The 5 Stan-s - Follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan 2260 , 21 Days

The 5 Stan-s - Follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan

Follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan as you delve into the vast deserts, rolling steppe, fertile...

Kazakhstan - on the Border Between Europe and Asia

Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world by size. This tour is an unforgettable journey...

The 4 Stans - Central Asia In-depth

 “The Silk Road” is a term that conjures up fairytale-like images of long camel...

Kazakhstan, the largest landlocked country in the world, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, ancient history, and vibrant cultures. Nestled in Central Asia, this enchanting country offers a myriad of experiences for intrepid travelers seeking to venture off the beaten path. From the endless steppes to soaring mountains and historic Silk Road cities, Kazakhstan beckons explorers with its mesmerizing landscapes and warm hospitality. In this article, we will delve into the captivating attractions of Kazakhstan, shedding light on its unique cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and remarkable travel experiences.

The Majestic Landscapes

Kazakhstan's landscapes are nothing short of extraordinary. The vast Kazakh steppe, stretching as far as the eye can see, presents a mesmerizing panorama of rolling grasslands and endless horizons. The Charyn Canyon, often referred to as the "Grand Canyon's little brother," is a geological marvel with its towering rock formations and dramatic gorges. The surreal beauty of the Altyn-Emel National Park, home to the singing sand dunes and the rare Przewalski's horses, is an unforgettable sight.

For those seeking more adventure, the Tien Shan Mountains offer spectacular hiking opportunities, with snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes, and pristine alpine meadows. A visit to Lake Kaindy, known for its submerged forest and turquoise waters, is like stepping into a fairytale. Kazakhstan is also blessed with natural wonders such as the picturesque Kolsai Lakes, where tranquil waters mirror the surrounding mountains, creating a breathtaking tableau.

Uncovering History and Culture

Kazakhstan has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, and its strategic location on the ancient Silk Road has left an indelible mark on its culture. The city of Almaty, nestled at the foothills of the Tien Shan Mountains, showcases a delightful blend of old and new, with its tree-lined boulevards, vibrant bazaars, and Soviet-era architecture. Visitors can explore the Central State Museum, housing a vast collection of artifacts that shed light on Kazakhstan's past.

Another must-visit destination is the historic city of Turkistan, home to the revered mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, an important pilgrimage site for Muslims. The ancient city of Taraz is renowned for its archaeological sites, including the mausoleum of Aisha Bibi, a masterpiece of medieval architecture.

To truly immerse yourself in Kazakh culture, spending time in the traditional yurt camps on the outskirts of cities is a must. Here, visitors can partake in traditional activities such as horseback riding, eagle hunting, and experiencing the warmth of Kazakh hospitality. Sampling traditional Kazakh cuisine, known for its hearty meat dishes like beshbarmak (boiled meat with pasta), and attending lively folk performances are excellent ways to delve into the local culture.

Vibrant Modern Cities

In addition to its natural and historical wonders, Kazakhstan boasts vibrant modern cities that showcase the country's rapid development. Astana, the capital, now renamed Nur-Sultan, is a testament to architectural innovation with its futuristic buildings and skyline. The Bayterek Tower, a symbol of the city, offers panoramic views from its observation deck.

Almaty, the former capital, pulsates with energy and sophistication. Its bustling streets are lined with trendy cafes, upscale boutiques, and a thriving nightlife scene. Visitors can also enjoy the serenity of the city's numerous parks and gardens, such as the beautiful Panfilov Park and the Medeo skating rink, nestled in the mountains.

Kazakhstan is a land of surprises, a true hidden gem that captivates travelers with its diverse landscapes, rich heritage, and warm hospitality. From the breathtaking beauty of its natural wonders to the ancient Silk Road cities, Kazakhstan offers a truly unique travel experience. Whether you're seeking adventure in the mountains, immersing yourself in history and culture, or exploring the modern cities, Kazakhstan promises an unforgettable journey. So pack your bags, embark on an expedition to this fascinating country, and discover the wonders that await in the heart of Central Asia.

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Tour: Balkan Kaleidoscope
I just returned from a 2 week tour of the Balkans and thoroughly enjoyed the experience offered by Penguin. Communication leading up to the tour was exceptional. Our itinerary was fast paced and comprehensive and the sights were spectacular. Accommodations were were clean and amenities sufficient for the price paid for the tour. The tour leader, bus driver and the local guides were efficient friendly and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend Penguin travel, especially for off the beaten path destinations.


Tour: Iraqi Kurdistan
My recent trip in Iraq organized by Penguin was excellent from start to end. Both Penguin tour guide (Nessi) and the local guide (Fahad) managed all topics efficiently and facilitated an amazing experience for the group. Now I dream about visiting the Northern part of the country, too.


Tour: Socotra Island Adventures (Yemen)
Thanks for everything in terms of your work and help with this trip to Yemen. It was an amazing experience - one I would recommend to almost anyone. By the numbers of people who travelled to the island, it is only going to get more exposure. The local company was very good - so you can have no problems with them at all. I was really lucky though - there were only 2 of us on the trip - and it was a really nice experience. I will continue to work with Penguin in getting ideas for great places to travel.

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