Nature and Culture of Southern Kazakhstan

Route:  Almaty sity tour- Taraz- Aksu Zhabagly- Turkestan

9 nts/10 ds

Date: any time of year

Day 1. Arrival in Almaty

On your arrival in Almaty airport, meet by our team and transfer to 4* hotel. Free day. Welcome dinner with team, where you will have some tour briefing. (D)

Day 2. Almaty city-tour and go by train to Taraz

Early breakfast and start  Almaty city-tour. Almaty has been a southern capital of modern Kazakhstan for over 80 years. Almaty is famous for its hospitality and beautiful nature.

On 2018, the Alma Museum opened in the very heart of Almaty, dedicated to the famous apple aport and the apple past of the city. The area around Almaty was surrounded by wild apple trees and is known as the birthplace of apples. Also we explore the main sights of Almaty city:

Central state museum of Kazakhstan


Republic Square and Independence Monument

Opera and Ballet Theatre

Central mosque

Green Bazaar

Panfilov Park

After dinner, transfer to the railway station and take a train for Taraz city. (BLD)

Days 3-4. / Explore Ancient Taraz - Akyrtas town

First day, arrive Taraz on the morning train from Almaty at 05:50.

Meeting at the railway station and transfer to hotel. Breakfast in the hotel.

Departure to Akyrtas (47 km), a mysterious ancient settlement, located in the natural environment in the foothills of the Western Tien Shan, 47 kilometers east of Taraz. This place is associated with a lot of legends and rumors, in ancient times revered as sacred. The palace complex Akyrtas is the  mysterious construction dates back to 13th-10th centuries.

After lunch, explore the archaeological excavations of the ancient city Taraz. At the place of the central market, archaeologists found about 40 thousand artifacts of the 6th-12th centuries and built the archaeological park (museum) "Ancient Taraz".

Visit  Zhambyl Regional Museum of Local Lore. The museum has a unique collection of stone sculptures from the 6th-10th centuries; more than 40 thousand exhibits are collected:

Dinner and overnight in 4* hotel.

Second day, we visit to the unique architectural monuments of the Middle Ages:

Karakhan mausoleum is an architectural monument of the XI - XI centuries, a brilliant creation of ancient Taraz. Karakhan was one of the first Khans of the Karakhanid dynasty, in the 10th and 13th centuries it ruled a vast territory and founded a huge empire - the state of Karakhanids.

Aisha Bibi Mausoleum (15 km from Taraz) is one of the most beautiful monuments of Central Asia. The monument of love and loyalty, built in the XI - XII centuries, is the only monument in Central Asia fully lined with terracotta tiles.

Have a lunch in local restaurant.

To visit the medieval Tortkul caravanserai of the 11th-13th centuries, located in the western part of modern Taraz.
Also visit to Tekturmas mausoleum, which is a monument of architecture and urban planning (X-XIV centuries), located on the right bank of the Talas River. Overnight at 4* hotel. (BLD)


Days 5-6. Explore Aksu-Zhabagly and Sairam-Ugam Nat. Park

Early breakfast 104 km, travel time 01:30 hrs.).

Aksu-Jabagly National Park - the oldest and most popular reserve in Central Asia, located on the Talas Alatau and Ugam Maidantal ridges (western part of Tien Shan).

Short trip to Aksu canyon.

This park has 7 species of fish, 267 bird species of which 11 species are listed in the Red Book, and 2 bird species recognized by the IUCN (IUCN) globally threatened - the corncrake (Crex crex) and white-winged woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucopterus). 

Mammals in the reserve are represented by 52 species: snow-leopard, argali, ibex, red deer, wild boars, and others.

The second day we explore the Sairam-Ugam National Park. It is represented by the North-Eastern part of the Western Tien Shan: the Ugam, Karzhantau and Boraldaytau mountain ranges, and the north-western spurs of the Talas Alatau. In the southeast, the white bulk of Sairam Peak rises (4236 meters above sea level).

Excursion to the gorge of wild climbers. On the northern and eastern slopes of the gorge grow magnificent closed juniper forests, in the floodplain of the river - thick birch groves.

Further, the route passes through brightly flowering alpine meadows inhabited by Trolliuses, primroses, buttercups, forget-me-nots and watersheds inhabit the alpine lawns. There is a great chance to see a bear.

    Transfer and inspection of the lake Sairamsu at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level.

Crystal-clear water and the coast, covered with thick bright green vegetation, large currant bushes and a variety of variegated flowers create favorable conditions for recreation.

Overnights at the Shymkent Hotel. (BLD)

Days 7-8. Drive towards Turkestan

First our stop is in the Ak-Mosque cave (150 km, 2-3 hrs).

Located a few kilometers from the village Kenestobe Baydibek district of South Kazakhstan region.

10:30 Arrival to the cave and excursion. Underground cave "Ak Mosque" - one of the most mysterious places, its length - 254 meters, height - 25 and width - 265 meters. The cave is a unique natural object with amazing “decoration”.

According to one of many legends: there was an underground mosque, which was one of the most important places of worship in South Kazakhstan. The mosque had no external entrances, no one knew where it was located. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the dome collapsed and a hole appeared.

The road to the dungeon and the entrance to it, eventually equipped, and now pilgrims began to come here to pray.

Drive to Otrar city (155 km, 2-3 hrs). Have a lunch in local restaurant. Walk through the medieval city of Otrar and visit the museum of the city of Otrar.

The ancient city of Otrar (4th century BC) was a major center of trade on the Great Silk Road. It is famous for the mint, a huge library, not inferior to the most famous libraries of antiquity.

In this city was born, lived and worked the famous medieval thinker Al-Farabi.

Our last stop is Turkestan city (70 км, 1 hr).

Turkestan (1500 years old) – one of the most ancient cities on The Silk Road. In their significance, Turkestan is called the second Mecca for Muslims, and visits to such holy places as the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui, Arystan-Baba, Aisha-Bibi, Babaji-Khatun, Karakhan and the ancient city of Otrar are equated with the Small Hajj.

Turkestan was known spiritually as a political center of Turkic-speaking peoples and was the oldest capital of Kazakh khans.

Dinner at the national restaurant “Karavan- Saray”. Overnight at 4* hotel. (BLD)

Next day, we visit to the mausoleum of Ahmet Yasavi of the famous Sufi, poet, philosopher and spiritual instructor of the Turkic peoples.

The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui is rightly called the eighth wonder of the world. This is a complex of palaces and temples, a masterpiece of medieval architecture, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The elegance of the decor, the patterned ceilings of the ceilings, the color mosaic impress you.

On the territory of the mausoleum there is the underground mosque "Hylvet" (a room for prayer) in which the last days of life were spent by Ahmed Yasaui, the ancient bath complex, the fortress wall and the Mosque "Juma".

Walk through the medieval town of Sauran.

The city was an important strategic and trading center in the valley of the Syr Darya River.

In the middle of the 13th century, Sauran became the capital of the Ak Orda. The large mosque in the city contributed to the development of the Islamic religion in the territory of Kazakhstan.

Take a late train to Almaty. (BLD)

Day 9 / Almaty. Free day

Arrival in Almaty early morning. Meet by our team at the railway station and transfer to 4* hotel.

Free day

Day 10. Depart Almaty

Early breakfast. Transfer to the airport and fly out Almaty. (B)

842$+15% (127$)+20% (170$)= 1140$

Price per 1 person, USD

                                            HOTELS 4* (Mildom Hotel, KAZHOL, UYUT, Almaty Hotel, Golden Palace)

           Number of people in group

Charge per person in room DBL, ВB

Extra charge for a room SGL, ВB

Discount for 3rd adult





On request

01/01/2019 – 31/12/2019
















                                             HOTELS 3* (Mildom Express Hotel, Astana International Hotel, Al Farabi)

          Number of people in group

Charge per person in room DBL, ВB

 Extra charge for a room SGL, ВB

Discount for 3rd adult





On request

01/01/2019 – 31/12/2019
















Included in cost

Not included

Transfer airport (station)-hotel-airport (station)

International air ticket to / from Almaty

Transport services along the entire route

Visa support

Accommodation in hotels of selected category

Official English speaking  guides

10 hour Almaty tour, Medeo, Shymbulak, Kok Tobe

National State Museum entrance tickets

Payment for the funicular to Shymbulak

Payment for the ecobus on Kok Tobe

1 lunches, 2 dinners in Almaty restaurants

3 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners in Taraz restaurants

3 breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners in Aksu and Turkestan restaurants

Train tickets Almaty-Taraz

Train tickets Turkestan-Almaty

Environmental fees

Water 1.0 liter per person per day