Skip to content

UZBEKISTAN & KYRGYZSTAN TOUR

A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE WITH KERI & NICOLA

A Small-Group Tour

Join Keri & Nicola, the #worldlygirlies, on a small group, women’s only tour to Central Asia, one of the most fascinating regions in the world this October 2023. On this trip, you’ll experience the vast differences between two countries, stunningly beautiful Kyrgyzstan and captivating Uzbekistan. 



We’ll start the trip in Kyrgyzstan, one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. Some of the population is still semi-nomadic, by packing up and setting up their yurts around sparkling alpine lakes throughout the summer. We’ll experience some amazing nature as we spend some unforgettable nights in yurts, dining on local Kyrgyz cuisine. We’ll also have time to get acquainted with some of the local traditions and customs of the country. 

We’ll then take a short flight to Uzbekistan, a historic intersection of cultures along the Great Silk Road. The cradle of culture for two millennia, Uzbekistan is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and ancient cities, all deeply infused with the bloody, fascinating history of the Silk Road. We’ll stand in the shadows of some of the most legendary architecture along the Silk Road, including the evocative cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, where soaring minarets, mosaic-tiled arches, and shining turquoise domes carve the skyline

Come along on this exotic Uzbekistan Cultural Tour with Keri & Nicola, it’s going to be an incredible (and incredibly fun) experience!

October 14 – 27, 2023

$4275 USD per person

Single Supplement: $1050 USD (single room not available in yurt camp, due to limited availability)

  • 13 nights accommodation in boutique hotels, yurts, and guesthouses
  • All transfers in a private, air-conditioned vehicle
  • English-speaking local tour guide throughout (a local guide in each country, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan)
  • Experienced Finisterra Travel Tour leaders Keri & Nicola
  • Entrance to all sites on itinerary (40+ entrances)
  • Train tickets: (Tashkent to Samarkand) & (Bukhara to Khiva (high-speed train)
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Clean drinking water for the entire trip
  • All applicable taxes
  • Venturing through gorgeous scenery in Kyrgyzstan while winding through mountain passes
  • Learning about the local nomadic culture in Kyrgyzstan, including an overnight in a yurt camp
  • Touring through the captivating ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva
  • Preparing meals with locals in a traditional house
  • Wandering through the ancient cities along the old Silk Road
  • Stepping back in time while exploring the jewel of the Silk Road, Khiva
  • Wind through alleys and blue-tiled walled mausoleums throughout Uzbekistan
  • Taste the delicious, local delicacies in each city we visit 

Day 1 – Arrival to Bishkek

Upon arrival into Bishkek, you’ll be picked up at the airport by a local guide and driver. As most flights arrive early in the morning, you’ll be taken to the hotel, where you’ll rest until noon. 

This afternoon, we’ll do a tour of some of the notable sights in Bishkek, an old Soviet city whose architecture is still heavy featured in a Soviet style. 

We’ll enjoy a welcome dinner with the group, before a good night’s rest. 

  • Meals: Dinner
  • Overnight: Bishkek
  • Hotel Style: B Hotel ( or similar)

Day 2 – Bishkek to Tamga

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive to Tamga, located along the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kol, which is the world’s second largest alpine lake in the world (after lake Titicaca in Bolivia), located at an altitude of 1607 meters above sea level. On the way, we’ll stop by the city of Tokmok, where we’ll visit the Burana Tower, a place that was along the Great Silk Road on the 11th century. 

We’ll also stop in the village of Kyzyl-Tuu, a village famous for its talented artisans, who make the wooden parts of the yurts. The artisans will show us the process of yurt production. 

Upon arrival into Tamga, we’ll enjoy dinner together at the yurt camp.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Overnight: ; Tamga
  • Hotel Style: Yurt camp **no single room available here

Day 3 – Samarkand / From Sogdians to Soviets

Today we’ll visit two gorges in the surrounding area, and soak in the diverse landscapes of this unique country. Barscoon gorge offers a mix of fir trees and different coloured shrubs such as barberry, rowan, buckthorn, currant, raspberry and honeysuckle. Skazka gorge is famous for its unusual forms and formations, which we will have the opportunity to wander through and admire. 

We’ll also have the opportunity to view an eagle hunting show, where the eagle hunter will tell us the ancient traditions of golden eagle hunting.

After working up an appetite, we’ll head to a yurt camp where we will learn how to cook a traditional dish called Manty, which is the “ravioli” of Kyrgyzstan (and very delicious). After lunch, if you feel brave enough, you can jump into the lake for a swim. 

We’ll head back to our accommodation for dinner, and to recap the events of the day.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Overnight: Tamga
  • Hotel Style: Yurt camp **no single room available here

Day 5 – Nurata Yurt Camp

This morning we’ll drive to the city of Karakol after breakfast in the yurt camp. On the way, we’ll visit the Jeti-Oguz Canyon, famous for its “broken heart” and “seven bulls” formations out of red rocks. Locals tell many legends about this place. We’ll enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains and some fresh air, before continuing onwards to Karakol. 

Upon arrival to Karakol, we’ll do a tour of the city, which boats some unique architecture such as the Russian Orthodox Church made of wood, and the unique Chinese-style Muslim mosque. 

We’ll also have the opportunity to visit a local shop called “One village one product” that supports nearby communities by selling their locally produced items. 

We’ll finish our day by visiting a local Uyghur family where we will have dinner. Together with the hosts, we’ll learn how to cool a local dish called “Lagman”, which is a delicious plate of handmade noodles. 

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Overnight: Karakol
  • Hotel Style: Green Yard ( or similiar)

Day 5 – Karakol to Chon-Kemin

Our drive today is a long one, we head around the lake towards Chon-Kemin nature park, located along the northern short of Issyk-Kul Lake. We’ll stop for a local lunch somewhere along the way. Upon arrival, we’ll stretch our legs at the open-air museum of Petroglyphs and perhaps visit the Ruh Ordo Complex. 

This afternoon, we’ll check out the Kyrgyz Horse Games (like Polo) in the local stadium. 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Overnight: Chon-Kemin
  • Hotel Style: Guesthouse Kemin ( or similar)

Day 6 – Chon-Kemin to Bishkek – fly to Tashkent, Uzbekistan

The morning will be a leisurely one, with some time to enjoy the guesthouse and its surroundings, maybe do a short hike up to the panoramic view point, before driving back to Bishkek to catch our flight to Tashkent. We’ll stop somewhere for lunch on the way to the airport. 

Our flight to Tashkent is at 19:30, and is about an hour. 

Upon arrival into Tashkent, we’ll be taken to the hotel to check-in, and then can grab a quick bite for dinner. 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Overnight: Tashkent
  • Hotel Style: Lotte Hotel (or similar)

Day 7 – Tashkent to Samarkand

Today we will start exploring Tashkent, the biggest city in Central Asia and the capital of Uzbekistan. Not only is it a bustling cultural center, it is also the greenest Uzbek city. Its name loosely translates to “stone fortress” Although the city is over 2300 years old, you’d hardly guess it by looking at the wide boulevards and modern buildings. Tashkent is filled with treasures for the USSR, as well as a diverse mix of inhabitants from all around the region. It also happens to be the home of the oldest Koran in the world. 

We will weave our way through Chorsu Bazaar, which offers goods ranging from crafts, to dried fruit, to spices, and have the chance to taste anything that looks tasty. 

After lunch, we’ll explore the rich collection of artifacts held by the Museum of History of Uzbekistan, and then take some time strolling the park where some Soviet memorabilia can be found. We’ll depart the capital in the afternoon towards Samarkand by high-speed train. 

Upon arrival, we’ll enjoy a delicious Samarkand Shashlik, a culinary favourite in Uzbekistan.

Day 8 – Samarkand City Tour

Thought to be over 2770 years old, Samarkand was once a Sogdian trading center along the Silk Road, connecting Asia and Europe. We will spend the day tracing Samarkand’s extraordinary ancient history and architecture, from mosques to mausoleums to Bazaars. We’ll visit the famous Registan, the central square rounded by three glorious medieval madrassas (universities), which was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand during the Timurid Empire, whose name means “sandy 

place” or desert” in Persian. We’ll also have a chance to navigate the streets of the blue-tiled mausoleums of the Shahi Zinda necropolis, one of the most visually stunning architectural monuments of Amir Temur’s times in Samarkand. 

Afer lunch, you’ll have free time to wander through the Bazaar or stroll through the colonial quarter of the city parks, noticing stark Soviet buildings along the way. 

Day 9 – Samarkand Rural Area

Today we drive about 15kms south to the village of Ohalik, where we would be walking among the spurs of the Hissar mountain range. We’ll also have a chance to visit a local bakery during the day, where we’ll learn how the famous (and delicious!) Samarkand bread is prepared. 

In the afternoon, we’ll have some free time to warder around a local neighbourhood, and then head to Registan Square to photograph one of the most iconic spots in the city at sunset. 

Day 10 – Samarkand to Bukhara

After a leisurely morning in Samarkand, we’ll take a high-speed train to the famous trading town of Bukhara. After arriving in Bukhara, you’ll have some time to settle in, and then we will have a walking tour of the old town. 

Bukhara is an old Silk Road city with buildings dating back thousands of years. We’ll explore the old city, marveling at the ancient mosques and the baroque brick-layered Mausoleum of Ismail Somoni, who founded the powerful tenth-century Somoni dynasty. Out guide will lead us on a tour of the Ark Citadel that functioned as the heart of this ancient city for almost 2500 years. 

This evening, we’ll explore an area popular among the locals, and then we’ll enjoy a local dinner together. 

Day 11 – Bukhara

We’ll begin the morning at the Poikalon Complex, located in the heart of old town – the highlight of the city that includes the Kalon Mosque and Minaret, and the Mir-i-Arab Madrassah, surrounded by an open plaza teeming with merchants and local vendors. Next, we’ll head into the famous Trading Domes of the city that once housed the best merchants of the Silk Road. 

In the afternoon, you’ll have time to head back to the Trading Domes, and try your hand at bargaining. 

Day 12 – Bukhara to Khiva

Today will be a long drive. In the morning we will embark on a journey through the Kyzyl-Kum desert, with a diverse backdrop of villages, steppes and rivers along the way. We’ll stop at a local restaurant along the way, one of the old stops that was popular along the Silk Road. 

We will eventually arrive at the walled city of Khiva, and feel as if we were transported back into the medieval era. 

For dinner, enjoy the local specialty called Shivit Ashi – noodles made of dill juice and flour.

Day 13 – Khiva

Though much smaller than the Silk Road cities we’ve already visited, the old capital of Khiva Khanate is home to a true architectural spectacle – Ichan Kala. It is the biggest surviving walled city in Uzbekistan, with many labyrinth-like alleyways, mosques, madrassas and bazaars. We will spend the day discovering this Silk Road stop, and have the opportunity of walking to the fortified city walls to see the sunset from atop. 

For lunch and dinner, we’ll stop in cafes to taste the authentically local dishes.

Day 14 – Departure

This morning after breakfast at the hotel, we’ll transfer to the Urgench airport, to end our adventure of a lifetime, filled with new experiences, sights, smells, tastes and sounds.

Tour Exclusions

  • International airfare into Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), out of Urgench (Uzbekistan)**
  • Travel medical insurance, mandatory for participants (can be arranged through [email protected]ra.ca)
  • Trip Cancellation and interruption insurance, highly recommended 
  • Items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls, etc).
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Photography permission in some museums
  • All tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff, porters, etc. 
  • Visa and passport fees 
  • Any required Covid-19 testing 

**Recommended flights are Turkish Airlines, arriving into Bishkek at 4:55am, and departing Urgench at 08:25am, with connections in Istanbul. 

IMPORTANT NOTES

PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever-changing nature of Morocco, activities, hotels, and visits are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.

FLIGHTS: Please do not purchase your flights until this tour is confirmed.

AIR TRAVEL: Flights are not included in the tour price. DO NOT purchase any airline tickets until the trip is confirmed to take place. Pre and post-tours can be arranged through available at an additional charge.

PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months upon return date to your home country. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveller.

VISAS: (responsibility of the traveller)

PROGRAM COSTS: Program costs are based on a minimum number of participants and are subject to change without notice. Single supplement will apply to single travelers (unless a participant opts in for room share and a roommate is found. this cannot be guaranteed).

Travel Insurance

Cancellation, Travel, Flight, and Health insurance are required and are the responsibility of the participant to research and secure the appropriate coverage. Click HERE for a Travel Insurance Quote or please email [email protected] for a quote.

Check with your local travel agent /insurance provider/health plan for advice about traveling overseas.

Waiver Form

All participants will be required to sign a Waiver Form prior to departure.

Are you all ready for your next adventure?

Even though we wish you a flawless trip, things can happen, especially nowadays. Make sure you are prepared with a Travel Insurance policy that is right for you. Finisterra recommends Manulife Insurance or World Nomads Insurance. Please feel free to ask us about Covid-19 Insurance Coverage, Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance, Travel Medical Insurance, or any other questions you may have.

TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR CANADIANS

Travel with confidence knowing that you’re covered with Manulife Insurance.

Image of a girl swimming in ocean with Manulife travel insurance
GET QUOTE

TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE ELSE

Explore the world, stress-free, when you book travel insurance with World Nomads.

Image of a woman standing on the mountains covered by World Nomad travel insurance
GET QUOTE

Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding our Covid-19 policies.


JOIN OUR FINISTERRA COMMUNITY

Stay up-to-date with us when you sign up for our newsletter.

* indicates required