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.
Explore all sides of Kazakhstan during the epic 18-day tour through the country's most iconic and fascinating sites. From the modern Medeo skating rink to the ancient city of Sauran, the majestic Charyn Canyon to a mausoleum and Muslim shrine, this itinerary brings you to all the hotspots of Kazakhstan, allowing you to spend time living in local guesthouses to soak up Kazakh culture while discovering the natural beauty around you.
Your adventure in Kazakhstan begins in Almaty, the capital city. After you settle in at your hotel, embark on a walking tour, checking out a commemorative park and the city's Central Mosque, before heading into the mountains to the famous Medeo skating rink. Enjoy lunch before returning to the city to visit the Central Historical Museum and a falcon show. Finally, head up Kok-Tobe mountain for dinner with a view of the city.
Head 105 miles (2.5 hours) out of the city to check out the ancient petroglyphs of Tamgaly Tas, a UNESCO world heritage site, where there are many symbols of Buddha. Enjoy lunch in Ili river, then head back to Almaty where you’ll have dinner in an Indian restaurant and an optional excursion to a nightclub.
Spend the morning exploring the nearby Kaindy Lake before driving to Charyn Canyon - considered the largest canyon in the world after the famous American Grand Canyon - about 125 miles away. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the canyon before dinner and an overnight stay in a guesthouse.
Today, you'll head to the Altyn-Emel National Park, where you'll discover the deserted mountains of Katutau and the multi-coloured mountains of Aktau. After spending the day exploring these spectacular sites, you'll return to your guesthouse at Charyn Canyon for the night.
You will arrive in Taraz very early in the morning and head straight to your hotel to rest. Later on, after breakfast, you will meet with a local archaeologist to begin your tour of Taraz City, from the Regional Museum to the mausoleums and the catacombs. After lunch, you’ll explore Akyrtobe – local ruins of ancient stone settlements – and then head 50 miles to the Berikara Gorge, located in the mountains, where you’ll enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in a guesthouse.
From your base in Shymkent, the capital of the South Kazakhstan Province, head less than 25 miles to Kazygurt Mount, the place where - legend has it – Noah’s Ark was stopped and is still visible today. Enjoy a trek to the Zhylak ata waterfall before heading further out of town to observe shamans performing unique rituals. Return to Shymkent for dinner and an overnight stay.
Today, you’ll head to the Aksu Canyon, visiting Saira City – an old stop on the Great Silk Road – and several mausoleums along the way. At the canyon, discover the “Valley of a Thousand Eyes” – a wall stone with caves resembling eyes – as well as the Aksu river and the “Black Hole.” Enjoy lunch and dinner at the canyon before heading back to Shymkent for the night.
On your way to Turkestan (around 3 hours), you’ll stop at a museum in Shaulder village, the ruins of Otrar and the Mausoleum of Arystan-bab, a major Muslim shrine in Central Asia. After arriving in Turkestan and settling in at your hotel, you’ll take an excursion of less than 25 miles to see the ancient city of Sauran before returning for dinner and an overnight stay.
Welcome to Aralsk, a former seaport. After arriving and settling into your guesthouse, you’ll discover the history of this unique city, from a tour of a ship graveyard to a salty desert where you may even be able to ride a camel. Take in a dombra show and swim in the Aral sea before returning to Aralsk for the night.
Discover two World Bank project sites – the Kokaral dam and the Aklak spillway on the Syrdarya river – where you’ll learn about the projects and watch they are doing for the natural environment. Later, head back to Aralsk for dinner before a late-night transfer (around 5 hours) to Kzyl Orda.
On the last full day of your tour, you’ll get to explore Nur-Sultan, the largest city in Kazakhstan. Starting with a city tour, you’ll see the Museum of the First President, a central mosque and synagogue and a large entertainment complex while also taking an excursion to a local outdoor museum, “Map of Kazakhstan-Atameken.” In the evening, enjoy dinner and a view from the rotating restaurant on the 23rd story of the Solaze hotel.