A 3 Day cultural, adventure and active tour to Aral Sea, located at the boundary of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. As far back as half a century it was a closed salt-water lake, so huge that could not be called otherwise but a sea. The Aral Sea was home to 34 fish species, and its waters were furrowed by ships and fishing flotillas. Its seashore was interspersed with fishing communities, a dozen of fish factories, two fish canning plants and about a hundred of fish pick-up points. Nearly 60,000 tons of fish were harvested annually in the Aral Sea. The region’s life was going swimmingly, the country was flourishing … The local community still remembers these times, but the place where ships were furrowing, now became a desert, covered with alkali soils and dried sea weeds, abandoned piscatorial settlements, rusting skeletons of abandoned ships. The Aral Sea tour leaves a mixed feeling of admiration with breathtaking views of “Martian” landscapes of the Aral Desert and Ustyurt Plateau, and that of sadness felt looking at the opened wounds of this land.
Day 1: Tashkent – Nukus
Departure to Tashkent. Greeting and transfer to the hotel. Rest at hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel. Breakfast at the hotel. After transfer to local airport for a morning flight to Nukus (1255 km, 2 h. 45 min.). Arrive in Nukus, transfer to hotel. Check-in at noon. At your leisure, visit the Savitsky Karakalpakstan Art Museum. The museum hosts the world’s second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art and exposition of Karakalpak applied arts items. Spend your free time by taking a walk in the city center to see the statue of Karakalpak poet Berdakh, Nukus City Hall, and Drama Theatre. Overnight at hotel.
*Guide for sightseeing tour in Nukus is not included and is available upon request.
*The Russian and Uzbek avant-garde exhibition is expected in May 2017 as the new building is launched. At the moment, local Karakalpakstan ethnic exhibits are displayed.
Day 2: Nukus – Kungrad – Ustyurt Plateau – Sudochie lake – Aral Sea
Meet your guide and driver to start a full day trip to Aral Sea through Ustyurt Plateau. The distance till the water line of Aral Sea is 450 km and it takes approximately 8-9 hours to cover it. Pass via Kungrad district, which used to be one of the trading centers on the Silk Road. On the way, see remains of a lighthouse; pass by the ruins of abandoned settlement Urga. Photo stop at the Lake Sudochie. Have a picnic lunch on the way. Continue driving on the immense Usturt Plateau. Arrive at the Aral Sea late in the afternoon. Set up the tent. Camp-style dinner. Overnight in tent.
Day 3: Aral Sea – Muynak – Mizdakhan – Gyaur-Kala – Nukus – Tashkent
Early wake up to take pictures of sun rise. After breakfast head back to Nukus. Stop to take pictures of beautiful canyons and the collapsed land. Drive on the dried bottom of the sea. Stop in Muynak to have a look at the former port with abandoned ships in the sand – “Cemetery of ships”. In Muynak, visit Local History Museum (might be closed without prior notice). Picnic lunch. On the way to Nukus, stop at Mizdakhan memorial complex and Gyaur-Kala Fortress. Arrive in Nukus. Transfer to local airport. Departure to Tashkent. Arrive in Tashkent. Transfer to hotel. End of services.
* Due to weather condition, the overnight in tents usually starts from 15 April till 15 October.
* Other days the overnight takes place in a guest house at Moynak.