Silk Road Backroads & Byways

Silk Road Backroads & Byways

The fascinating countries of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan encompass some of the most spectacular and absorbing hidden corners of Central Asia. Dive deep into the distinct cultural identities and multi-layered history of these extraordinary lands, discovering ancient desert citadels, dramatic Silk Road fortresses, and surprising Soviet-era remnants, and connect with artists, experts, and tribal villagers who still cling to traditional ways of life. Read More


From the Heavenly Tien Shan to the High Pamirs

From the Heavenly Tien Shan to the High Pamirs

Join a fascinating and adventurous journey through two of the most remote and rarely explored countries in Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Why end might the proud traditions and hospitality of Kyrgyz nomads in the highlands, enjoy visits with local Tajiks in their timeless mountain villages, and take in majestic and hauntingly beautiful landscapes along one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Pamir Highway. Read More


In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

On this adventurous journey, discover the unspoiled mountain landscapes and remarkable living traditions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, two of Central Asia's least-known countries. Range from alpine Lake Issyk-Kul in the Kyrgyz outback, where the exciting World Nomad Games presents contests in eagle hunting, stick wrestling, and intense Central Asian horse games, to the high, jagged mountains of the remote Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. Read More


Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

On the rocky ridges overlooking Mongolia’s westernmost province, remote Bayan-Ulgii, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition — hunting with magnificent Golden Eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. Attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where the eagle hunters display their birds’ speed, skill and training, as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and human. Along the way, explore Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, with its Buddhist and nomadic heritage, and the fabled Gobi Desert. Read More


Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Silk, spices, tea, precious metals and jewels, carefully lashed to pack camels, made their way from one world to another along the old Silk Road. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers who plied these trade routes connecting East with West.Begin this six-country adventure in Almaty, Kazakhstan and from there fly to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China to visit one of the most exotic cities in the world, Kashgar. Skirt the infamous Taklamakan Desert on camelback, and admire the breathtaking views across the 12,000-foot Torugart Pass, following the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan to Lake Issyk-Kul and Bishkek. Visit Tashkent, the Fergana Valley and the UNESCO-listed Silk Road oases of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva in Uzbekistan, and continue overland into Turkmenistan to discover its 2,500-year history.Trip currently not available. Call for more information.Read More


Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads

Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads

Beautiful and exotic, Siberia and Mongolia are worlds away from the traditional beaten path. Explore the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, then fly to the red sands of the Gobi Desert. Celebrate a country Naadam Festival, far from the glitz and ruckus of the capital. In Siberia, take to the waters of great Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake on earth, and ride a section of the fabled Trans-Siberian Railway.Read More


Essential Turkmenistan

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


Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolia: The name conjures up images of vast grasslands, wind-swept steppe and endless sky. Here an empire built on horseback galloped across two continents, leaving behind the names Genghis and Kublai Khan. Follow their lead, using the horsepower of modern vehicles to cover the incredible distances at the heart of Mongolia. End in the capital, where the ancient skills of that nomadic army are preserved at the extraordinary Naadam Festival.Read More


Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

The peoples of the Mongolian steppe and of the Tibetan Plateau have much in common. Both espouse Tibetan Buddhism and unfurl painted silk thangkas on festival days. Both were originally nomads, the Mongolians relying on the horse and the Tibetans on the yak for sustenance. From the “Roof of the World” to the Gobi Desert, dive deep into both enduring cultures.Please noteThis itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.Read More


The Pamir Highway & Across Fabled Frontiers

The Pamir Highway & Across Fabled Frontiers

The Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan are some of the most rugged and beautiful on Earth, soaring upward where the Himalayas, the Tien Shan and the Hindu Kush meet. This adventurous journey over the Pamir Highway is a breathtaking route, in use since the time of the Silk Road. Read More