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16-day tour: Dushanbe - Pamir - Osh - Bishkek. Traversing the legendary Pamir Highway, this trip starts in the Tajik capital Dushanbe but quickly leaves the modern world behind as you wind your way along difficult mountain roads and high passes, in the shadow of some of the highest mountains on our planet (Ref: AKG0017).

Activities & ToursTours by local professionals16-day tour: Dushanbe – Pamir – Osh – Bishkek | Ref: AKG0017

From $1165

16-day tour: Dushanbe – Pamir – Osh – Bishkek. Traversing the legendary Pamir Highway, this trip starts in the Tajik capital Dushanbe but quickly leaves the modern world behind as you wind your way along difficult mountain roads and high passes, in the shadow of some of the highest mountains on our planet (Ref: AKG0017).

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ACTIVITY

16-day tour: Dushanbe – Pamir – Osh – Bishkek (Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan)

SERVICE PROVIDER

Jumash organizes Dushanbe-Pamir-Osh-Bishkek tour in collaboration with local professionals of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Jumash is a guide and interpreter in Kyrgyzstan, who speaks fluent Enlgish, French, German, Turkish, Tajik, Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Russian languages. Besides, he has a basic knowledge of Chinese and Arabic languages.  Jumash has been working as a tourist guide & driver for 4 years and during these years he worked with tourists from all over the world; as a result he has an extensive experience.

TOUR DESCRIPTION 

The Pamir Mountains have long been known as “the roof of the world”, a region of utterly breathtaking scenery and home to a fascinating mélange of cultures. Follow in the footsteps of ancient traders and pilgrims, and Victorian explorers in discovering a region largely isolated from the world beyond, a land where each village speaks its own different dialect and local traditions have been maintained for centuries.

Traversing the legendary Pamir Highway, this trip starts in the Tajik capital Dushanbe but quickly leaves the modern world behind as you wind your way along difficult mountain roads and high passes, in the shadow of some of the highest mountains on our planet.

We will visit ruined forts from the days of the old Silk Road, and pass gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo. Spending many nights in home stays in small communities, we are able to gain a great insight into what it means to live in this harsh but majestic region. This trip ventures to a remote and enchanting land that has remained hidden to the rest of the world, a land of towering peaks, turbulent rivers and fascinating people. Travel with us on one of the most amazing journeys you are ever likely to make!

  • Itinerary: Dushanbe – Hissar – Kalaikhumb – Poi Mazar – Rushan – Gisev valley – Khorog – Ishkashim – Langar – Bulunkul – Alichur – Karajylga – Zorkul – Murghab – Kara Kul – Sary Mogol –  Tulpar kul yurt camp  – Osh – Chychkan – Bishkek
  • Tour category: Adventure Travel
  • Duration: 16 days
  • Level of difficulty: This tour is suitable for both children and adults.
  • Conditions: If you have some specific sicknesses you need to bring own first aid kit with necessary medicaments
  • Countries or regions: Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

Day 1: Dushanbe

Arrival to Dushanbe, meeting at the airport transfer to hotel. “Dushanbe” means Monday in Tajik, the town was named for the small weekly bazaar which was once all the town. Now it is a pleasant, if small, capital, with broad tree-lined avenues and pleasing architecture surrounded by mountain scenery.

Hotel accommodation and dinner are not included / Meals: 1 Lunch

Day 2: Dushanbe –Hissar

After breakfast we start city tour, visit the bazaar and the excellent Museum of National Antiquities. Then drive to the nearby town of Hissar to visit the remains of the 18th century fort as well as two nearby madrassahs.

Hotel accommodation and dinner are not included. / Meals: 1 Lunch

Hissar: The history of Hissar fort is colorful, with the fortress the stronghold of local basmachi forces resisting the might of Russia. Through the 1920s a power struggle was played out in the region between Bolshevik forces and Pan-Turkic would-be occupiers under the Ottoman Enver Pasha, who was eventually killed in Tajikistan. Today the fort is largely in ruins although the impressive main gate has been reconstructed. Opposite sit two madrassahs dating back to the 16th century, one of which has a small museum in it.

Day 3: Dushanbe – Kalaikhumb

We set off east towards the Pamirs and Kalaikhumb, driving through beautiful scenery and interesting villages en route. This area is a little more conservative, and we see many men with beards, and women wearing traditional dress. On the road we will visit to the ancient fortress Hulbuk dated by VIII century recently restored under the decree of the president. The local guide will talk interesting stories about the life in the fortress, shows outlines of the bases of rooms, halls and harems of the local governor’s palace. We cross the Shurabod Pass (2200 metres), arriving in Kalaikhumb in the early evening.

Overnight in a local guesthouse. / Meals: 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 4: Poi Mazar

From Kalaikhumb we leave for Poi Mazar through Vanj valley with some of terrain ahead of us, and the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. The valley of the Vanj is wide and green. The road joins the river Panj, which in turn forms the border with Afghanistan. The contrast across the river valley is telling, Tajikistan is undoubtedly a poor country, but in general the roads are sealed and buildings are connected with electricity. The situation barely 100m away is even starker and it is as if the river represents not just a physical divide, but also a step back in time.

Overnight in a local guesthouse. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 5 : Poi Mazar – Rushan

From Poi Mazar we leave for Rushan the administrative center of Rushan district with some 175 kms of terrain ahead of us, and the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. The road joins the river Pianj, which in turn forms the border with Afghanistan. The contrast across the river valley is telling, Tajikistan is undoubtedly a poor country, but in general the roads are sealed and buildings are connected with electricity. The situation barely 100m away is even starker, and it is as if the river represents not just a physical divide, but also a step back in time.

Overnight in a local guesthouse. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 6: Rushan – Gisev valley – trekking –  Khorog

From Rushan we leave for Geisev through Bartang valley with some 30 km of terrain ahead of us, and again the promise of some spectacular scenery along the way. Arrival in Emtz village in Bartang valley. We will cross the river by wagon hanging on the wire rope as the small bridge washed up. Our trek begins on the river Bartang just beyond Bhagoo village. The hike is mostly gently uphill, for about 8km to the upper of three lakes. The first houses in Geisev are reached after about 5km. The abundant vegetation, the gnarled trees, the lakes and the ever-changing river – sometimes frothing with energy, sometimes limpid and blue – create a very special peaceful atmosphere, ideal for a short break without too much physical effort. This rout passing lakes, and the rivers traversing some of the most magnificent scenery in the Pamirs. We will again cross the river and drive to Khorog for overnight.

From Gizev we leave for Khorog along river Pianj, border of Afghanistan. We stay in hotel tonight, having reached the capital of the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast  (GBAO).

Overnight in Hotel Lal In or similar. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 7: Khorog – Ishkashim

We have a little time to explore Khorog including the bazaar and the lovely Botanical Gardens which are perched high above the town, affording some great panoramic view. About 50kms along the road to our next stop, Ishkashim, we will stop at Garmchasma hot springs for an (optional) dip in the waters. From here, we enter the Tajik half of the Wakhan Valley (shared with Afghanistan) and pass regional gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo. The most famous mine is Koh-i-Lal ruby mine which is visible from the road. Ishkashim itself the regional centre, but it is essentially still a large village and we stay in a traditional style guesthouse in shkashim.

Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 8: Ishakshim – Langar

Visit detour to the nearby village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. This impressive structure rises from a naturally formed platform of rock and dates back to the Kushan era of the 3rd Century. There are a number of these ancient fortresses in the area, and we also visit Yamchun fort, perhaps the most impressive of them. We take a break at the Bibi Fatima hot springs, named for the Prophet Mohammed’s sister and where local women believe they can increase their fertility. Continuing on we then stop at the 4th Century Buddhist stupas at Vrang, reminders of the ancient pilgrim caravans that passed through the region. You will have time to talk with local people and explore local farming and way of living.

Overnight in a local guesthouse. / Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 dinner

Day 9: Langar – Bulunkul and Yashil Kul – Alichur

Today we get a chance to explore the amazing landscape of this area. We drive up to Bulung kul Lake via the Kargushi Pass (4344 meters). On this journey we leave behind the lush valleys of the Wakhan Valley and enter a landscape that is rocky, mostly barren but nevertheless dramatic. This is the Pamir Highway we have anticipated, with the route between Khorog and Osh completed in 1931 across a Tibetan-plateau style high altitude terrain.Arrival to Bulung kul. Visit to Yashil kul and drive to Alichur.

Overnight in a local guesthouse. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 10: Alichur – Karajylga

An excellent and adventures trip will take us on the unspoiled lunar landscape of high mountains and wide plateau to Karajylga. Short stops at the “Ak Balyk”. Today we are on the The Eastern Pamirs have been populated by nomadic ethnic Kyrgyz since the 17th century. The traditional architecture is beautifully represented by yurts, mobile habitations made of felt on an ingenious wooden frame, with the interior decoration bearing witness to the wealth and skills of the owners. Felt and wool serve as the basis for handicrafts. Precise stones, including rubies and emeralds, are also found in the area, and these are sometimes used in local handicrafts.

Overnight in a nomadic yurt stay / Meals: Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 11: Karajylga – Zorkul – Murghab

We drive towards Zorkul Lake and some walking will be to follow the grazing route of Marco Polo sheep. Driving to Sarjylga valley to spot Marco Polo sheep and Ibex. Wildlife observation will be undertaken during this tour. The famous and endangered Marco Polo sheep (ovis ammon poli) world’s largest-horned argali sheep, Snow leopard endangered and fully protected species, ibexes, marmot and Brown bear, fox, hare are not full list of representatives of wild life of the area. From birds one can find the mountain goose (ular) pigeons, eagles, vulture, and etc.

The Arkhar (Marco Polo sheep), as they are called in Kyrgyz, have very long horns and live in herds of up to 30 or more together, separated mostly by gender and unite only at the time of mating for several months. Due to deforestation and erosion, the Arkhar are now threatened by extinction. Moreover, they are very shy, but with a little luck, we’ll get some of them to face. It is necessary very much greater happiness to sift one of the very rare snow leopards. The chance is about the same size as that to meet, who will circulate in the Pamir mountains on the famous Yeti.

Other inhabitants of this area are rabbits and grey hamster, also – at heights of 4,000 meters – foxes, wolves and bears are also. Maybe we meet even one of the giant bearded vulture or see over the peaks majestically soar an eagle. These areas are all unique in their own way, and trips to these places are always fascinating.

Then we will drive to the west of a high mountain plateau to view the glazy and spectacularly beautiful lake – Chakan kul Lake. Despite its name (“Small Lake”), for most of the year the cloudless skies and pure air (4135m) give it a translucent azure color.

We will drive on a muddy road as far as we can to reach to Zorkul Lake. Walking on this area you can see the majestic northern wall of Afghanistan Hindikush and fantastic Zor Kul Lake.

Along the western half of the Zor kul Lake runs Afghan – Tajik border. The lake’s eastern half lied in Tajiksitan.

In 1842, Lieutenant Woods of the British India Navy Explored the Pyanj and Pamir rivers as far as the latter’s source in Zor kul. Zor kul itself is 20 km long – the road runs along its northern shore.

We leave for Murghab the center of East Pamir. The road up Murghab, however, is spectacular and, passing through again the settlement of Mamazair. This small town bestrides the Murghab River at an altitude of 3,650 m. Francis Younghusband visited it in 1890 and wrote “It is a dreary, desolate spot… with a certain amount of grassy pasture and a few scrubby bushes by the river, but surrounded by barren hills, and bitterly cold. How these Russian soldiers can support existence there is a marvel…shut up in dreary quarters, with nothing whatever to do – week after week, month after month passing by in dull monotony….” Over a century later, nothing much has changed. We anticipate arriving in Murghab. Murghab (3670 m) itself has few attractions, but it will serve as our base for a one night as we explore the area a little. The 7546 m – high Chinese peak of Mustag Ata is visible to the northeast of town, 110 km away in a direct line.

Overnight in a guesthouse. / Meals included: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 12: Murghab –  Kara Kul

After breakfast drive to Kara Kul lake. Stay in Home stay Saadat or similar. We depart today to Karakul. This drive will see us enjoying some of the most dramatic scenery of the trip, with the lunar-like landscapes and bright blue lakes providing plenty of opportunities to take our breath away. We will again cross a high-altitude pass Ak-Baital Pass (4655 meters) which is the highest section of road in the former Soviet Union. We descend to Karakul Lake, the highest lake in Central Asia, and at 3915 meters, too high to support any aquatic life.

Overnight in a local guesthouse. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 13: Kara kul – Sary Mogol –  Tulpar kul yurt camp 

We will continue our trip to Kyrgyzstan. Our final Pamir Highway high pass is the Kyzyl Art Pass (4282 metres), which essentially forms the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Border formalities take place shortly after crossing the pass, with 20kms of ‘no man’s land’ to cross. Be warned, even in August we could see sub-zero temperatures through the border areas, so make sure you have some extra layers to hand in case we are delayed by formalities. Having crossed to Kyrgyzstan, we will keep our driver – although we are in a different country, the ethnic lines in this region are greatly blurred, and Russian, Tajik, Kyrygz and Uzbek are all spoken with interchangeable ease!

At Sary Tash we will turn to the west and continue to drive through stunning mountain scenery to the Alai mountain valley along Kyzyl suu River and then to Tulpar kul yurt camp (view of Peak Lenin (7134 m)), the second highest mountain in Central Asia is situated on a raised meadow between two steep river valleys. The ground is a carpet of wild garlic and alpine flowers.

Overnight in a nomadic yurt stay. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 14: Tulpar kul yurt camp – Osh

After Sary Mogol village we depart the high mountains of the Pamir-Alay range, leaving behind us the crossroads of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. The drive offers a contrast as we encounter lush farmlands and small villages on this side of the mountains, instead of the stark high-altitude plateau we recently crossed in Tajikistan. En route we will cross the Taldyk Pass (3554m) and enjoy some beautiful views. We must travel about 285km from Sary Tash, and depending on road conditions and travel times we expect to arrive in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s oldest city early evening.

Overnight in hotel “Sun Rise” or similar. / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 15: Osh – Chychkan

Today we drive to the Suusamyr Valley along the picturesque mountain Osh highway to the Chichkan gorge. Time permitting we take a walk in the area and meet the local shepherds who still adhere to age old traditions.

Overnight in Motel Oson or similar (single rooms not available). / Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner

Day 16: Chychkan – Bishkek

After meeting with locals, we will drive to the capital of Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek city. The road to the city goes through the southern part of Kyrgyzstan. During your transfer be prepared for amazing views of impressive mountains and gorges. Today you will see panoramic views of Tue Ashuu pass which is more than 3000 meters high! This road is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Kyrgyzstan. You will have many photo stops so that you will remember this day. Fantastic roads, amazing views, nomads, high mountains; ensure your memories of Kyrgyzstan will last a lifetime. Night is in a hotel.

Overnight in Hotel Rich or similar / Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch)

Day 17: Departure

Transfer to airport. End of the services

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

  • early arrival is not included;
  • some sightseeing places and excavations might be closed / not possible to visit due to local changes, reconstruction, roads condition, and security reasons. We do not guarantee all advised places will be covered, but we will try to do our best to cover them.
  • Pricing is confidential & non commissionable

 

More activities organized by this service provider:

 

PRICE DETAILS

The price includes: Arrival and departure transfer, accommodation on twin share basis (Hotel 2, Guest houses 9, Yurt 2), meals as listed (13 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 11 Dinners), entrance fees for sights listed as part of the itinerary, all transfers according the program (price includes driver’s per diem, road and parking fees, all necessary permissions fuel and taxes;) experienced and basic English speaking drivers, type of car: (A/C Toyota Land Cruiser or Mitsubishi Pajero), mineral water (1L per day per person), ticket for Tajik National park and permits.

The price does not include:  International flights, supplement for accommodation in single rooms (USD 178), early checking for first night, english speaking guide service for whole tour (USD 685), any airport taxes, travel Insurance,  GBAO permit, drinks, tips and gratuities, any personal expenses, any services not included in the above itinerary.

 

Number of persons in the group

Price (USD) per person

*indicated by the service provider in USD

2 pax 1753 USD
3 pax 1360 USD
4 pax 1165 USD

If you need additional information, please, do not hesitate to contact the service provider using the contact form on this page!

BOOKING DETAILS

In order to book the activity, please, use the contact form on this page.  Please, do not forget to indicate your trip dates.

Remember, that your booking should be confirmed by the service provider and it does not represent a contractual relation with Central Asia Guidebook.

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The prices are indicative and may therefore vary depending on the current KGS/USD rate, number of days/kilometres of your itinerary or time of the year and do not represent a contractual relation with CAGB. Besides, Central Asia Guidebook is not responsible for the price changes made by service providers without notice. 

You can check the actual kyrgyz currency exchange rates here or using Google services.

 

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