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Highlights of Kazakhstan: Almaty, Shymkent & Turkestan

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

FROM $6,500 PER PERSON
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DURATION

9 days | 8 nights

DESTINATIONS

Kazakhstan

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Learn how to make jewelry from atop Kok-Tobe mountain
  • Trek the Turgen River Gorge to reach a stunning waterfall
  • Visit the Tamgaly Tas to see the three Buddhas rock carving
  • Enjoy a dinner and show at the Shymbulak Ski Resort

DETAILED DECRIPTION

For a quick trip to Kazakhstan, this action-packed itinerary will ensure you hit all the hotspots. Starting and ending the trip in Almaty, the country’s largest city, you will explore all the city sights but also nearby gems, including Kok-Tobe mountain, Issyk lake, and the petroglyphs of Tamgaly Tas. Mix in a trip to Shymkent to visit Sairam Ugam National Park, as well as Turkestan to see the ruins of Otrar and the ancient city of Sauran, and you’ve got a whirlwind week that you won’t soon forget!

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Arrive in Almaty

On the first day of your exciting trip through Kazakhstan, you’ll arrive in the country’s largest city, Almaty, and transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight, in preparation for the action-packed week ahead.

DAY 2: Almaty

Kick off your trip bright and early with a city tour of Almaty, where you’ll visit sites including the Central Historical Museum, the central mosque and Kok-Tobe mountain, the highest point in the city. Enjoy dinner with the spectacular view of the city from Kok-Tobe while also undertaking a master class in jewelry making, before returning to your hotel for the night.    

DAY 3: Almaty

Today, you’ll head just under 50 miles outside of Almaty to visit the stunning Issyk lake and explore the many archaeological monuments and burial grounds surrounding the area. After a visit to Issyk museum and lunch, you’ll get to explore a trout farm and an ostrich farm, as well as hike the Turgen River Gorge to a stunning waterfall. After visiting Sunkar farm for a falcon show, you’ll return to Almaty for dinner and overnight.      

DAY 4: Almaty

On the fourth day of your journey, you’ll transfer to Tamgaly Tas (around 2.5 hours), an incredible petroglyph site known for its rock carving of the three Buddhas, a UNESCO-designated site. After lunch and a day of exploration, you’ll head back to Almaty for dinner and overnight. 

DAY 5: Almaty - Shymkent

This morning, you’ll take a short flight to Shymkent, from where you will be able to explore the Aksu canyon in Sairam Ugam National Park, featuring “The Valley of a Thousand Eyes”. After lunch, you’ll head back to Shymkent to explore the city’s underground mosque and take a ceramic master class, before enjoying dinner and staying overnight. 

DAY 6: Shymkent -Turkestan

After breakfast, you will transfer to the city of Turkestan (3 hours), stopping at a museum in a small village of Shaulder, the ruins of Otrar and the Mausoleum of Arystan-bab along the way. After lunch in Turkestan, you will explore the nearby ancient city of Sauran in the afternoon, before returning to the city for dinner and overnight. 

DAY 7: Turkestan - Almaty

Today, you will explore some of the best sites of Turkestan, including an underground mosque, a bath and the ruins of the citadel's fortress. After lunch, you'll head back to Shymkent (3 hours) for the short flight back to Almaty, where you'll stay overnight. 

DAY 8: Almaty

On your final full day, enjoy a trip to Medeo skating rink – the highest mountain skating rink in the world with a great view of Almaty – where you'll enjoy lunch and a trip to the Green Bazar. Afterward, settle in at the Shymbulak Ski Resort before taking in dinner and a show for your final night! 

DAY 9: Departure

On your final day, you’ll check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport, where you may head home or catch a flight to another exciting destination in Central Asia. 

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