Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Private

Epic Kazakhstan: Astana to Almaty via the Aral Sea (18 days)

Remote Lands, Inc

Astana, Kazakhstan To Almaty, Kazakhstan

Valid for Departures Now Through: 18 Mar 2019


Day 1
Astana, Kazakhstan
Marriott Astana Hotel Dinner

Your exciting adventure begins today as you leave your home country to arrive in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, at night. You’ll be escorted to your hotel, where you may settle in and relax ahead of your big adventure ahead.

Day 2
Astana, Kazakhstan
Marriott Astana Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After getting some much-needed sleep, you will explore the city highlights, including the landmark Baiterek Tower and the pyramid-shaped Khan-Shatyr shopping and entertainment center, before heading outside of town to visit an old labor prison. You will return to Astana for the evening to relax and enjoy a restful sleep.

Day 3
Aralsk, Kazakhstan
Aral Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you will begin your journey towards the Aral Sea, taking a plane and train toward the former port of Aralsk, now 124 miles from the shore. Arriving very late in the evening, you will be transferred to a local homestay for the night.

Day 4
Aralsk, Kazakhstan
Aral Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the day exploring the former port of the Aral Sea, checking out the remains of stranded ships and visiting the local museum, learning about the area’s fascinating history. You will once again stay overnight with a local family.

Day 5
Turkestan, Kazakhstan
Aralsk, Kazakhstan
The Turkestan Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy some more time exploring Aralsk at your leisure - checking out any attractions you may have missed in the days before - before boarding an overnight train for Turkestan, located nearly 500 miles to the east.

Day 6
Turkestan, Kazakhstan
The Turkestan Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After travelling overnight from Aralsk, you will arrive in Turkestan in the afternoon with enough time to explore the historic city before dinner. One of Kazakhstan’s oldest cities, Turkestan dates back as far as the 4th century AD.

Day 7
Tjulkabas, Kazakhstan
Turkestan, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you will have the chance to visit the famous Mausoleum of Hodzha Ahmed Yasswi, built in the late 14th century in memory of the prophet Hodzha Yassawi. In the afternoon, you will explore the ruins of Otrar, once a stop of the Silk Road, before boarding a train for the village of Tjulkabas - about 124 miles east – where you will stay overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 8
Jabagly, Kazakhstan
Aksu, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You will spend the day exploring the Aksu-Jabagly natural reserve, the oldest of its kind in Central Asia. Located over two miles high, this reserve is home to diverse flora and fauna, including snow leopards and brown bears. Enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the lush vegetation and scenic surroundings - between hikes - before returning to your guesthouse for dinner.

Day 9
Jabagly, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you’ll head back to the Aksu-Jabagly natural reserve, visiting the Aksu canyon, carved by the Aksu river. Once again, enjoy a picturesque picnic lunch during your day-long excursion, and stay overnight at your guesthouse.

Day 10
Taraz, Kazakhstan
Alnur Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll board a train to the city of Taraz, located in the Jambyl Province. After getting settled in, you’ll embark on a city tour, checking out the history museum and the mausoleums of Alye Ata and Aisha Bibi and learning about the city’s history as a stop on the Silk Road. In the evening, you will catch a sleeper train to Almaty, 435 miles east.

Day 11
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After arriving by morning in Kazakhstan’s largest city, you will be transferred to your hotel where you will have time to rest and refresh. After lunch, you’ll step into the city’s bustling streets, visiting the Panfilov park, the Zenkov Cathedral and the musical instrument museum.

Day 12
Altyndy, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Get ready to kick back into nature! Today is the first of several days you will explore the Almaty Province in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Your adventure will begin in the Kapachagai reservoir and Altyn Emel national park, where you will spot wild donkeys and gazelles in the semi-desert and rocky mountain landscapes, before settling in at hotel Altyn Emel for dinner and overnight.

Day 13
Basshi, Kazakhstan
Altyndy, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you will explore the red-hued Aktau and Kakatau mountain ranges, hiking through the spectacular landscape as you take in truly epic panoramas, before spending the night in a guesthouse in the village of Basshi.

Day 14
Saty, Kazakhstan
Basshi, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You will embark on a journey from Basshi to the border of Kyrgyzstan, passing by semi-nomadic tribes before reaching the first of three Kolsai mountain lakes. Elevated more than seven miles in altitude, this area is ideally-positioned to offer excellent views and trails for hiking and horse riding. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in a homestay in the village of Saty.

Day 15
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Beginning your journey back to Almaty: you will visit Charyn Canyon, a spectacular 124-mile-long natural canyon, as well as a museum about hunting with eagles, known as “berkutchi.” You will arrive back in Almaty to stay overnight in your hotel.

Day 16
Chymbulaq, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head just south of the city to the Medeo ice-skating rink, a world-famous complex situated over one mile in elevation. For even better views and hiking trails, you can go higher to the Chymbulaq ski resort (1.4 miles high) or even the top of the mountain, at nearly two miles high.

Day 17
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ritz Carlton Almaty Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a free day exploring Almaty, checking out shops, local museums and nearby hikes. You will once again stay overnight at your hotel, resting up on your last night in Kazakhstan ahead of your onward journey tomorrow.

Day 18
Almaty, Kazakhstan
None Breakfast

After your exciting two-and-a-half week journey through Kazakhstan, it is time to say goodbye. You’ll check out of your hotel and be escorted to their airport, or where you’ll either return home, or continue on to your next Central Asian destination.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

VIP Arrival

Upon arrival and disembarkation of your flight a Remote Lands representative assist you with your luggage, escort you through immigration and customs formalities and introduce you to your private guide.

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


Get ready for the journey of a lifetime: from the capital city of Astana to the Aral Sea, from old Silk Road stopovers to the Aksu-Jabagly natural reserves, this trip takes voyagers through the best that Kazakhstan has to offer. You will explore major cities, small villages and natural landscapes, even spending several days exploring on a four-wheel drive adventure. For culture, for history, for nature and for adventure, this wide-ranging trip has it all, and more.


  • Explore an old labor prison outside of the capital city of Astana

  • Pick up scraps of metal from old shipwrecks in the former port of the Aralsk

  • Visit the famous Mausoleum of Hodzha Ahmed Yasswi in Turkestan

  • Tour Altyn Emel national park on a 4WD, spotting wild donkeys and gazelles

About Us

Remote Lands creates highly personalized itineraries with extraordinary experiences for discerning travelers, based on their own passions, interests and needs. The world’s most elite travel advisors rely on us for our deep knowledge of Asia and entrust us with their highly discerning clients, from celebrities to CEO’s, Wall Street titans to professional athletes. We are available to travel advisors 24/7 from the initial consultation to the day your clients return from Asia.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Payment Notes
  • Payment by wire transfer or by cheque; American Express, Visa and MasterCard also accepted.
  • 25%

Refund Policy
  • Fully refundable, less a 15% of total trip price cancellation fee, if cancelled 91 days or more before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • 50% of total trip price refundable if cancelled 30-90 days before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • No refund less than 30 days before departure

  • Please note that some vendors have onerous cancellation policies with substantial penalties for changes where funds paid are non-refundable

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

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highly recommended

By: Squash1

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2013

excellent at making sure everything is taken care of...personal cell phone contact appreciated and very customized orientation...also very nice
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Excellent package

By: Mike53-Birmingham

Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2013

Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu was fantastic as was the Kinabatangan River Resort. Raimie our guide was first-rate!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth


By: Dustin and Eli

Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2018

Remote Lands coordinated our trip and made the experience worry-free. All of our transfers and guides were on time, professional, kind and even went above and beyond when a couple of unexpected needs arose. Thank you!
Travel Advisor:  Geraldine Hasting

Taiwan 2018 trip

By: Cindi

Reviewed on: 29 Mar 2018

Wonderful experience! This was my daughter’s senior trip prior to going away to college and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. Great guide, driver, travel agent, etc. Overall a very positive experience!!
Travel Advisor:  Deanna Byrd

far east

By: Mike

Reviewed on: 18 May 2018

we had to different tour guides, both were just excellent and well worth the money definitely made the trip more memorable
Travel Advisor:  Jason Swaye


By: Joel and Kathy

Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2018

The Remote Lands Guides were excellent. The cars used for transportation were roomy and clean. The hotels were 5 star and their attention to detail was over the top. There was only perfection from the people we met and it was also comforting to know that our trip was being carefully monitored by Remote Lands supervisors every step of the way. We would recommend Remote Lands to anyone needing exceptional service in Asia.
Travel Advisor:  Kate Winslow

Remote Lands Rocks

By: Morty

Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2018

Terrific professionals! Looked out for us the entire time we were on the road!! Many thanks!
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Elias