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Silk Road of Kazakhstan and Aksu-Dzhabagly reserve

6 day(s)
from January to December
Tour countries:
Type of tour:
Adventure, Religious, Historical, General

Geographical location.  Aksu-Dzhabagly Preserve. Is the only preserve in Kazakhstan or Central Asia to receive the status of a UNESCO biosphere preserve. For more than 70 years the mountain woods here are safe from an ax, grass from scythe and rivers from industrial pollution. Fresh greenery is all around. The Graig's Tulip is selected as symbol of the preserve. Unique creation of nature is Aksu Canyon. This giant canyon is 15 km long and 500 m deep. Nature is rich and various and the reserve includes about 1,200 species of plants, 42 kinds of animals, 238 kinds of birds. At  the altitude of more than 3000 m above sea level there is a paleonthological preserve with petroglyphs referred toby scientist to the 5-7 cc B.C.

Turkestan. The 1500 -year old Turkestan city became well-known fame thanks to the preaching of the most famous  Sufisheikh, the outstanding poet  and humanitarian Khodzha Akhmed Yassawi, called Khazret-Sultan. At that time the city was known as Yassy. The theological school established by Yassawi attracted those craving for knowledge both  from the neighboring cities and outlying steppes of Kazakhstan.  The city became the most significant center of enlightenment in Kazakhstan . The memorial complex, which appeared at the grave of the great Yassawi, turned into the most visited places of worship  in the Central Asia. In the late XIV Turkestan acquired  a unique construction - large complex of the premises centered around the Mausoleum of Khodzha Akhmed, built by the Great Timur. In the Moslem World Khodzha Akhmed Mausoleum is considered as the second Mecca.

Otrar. Otrar is another city on the Silk Road which  was located at the junction of various landscapes and crossroads of the caravan routes. As a center of trade and crafts it flourished in the X-XII. It is the native city of the great medieval philosopher Al-Farabi. Ceramics from Otrar characterized by the purity of the glaze and preciseness of design deserves special attention. The mint place of Otrar was well-known.

Arystanbaba Kumbez. Archeological monument of XIX c is situated in Kagam village nearby the ruins of ancient Otrar. It is constructed above the Arystanbaba tomb, famous religious mystic who lived in XII c., by rumors of the former teacher Khodzha Akhmed Yassawi. Arystanbaba Kumbez has undergone of complex evolution. Its present view took after great rebuilding in 1910-th. The volumetric-spatial shape of the monument is unique and at the same time is typical for folk architecture of southern Kazakhstan of XIX - XX cc.

Route and difficulties.  This program - no difficulties. Any healthy person can join our program.
On second day in Aksu-Dzhabagly - one-day horseriding on trained, quiet horses in Kshi-Kaindy gorge.

Meals: breakfasts in hotels and guest houses.
Season: from 1 of April to 1 of October.
Group size:
without restrictions.
Transport: Minibuses "Mersedes" or bus "Setra"  without  the conditioner.
Accommodation at the hotel "Kazhol" ***.
Accommodation at the guest house "Zhenya and Lyuda".
Accommodation at the hotel. "Yassy"**.

The program:

Day 1    Almaty

Arrival to Almaty. Transfer to the Kazzhol Hotel. Short rest. Almaty (i.e. "father of apples" or "father of apple trees") is the former capital of Kazakhstan and the nation's largest city, with a population of 1,5 mln.  Despite losing its status as the capital to Astana in 1997, Almaty remains the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan. The city is located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan, near the border with Kyrgyzstan.

Second half of the day will be dedicated to Alamty's landmarks sightseeing: visit Panfilov park, the remarkable Cathedral of the Holy Ascension (built in 1907 by architect Andrei Zenkov during a period in which the main building material of the earthquake-wary city was wood. The cathedral reaches a height of more than 53m, making it one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world), Museum of national musical instruments, National museum, Medeo gorge, Republic square. Visit to mountain "Kok-Tyube" by cable way. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2     Almaty - Big Amaty lake - Almaty to Tyulkubas

Breakfast. Excursion to the picturesque Big Almaty lake (H-2527) (28 km). On a fine day this is one of the most beautiful places in all Kazakhstan. Walking around lake. Back to Almaty. Transfer to railway station "Almaty - II". Departure at 18.42 from Almaty to Tyulkubas - "Otrar" train (720 km), 13 hours. Overnight on the train.

Day 3    Tyulkubas - Aksu-Zhabagly reserve

Arrival to Tyulkubas at 06.57. Transfer to Zhabagly village (Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve) (18 km). This is the oldest nature reserve in Central Asia. It is located in the southern province of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It covers the north-western mountain chains of the Tian Shan. Its name is derived from the biggest river in the area, the Aksu, and the mountain chain Zhabagly which is located in the northern part of the area.

Accommodation in "Zhenya and Luda" guest house. Breakfast. Excursions in Aksu-Zhabagly reserve. Excursion to Aksu canyon. Transfer: Zhabagly village - Raevka village - Dadabay cordon (H-1620) (24 km). Descending to canyon - 20-30 min, ascent - 1-1,5 hours. Canyon of Aksu is very beautiful and picturesque. After excursion back to Zhabagly village. Overnight in guest house.

Day 4     Aksu-Zhabagly reserve

Breakfast. Transfer by bus to start place of horseriding. Horseriding: pioneer camp - Kshi-Kaindy field base (H-1800 m) (7 km). Excursion to waterfall on Kshi-Kaindy river. Walking at field base environs. Back to Zhabagly village. Overnight in guest house.

Day 5    Aksu-Zhabagly reserve - Shymkent - Turkestan

Breakfast. Transfer: Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve - Sairam village - Shymkent - Shaulder village - ruins Otrar - mausoleum Arstanbab - Turkestan (300 km).

En-route visit busy little town of Sayram that was a Silk Road stop long before Shymkent existed: in fact it’s one of the oldest settlements in Kazakhstan, dating back possibly 3000 years. Kozha Akhmed Yasaui was born here, and Sayram is a stop for many pilgrims en route to his mausoleum at Turkistan. It receives a mention in the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism. Sayram's status today as a place of pilgrimage largely rests on its associations with the Sufi mystic Khodja Ahmed Yassaui, who was born here around 1103, at a time when the town was named Ispijab. The mausolea of Yassauis mother and father lie in the town, and are visited by pilgrims as part of a route which also takes in the Mausoleum of Arystan Bab, and culminates in a visit to Yassaui's mausoleum in Turkestan.

Later on have an excursion to Arstan-Baba Mausoleum (XIX c). Arystan Bab was a mentor of Khodja Ahmed Yassaui, and by tradition a pilgrimage to Yassaui's great mausoleum in Turkestan should be preceded by a visit to the mausoleum of his teacher.

You will also visit Otrar ruins (XI-XII c), the town that brought Chinggis Khan to Central Asia. Much of the rest of Asia and Europe might have been spared the Mongols if Otrar’s Khorezmshah governor had not murdered the great khan’s merchantenvoys here in 1218.

Arrival to Turkestan and accommodation in "Yassy" hotel. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 6    Turkestan - Shymkent - check-point "Zhibek-Zholy" (Chernyaevka)

Breakfast. After breakfast city sightseeing in Turkestan. Excursion to Akhmed Yassawi mausoleum complex: gallery of stone statues, cultural-historical museum, historical (cultural reserve) museum "Azaret-Sultan", gates (Darvaza) (XIX c.), Esimkhan mausoleum (XVI c.), Rabia Sultan Begim mausoleum (XV c.), Akhmed Yassawi mausoleum (XII-XIV c.c.), "Zhuma" mosque (1878 year), underground mosque Khilovat (XII-XV c.c.), oriental baths (XV-XVI c.c.). Transfer: Turkestan - Shymkent - check-point "Zhibek-Zholy" (Chernyaevka) (kazakh-uzbek border) (285 km). Uzbek part of your tour.

Please note, that the prices and timetable are subject to change without notice.

Tour schedule

1Arrival to Almaty. Transfer to hotel. City tour
2Excursion to the picturesque Big Almaty lake
2Back to Almaty. Transfer to railway station "Almaty - II". Departure to Tyulkubas
3Arrival to Tyulkubas. Transfer to Zhabagly village (Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve)
5Transfer: Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve - Sairam village - Shymkent
5Arrival to Turkestan and accommodation in hotel. Overnight
6After breakfast city sightseeing in Turkestan and transfer to Shymkent and further to Uzbek border
6Arrival to check-point "Zhibek-Zholy" (Chernyaevka) at Kazakh-Uzbek border. Uzbek part of your tour.
Group (Package cost on Twin/Double basis)
Price per person in USD
2 people 1496 $
4 people 1090 $
6 people 1095 $
8 people 990 $
10 people 1225 $



Service include Service does not include

- Visa support to Kazakhstan;
- All land transfers;
- Meeting at the airport and seeing off at border, services of guide;
- Accommodation at hotels and guest house  (twin standard rooms with breakfast);
- Sightseeing;
- Entry fees;
- Ecological taxes;
- Special permits;
- Guide consultations;
- Bottled water on transfers 1,5 l/day/person.

- Airline tickets, tips;
- Insurance and other medical subcosts;
- Additional excursions, not mentioned in the program;
- Personal extras like luggage overweight;
- Laundry, phone, fax, e-mail services;
- Alcohol drinks;
- Mini bar and other extra services at the hotels.

Additional payment for single accommodation - $192 p\p    
Additional payment for a full board - $ 156 p\p
Additional payment for a half board (dinners) - $80 p\p

Cost of train tickets Almaty - Tyulkubas,
Train № 11 Almaty - Tuylkubas "Otrar". Departure time at 18.42 - arrival in Tuylkubas at 06.57 - daily.
2 berth compartments     - $101 p/p
4 berth compartments     - $78 p/p
Reserved seat         - $59 p/p