Pristine Aral Sea and Karakalpak Nature Tour

Barsa Kelmes, Sudochie Lake, Aral Sea, Ustyurt Plateau, Muynak, Mizdakhhan, Gyaur Kala

Pristine Aral Sea and Karakalpak Nature Tour is a wonderful opportunity to combine sightseeing, history, and delicious cuisine. A huge lake, a mysteriously abandoned settlement, a beautiful sea, stone cemeteries, and an ancient fortress are just a few places among the wonders of the tour. This short three-day tour will add a special flavor to your vacation and fill it with authentic experiences.

Your driver with a 4WD vehicle and escort guide will pick you up from the hotel at 09:00 (or from Nukus airport) and depart Nukus to the Barsa Kelmes (name means "If you go, you won't come back"). The salt marsh is at the bottom of a former lake, which was part of ancient Tethys ocean. The area is unbelievably beautiful and you will have to stop for many amazing photographs along the way. You can search for ancient shark teeth in the salty expanse of Barsa Kelmes – huge Salt Lake. Picnic lunch.
Continue driving to Sudochie lake - unique wetlands and habitat of many birds. We will also see the ruins of abandoned settlement Urga and remains of a lighthouse. Then you can visit the abandoned settlement of the Russian and Polish people who were repressed during the Stalin regimen. You can see the old Fish Factory and can talk with fishermen. You will reach the Aral Sea in the late afternoon. Arrive in a real Karakalpak Yurt Camp near the shores of Aral Sea. Camp-style dinner. Overnight in the yurt.
Meals: picnic lunch, dinner
Wake up early to take pictures of the Sun rise with beautiful landscape. Breakfast. Today we will explore ruins of Kurgancha Kala fortress dating back to XIVc. Drive further along the edge of Ustyurt Plateau, visit the ancient cemetery of Nomads. Stop to take pictures of beautiful canyons and the collapsed land. Picnic lunch. Some free time for swimming in the sea and light hiking around the Aral Sea. Return to the yurt camp. Dinner. Overnight at the Yurt camp under millions of stars.
Meals: breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
After breakfast depart yurt camp towards Muynak. En-route we will see ruins of Massageteans stone cemeteries. The path back lies through the Aralkum desert, that is the name of the bottom of the Aral Sea, which is desert now. Visit the “Kubla Ustyurt” on the Plateau. Meet the local population. Taste the camel’s milk. Then continue our way via the bottom of the dried Aral sea. Arrive in Muynak town to see “Cemetery of ships”, the former port with abandoned ships in the sand, and visit the Local History Museum (might be closed without prior notice). Discover some curious artifacts related to the history of the Aral Sea. Lunch in the guest house in Muynak. After lunch head back to Nukus. On the way to Nukus, stop at Mizdakhan memorial complex and Gyaur Kala Fortress 4th century BC. Stand amazed before the ten-meter-high fortress walls which continue to guard the ruins of two citadels, believed by archaeologists to have once been a palace and a Zoroastrian fire temple. Arrive in Nukus. Drop of at hotel/airport.
Meals: breakfast, lunch
Note: Tour available from 15 April till 15 October.

Price includes:

  • All transfers by 4WD vehicle;
  • Accompanying local English speaking escort guide;
  • Full board (2-breakfasts, 3-lunches, 2-dinners);
  • Accommodation in a yurt camp near the Aral Sea (2 nights);
  • Entrance fees to the Muynak museum, Mizdakhan and GyaurKala.

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