Karakum Caravan: New Year’s Voyage in Turkmenistan
In Turkmen culture, there's a saying: "How you spend New Year's is how you'll spend the year".
If you want to celebrate this New Year in one of the most extraordinary place in the world, then this tour is perfect for you.
- Experience 5-star hotels with an exclusive spa complex and pool in the heart of the capital, Ashgabat.
- Enjoy the festive atmosphere
- Explore unique Finds for Art & Craft Enthusiasts
- Attend holiday concerts
- Marvel at the city's main Christmas tree
- Welcoming the New Year by the country's main bonfire famous Darvaza Gas Crater, burning for over 50 years
Duration: 6 days/ 5 nights
Route: Ashgabat – Darvaza Gas Crater – Ashgabat – Gokdepe Fortress – Kow Ata underground lake - Ashgabat
Day 1: Ashgabat/Arrival
Meet your guide at Ashgabat International Airport. Complete arrival formalities including PCR test ($33 paid for the test). Transfer to hotel. Time at leisure.
The New Year in Turkmenistan is one of the most anticipated holidays for the people. The entire city is adorned in unforgettable colors.
PM we will explore the “the City of Love”. Sightseeing will include the “Bagty Koshgi” (If we have the chance, we will attend the traditional Turkmen wedding ceremony) hill platform with a panoramic view of the city, “Alem” Ferris Wheels (Here, the main Christmas tree of the city will be installed, and festive events will take place in celebration of the New Year), the Monument of Neutrality, the Park of Independence, and the monument to the book of Ruhnama (the Book of Soul, written by the first president of Turkmenistan).
Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 2: Ashgabat
AM After breakfast in the hotel, we will visit Carpet Museum to see the biggest carpet in the world, which is included in the Guinness Book of World Records, and learn about the history of famous Turkmen carpet weaving. Walking tour in the city that will include: Lenin Park with statue of Lenin, Russian Bazaar, Altyn Asyr Market, and “Ylham Park” – the park of Inspiration, most popular with big collection of statues of famous Turkmen poets and scientists.
PM we drive to Bagir village to explore the ruins of Old Nisa Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site), located 15 km from Ashgabat city center. The earliest of Parthian Empire capitals (III c. BC – III c. AD). Located in an atmospheric area at the foot of the Kopet-Dag Mountains. Archaeological excavations in two parts of the site have revealed richly decorated architecture, illustrative of domestic, state, and religious functions. Situated at the crossroads of important commercial and strategic axes, this powerful empire formed a barrier to Roman expansion while serving as an important communication and trading center between East and West, North and South. After Old Nisa tour, we visit National Museum of History (closed on Tuesdays) where you can take a close look at exclusive ancient artifacts and treasuries from different historical and archaeological sites of Turkmenistan.
Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 3: Ashgabat – Darvaza
AM, after breakfast, we check out from the hotel and head to the village of Bokurdak, located 100 km from Ashgabat. Here, we’ll distance ourselves from the urban noise and towering white marble buildings, immersing ourselves in the authentic Turkmen atmosphere to see the local semi-nomadic lifestyle and take some pictures. Unlock the secrets of Turkmenistan’s culinary heritage with our exclusive masterclass on preparing the traditional dish, ‘ishlekli.’ Immerse yourself in the art of Turkmen cuisine and learn the authentic recipe for this delectable delight. Elevate your cooking skills and savor the rich flavors of Turkmenistan in every bite. Reserve your spot now for a culinary journey like no other
PM we will continue our route to Darvaza gas crater (170 km from village Bokurdak), internationally known as “Door to Hell”. Stop at “bubbling water” and “bubbling mud” craters on the way.
You will greet the arrival of the new year near the main bonfire of Turkmenistan Darvaza Gas Crater, far from any civilization.
Short tour at the site upon arrival while nomad-style kebabs are being prepared. Dinner at sunset and another photo session by the flaming crater.
Ring in the New Year in the company of friends, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with a glass of champagne in hand. Join us for a memorable celebration in a serene setting, as we toast to new beginnings and create lasting memories together. Escape the urban chaos and welcome the year ahead in style
Overnight in Yurts, wild camping.
Day 4: Darvaza – Ashgabat
After breakfast in Darvaza, we drive back to Ashgabat. Arrive in Ashgabat and hotel check-in.
PM After a long and exhilarating journey from Darvaza, check into your hotel and indulge in relaxing spa treatments. Unwind and rejuvenate as you pamper yourself with soothing spa procedures, ensuring a perfect retreat after the adventurous road trip from Darvaza.
Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 5: Ashgabat – Gokdepe – Kow Ata – Kipchak – Ashgabat
AM we will drive (50 km, 50 min drive) to Gokdepe village to visit Arkadash horse farm where you will have a chance to see, feed and ride the unique breed of Turkmen Ahal-Teke horses. Gokdepe village was the site of the biggest battle for Russian domination in Central Asia in the late 19 c. Having finished our photo session with horses, we continue to Kov Ata (meaning “the father of caves”) underground lake (40 km, 40 min drive from Gokdepe). Local residents have known about the unusual properties of this lake since time immemorial. Warm mineralized hydrogen sulfide water made the cave a popular place, with which hopes for recovery are pinned. This medicinal water contains hydrogen sulfide, iodine, magnesium, sodium, sulfate, as well as chlorine, aluminum, bromine, iron, antimony — a total of 27 chemical elements. Bathing in water has a beneficial effect on the body, improves blood circulation. A long illuminated staircase of 350 steps leads to the lake. The cave and lake are a popular place to visit by residents of Turkmenistan and a tourist attraction. Return to Ashgabat with stop at Kipchak village to visit biggest mosque of Turkmenistan “the Spiritual Mosque of Turkmenbashi” and the family mausoleum of the first president of Turkmenistan.
Overnight in Ashgabat.
Day 8: Ashgabat-Departure
Transfer to Ashgabat International Airport for departure. End of services.
Tour price based on shared Twin room occupancy with breakfast:
1. Hotel Divan 5*:
4-6 pax – USD 945 p/person
Single room supplement: USD 155 p/room
2. Hotel Sport 4*:
4-6 pax – USD 850 p/person
Single room supplement: USD 175 p/room
- Comfort A/C transportation (sedan or minivan in the cities and 4WD in the desserts and off-roads: Darvaza)
- Accommodation 4*/5* (Divan Hotel ) (Sport Hotel)
- Visa support (LOI)
- Water along the way
- Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the program
- English-speaking tour guide
- Camping gear for desert overnight (Darvaza)
- Meals: B/B
- Welcome Dinner & Gala Dinner
- Visa cost $50-$100 paid in cash on arrival
- PCR test cost $33 upon arrival
- Migration duty $14 p/p (paid at the border on arrival)
- Additional services in the hotel
- Tips to the guide and the driver (recommended)
- Personal expenses and itinerary modifications
- Photo and video camera fees at sites/museums