Karakum Desert

Join us on an adventure into the Karakum desert of Central Turkmenistan, known as the Black Sands

First we'll take in the white marble sea of Ashgabat, one of the least visited capital cities on Earth before our trek covering 150km across the "Black Sands". During our journey there will be chances to meet nomads living in this spartan landscape as we push ourselves towards our goal of the Darvaza gas crater, known to some as the Door to Hell.

Darvaza Crater, Early Morning

  • check_circleIncludes
    Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation

    Lupine Expeditions leader throughout

    All food and water during trek

    Entrance fees for Nisa historical sight in Turkmenistan

    4x4 support throughout trek with local guide

    2 nights 3* accommodation in Ashgabat before the trek

    1 night 5* accommodation in Ashgabat at the end of the trek

  • cancelExcludes
    Turkmenistan visa

    Lunches and dinners in Ashgabat

    International flights

    Personal Travel insurance

    Tent and camping equipment during trek (We can arrange this pr a £145 surcharge but the local equipment is not the most comfortable).

  • assignment_indVisa Information

    The most convenient option is to collect your Turkmen visa on arrival at Ashgabat with our Letter of Invitation. This usually comes to around $100 including immigration tax.

    If you are keen to reduce costs you can also collect your visa, with our LOI, at your nearest Turkmen embassy. The one in London charges around $50.

  • Day 1 hotel restaurant flight_land
  • Arrive into Ashgabat and be transferred to our 3* hotel in the city. Take the day to catch up on rest or to explore the city. In the evening the group will meet for dinner and briefing from your Lupine Expedition Leader. Overnight at the Ak Altyn Hotel, Ashgabat.
  • Day 2 hotel location_city directions_walk
  • After breakfast in our Hotel we’ll head out on a tour of the city and its surround. First we’ll take in the UNESCO world heritage sight at Nisa, a major trading hub of the Parthian empire and believed by some to be the first seat of their government. Next we’ll head on to the giant Turkmenbashi mosque and mausoleum where the former president of Turkmenistan is buried with his family. For a time this was the largest mosque in Central Asia. After returning to Ashgabat for lunch we’ll make visits to some of the cities unusual monuments such a gold statue of Turkmenbashi that used to rotate to always face the sun. In the evening your Lupine Expedition Leader will coordinate a visit to the famed English pub in the city centre. Overnight at the Ak Altyn Hotel, Ashgabat.
  • Day 3 style directions_walk remove_red_eye
  • After a final equipment check we’ll head out into the central Karakum desert of Turkmenistan. Karakum means ‘Black Sand’ in turkic languages and refers to the dark soil beneath the sand across the country. After a visit to the Tolchuka market we’ll head a further 180km by 4x4 in to the desert before stopping at the village of Erbent where our trek begins. We’ll finish the day with a short 5km trek over the sand dunes to get accustomed to the terrain. Overnight camping in the Karakum desert..
  • Days 4-9 style directions_walk directions_car
  • Here will be the body of our expedition. 7 days walk across the sandy desert averaging 20km per day with 4x4 support with our equipment and supplies. In the days there are chances to meet nomadic people living in the desert as well as the hustle and bustle at some of the wells en-route. Our nights will be spent camping under the clear night sky before our final night spent next to the spectacular Darvaza gas crater.
  • Day 10 hotel directions_car free_breakfast
  • After breakfast in the camp we’ll have a last opportunity taking in the gas crater before driving back to Ashgabat in time for lunch (Around 250km by 4x4). We will check in to the 5* Yyldyz Hotel, one of the best hotels in Turkmenistan, to recover after our trek. Free time in the afternoon to either enjoy the city or relax in the hotels spa and other facilities. Overnight in the Yyldyz Hotel.
  • Day 11 flight_takeoff
  • Free time until your included transfer for your departing flight.