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New! 2017 The Stans of Central Asia: Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan: Ashgabat • Uzbekistan: Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent

100% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

Sold out in 2017 , Join us in 2018

Courtesy of Mummy Daddy Media
Unexplored Uzbekistan

Watch as Uzbekistan comes to life in this montage showcasing architecture, people, and culture belonging to this "world of dreams."

Courtesy of Ludo Kuipers
Women's dance: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Behold the beauty of a traditional Uzbekistani dance performed by local women in Bukhara.

Courtesy of Joseph Gentle
Kok-Boru - A Brief Introduction

Witness the Kyrgyzstani sport, Kok-Boru—similar to soccer but with a goat carcass instead of a ball.

Courtesy Patrik Wallner
Visualtraveling - Turkmenistan

A visual odyssey through Turkmenistan from a flaming pit in the Kara-Kum Desert to golden war horses.

Courtesy of Pavel Tenyakov
Tajikistan - Dushanbe

Watch this dizzying display of life in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe—one of our trip extensions

Sold out in 2017 , Join us in 2018
Extend Your Trip
 

Announcing a NEW adventure
Explore two of Central Asia's Stans and uncover the legacy of the Silk Road

 

ATTENTION
This trip features long flights and/or multiple connections.
Learn More »

 

Break up a lengthy flight with
an overnight stay in Istanbul.
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Facts & Figures

Get to know more about the places you’re visiting on this trip—from common languages and religions, to time zones, geography, and more.

Select the location you want to learn more about:

  • Area: 188,456 square miles

    Capital: Ashgabat

    Languages: Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6%

    Location: Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan

    Geography: Turkmenistan has a desert climate, with the great Gara Gum (Karakum) Desert covering over 80% of the country. Most of the Gara Gum—which translates as “Black Sands”—lacks a steady supply of water, and therefore is scarcely populated. Outside of the desert, natural bodies of water include the Amu Darya and Morghab rivers, plus the Caspian Sea. Fun fact: Turkmenistan is one of the only countries in the world to have a coastline but still be considered landlocked (because the Caspian Sea does not have an outlet to the ocean).

    Population: 5,231,422

    Religions: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%

    Time zone: Turkmenistan is nine hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). When it is noon in Washington D.C., it is 9pm in Ashgabat.

  • Capital: Tashkent

    Population: 28,661,637

    Ethnic groups: Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5%

    Languages: Uzbek (official), Russian, Tajik, other

    Religions: Muslim 88% (mostly Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%

    Time Zone: Uzbekistan is nine hours ahead of Eastern Time. When it is noon in Washington DC, it is 9pm in Tashkent

  • Area: 55,251 square miles

    Capital: Dushanbe

    Languages: Tajik is the official language, although Russian is also widely used in government and business

    Ethnicity: Tajik 84.3%, Uzbek 13.8%, other 2%

    Location: Central Asia, west of China, south of Kyrgyzstan

    Geography: Tajikistan is mostly mountains, hills, and valleys—only 7% of the country is flat. The highest peaks are in the Pamir Mountains, which run along the southeastern edge of the country and eventually join with the Himalayas. To the north are the Alay Mountains, which form a natural border with Kyrgyzstan, and the Fergana Valley, which is where most of the population lives. Tajikistan has several rivers, which swell every spring from rain and snow/glacier melt.

    Population: 8,191,958

    Religions:Sunni Muslim 85%, Shia Muslim 5%, other 10% (estimates)

    Time zone: Tajikistan is nine hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). When it is noon in Washington D.C., it is 9pm in Dushanbe.

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on The Stans of Central Asia: Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan

Read Travel Planning Guide

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