Our guide was fantastic, and the itinerary succeeded in getting us off the beaten path as we desired.
A couple from New Hampshire

Trekking Over the Roof of the World in Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains

The Pamir Mountains are renowned for their unparalleled beauty, offering magnificent scenery and rural landscapes, making for an exhilarating trekking destination. Although a rarely-visited location, the Pamirs have been visited by discerning travelers and explorers in the past, including famous pilgrim Hsuan Tsang and Marco Polo. This 19-day journey across the Pamir Mountains will take you past some stunning sights of this relatively unseen region, including the vast Varkhan Canyon, the open plains of Zaurbek pasture and the ancient Yamchum Fortress. Along the way, you will spend intimate nights under the stars and in traditional guesthouses. The trip will finish in Tajikistan’s beautiful capital city, but not before stopping at a number of cultural and historical sights enroute.

Highlights   Pricing
Cross the significantly beautiful Yashikkul Lake, a place of immaculate natural beauty Explore the vast Varkhan Canyon for breathtaking views Visit the ancient petroglyphs of Langar Re-energize in the balneology health resort of Garm Chashma  
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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

After an early arrival into Dushanbe airport, meet the rest of the group and head over to a luxury four-star hotel to check in and rest after your travels. Meet your guide after breakfast and embark on a city tour of this unique Asian capital. Savour some authentic local dishes and the diversity of restaurants in the city and head back to the hotel for the night.

Day 2

Your second day on the tour is reserved for exploration of the city to uncover its historical charms and ancient artifacts. After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy the day visiting the Antiquities Museum, where the tallest statue of Buddha in Central Asia stands at over 42-feet high, the Musical Instruments Museum named after Gurminj, the city’s botanic garden and Somoni place. Tonight is the last night in the hotel before heading to the Kalaykhumb border tomorrow.

Day 3
Dushanbe - Kalaykhumb

After breakfast in the hotel, head out towards the Kalaykhumb border via the city of Kulyab, which is elevated 3937 feet above sea level. Stop for lunch in this historic city to break up the eight-hour road journey, and continue the 230-mile drive to Kalaykhumb. Here, you will check into an immaculate hotel, where you can also enjoy a Tajik dinner and have the rest of the day to yourself.

Day 4
Kalaykhumb - Khorog

Prepare to leave this charming city and head 161 miles towards Khorog via the village of Rushan. The village is remote and still encompasses traditional cultures and values. Stop at a quaint road-restaurant for lunch for a taste of authentic Tajikistan, unseen by the outside world. After six hours on the road you will arrive at Khorog, a small town nestled deep within a canyon surrounded by tall peaks. A night in a guesthouse will be your accommodation before the trek through the Pamirs commences tomorrow.

Day 5
Khorog - Bachor Village

Today marks the beginning of your trek; after an early-morning breakfast, depart from Khorog via the spectacular Gunt canyon to reach Bachor village, some 75 miles away. The village is situated a lofty 10,400 feet above sea level and after a four-hour drive, a walk through the village is a welcomed pursuit. Here, you can discover the traditional architecture and become accustomed to the high altitude. End the day with a evening meal and overnight stay in a guesthouse in Bachor.

Day 6
Bachor - Kavch Spring Trek

Awake to stunning alpine scenes and enjoy breakfast in the Bachor village before embarking on this exciting trek. Today you will walk across majestic rock formations and areas of remarkable beauty before reaching Kavch Spring, located 11,811 feet above sea level. After today’s trek, which takes approximately five to six hours, a home-cooked dinner, warming campfire and night in a cozy tent are a memorable way to end the day.

Day 7
Kvach Spring - Chashin Lake Trek

Rise in the morning to completely unspoilt views unlike anywhere else in the world. The only sounds that can be heard here are the wind and nearby spring. After breakfast, commence the seven hour trek to Chashin Lake situated at an impressive altitude of 13,779 feet. Dine with stunning views over the calm blues of the Chashin Lake and spend another relaxing night under the stars.

Day 8
Chashin Lake - Zaroshkkul Lake Trek

Today’s trek will take you past desolate and surreal landscapes with snowcapped peaks, some rising well over 16,404 feet, that dominate the horizon. After a four- to five-hour walk, you will reach Zaroshkkul Lake, which lies hidden within the Pamirs at 14,822 feet. Tonight, you will be camping a location visited by just a handful of explorers, with a picture-perfect view over the deep blue lake.

Day 9
Zaroshikkul Lake - Kulen Lake Trek

The Pamirs boast some of the highest alpine lakes in the world and today you will have the chance to visit yet another one. They contain the purest waters and the scenery surrounding them will be remembered for a lifetime. Today, after an energizing breakfast you will start the five-hour trek to Kulen Lake. Renowned for its breathtaking beauty, it is situated a cool 14,107 feet high. Once here, you can escape into the lake’s serenity and after enjoying a Tajik-style dinner, and camp another night in a tranquil haven near the lake.

Day 10
Kulen Lake - Zaurbek Pasture - Yechkul Lake Trek

Day ten of your Pamir tour starts with an early breakfast overlooking the mysterious Kulen Lake. The next stop is at Zaurbek pasture, located 13,451 feet high amidst the Pamirs, where a number of yak, sheep and cattle come to graze. Next, continue the seven-hour trek to Yechkul Lake. Marvel at this oasis-like lake with rocky surrounds over dinner and spend the night in the tent camp.

Day 11
Yechkul Lake - Fork of Pass Langar - Chapdarkul Lake

Catch a glimpse of the early morning rays and begin today’s trek five-hour trek to the fork of pass Langar. Here, you can explore the rocky slopes and uncover hidden cravases before setting off again to Chapdarkul Lake. The climb to the lake is somewhat inclined but well worth the challenge. It is the highest lake visited on this tour at 14,858 feet above sea level. Enjoy an evening meal while watching the sunset followed by a night’s rest at the tent camp before the start of the descent tomorrow.

Day 12
Chapdarkul Lake - Bachor Pasture Trek

The penultimate day of the the trekking tour will take you on a slight descent down the Pamirs towards the Bachor pasture, located at 13,123 feet above sea level. Explore the passes by the town of Langar at 15,187 feet, which boasts stunning views and unusual rock formations. This is your last night with dinner in the open, under the starry skies and camping in lush and unspoilt scenes.

Day 13
Bachor Pasture - Yashilkul Lake - Bulunkul Village

Embark on a seven-hour trek towards Yashilkul lake and take in the dramatic landscapes and panoramic views on the last day of the trek. The first stop is at Yashilkul lake, a vibrant blue fresh-water lake located over 12,000 feet high. From here, you will have the opportunity to cross the mirror-like waters of the lake on jeeps or rubber-oar, while observing the underwater aquatic life through its crystal-clear waters. Give your feet a rest with a transfer from here to the traditional mountain village of Bulunkul, also situated above 12,000 feet. Spend the night in a guesthouse in the village where you will be served a home-cooked meal.

Day 14
Bulunkul Village - Khargush Pass - Varkhan Canyon - Langar

After a night well spent in the quaint Bulunkul village, you will be taken across the Khargush pass, an elevated road within the Pamirs at a height of 14,251 feet and connects the Pamir highway to the Wakhan valley. The next stop is at the Varkhan Canyon, circa 9,180 feet above sea level, which cuts deep into the rising mountains. A six-hour drive from here will take you to the village of Langar, which will welcome you in for lunch. In the afternoon, explore this rustic village and take a walk up to the ancient petroglyphs carved into a rock face raised up on a slope. Return back to the guest house for dinner and a comfortable night’s stay.

Day 15
Langar - Rin

In the morning, say goodbye to the extremely hospital locals and head towards the village of Rin, six to seven hours from Langar. Along the way, you will visit a large Buddhist statue before arriving at the museum of Sufi Muborak Kadam, where his famous solar calendar and various artifacts can be seen. Next stop is the Yamchun fortress, an impressive ruin surrounded by incredible scenery. Not far from here is the Bibi Fatima Zahra hot springs, claimed to have healing effects by the local Tajiks. From here, you will get a private transfer to Rin village, 8,038 feet above sea level, for a night in a local guest house and a delectable dinner.

Day 16
Rin Village - Ishkashim - Khorong

Breakfast with the locals in Rin village is followed by a short drive to the health resort at Garm Chashma where a sanatorium boasts energizing powers. Further down the road is the town of Ishkashim where a town with exactly the same name is located on the Afghan side with a bridge connecting the two. On Saturdays, a bustling market is held on the Afghan side and sells a varied assortment of local crafts and traditional items. You will then be taken to Khorog, a six-hour journey from Rin. Dinner in a private guest house makes for a pleasant evening where you will also spend the night.

Day 17
Khorog - Kalaykhumb

After an exciting 18 days in Tajikistan with unforgettable memories to take home, today is reserved for relaxing and enjoying the exotic landscapes of Central Asia. After a seven-hour journey, you will reach your Tajik hotel in the town of Kalaykhumb. There is time for dinner before you check in, and the rest of the night is at your leisure.

Day 18

A private transfer will collect you from the hotel and take you on an eight-hour journey to Dushanbe. A stop at Kulyab city along the way is not to be missed where you can witness Tajik traditions and ancient cultures first hand. Upon arrival at Dushanbe, you will be taken to a luxury four-star hotel for your last dinner and overnight stay in Tajikistan.

Day 19

Today marks the end of an unforgettable tour of the Pamirs with a transfer to the international airport of Dushanbe. After checking out of your hotel, it is time to say goodbye to the Tajik’s extremely hospitable locals and the unspoilt scenery that is simply out of this world. From the airport, you can catch the flight to your next onward destination.


Suggested Accommodations

Hyatt Regency, Serena Hotel

Hyatt Regency

Set in the heart of Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe, the Hyatt Regency boasts luxury five-star accommodation, reflecting the country’s unique culture throughout its generously-sized suites. Located on the grounds of the city park and near to the stunning lake Komsomol, this hotel boasts not only stunning urban surrounds, but is also conveniently located to reach many local attractions by foot and the international airport is just four miles away. It is one of the most beautifully-appointed hotels in Dushanbe and one of the finest luxury properties throughout the whole of Tajikistan. Boasting over 200 luxury rooms and suites over three accommodation options, the hotel is proud to maintain a distinctive theme that runs throughout to encompass the local Tajik culture so prevalent in this region. One of the best restaurants in the city is also featured here, where creative cuisine combined with sophisticated surroundings provide an elegant retreat. There is enough to keep guests occupied at the hotel during their stay relaxing in the heated, indoor pool to the unwinding in the tranquil surroundings of the spa.   


Serena Hotel

This luxury hotel in the center of Dushanbe really is head and shoulders above most of the city's other accommodation options. As soon as you step inside the grand lobby with its traditional Tajik features, it's clear that plenty of time and effort have gone into the hotel's design. There's a choice of serviced apartments or deluxe double rooms, all with 24-hour room service, large comfortable beds, TV and internet. The great location of the Serena, situated on the main boulevard at the center of Dushanbe, offers a stunning backdrop, surrounded by a lush garden and mountains in the distance. It also provides ease of access to the city's attractions, such as the National Art Museum, cinemas and the opera theater, and is just a 10-minute drive from the international airport. 



Trekking and driving in the beautiful Qal ‘Ai Khumb valley, while breathtaking, can be tiring work and a comfortable place to bed down for the night will be most welcome. Throughout Basid, Savnob and Bardara are a number of cozy homestays at which local families happily host weary travelers in their houses for a peaceful night’s rest. The only thing warmer than the welcome is the refreshing cup of tea and tasty meal guests will receive, to fill their grateful bellies after a long day of adventuring. Out here in the wilds, there are no luxury hotels and while alternatives are few and far between, we highly recommend a night’s stay in a local home for the unique opportunity to experience true Tajik lifestyle with a real family - to cook, eat, share and stay in a real home is unforgettable. With no other opportunities to purchase food out in the mountains, the breakfast and evening meal provided at the homestays will be most welcome and the care with which they are prepared will warm the heart. 

Parinen Inn, Serena Inn

Parinen Inn

On a far, quiet edge of Khorong, Parinen Inn is one of the most comfortable places to stay in the city. Guestrooms have beds (unlike some homestays in Tajikistan, where guests must sleep on the floor), TVs, and relatively reliable electric service. Bathrooms are shared, and include a toilet and shower. Meals, often included in the stay, are served outside the main building. The main appeal of Parinen Inn is its friendly service: here, the staff treat guests like family, and no task is too challenging for them to help with. Many of the front desk staff speak excellent English, greatly easing communication. 


Serena Inn

The extremely cozy, welcoming atmosphere of Serena Inn belies its noble purpose. Originally built especially to accommodate Aga Khan on his visit to the town, it’s the pride of Khorog, sitting on its outskirts, nestled in the foothills of Mount Badakhshan. On the banks of the Panj river, with views over to Afghanistan, the inn is elegant and understated. Built in the traditional style and beautifully decorated with authentic Pamiri artworks, bedecked with locally-made textiles, it’s a little corner of Tajik heaven, surrounded by soaring mountains. Meanwhile, it is well-equipped with international standard facilities and all six comfortable rooms feature WiFi, air conditioning and satellite television, with beds blanketed in crisp, clean linens. Breakfast is included for all guests and food is served all day in The Pamir restaurant, while lighter snacks and drinks are available in the lobby lounge. When the weather is kind, delicious barbecue food is sizzled up outdoors in The Panj Garden. 

Hani's Guesthouse

Hani's Guesthouse

For visitors to Ishkashim, we recommend Hani’s Guesthouse where the accommodation may not be luxurious, but the welcome is warm. Well located in the center of town, next to the police station and close to nearby amenities, the two storey guesthouse provides clean and comfortable rooms with double or single beds. One of the town’s best places to rest up for the night, guests can usually rely on getting a hot shower and, what’s more, there are western-standard toilets. This might not seem noteworthy but it’s something of a perk in the area and certainly a welcome addition to the facilities for international visitors. There’s a pleasant outdoor space with eating area and garden, not to mention laundry and ironing facilities. Guests can make use of the communal kitchen, which is well equipped with fridge, freezer, oven and stove. 

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