Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan


Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan, hailed as the weirdest country in the world, is once again welcoming visitors after several years of closed borders. We have the privilege of being among the first to set foot in this fascinating land, and we are eager to explore its capital, Ashgabat, with its lavish buildings of gold and marble, exuberant landmarks, and bizarre monuments. With 80% of the country covered by desert, we look forward to savoring the beauty of its vast and arid landscapes. And, of course, the highlight of our trip is spending a night at the Gates of Hell! Rumors say that Darvaza Crater, the fiery crater of natural gas, may be closed to visitors soon, making this a rare opportunity to witness its blazing spectacle up close. We’ll cross overland to have the chance to explore Uzbekistan’s Silk Road gems! Would you really want to miss such a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

IMPORTANT: This expedition has been designed in combination with our Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan itinerary to give you the opportunity to explore all Stans countries. You can combine this expedition with the Stans Expedition the following week!




Day 1: Arrival in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) and Darwaza Gas Craters

  • Upon your arrival at the Ashgabat airport, we will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in the city. After check-in, we will begin our city tour by visiting some of the landmarks. In the afternoon, we will change our transport to 4WD cars and depart for the Karakum desert, where we will explore the Central Karakum sands and stop for photos. We will then arrive at the ancient Unguz line of the desert and visit the old gas craters. Afterward, we will enter the sands of the desert, follow the tracks, and arrive at the Fiery Gas Crater, where we will see the gas crater at sunset and nighttime. We will camp in the area and have a picnic dinner.
  • Overnight stay at camp.

Day 2: Turkmenbashy Ruhy Mosque – Old Nisa

  • We will return to Ashgabat via Nisa archaeological site, which was the 3rd capital of Parthians. We will explore the Old Nisa Fortress, The Religious and Royal complex of Parthian Kings, known also as Mithridatkert, and continue to the Turkmenbashy mosque. In the afternoon, we will arrive in Ashgabat, where you can enjoy some free time.
  • Overnight in Ashgabat

Day 3: Ashgabat

  • We will explore this modern city, where shiny futuristic buildings mix with its rich history and culture. Immerse yourself in the dynamic blend of modernity and tradition as we explore Ashgabat.
  • Overnight in Ashgabat

Day 4: Mary & Merv

  • In the morning, we’ll drive to Mary, where history comes alive amidst ancient ruins and storied sites as we explore its historical treasures, culminating in an unforgettable visit to the ancient city of Merv, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Overnight in Mary

Day 5: Mary – Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

  • We will wake up early to explore any missed sites from the previous day before driving to the Farab Border, ensuring a timely exit from Turkmenistan before its closure.
  • Overnight in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Day 6: Bukhara

  • Today is dedicated to the city of Bukhara, a place steeped in history and culture. Enjoy a leisurely exploration of this historical gem before an evening train ride to the iconic city of Samarkand.
  • Overnight stay in Samarkand.

Day 7: Samarkand.

  • This expedition culminates with a full day in Samarkand, where you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of this legendary city.

Day 8: Good Bye

  • After breakfast, the worst moment of every Expedition: we say goodbye.  At your convenience, you can choose to return to Tashkent and depart for your next destination or continue in our next expedition in  Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.


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Shared rooms in 3star & 4star hotels when available. Camping in Darvaza crater.


Private van, or 4WD and driver.

Domestic Trains and Flights within Turkmenistan

All local transportation within Turkmenistan and up to Samarkand is included. (The Expedition ends in Samarkand).

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to sites on your itinerary.

Permits, Clearances and Visa Approval

We'll apply for your tourist visa so you can pick it up on arrival, as well as all the necessary permits and clearances for your visit.


All breakfasts are included.

Our Selection Process takes only 10 minutes and it helps us create the best travel family!


Turkmenistan: You can easily pick up your Turkmenistan visa upon arrival at Ashgabat Airport. (We will arrange your letter of invitation and registration so you can easily obtain your visa upon arrival.) Uzbekistan: Visa-free for many nationalities. Some nationalities might need to apply for an eVisa. Please check if your passport requires any type of visa.
Wander Expedition doesn’t book flights for you and is ultimately not responsible for your flight connection, but we can offer guidance and support when you research the best options for you. You will be flying to Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) where our Expedition starts and from Samarkand (Uzbekistan) where we will be finishing.
Turkmenistan is one of the safest destinations we’ve traveled to in Wander Expedition! It’s a fantastic first experience in Central Asia for those of you that want to explore the most secluded side of this region.
This Expedition is for everyone looking to have a fun time, explore an off the beaten path country, make new travel friends and memorable travel stories. Turkmenistan is the perfect combination of stunning raw outdoors, weird modern monuments and cities and rich Central Asian culture. It’s also one of our most affordable Expeditions and a great opportunity to experience this closed off land!
Wander Expeditions is not a traditional travel agency where the first to pay is the first to go. We take you to stunning destinations, but we know the people you share it with is even more important when you travel. That’s why we have a refined selection process where we filter and vet candidates to ensure that groups are fun, balanced, diverse and interesting! We make sure candidates are on the same page and share our values of being fun, flexible and fearless, so we can guarantee everyone will have an amazing experience. We create travel families, so #trusttheprocess. Halfway through our process, we share the price with all pre-selected applicants. It only takes 15 min to apply, so you literally have nothing to lose! What are you waiting for to join the Wander Fam?


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