Brutal mountains, stunning lakes on highest altitude, and remote settlements cut off from civilization are what makes Tajikistan special amongst other Central Asian countries. You will have an unforgettable 4x4 cruise on rocky "washboards" of Wakhan Corridor watching the fierce river flowing close to the road.
ITINERARY: Osh city – Sarymogol – Lenin Peak base camp - Karakul lake – Murgab – Alichur – Wakhan valley (Langar) – Ishkashim – Khorog city – Darvoz (Kalaikhum) district – Dushanbe city
Day1. Osh – Sarymogol village – Tulparkol lake, 5 – 6 hr
Breakfast. 4 hours driving to Sarymogol village. On the way, you will see the last Kyrgyz villages and their stock grazing on beautiful pastures. After a couple of passes of 3500 m altitude, you will arrive in Yurt camp at Tulparkol lake (3500 m) next to the base camp of Lenin Peak (7134 m). Usually, it is hot so you can swim and enjoy the Lenin Peak view. Overnight & dinner in yurt.
Day2. Tulparkol lake – border crossings – Karakul lake, 5 – 6 hr
Early breakfast. If you want you can take a day hike from your yurt camp to the Traveler’s pass at 4130 meters, 3 hrs where you will enjoy the beauty of glaciers while walking up to the pass. Lunch in a yurt. Drive to the checkpoint, 2hr. Cross the borders and drive to Karakul lake, 2 hrs. Totally different landscape opens up confirming that it is Tajikistan. Stay in local Homestay. (Dinner and breakfast are included)
Day3. Karakul lake - Murgab village – Observatory hill – Alichur village, 6-7 hr
This day we continue our trip to Murgab over the highest pass Akbaital (4655 m) in Tajikistan. Walk around the Murghab village where you will have lunch in a local cafe. Head on to Alichur village. We take a detour to Observatory hill. You will see nice view of Muztak Ata peak of China on top of the hill if no clouds on the sky. Down the hill there is a soviet truck full of skulls of sheep inside. Once upon a time, it was a hunting camp. Back to the main road and drive to Alichur village. Overnight and dinner in a guesthouse.
Day4. Bulungkul lake – Kargush pass – Wakhan corridor - Yamg village, 5-6 hr
Breakfast. Take a detour to visit Bulunkul and the Yashylkul lakes with nice hot springs. Drive back to the main road and head up to the Kargush pass (4 344m). After the pass, drive down to Afghanistan border for another checkpoint to check your GBAO permit. Road follows the river Pamir all the way to Wakhan corridor with the chance to admire the Big Pamir of Afghanistan with nomadic Afghan Kyrgyz caravans. Great rugged Hindu Kush mountain ranges welcome you right before entering Wakhan valley. Overnight and dinner in a friendly home stay in Yamg village.
Day5. Yamg village – Yamchun fortress - Ishkashim village – Khorog city, 5-6 hr
Breakfast. Right after you leave your guesthouse, we do a detour on the way to admire the 12th century Yamchun Fortress rising from a platform of natural rock. Walk up to edge of the fort and you will have an amazing view of Wakhan valley. Further up the hillside, the hot springs of Bibi Fatima are located, with its crystal waters rich with minerals. Another fortress Khaaka comes up along the way at Namadgut village when you get closer to Ishkashim village. It is worth a 10 minutes stop. Continue to driving to Khorog city. Afternoon, visit the interesting Regional Museum and Central Park of Khorog city. In the evening hike in a Botanical Garden that has various plants and trees to explore. Dinner at a cafe. Night in a hotel.
Day6. Khorog to Darvaz, 5–6 hr
Breakfast. Travel to Darvoz district. The gorgeous road goes along the river up to the Vanj valley where the road widens up. The road continues along the Afghan border up to Kalaikhum village with fantastic scenery. Arrival in Kalaikhum village and be accommodated in a guesthouse.
Day 7. Kalaikhum to Dushanbe, 5–6 hr
After breakfast driving to Dushanbe along the Pang river with amazing views and traveling through numerous local villages. Deep rocky valleys and gorgeous mountains accompany you up to the Shurobod pass before Kulab town. Lunch in a Chaikana (local cafes). Visit 11th century Hulbuk Palace on the way and enjoy the views of world’s highest hydropower station Nurek in a distance. Arrival in Dushanbe. Accommodation in your hotel.