From the New Capital to the Old

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.

7 Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    Minimum of 2 Travelers
  • Travels to:
    Central Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Flexible Essential:
    Astana to Almaty

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Admire candy-colored Zenkov Cathedral
    Admire the candy-colored Orthodox Zenkov Cathedral in Panfilov Park in the center of Almaty; built without the use of nails, it is a survivor from czarist times....
    Read More
  • Picnic in a gorgeous canyon
    Picnic amid the striated colors of spectacular Charyn Canyon, cut by the swift Charyn River cascading down from the Tien Shan Mountains....
    Read More
See trips that also experience:

| |

See trips that also visit:


Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • The first American travel company to open an accredited office in Central Asia
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Astana, Chimkent

Begin in the new city of Astana, capital of Kazakhstan only since 1997, admiring its modern monuments, such as Baiterek Tower, commemorating a Kazakh folk tale, and the Khan Shatyr Center, the "World's Biggest Tent." Fly to Chimkent in the evening.


  • Astana, purpose-built capital of Kazakhstan on the steppe
  • Viewing platform of 344-foot Baiterek Tower in Astana
Read More

Days 3-4: Chimkent, Otrar, Turkistan

Wander Chimkent's bazaar before setting out though the desert towards the remains of Otrar’s medieval fortress. Continue to the historic city of Turkistan to visit the UNESCO-listed mausoleum of revered Sufi sheikh Khoja Akhmed Yasavi, the first Turkic Muslim holy man.


  • Chimkent, third largest and one of the oldest towns in Kazakhstan
  • Vibrant local bazaar
Read More

Days 5-7: Chimkent, Almaty, Charyn Canyon

Fly to Almaty, inspecting the Kazakh two-stringed dombra at the Museum of Musical Instruments, and visiting a falcon farm. Drive through spectacular Charyn Canyon, with its strange rock formations and colorful strata, before returning to Almaty.


  • Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital and largest city
  • Lofty Tien Shan Mountain Range
Read More

See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 7 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $3,095
  • Plus Internal Air $260
  • Single Supplement $295

2020 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Saturday

Recommended months of travel:

  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • November,  
  • FROM
  • $3,095
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located superior tourist class hotels to more basic hotels. Call for hotel upgrade prices.
  • 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner, per the itinerary. A few lunches and dinners are left free so you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by car or van.
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (if applicable to your itinerary; please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info


Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in the South Caucasus countries, Iran, Western Russia, or Eastern Europe. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

The accommodations vary from superior tourist class to more basic hotels. It is important to keep in mind that the country of Kazakhstan may not be up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

See All Journals
MIR in the News
See All Press & Awards
From the Blog
See All Blog Posts