From the remarkable mosques and Soviet architecture of Tashkent to the ancient capital of Khiva, follow the legendary Silk Road through the exotic best of Uzbekistan. Indulge in steamy marble hammams, roam the twisting lanes of ancient bazaars and explore the monuments and minarets of Samarkand. Your CEO will lead the way, taking care of the hassles and leaving you free to explore a land rich in culture and history. For a great taste of enigmatic Uzbekistan, this 12-day adventure serves up only the best.
Your Local Living Moment: Overnight in a Yurt, Ayaz Qala. Tashkent guided walking tour. Samarkand city tour. Homestay in a mountainside village. Bukhara city tour. Khiva ancient city tour. Toprak Qala and Ayaz Qala visit. Yurt stay. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Discover ancient cities of the Silk Road, sip hot drinks in tiny Khiva teahouses, bargain at colourful bazaars, admire the fountains and madrassas of the Registan, stay in a traditional yurt.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. CULTURE Uzbekistan is a country which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Mixture of Soviet heritage and Islam, summer heat and winter cold, religious conservatism, traffic and crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. 2. FLIGHT G Adventures CEO does not accompany passengers on their flight from Khiva to Tashkent on the Departure day if the rest of the group continue travelling to Turkmenistan and Iran. 3. DRESS CODE Though you can see lots of people in traditional clothes, UZBEKISTAN has adopted western style clothing as well. Don't hesitate to pack your usual travel clothes: in Summer it can be shorts and T-shorts, sandals etc. We recommend to forget about singlets, single tops and any types of clothes with bare shoulders and backs - it is unacceptable in most areas, and even in big cities. Our tours take us to many religious sights, where dress code is very strict. We recommend women to have a headscarf in their bags - to cover head when going inside mosques (it's also a great help in the heat in summer). Best things to pack for hot Central Asian climate are loose, long clothing - long trousers and sarongs or long skirts for women. In cold season (from end of October till end of April) it can rain and snow - bring warm clothes, jackets and comfortable warm shoes for walking. Good idea is to check weather web sties about a week before you depart home - to know what type of weather to expect. 4. MONEY Due to the restrictions on changing money in Central Asia region, in Uzbekistan only notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition will be accepted for exchange. Usually 50 and 100 USD/EUR notes get better exchange rate. We recommend to bring smaller denominations as well - many vendors accept them if you don't have local currency. 5. RAMADAN According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 27th and June 25th, 2017. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
While traveling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Generally, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. Please check the 'meal inclusions' section below for details of meals included.
Local bus, air-con bus, plane.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (9 nts), homestay (1 nt), traditional yurt (1 nt, multi-share).
My Own Room Exceptions
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
If you have not pre-arranged an arrival transfer with G Adventures, we suggest taking at taxi from Tashkent International Airport to the hotel. To find a taxi, exit the Airport and there will be many taxis. The hotel is situated about a 10-15 minute drive from the airport. Many drivers will approach you - all of them know where the hotel is, but you should bargain before you get in the taxi. Depending on time of the day and your bargaining skills, a ride to the hotel will cost approximately 10-20USD. If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi. Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned. A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at: Gulnoza: +998 97 332 73 04 EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand: Mr Laziz Otayarov (Operations Manager - Central Asia) Mobile 1: +998 90 134 7888 (24h) Mobile 2: +998 93 528 7678 (24h) If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking though, you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage (please see below for exceptions), and though you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg/22lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures travellers! Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags with wheels are acceptable, although we recommend your bag has carry straps as well, as you may be required to negotiate bus and railway station steps. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day walks and day trips.
Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets, voucher At least 1 photocopy of above documents Required visas or vaccination certificates Cash Cash, credit and debit cards Money belt First aid kit Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day Alarm clock Torch/flash light Mosquito repellent Warm clothes for the cooler nights Ear plugs and eye mask can be useful for bus trips and noisy hotels Feminine hygiene products Comfortable walking shoes Appropriate clothes (see Important Notes section of this Notes) Sunblock/Sun hat Sunglasses Lock for your bag Small travel towel Travel pillow (inflatable type) for those long bus rides
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the embassy of each country. Your travel agent can assist. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country. UZBEKISTAN: all nationalities require a visa to visit Uzbekistan. Most nationalities also need an official Letter Of Invitation (LOI) before they can apply for their Uzbekistan visa. Noted Exemptions: Citizens of the following countries do not require an LOI to apply for a tourist visa valid up to 30 days: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Those who don't need an LOI can leave the "Invite Party" on their visa application form blank. Please Note: There have been reports of some US citizens obtaining the visa without an LOI. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising this is still a requirement. Please contact the embassy directly for their specific requirements as there is conflicting information at this time. You can obtain the LOI through our visa support agent in Uzbekistan. The visa support link you need to complete will be sent to you or your travel agent by email when you confirm your booking. You must read the instructions carefully and fill out all the details. Please note that we also require a 3x4cm. scanned passport photo which can be emailed to your G Adventures Representative or Agent upon confirmation. The documents you will need to obtain your visa: 1) A standard application form from the embassy or consulate where you want to collect your visa 2) Two passport sized photos (note it is sometimes better for women to have their head covered in a head scarf, but it is not obligatory) 3) Payment for the visa depends on nationality and sometimes needs to be made at a local nearby bank. 4) Passport with empty pages 5) Uzbekistan Letter of Invite 6) Letter of Employment HOW TO FILL IN UZBEKISTAN LOI FORM ONLINE: Input your name the same way it is in your passport. The Uzbekistan MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is very precise about the information on the application form and it must match your passport (if you have 2 or more names - all of them have to be listed under "first name"). As Uzbekistan visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates. We also recommend you add on an extra day to both the start/end of your trip so your visa length will cover any unexpected delays. Please, remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Uzbekistan embassy. The Uzbekistan Government has implemented a new requirement asking passengers to provide a Letter of Employment (LOE) in order to issue the Letter of Invitation (LOI) Please make sure to attach this LOE to your LOI application below as both are required to begin this process. If you are retired, please attach a typed letter advising when you officially retired (you may be contacted by us to follow up with you for more information if necessary) If your country has an official Uzbekistan Consulate/Embassy, you must choose this as as your 'Visa pick up location', if you do not see a local consulate/embassy on this list or you are unable to go there due to prior travel arrangements, please contact your travel agent or G Adventures for further assistance. Certain nationalities may be able to obtain a visa upon arrival at Tashkent airport, but this is for special circumstances only and you must make sure to check with your embassy if this applies for your nationality, before choosing this option. PLEASE NOTE if you are picking up your visa upon arrival you will not get your LOI until very close to the trip departure (normally a few days before). You will just need to print this out and take it to the counter at the airport to pick up and pay for the visa. Please do not submit your application until 3 months prior to your entry into Uzbekistan. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in Uzbekistan, As an Uzbekistan visa is only valid for 90 days once it is issued, you will be emailed your Uzbekistan invitation Letter only once we are within 60 days of the trip start date. Please Note: As the Visa Authorization Number is issued by the Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs - unexpected delays can occur and this process can not be rushed. Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the Uzbekistan embassy you listed in the online application. Please, remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
In general Central Asia is a cash operating region, and travellers cheques are not recommended. Due to bank restrictions, only banknotes printed after 1996 can be exchanged. Better to bring notes without marks or stamps on them. We recommend to bring about 70 USD in small denominations: 1, 5 and 10 USD notes. If you are not able to get local currency it's always possible to pay in USD or EUR. Uzbekistan There are lots of ATM's to withdraw local currency (UZS), and banks around to exchange USD or EUR. Travellers cheques are not recommended, as only limited amount of banks work with them. Please, note that you can withdraw only local currency (Uzbek Sums) from ATM's. Some banks in Tashkent allow USD cash advance, but this option depends on the amount of USD cash in the bank.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
In Uzbekistan It is not customary to tip service providers such as waiters, but it is very appreciated, depending on the service we recommend 3-5%. Tipping shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $2-$3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Tashkent - Tashkent Museum of Fine Arts (8000UZS per person) - History Museum (18000UZS per person) Samarkand - Amir Timur Mausoleum Visit (3USD per person) - Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel Visit (3USD per person) Nurata - Chashma Complex and Holy Spring Visit (3USD per person) - Fortress of Alexander the Great Visit Bukhara - Hammam (Bathhouse) Visit (20USD per person) - Lyabi-Hauz Visit (Free) - Carpet Museum (1USD per person) - Jewish Area and Synagogue Visit (Free) Khiva - Ichon-Qala (Itchan Kala) Visit Ayaz Qala - Camel Riding (10USD per person)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit: www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. Dollar-a-Day Program G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.