Essential Central Asia

Explore the markets, mosques, minarets and teahouses of oasis towns on the fringes of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts. Here, spiritual beliefs were the greatest commodities to flow along trade routes, and civilizations blossomed amidst austere natural beauty. Read More

Essential Uzbekistan

Roam the great Silk Road oases of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, all of them UNESCO Sites. Admire their mosques, madrassahs and minarets clad in ceramic tiles the color of the desert sky. Read More

Essential Kazakhstan

From Astana, Kazakhstan’s purpose-built capital on the northern steppe, down to Almaty, the country’s business center in the south, survey a hand-picked selection of highlights – natural, like gorgeous variegated Charyn Canyon, or man-made, like the ghost town of Otrar, founded in the 1st century AD.Read More

Essential Kyrgyzstan

On this journey through the Kyrgyz outback, spend a night with a village family, visit with an eagle hunter and admire dramatic sandstone formations. Visit high-altitude Lake Issyk-Kul and spend the night at a guesthouse in the traditional village of Chon-Kemin, getting to know the locals before returning to the capital for a performance of the Epic of Manas.Read More

Essential Tajikistan

Secluded Tajikistan is wreathed in spectacular mountains and colored with the influence of the Islamic world and Russia. From the country’s capital, Dushanbe, to storied Khujand in the fertile Fergana Valley, discover Tajikistan’s hospitable people, famed archaeological sites and enduring culture. Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Penjikent and share a meal with a family.Read More

Essential Turkmenistan

Modern monuments dot Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, yet tribal culture remains strong in the villages. Crisscross this rarely visited country, connecting with tribal people in the mountains, admiring sweeping landscapes and UNESCO-listed ruins populated by wild camels, and enjoying the cool breezes of the Caspian seashore. Camp at the “Door to Hell,” the burning Darvaza gas crater.Read More