Turkmenistan’s desolate Karakum Desert would be one of Central Asia’s most forlorn destinations were it not for a strange attraction unearthed here in the 1970s. After discovering a natural gas cavern deep beneath its fiery sands, engineers set it alight with the expectation that it would quickly die out, yet it continues to burn unabated 50 years later. Now one of Turkmenistan’s greatest magnets for off-the-map tourists, the Darvaza Gas Crater blazes on in infamy for an indefinite length of time.
The Darvaza Gas Crater Day Tour whisks you from the sparkling marble facades of Ashgabat to the burning pit of Darvaza and back, the perfect day tour for adventurous wanderers eager to set eyes on this flaming wonder. This full-day tour includes a stop at a nomadic desert village, camel sightseeing and a hot campfire meal near the Gates of Hell, all while accompanied by an experienced driver and guide.
After free time in the morning, your driver and guide will pick you up from your Ashgabat hotel and drive to Darvaza Gas Crater (280km, 4hrs). The drive to Darvaza is filled with fun breaks along the way:
Cross the final sand dunes to reach Darvaza Gas Crater, arriving at the crater in the evening to enjoy a spectacular sunset view before admiring the crater’s flames accentuated by a pitch-black sky. The fire crater is about 80 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep, and staring into this ‘Door to Hell’ with your own eyes is an experience like no other. Enjoy a delicious campfire dinner as you lounge near the burning crater.
Drive back to Ashgabat after dinner for drop-off at the hotel. End of Darvaza Gas Crater Day Tour.
Tour Duration: approximately 10 hours