Aral Sea Tour – 2 days
This two days adventure tour to the Aral Sea and western Karakalpakistan offers you to witness the planet’s worst environmental disaster, drying the Aral Sea. Within the last fifty years, the waters of Aral retreated more than 200 km from its original shores leaving behind another huge salty desert ‘Aralkum’. During the Aral Sea 2 days tour, you will visit the Ship Cemetery and small museum in Muynak, you will also discover the area’s most impressive historical site Mizdakhan Complex near Nukus.
- Lake Sudochei and former soviet gulag ‘Urga’
- The Aral Sea and the impressive canyons of Ustyurt
- Ship cemetery in Muynak
- Mizdakhan complex
Best time: Spring and Autumn
Day 1 – Nukus – Lake Sudochie – Aral Sea
Drive via Ustyurt Plateau to the Asral Sea. Visit on the way Sudochie Lake and former Soviet gulag ‘Urga’. Arrive at the shores of the Aral Sea and set up the camp.
Day 2 – Aral Sea – Muynak – Nukus
Drive via Muynak to Nukus. Visit the ship cemetery in Muynak and a small local museum. On the way to Nukus, stop in Hujayli and visit the Mizdakhan complex.
Arrive in Nukus. Your two days Aral Sea tour end in Nukus.
END OF THE PROGRAM
Price & Service
|Number of People||1||2||3|
|Price per person||EUR 560||EUR 360||EUR 280|
For groups greater than 3 people –price upon request
What is Included
- Overnight stay in the yurt
- 1 Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
- 2 days of English-speaking guide service
- Transport throughout the tour (4-wheel drive)
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
What’s not Included
- Pre and post-tour accommodation in Nukus
- Additional tours and activities during the free time
- Personal Travel Insurance
Day 1 –Nukus – Ustyurt Plateau – Aral Sea (8 hours / 450km)
Our today’s long journey will take us across the immense Ustyurt Plateau to the Aral Sea, once one of the four largest lakes in the world. Within the last fifty years, the sea shrunk by 90% and became the planet’s worst environmental disaster.
Start from Nukus at 8:00 and drive towards Ustyurt Plateau passing on the way small town of Kungrad, which was a busy Silk Road trading center in the past. From Kungurad, we continue driving to the west across the endless Ustyurt Plateau until we reach Lake Sudochie. A lake is a breeding place for many migratory birds so you might be lucky to spot rare bird species. Stop at the lake to have a picnic. Before continuing our drive, you may stroll along the lakeshores to watch the lake’s rich aquatic birdlife. Leave the lake to visit the nearby abandoned settlement of Urga. The last dwellers left this palace in the 60s of the last century. Wandering through the ruined houses, schools, and hospitals of this forgotten place, you will spot many household items left by the residents of this mysterious settlement.
Continue on the Ustyurt to the Aral Sea, stopping on the way to take pictures of huge and impressive canyons. Reach the Aral Sea and set up the camp at the seashores. Walk along the seashore or have a swim in the saline waters of the sea. Enjoy having dinner around the fire at the seashore.
Overnight in the tents.
Day 2 – Aral Sea – Muynak – Nukus
After breakfast, we drive to the town of Muynak through the new-formed desert Aralkum, which was the sea bed of receding Aral a few decades ago. Muynak was a busy fishing fleet with a large canning factory that supplied fish products to the whole country prior retreat of Aral. Many locals in Muynak still believe that the waters of Aral will one day return to their original shores. Arrive in Muynak and visit the ship cemetery and small local museum with many photos and paintings describing environmental disasters in Aral.
After having lunch with the local family, continue to Nukus.
Shortly before reaching Nukus, stop at Mizdakhan Complex located in the settlement of Hujayli 30km west of Nukus. The complex consists of several mausoleums, madrassas, and caravanserai that date back to 9-14 century AD. Complete today’s tour by visiting the nearby ruins of Gaur Qala fortress (2-4 centuries BC).
Arrive in Nukus in the afternoon.
We have also been very well hydrated as the temperature was very high.
We have stopped in a family to rest and to drink camel milk. For the stop in the household, it was not a problem as the driver needed to rest to drive us safely. We don’t have seen the museum in Monyaq as it was closed for renovation.
On the camp, our freedom was appreciable. The choice was ours for the timing. So we decided to rest before to go to the sea and to enjoy the sunset before to have dinner.
We have slept in a yurt in place of a tent. It was nice.
During the trip, the driver was paying attention of the shaking made by the car riding on the pathway. That was a kind attention.
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