CA3 The Five Stans Tours
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan & Turkmenistan
Tashkent Old City tour; Khiva: World Heritage Site; Ashgabat: City Tour; Visiting all '5 Stans'; Scenic Lake Issyk-KulINQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP
- DATES & PRICES
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- TRIP INFORMATION
Dates & Prices
Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.
|Start Date||End Date||Price||More Info|
|Sat 21 Mar 2020||Fri 10 Apr 2020||$5500 USD||Last-minute Availability|
|Sat 11 Apr 2020||Fri 01 May 2020||$5500 USD||Please contact us|
|Sat 12 Sep 2020||Fri 02 Oct 2020||$5500 USD|
|Sat 19 Sep 2020||Fri 09 Oct 2020||$5500 USD|
The above prices are subject to an additional $116 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.
Optional Single Supplement: $742 USD (number of singles limited).
Five Stans Tours from Adventures Abroad: What was once a part of the greatest trade route in the world, Central Asia and the Five Stans (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) are a collection of countries with outstanding history, sprawling landscapes, and timeless beauty.
It is a place to get lost in cities that date back more than 2,000 years, with bazaars and markets in a constant state of buzz. A place to feel like a nomad in the sparsely populated grassy steppes with yurts for homes. Despite being five independent republics, it is a region best visited all together to understand how history and tradition can change a culture.
Starting in Uzbekistan, our Five Stans tours take us into the heart of Central Asia. Cities such as Tashkent are a blend of Soviet architecture with bland buildings leading to grand metro stations, before spilling out onto the old city fit with medieval madrassas, markets and mausoleums, while the superb museums showcase a rich history maintained after the devastating earthquakes and revolutions of the early 20th century.
Indeed, early on into our Five Stans tour one realizes it is also the five M's that will be visited: Madrassas or Islamic schools, markets, mausoleums, museums, and mosques. A city that seems to have stood still despite the passing of time, which encompasses all five 'M's would be Khiva, with its blue domed and tiled features found throughout the walled city. Nowhere feels closer to the Silk Road than here, with ruins and perfectly preserved elements found throughout this oasis city.
As the tour continues, Bukhara and Samarkand are often thought of as highlights as well. The enigmatic Registan Square in Samarkand with its three madrassas standing solemnly are often compared favourably with the Wonders of the World. Meanwhile the bathhouses and royal palaces of Bukhara make this feel like a living museum still in the age of the Silk Road.
While Uzbekistan tends to inspire, Turkmenistan can sometimes tend to mystify. With a capital city recreated in marble, it is also home to the worldâs largest hand woven carpet and an interesting culture with an immense pride in horses. Certainly, it is an independent culture from that of the rest of the Five Stans with desert regions and ruins of Merv, a city that was once the largest in the world.
By the time our tour arrives in Tajikistan, we will once again prove how diverse this region is. Over the snow-capped and dramatic mountains, we arrive in the gardened capital of Dushanbe for a brief visit before moving onto the grassy steppes and mountains of Kazakhstan. Unlike the ancient cities of Uzbekistan, Almaty in Kazakhstan is relatively new after being built in the 19th century, and many of the features that came to the city during the Soviet Union are still embraced. From the Orthodox churches to the Soviet memorials, Kazakhstan moves at a much quicker pace than the other nations on our Five Stans tour.
The high mountain ranges continue, all the way into the landlocked Kyrgyz Republic. Another former Soviet country, this in an area with strong historical ties to the Silk Road and a long legacy lasting from the Mongol Empire.
From the ancient times to the present, the Five Stans are a destination for those curious of cultures that were once at the centre of crossroads for centuries.
Barbara S. (Monroeville, PA, US)
The drive through the Pamir Mountains was beautiful and the tunnels made it exciting! Turkmenistan was a revelation! All the guides were excellent, Deyla,Fred-Chris,Jabbar,Farhud and of course our tour leader Chris Tripodi. The buses were very nice and comfortable. Chris is well suited to being a tour guide. He is friendly, outgoing, very concerned about meeting our expectations, always available to help with anything and very organized. He made the over all trip very enjoyable.
Barbara T. (Thornhill, CA)
I was always interested in Marco Polo's adventures and when I heard that The Silk Road was now an adventure tour I had to find out who was offering it. I found out through a friend who had mentioned was told about it by another friend. And especially a Canadian company!! That was so nice.Jonathan is an exceptional tour leader. He is so knowledgeable, pleasant, funny and ever so sweet. I thought he was one of the best tour leader I ever encountered. I just loved him. We were lucky to have him.
Bruce F. (Needham, MA, US)
'Twas all pretty spectacular, for me the three biggies in Uzbekistan were the best: Khiva, Samarkand and Bokhara. The mountains in Tajikistan were also superb. The local guides were simply superb, full of knowledge and willing to answer all sorts of questions. Their information delivery was timed well and full of interesting detail...depth of knowledge was amazing. Good food, the soups were particularly good. Our tour leader was just super: patient, helpful, kept us on time and excited about what we were doing now, and next! The hotels were excellent. Wonderful.
Charles M. (Miami Beach, US)
I enjoyed the diversity of this travel experience. There are obviously "highlights" to be seen but it was the total experience that made a lasting impression.
Claude G. (Mesa, AZ, CA)
I loved Khiva, Samarkand, astabad, and just seeing the countryside. The local guides were great. Transportation was great. Good drivers throughout. Hotels were very good. A really great tour and the group was terrific. Much due to the excellent leadership of our tour leader.
Deborah C. (Cedar Rapids, US)
I most enjoyed visiting with the locals - at markets and on the streets. They were absolutely fantastic. Loved to photograph all the weddings - would have loved to be able to stop and look at the agriculture better. I liked knowing that basically every evening meal was part of the program. They were pretty darn good. Jonathan worked his butt off getting them arranged and as "on time" (5 Stan's time!) as he could. At first I thought "he's not from here, he won't know what's going on." WELL, I was wrong. We had the local guides too, but Jonathan really earned his keep. This is not an easy part of the world to cross borders in, get food ordered and in good time, get flights arranged--just lots of details. It was particularly WONDERFUL that he acted as banker for us too. With all the different currancies, it was hard to have just the right amount of money.
Diana W. (VALLE CRUCIS, NC, US)
Khiva was wonderful. Nissa was fascinating. Our guide Jabbar was amazing in Turkmenistan. Chris has an absolutely wonderful sense of humor, is extremely patient and kind and knowledgeable. He was the very best tour leader I have had. This was the best tour I have taken!
Faye K. (Claresholm, AB, CA)
I was really pleased with Adventures Abroad and we all recognized the the 5 Stans were not some place we would have ventured on our own. The service made my seeing this part of the world a great experience and one that I will remember. The consulting staff were absolutely first rate in helping us get the visas and change our flights home when Air Canada cancelled a flight. I enjoyed seeing the local markets and the historical sites in each of the countries. All of the local guides were knowledgeable and willing to answer questions we had. They were interested in sharing their countries with us and getting to know a little about us as well. I think that Adventures Abroad did an excellent job of providing the best accommodation they could given the price point.
Frederick (Lititz, PA, US)
I love the way that the tour leader and the local guides briefed us on the sights. I think all the local guides were great. Excellent transportation! On time, easy, perfect!! It was a good chance to try the local foods. I love it!! Our tour leader had a good sense of humor and great timing. Wish I knew half as much as he does!! He has done his homework and obviously loves his job and being a guide. We look forward to traveling with him in the future. A+++++++
Jean S. (Bolton, CA)
We have nothing but praise for this trip - enjoyed every minute and all the sights, places visited etc. It is the first non Europe trip we have done for two years due to medical problems and everything went well. We were the only UK travellers in the group and this was great. We learned a lot about Canada and places in the US, had some excellent travelling companions and feel we made several very good friends.
Linda S. (Calgary, CA)
I found this trip to be very interesting and there were many memorable experiences. Many of the tourist sites in Uzbekistan are centralized, so we were able to do a lot of walking tours. This is definitely my favourite way to see the sites. The land border crossings would not normally be called sightseeing, but they proved to be some of the most interesting parts of the trip - experiences we would not normally have. All of the excursions provided were enjoyable.Acelle (local guide) rates as the best local guide I have ever had on any trip. She is knowledgeable and covers important information thoroughly. She will be hard to beat! This trip included transportation by planes, coaches, vans and even a boat ride. All transportation provided was comfortable and spacious. The vans we had to take to get through no-man's land between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were very entertaining and gave us lots of conversation for days! Jonathan (Tour Leader) is very calm and measured in his dealings with guests, guides and locals - whether in restaurants, hotels, border crossings or anywhere else.Shoppers were handled really well - shopping was not allowed while we toured a site, but time was always allowed after the "official" tour was finished so those that were interested had time to shop and the rest of us had time to go on our own and take photos or look at sites more closely. Jonathan handled this the best of all the tour leaders that I have had.
Lynne D. (Hanover, MA, US)
I enjoyed all of the excursions. Guides Delia in Uzbekistan and Jabbar in Turkmenistan were outstanding. Transportation was great throughout the trip. Chris is one of the best tour leaders I have ever had. I would love to travel with him again.
Martha L. (Surrey, GB)
Excursions were informative and the local guides were excellent. Chris, our tour leader, was a very caring person and made sure that everyone was taken care of.
Paul B. (Charlottesville, VA, US)
The highlight of the tour was Khiva. It was a perfect travel experience and truly gave one the feeling of being on the Silk Road. I expected to run into Marco Polo around every corner. We also enjoyed Bukhara for similar reasons. Flights were all very good. Buses ranged from adequate to excellent with plenty of space for hand luggage on all the buses. Drivers were very good and very nice. One of the very best things about AA is the included dinner each evening. After a long day of travel or sightseeing, it is wonderful to have the tour manager take you to a nice restaurant. Our tour leader was a scholar of world travel and his knowledge added greatly to the tour and provided important perspective on some of the assertions of local guides. I believe AA does a very good job in finding decent hotels in remote places. We had a good time in a rather tough part of the world. We look forward to similar experiences with AA in future.
Pierre M. (Montreal, QC, CA)
The pace of the tour was good. Excellent Transportation. Bus was spacious. Drivers very pleasant. Cars were comfortable. Air travel was no hassle at all. Chris, our tour leader, was as good as you can expect. Good sense of humour,lots of tact and diplomacy and extremely competent in organizing things. Everything went as planned,no surprise,no snafu. Good knowledge of the areas visited and he is a very good communicator. Generally travel on my own. This tour impressed me enough that I will consider others. Met all my expectations and more.
Rita C. (Windsor, NS, CA)
Adventures Abroad offers the perfect mix of comfort security and adventure. We feel we get as authentic a travel experience as possible. We were very happy to see the well known historic sights Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand and also the lesser known ones. They expanded our understanding and connected lots of dots Merv was amazing as well as the city of Ashgabot. The city tours were great too. Understanding that Central Asia is just being opened for tourists we were impressed with most of the hotels. All the transportation was excellent. Well organized-we were never left waiting. All the buses and cars were modern and clean. All the employees from booking agent to tour guides are top quality. We are already planning our next Adventure Abroad trip.
Stephen M. (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
I enjoyed all the excursions. All the local guides were excellent and I had no problems with any of them. The buses and vehicles were wonderful and I never felt cramped for space. Chris is the type of person that is excited about travel and you have to be to be a tour leader. He had many suggestions for optional things to try if one felt like it and was always up for an adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with Chris. I would definitely travel with Chris on another trip as he helped to make it more interesting and exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would travel with Adventures Abroad again.
Toula S. (Nanaimo, BC, CA)
Obviously the famous Mosques, Mausoleums and Madrassas and Museums were the highlights. Historic sites of ancient, buried cities. Being close to the local people happened randomly and was enjoyed by everyone. In most cases, the locals were happy to pose for pictures with us. Visiting local craft shops such as pottery making, marionettes, musical instruments, etc. was interesting. The absurd combination of "marble facades", no humans and "no photos" police guards in Ashgabat was unique! The lake drive in Almaty, the side trip to lake Issyk-Kul and the boat ride. The petroglyphs at Issyk-Kul. It is a most fascinating and interesting exploration and it is worth the special effort. We would definitely recommend it to our travelling friends.
*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.
The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.
City Palace Hotel
Hotel City Palace invites all comers to a world class business hotel located in the center of Tashkent at the ... of major highways. It is located in close proximity to business and administrative institutions, as well as entertainment centers. The rooms include fashionable and comfortable furniture, and they are equipped with all necessary appliances, including air conditioning, TV, hairdryer. The hotel has 251 standard rooms and suites, 1 presidential room and 7 administrative rooms.
Click here to visit hotel website
Hotel Malika Khiva
Malika Khiva, Malika Kheivak and Malika Khorezm are three modern hotels built in national style represent famous chain of Malika ... in Uzbekistan.
Malika Khiva Hotel opened in May, 2004. It is situated directly opposite the main Ata Darvaza gates of the Ichan Qala. It has the indisputably best view in all of Khiva!
Malika Kheivak is a new hotel, built in 2008. The hotel is located in the center of Ichan Qala, the historical fortress of Khiva, next to the Islam Khoja Minaret. The perfect location, rooms in national style and very great service from the hotel's staff makes it the perfect place to stay while visiting Khiva.
Malika Khorezm Hotel is located one block from the gates of the ancient old town of Khiva near the Art Museum. The decor of each hotel is classic Uzbek and cozy. The authentic Uzbek and European cuisine is unforgettable.
Click here to visit hotel website
Hotel Four-Points Sheraton Ak Altin Plaza
Contemporary hotel located 5 minutes from city center & 3 km from Carpet Museum & Independence Monument
This newly built private hotel presents the finest Uzbek woodcraft. Hotel Malika features 26 guest rooms. There is a small ... in the hotel with Uzbek national sitting benches - "supa", where you can have breakfast or relax and have a cup of tea. Rooms: Air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV, mini bar, shower. Property amenities: Restaurant, internet, bar, laundry, souvenir shop.
Click here to visit hotel website
Well situated facing Panfilov Park, the Otrar dates from Soviet times but stands up very well. It has spick-and-span rooms ... air-con and satellite TV, a fitness room, sauna and a good help-yourself breakfast.
Click here to visit hotel website
Silk Road Lodge
The Silk Road Lodge was built in 2000 in the centre of the capital, next to the Central Park and ... a few minutes walk from the White house and Bishkek's popular restaurants. In-house bar-restaurant offers a wide range of international and local meals. Hotel also has facilities for a leisure: heated indoor pool with two saunas. All rooms have en suite bathrooms with bath and heated floors, tea/coffee making facilities and taps that are equipped with water filters.
Breakfast and dinner (at local restaurants and some hotels) are included daily. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers.
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, visas* and locally paid departure taxes.
At present this tour will require TWO visas (US citizens still need a visa for Uzbekistan, so you may need three visas, but we expect this requirement to be changed soon) both of which we will acquire for you. You will need to supply us with some documentation, passport photos, and a fee which will be listed separately on your invoice. You will need to be reasonably computer/email proficient in order to complete the visa process which relies entirely on electronic communication. You will not need to surrender your passport.
Seasonality and Weather
In both April and October, average low temperature is 10C (57 F); average high is 20C (68 F). That said, it is not uncommon for some locations to be rather warm-hot, more so in the early fall than spring. Some locations, such as Karakol and mountain passes can be considerably cooler. The region is semi-arid overall, but showers can still occur in spring and fall, though likely short-lived.
These are the best times to visit this extreme climate region, where summers are unbearably hot and winters bitterly cold. Our spring date will feature snowy mountain scenery through mountain passes and a greener landscape. The fall is a bit warmer and features harvest time and locally-grown produce.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Road Transport: Our buses in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are big buses with plenty of room. In Tajikistan we use (usually) use a couple of vans on the first day seeing in Penjikent and area, then 4WD vehicles on the mountain drive from Penjikent to Dushanbe, where we generally we use multiple mini-vans for local sightseeing.
Domestic flights via scheduled local carriers, such as Air Astana, Uzbekistan Airways, Turkmenistan Airlines.
Our difficulty rating of "2" on this trip relates to the overall ambitious nature of the itinerary, long travel days, early starts, and the possibility of heat which can cause fatigue. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage from time to time, especially at airports.
Border crossings also present a challenge as the facilities are not built for comfort, and there is often a considerable distance across "no man's land" between posts over which travellers must walk (we leave one bus behind and meet our next one ahead). These distances occur over rough road (sturdy wheeled luggage is a MUST) and in the open (perhaps hot sun). There is no one to assist with baggage so you must be prepared and independent.
Travellers with very specific dietary requirements, or those with pre-existing medical conditions should be aware that we visit some remote locales where services, varied cuisines/foods, and the possibility of advanced medical attention, are limited.
Please note that most Central Asian countries are very strict about the importation of certain medications, especially opioids, pychotropics, medicinal marijuana, certain types of mood stabilizers or anything that can be considered a "narcotic". The official concern here is not your use of the drugs for therapeutic reasons, but rather the possibility of importation for the purpose of trafficking. As such, you must be prepared to fully declare any such items upon entry and carry only the amount consistent with your prescription and length of stay. For more information on this matter, please visit:
Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.
Most accommodation is of a 3-4 star standard, though accommodation may be simpler in remote locations. All are heated/air-conditioned as conditions warrant, and all feature private bath. Most passengers are pleasantly surprised at the overall comfort and level of service, though in the part of the world, one must be prepared for some "rough edges."
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.
Maximum 18 (plus Tour Leader)
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