Journey Along the Ancient Silk Road


Journey Along the Ancient Silk Road

The five Central Asian countries known as the Stans remain some of the least visited nations worldwide, despite their historical significance. This region serves as the heart of the Ancient Silk Road, where caravans transported valuable silks and commodities from China to bustling bazaars like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Beyond the exchange of goods, these interactions fostered the sharing and adoption of ideas, art, architecture, and spiritual beliefs among diverse communities. Embark on an immersive journey through this culturally rich and historically significant area of the world, accompanied by a small group of like-minded individuals.

Due to the pandemic, Turkmenistan, along with the other “Stans,” closed its borders. After two years, Turkmenistan is finally reopening, and Coda Tours has eagerly awaited this moment to reintroduce our 5 Stans trip. We are delighted to announce that the trip will resume in 2024.

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Tour Map

Trip Overview

Countries Visited: Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Starts In: Almaty (ALA), Kazakhstan
Ends In: Ashgabat (ASB), Turkmenistan
Duration: 23 days / 22 nights
Int'l Air Route: USA - Istanbul (IST) to Almaty (ALA) - Ashgabat (ASB) to Istanbul (IST) – USA
Group Size: Min 4; Max 16
Accommodations: Tourist (3★), Deluxe (4★) & Luxury (5★)
Activity Level: Moderate
Experiences: Culture, History, Food, Scenery


  • Coda Tours signature small group size (max. 16 travelers)
  • Coda Tours signature comprehensive sightseeing programs
  • Coda Tours signature inclusive meal plan
  • Coda Tours signature first class & deluxe accommodations
  • Exploring UNESCO sites which are Samarkand, UZ; Merv, TM; Khiva, UZ, Bukhara, UZ
  • The awesome landscapes of Kyrgystan & Tajikistan
  • The Central Asian national dish – Plov
  • The other worldliness of Ashgabat
  • The amazing markets through all Central Asia
  • The modern art museum located in seemingly nowhere!
  • The pure thrill of a making an epic journey!

Dates & Prices

Your TripDepart USAReturn USADouble Occupancy PriceSingle Occupancy PriceIntra Tour Air
5 Stans of Central AsiaApril 30, 2024May 22, 2024$8995$10895$300 approx
A deposit of $750 is required to hold a reservation. This may be charged to a credit card. Final payment is due 60 days prior to Start Date of the tour. Final payment may be made by personal check or wire transfer. Credit card payments are assessed a 4% fee.
Special Notes:
  • Single Occupancy rates can be avoided if you wish to be matched with another single traveler who also wishes to share. If no share is available, the single rate will apply.
  • Rates are based on current rates and currency exchange rates at the time of publishing the tour online.
  • Rates are subject to change until final payment has been made. Rates are based on a minimum participation and if the minimum participation is not met rates may need to be revised.


Do these dates not fit in with your schedule?
CODA can help design a tailor made tour to suit you!


  • Day 1 | Tue 30-Apr-24 | Depart the USA

    Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Almaty, Kazakhstan. We recommend flying Turkish Air (Star Alliance) because of the easy connections that can be made in Istanbul to Central Asia. Any airline of your choice that will get you to Almaty, Kazakhstan is acceptable.

  • Day 2 | Wed 1-May-24 | Transit in Istanbul

    Arrive Istanbul (or other connecting city) for connecting flights to Almaty.

  • Day 3 | Thu 2-May-24 | Arrive in Almaty Kazakhstan

    Arrive in Almaty, seated among the majestic Tien Shan mountains. Settle in and get to know fellow travellers.
    (The Inter-Continental Hotel has been reserved from May 1 due to early arrival of flights. Coda Tours will arrange additional nights and private transfers if you arrive before May 1.)
    This evening we will gather for a Welcome Dinner with fellow travelers.

    Hotel: Hotel Inter-Continental ★★★★★
    Room: Deluxe
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 4 | Fri 3-May-24 | Almaty Tour | Fly to Bishek Kyrgyzstan

    The morning is at leisure. Check out of the hotel and depart for lunch. Tour the city built on the site of an old Silk Road oasis town. Today’s exploration includes highlights of the city such as Panfilov Park which contains Zenkov Cathedral, a wooden Orthodox church built at the turn of the 20th century, and the Central State Museum, featuring exhibits that detail the development of Kazakhstan. We will also stop at Zeelyoni Bazaar which is filled with fruits, meats, cheeses and anything else you can imagine.
    Fly this evening from Almaty to Bishek, Kyrgyzstan, arriving before dinner. Transfer to the hotel and check in. Dinner is at the hotel.

    Hotel: Hotel Inter-Continental ★★★★★
    Room: Deluxe
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 5 | Sat 4-May-24 | Bishkek Tour Kyrgyzstan

    After breakfast, depart for a visit to the Osh bazaar, the Historical Museum, the State Museum of Fine Arts and have lunch at a local restaurant. Then, see the President’s House and the changing of the guards, Alatoo Square, and the street painters of Oak Park.

    Hotel: Hyatt Regency ★★★★★
    Room: Deluxe
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 6 | Sun 5-May-24 | Drive to Lake Issyk-kul Kyrgyzstan

    We depart early this morning to Lake Issyk-kul. En route, visit the ruins of a caravan town. See the Burana Tower, dating from the 10th-12th centuries, one of the only remaining watchtowers from the Silk Road. Stop for lunch in the village of Tamchi before arriving at the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul, the world’s second-highest altitude lake in the world after Lake Titicaca.
    Enjoy a demonstration of national horseback riding games near the Burana Tower (1 hour). Horseback riding games played a vitally important role for Kyrgyz people. The main aim of these games was to teach children to ride horses professionally. Nowadays it is an entertainment. We have a chance to watch various kinds of traditional Kyrgyz horseback riding games (Ulak Tartysh, Kyz Kuumai, Tyiyn Enmei, etc).

    Hotel: Karven Four Seasons Resort ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 7 | Mon 6-May-24 | Karakol Day-Trip Kyrgyzstan

    This morning, take an excursion to Karakol, the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located near the border of China. See the impressive Russian Orthodox Church and the Dungan Mosque, built in traditional Chinese style for the Chinese Muslims who migrated here during the 1930s and ‘50s. Lunch is at a Dungan family home before an afternoon tour of the Historical Museum and Monument.

    Hotel: Karven Four Seasons Resort ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 8 | Tue 7-May-24 | Lake Issyk-kul | Bishek | Osh Kyrgyzstan

    Drive from Lake Issyk-kul to Bishek. Upon arrival, tour the city before continuing to the airport for our flight to Osh. Kyrgystan’s second-largest city, Osh is located in the lush Fergana Valley, which spans three of the five Stans. Overnight in Osh.

    Hotel: Jannat Osh ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 9 | Wed 8-May-24 | Osh, Kyrgyzstan to Fergana Valley Uzbekistan

    This morning we ascend the UNESCO site of Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain, one of the holiest Islamic sites in Central Asia.
    Driving from Osh to Fergana Valley takes you through picturesque landscapes, winding mountain roads, and vibrant cultural towns. The route offers breath-taking views of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek countryside, with opportunities to explore charming villages and historical sites along the way.

    Hotel: Asia Fergana ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 10 | Thu 9-May-24 | Fergana Valley: Sulaiman, Margilan, Rishtan, Khujand

    Enjoy the splendors of the Fergana Valley, spanning three of the Five Stans. In the Uzbek portion of the valley, visit Margilan and Rishtan, villages specializing in silks and ceramics. Cross the border into Tajikistan for an overnight in historic Khujand.

    Hotel: Khujand De Lux ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 11 | Fri 10-May-24 | Drive from Khujand, Tajikistan to Tashkent Uzbekistan

    Drive this morning from Khujand to the tree-lined boulevards of Tashkent for check-in at the hotel and a remainder of the day at leisure.

    Hotel: Hotel Hyatt Regency ★★★★★
    Room: Deluxe
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 12 | Sat 11-May-24 | Tashkent Tour Uzebeksitan

    Tour Tashkent, stopping at the Tillya Sheikh Mosque to view the Uthman Koran, considered by Sunni Muslims to be the oldest Koran in the world. It is believed to have been written 19 years after the death of Mohammed. It is inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Continue to the Old City, Hast Imam Complex and Barak Khana. Before lunch, visit the master-apprentice pottery school called Akbar House. Then, explore Mustaqlik Square, the Museum of Applied Arts, and Amir Timur Square.

    Hotel: Hotel Hyatt Regency ★★★★★
    Room: Deluxe
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 13 | Sun 12-May-24 | Fast train from Tashkent to Samarkand

    After an early breakfast, transfer via high-speed train (Afrosiyob) to Samarkand.
    Begin the day at Registan, Central Asia’s most authentic square and the centrepiece of Samarkand. This “sandy” place has always been the center of ancient Samarkand and a public square and marketplace. Visit Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the final resting place of Tamerlane. The interior has been restored and is brilliant in gold leaf and fresh tile. The heavily gilded central dome opens over the set of tomb markers resembling sarcophagi. All are marble, except for Tamerlane’s, which is a slab of solid jade reportedly from Mongolia.

    Hotel: Hotel Movenpick Bukhara ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 14 | Mon 13-May-24 | Samarkand | Shakhrisabz | Samarkand Uzbekistan

    Today we visit the UNESCO site of Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of Tamerlane, stopping en route at Sharif Baba’s. See the ruins of Ak Saray (White Palace), built in the 14th century.

    Hotel: Hotel Movenpick Bukhara ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 15 | Tue 14-May-24 | Drive from Samarkand to Bukhara Uzbekistan

    Our drive to Bukhara this morning, we stop at Rabat Malik caravansarai ruins and Gijduvan where we visit pottery works. Visit of Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara. There is a unique collection of Suzzane embroidery. Continue to Bukhara for check-in and dinner.

    Hotel: Hotel Wyndham Bukhara ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 16 | Wed 15-May-24 | Bukhara Uzebekistan

    Spend the day exploring Central Asia’s most ancient living city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is a treasure trove of beautiful, historic buildings and ancient sites. We explore on foot and by coach. Among our stops are: Bolo Hauz Mosque, Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashmai Ayub and Ark Citadel. In the afternoon, visit the Magokki Attori Mosque, the Trading Domes and Ulugbeg and Abdulazizkhan madrassahs. Stop at a teahouse for a tea-ceremony and oriental sweets tasting during the day.

    Hotel: Hotel Wyndham Bukhara ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 17 | Thu 16-May-24 | Drive Bukara to Khiva via the Kizilkum Desert Uzebekistan

    Travel through the Kizilkum desert to Khiva, believed to be founded at the place where Shem, son of Noah, discovered water in the desert. Shem’s joyful shout of “Hey va!” gave Khiva its name. This is a 6-7 hour journey.

    Hotel: Hotel Asia Khiva ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 18 | Fri 17-May-24 | Khiva, Uzebekistan

    This museum town is a walk-through life as it was led hundreds of years ago. Our tour includes the monuments of the UNESCO site Old Town (Ichon Qala). The Old Town still resembles that experienced by caravans on the Silk Road. Enjoy the sunset and amazing views from the city walls platform before dinner.

    Hotel: Hotel Asia Khiva ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 19 | Sat 18-May-24 | Drive Khiva to Nukus Uzebekistan

    This morning, drive to Nukus, Uzbekistan making stops at the ancient fortresses Ayas-Kala and Torak-Kala. On arrival, enjoy lunch and then visit the Igor Savitsky Museum, the richest collection of Russian avant-garde art outside of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

    Hotel: Jipek Joli Hotel ★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 20 | Sun 19-May-24 | Khunya-Urgench | Tashauz | Ashgabat Turkmenistan

    This morning, transfer to the border of Turkmenistan for crossing formalities before continuing to Khunya-Urgench, the ancient capital of Khorezm, razed by Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. Nearby is the UNESCO site of Kutlug-Timur Minaret. Next, visit Tashauz and see the local market before our flight to Ashgabat.

    (IMPORTANT NOTE: each person will have to manage his own luggage crossing the border form Uzbekistan to Turkmenstan. No vehicles are allowed to transfer us a distance of around 10–15-minute walk over unpaved ground.)

    Hotel: Oguzkent Hotel ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 21 | Mon 20-May-24 | Merv | Mary | Ashgabat Turkmenistan

    An early morning departure flight will take us to Mary and continue to Merv (ancient Marghiana), one of the main cities along the ancient Silk Road and believed, at one time, to be the largest city in the world. The entire ancient city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beautiful monuments bear witness to glorious days passed. The most famous is the Sultan Sanjar mausoleum, dating to the 12th century. Other places of interest include the important archaeological site of Kyz Kala. On return to Mary, time-permitting, visit a museum before an evening flight to the Turkmen capital Ashgabat. Enjoy dinner in the city.

    Hotel: Oguzkent Hotel ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 22 | Tue 21-May-24 | Ashgabat Tour Turkmenistan

    We plan to visit the $100 million Kipchak Mosque (local scheduling permitting) before lunch. Then, the Russian Bazaar in the afternoon. Take some time to rest and prepare for departures home. This evening we gather for a Farewell dinner to celebrate this epic journey through the Stans.

    Hotel: Oguzkent Hotel ★★★★★
    Room: Standard
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 23 | Wed 22-May-24 | Departure flights to the USA

    Transfer to the airport for departing flights.

    Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

What's Included

  • Deluxe (4★) & Luxury (5★) accommodations as outlined in the itinerary
  • Arrival & Departure transfers
  • Meals as outlined in the itinerary
  • Land transportation as outlined in the itinerary
  • Complete itinerary of activities and sightseeing as outlined
  • Professional English-speaking local guides
  • Coda Representative throughout the trip on minimum participation
  • Complete pre-departure support and assistance and package of final documents portfolio

What's Not Included

  • International airfare
  • intra-tour airfare (quoted separately & issued by Coda Tours)
  • Airfare related taxes, seat assignments & baggage fees
  • Visas (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) and passport fees (if applicable)
  • Trip cancellation and Interruption insurance
  • Personal meals & beverages
  • Expenses such as laundry, telephone and internet
  • Gratuities for national and local guides, drivers

Travel Prep

You may arrive early or depart later. Coda Tours will arrange your additional hotel nights and transfers, if needed. However, we prefer that all travellers arrive and depart together. Therefore, we recommend booking Turkish Airlines through (IST) to Almaty (ALA) and return from Ashgabat (ASB). Coda Tours can arrange airfare or accommodations as needed.

We recommend booking at least 7 months in advance if you want to use Frequent Flyer Miles. Please contact Coda Tours if you wish us to quote you the best available fares for coach or business class.


Intra-tour flights are at an additional cost and are outlined below. Coda Tours will book these on your behalf. Note that some airlines have very restricted baggage weight limits. LIMIT YOUR LUGGGAE TO 1 PIECE AND PREFERABLY to less than 35lbs.                Almaty/Bishek; Tashauz/Ashgabat ;  Ashgabat/Mary/Ashgabat

A valid passport is required for international travel and must be valid for 6 months after the return date of travel and have two blank pages available per country visited. A tourist visa is required for Uzbekistan (apply online at, Tajikistan ( and Turkmenistan.

Coda Tours will apply for a Letter of Invitation certified by the Government of Turkmenistan. This will allow you to apply for a visa at the Embassy in Washington D.C. There is an $80 fee for the Letter of Invitation. Coda Tours will provide instructions for sending your passport to Washington D.C. We will attempt to send the entire group’s passports at the same time for group processing by our visa processing company. You must expect to be without passport for approximately 3 weeks once it is sent to Washington D.C.

If you are flying through Turkey or Russia and plan to enter either of those countries, you will require a visa for that stay as well. Please contact us with any questions you have about the visas.

Coda trips are casual at all times. There is no need for a jacket or tie unless you personally opt to dine at a fine restaurant requiring formal dress. We do not book these restaurants for our group experiences. Pack for a variety of weather. Bring a light jacket or sweater. Jeans, khakis and shorts are fine for daily wear. Comfortable shoes are a must. All hotels offer laundry service but it can be expensive.

The expected weather in May in Central Asia is:
Bishek, Kygyzstan – High of 65 ; Low of 44
Almaty, Khazakhstan – High of 72 ; Low of 52
Tashkent, Uzbekistan – High of 81 ; Low of 57
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – High of 86 ; Low of 62

All departures are guaranteed on a minimum number of participants. A Coda Tour Manager will accompany a tour also based on a minimum number of participants. This tour can be operated as a Private Tour, can be customized and repriced based on a final itinerary. Rates are based on a minimum participation. For fewer participants, rates may be revised.

A complete portfolio of pre-departure information will be mailed to you approximately three weeks prior to departure.





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