local home visit & horsemanship demonstration
  • Kochkor – Market
  • Kochkor – Women’s Felt Co-op
  • Uzgen – Uzgen Minaret & Complex
  • Osh – Sulaiman-Too Mountain
  • Osh – National Historical and Archaeological Museum Complex
  • Tashkent – Chorsu Bazaar
  • Tashkent – Khast Imom Complex & Moyie Mubarek Library Museum
  • Tashkent – History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan
  • Samarkand – Bibi-Khanym Mosque
  • Samarkand – Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
  • Samarkand – Shakh-I-Zinda
  • Samarkand – Registan
  • Samarkand – Paper making workshop & home cooked lunch
  • Shakhrisabz – Ak Saray Palace
  • Shakhrisabz – Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
  • Shakhrisabz – Dor-ut Tilovat Memorial Complex
  • Shakhrisabz – Dorus Saodat Complex
  • Bukhara – Ismail Samani Mausoleum
  • Bukhara – Sitorai Mohi Hosa Palace
  • Bukhara – Chor-Bakr Necropolis
  • Bukhara – Ark Fortress
  • Bukhara – Kalon Mosque
  • Vobkent – Minaret
  • Gijduvan – Ceramics workshop

Highlights

  • Wander through the grand square Registan in Samarkand, admiring the imposing architecture from afar and the detailed craftmanship on the tiling up close.
  • Walk under pointed arches and between dome-topped mausoleums the size of apartments in the Shak-i-Zinda necropolis, which has pieces from the 14th–19th century.
  • Travel along the Chychkan River beneath the towering peaks of Kyrgyzstan’s Tien Shan range, mountains even more spectacular for emptiness of the valleys below them.
  • Stay in a classic felt-lined yurt on the shore of alpine Song-Kol Lake, where you can watch the sunset behind craggy mountains before warming yourself by the stove.
  • Visit a Kyrgyz village and watch locals play a traditional horseback sport like odarysh (wrestling on horseback) or kok-baru (goat polo).

Itinerary

Day 1 Bishkek
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Day 2 Bishkek
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Day 3 Don Aryk – Issyk-Kul Lake – Kochkor
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Day 4 Song-Kol Lake (3016 metres)
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Day 5 Kyzyl-Oi
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Day 6 Suusamyr Valley – Chychkan – Kok-Bel
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Day 7 Osh
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Day 8 Osh
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Day 9 Border crossing – Andijan – Tashkent
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Day 10 Tashkent
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Day 11 Samarkand
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Day 12 Samarkand
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Day 13 Samarkand – Shahrisabz – Bukhara
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Day 14 Bukhara
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Day 15 Gijduvan – Bukhara
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Day 16 Tashkent
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Day 17 Tashkent
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