Embark on a sightseeing journey across Tajikistan through established silk route bazaars and lush valley villages. Cross into Afghanistan to begin one of the world's most spectacular treks on "the roof of the world" along the 185-mile-long Wakhan Corridor. A remote and otherworldly place, peopled by locals unchanged by modern life, this is a land that is difficult to get to, but impossible to forget.
Challenge yourself as you hike through one of the most isolated yet culturally rewarding places on earth
Trek over high-altitude passes, tracing the steps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo
Interact with local Wakhi, Kyrgyz and Pamiri people, whose traditions and way of life have remained unchanged since the 18th century
Arrive in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, in the very early hours and transfer straight to the comforts of the hotel. After breakfast in the morning, enjoy a full day of sightseeing, visiting the National Museum, Hissar Fortress, and the Madrassah museum. Visit the famed Mehrgon market to shop for produce, spices, and handicrafts and take in the Main Square with its monument of Ismoil Somoni, founder of Tajik Nation. Later, gather for a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Begin the three day journey to the Wakhan Corridor. Leaving the bustle of the capital behind, drive today to Kalai-Khumb, stopping for lunch and photos at viewpoints along the way. The city of Kalai-Khumb is also known as Darvaz which means "entry door" in Tajik, reflecting its status as the gateway of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. Check into the hotel and rest after the long drive. Unwind in the hotel's bar and look out across the Panj River - the country's official border - for a first view of Afghanistan.
Today's overland journey follows the Panj River through ever more impressive scenery. Stop for lunch today near the town of Rushan to enjoy a gorgeous view of Afghanistan and anticipate the trek soon to begin. Continue to the city of Khorog, the administrative center of the Pamir region, at 6,500' above sea level. Check into the hotel with some time to unwind before dinner.
After breakfast, today's adventure begins with a trip to the consulate for a highly sought after addition to any passport, an Afghanistan visa. With visas in hand, set off to explore the central market and botanical garden, which boasts a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Cross the bridge over the Panj River into Afghanistan in the town of Sulton Ishkashim (8,235'). Tonight's accommodation is a local guesthouse set in a garden and surrounded by mountain views.
After breakfast, depart for an adventurous day of off-road driving through the Lower Wakhan. Stop in the village of Khandud for lunch, an ancient settlement nestled in the valley surrounded by mountains. Keep that camera handy while wandering through the village center and local market bazaar.Today's destination is a guesthouse in the village of Qalai-Panja.
A final long day of off-road driving delivers truly magnificent scenery! Cross into the Upper Wakhan as today's route follows the Wakhan River through a narrow valley to the outpost of Sarhad e-Brogil (10,700'). Stopping for lunch along the way, perhaps meet some of the local Tajik, Wakhi, or Kyrgyz people who call this region home. Arrive at tonight's simple homestay in time for dinner, and try to turn in early. Tomorrow the trek begins!
The true adventure begins! For the next 10 days, embark on an epic trek through the Wakhan Corridor, a remarkably beautiful route that few are lucky to ever experience. Each day of the trek, breakfast and dinner will be prepared at camp by the trekking staff, and a picnic lunch will be eaten along the trail, often in a scenic spot. This challenging first day follows the Wakhan River upstream towards China and Pakistan. Cross Daliz Pass at 14,032' into an area populated mostly by Kyrgyz nomads, and then descend to the first camp at 12,140'.
Following breakfast in camp, continue eastward along the river, following a narrow trail treaded down from the footprints (and hoof prints) of centuries of Kyrgyz caravan traders and their yaks. Spend the evening overlooking the surrounding mountains in the small settlement of Borak (11,700').
Today's hike is a long but gentle ascent to the village of Langar (11,909'). This picturesque spot is where Wakhi people have built their winter settlements and the Kyrgyz people often establish camps.
Enjoy a full-day walk to the Kyrgyz settlement of Kash Goz (13,400'). Ethnic Kyrgyz settled here in 1917 after escaping the Bolshevik Revolution. Amazingly, despite having lived in Afghanistan for over a century, these communities have not forgotten their origins, language, and lifestyle.
Today's route gradually descends to tonight's camp at Lake Chakmatyn, a stunning alpine lake and the source of the Murghab River. Along the way, pass Bozai Gombaz, traditional burial grounds of the Kyrgyz, and summer homes of many nomadic families from Lake Chakmaktyn.
Before beginning the return trek, enjoy a full day along the shores of Lake Chakmaktyn. Explore the area on a gentle walk around the lake. The real highlight is to meet with Wakhi and Kyrgyz nomadic people, and share their traditional hospitality. Enjoy the opportunity to rest and relax.
Start on the journey back - retracing our steps back to Kash Goz. On our return, we have more time to take photos and enjoy chance meetings with the nomads of this area.
Today's route passes an old Kyrgyz shrine and tombs, gradually descending to the village of Langar.
A leisurely day follows the long, gentle descent to Borak, leaving plenty of time to absorb the beautiful scenery of this region and greet nomads we pass.
The last day of the trek begins in the village of Borak and again crosses Daliz pass, the final descent of the trip. Arriving at the final campsite, celebrate over dinner with the trekking team.
This morning depart for the city of Pgisht, driving along the Wakhan River before joining up with the Pamir River at the village of Panja. Formerly the home of a Wakhan king, spend part of the afternoon touring a traditional Wakhi house - structures well known for their ornately wooden carved doors and pillars with intricately woven carpets lining the floors. Continuing on the road, stop in the town of Khandut to shop for local handicrafts and spices at the bazaar before settling into Pgisht, a town surrounded by the Pamir Mountain's philosopher peaks named for Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
After breakfast, begin the return journey to the fertile valley of Sulton Ishkashim, on a drive that winds along sandy river beds lined with poplar and chinar trees. Stop for lunch in the village of Kozideh, home to the second king of Wakhan, with views of the ancient stone Kakaha Fortress. Continue onto Sultan Ishkashim for the last evening in Afghanistan.
Say goodbye to Afghanistan this morning and cross back into Tajikistan. Visit the Garm-chashma Mineral Hot Springs, a 1,000-year old thermal spring surrounded by limestone and rich in minerals. Its turquoise waters are rumored to have curative properties, and local inhabitants have built altars into the stone has a tribute of appreciation. We'll have time to enjoy a hot spring bath. Arrive back in the cultural center of Khorog this evening for dinner before heading to the hotel.
Wake up for breakfast and retrace steps for the road back to Kalai-Khumb. Visit the Ismaili Center, located on the banks of the Gunt River, a congregational space built as a house for the Ismaili-majority region, a branch from the Islamic Shia'a. Tour the campus of the University of Central Asia, a non-profit college focused on providing further educational opportunities for the surrounding Pamir mountain societies. Relax this evening with dinner in Kalai-Khumb before settling into the hotel.
Journey back to the Pamir Highway en-route to Dushanbe this morning, passing by snow-capped mountains and green river banks. This afternoon is free to relax and shop for any last minute Tajiki souvenirs at the local markets before re-joining for a farewell celebration and dinner.
Take an early morning transfer to the airport for homeward bound flights.
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Very few western adventure travel companies are running trips in either Tajikistan or Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor - don't miss this rare opportunity!
We have been leaders in mountain trekking for 50 years and are excited to offer this new ultimate challenge adventure.
Our guides are locals that grew up in this area and their intimate knowledge makes them experts in this region.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Strenuous mountain trekking from 6 to 8 hours each day for over 10 days, covering up to 13 miles per day and to over 14,000 feet elevation; cultural touring in Tajikistan.
Scenic and remote mountain accommodations ranging from camping, local homestays and guesthouses, along with six nights at comfortable hotels in Dushanbe and Kalai-Khumb.
Day time temperatures in Dushanbe range from 97°-100°F and nighttime temperatures range from 75°-82°F. In the mountains, day time temperatures range from 72°-81°F and nighttime temperatures range from 61°-66°F.
You will fly roundtrip to Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
An MT Sobek representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
We provide visa support for your multiple entry Tajik visa, but you apply on your own through the Embassy/Consulate in the US. We provide visa support and assist you at the border for your Afghan visa.
Yes, please bring a sleeping bag rated to 40°-50° and a pad of your choice.
Yes, you will have wifi in Dushanbe, Kalai-Khumb and Khorog.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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