Turkmenistan is a peculiar nation with no shortage of bizarre attractions, and the Darvaza Gas Crater quite literally outshines them all. This burning natural gas reserve, a cavernous hole in the middle of no-man’s land in Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert, has been alight since 1971, attracting adventurous, curious tourists to the heat of its mysterious flames.
Darvaza Gas Crater Tour: Private 2-Day Tour is an extraordinary desert camping experience on the cusp of the Darvaza Gas Crater, a trip that will be forever etched in your memory. This tour package is a great choice for anyone limited on time but wanting to extend their trip from the Nukus area, and also includes a private tour guide, transport to and from the Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan border and an informative afternoon amidst the ruins of Kunya-Urgench.
Meet your guide outside of Turkmenistan border control. Begin your Turkmenistan tour with a drive to Kunya-Urgench, where you’ll spend a busy half-day:
- Visit the Tyurabek-Khanym Mausoleum (14th century), burial site of a Mongolian princess and the Sayid Ahmed Mausoleum (14th century), resting place of a leader of the Golden Horde.
- Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret (11th-13th centuries), which at 62m (203ft) is the tallest minaret in Central Asia.
- famous Mamun Library (8th-9th centuries) and an ancient cemetery believed to hold present-day healing powers.
- Walk through the Fakhreddin Razi Mausoleum (a.k.a. mausoleum of Arslan II, 12th-13th centuries), a rare survivor of the Mongol invasion and one of the oldest, most unique structures in all of Central Asia.
- Drive to the Mausoleum of Najmaddin Kubra (12th century), the founder of the Sufi order Kubrawiya, and a favorite pilgrimage site for visiting Muslims.
- View the Sultan Ali Mausoleum (16th century), a half-completed structure intended for a powerful Turkmen ruler but left unfinished due to ongoing war.
Tour duration: entire day, including approximately 3 hours of touring Kunya-Urgench
Meals: lunch, dinner
- Catch one last glimpse of the ‘Gates of Hell’. Turkmenistan is home to several notable craters and you’ll also visit the mud crater and water crater, two smaller versions of the Darvaza Gas Crater, before continuing on your journey.
- All transportation (Uzbekistan - sedan/minivan, Turkmenistan - 4WD);
- Lunch in Kunya-Urgench;
- Entrance fees to tourist sites as per itinerary;
- Visa support letter for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
- Utensils and necessary equipment for staying in tents (sleeping bags, sleeping mats, pillows, dining table, chairs);
- Camp-style dinner and breakfast at Darvaza Gas Crater;
- English-speaking tour guide for your entire time in Turkmenistan.