Crossing report: Loftabad-Artyk border (Iran-Turkmenistan)

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Crossing report: Loftabad-Artyk border (Iran-Turkmenistan)

Postby gaz457 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:19 pm

Does anybody know the cheapest and easiest way to get from Mashad to the border crossing at Loftabad? Is it possible to get public transport at least part of the way?


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Re: Mashad to Loftabad/Artyk border

Postby kkarina320 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:17 pm

Im looking for the same info, anyoneeeee pls??
Garry when are u heading there, we are going tomorrow as soon as we pick up visas
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Re: Mashad to Loftabad/Artyk border

Postby gaz457 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:08 pm

We are going on Tuesday! Please let me know how you do it... Best info I have so far is 30 usd for a taxi the whole way....Do you have a tourist or transit visa?
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Re: Mashad to Loftabad/Artyk border

Postby steven » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:01 am

Pls let us know what you did!
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Re: Mashad to Loftabad/Artyk border

Postby bibi38 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:33 am

I think train is a good option. It's very very cheap in this country.
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Re: Mashad to Loftabad/Artyk border

Postby vanivan » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:54 pm

Crossed yesterday from Artyk into Iran.

In Ashgabat, head to the "Iran khodro taxi stoyanka". A fairly long taxi ride (by that I mean hailing random passing car on the street) took me there for 5 manat from the Syyahat/Tourist Hotel. I was told that buses don't run there, but I think that area might be "Awtokombinat", which is a bus route terminus?

Share taxi to the Artyk border cost 15 manat from there. I was told by the border employees in Konye-Urgench and by tourism offices in Ashgabat that it could cost anywhere from 20-40, so I was surprised to be quoted such a low number immediately without negotiation.

Crossing the border involves hopping on a mandatory bus shuttle, 3 manat. Driver didn't have enough change and so I ended up paying 4.

On the Iranian side, money changers will only use the black market manat rate of 7 to 1 USD, then convert that into rials -- given that I was completely unable to find black market changers in Turkmenistan, this meant I took a 50% loss off the bank rate! So try to get rid of as much manat as you can before hand.

A share taxi from the border/Loftabad to the nearest town of Dargaz should cost 80,000 rial, according to locals I later talked to. I had a terrible driver who I negotiated down to $3 but ended up making me pay 140,000. No English is spoken in that area, it seems, so I just gave up in frustration rather than cause a scene.

From Dargaz, there are direct buses to Mashhad taking around 4 hours and costing 120,000 rial. Contrary to the legendarily positive reputation Iran seems to have amongst travellers, I found people in Loftabad and Mashhad generally frustrating to deal with or just trying to rip me off; though people in Dargaz were very nice. Not the best first impression of the country, sadly.
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Lotfabad/Artyk border updates

Postby Van_Gogh » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:18 pm

I crossed the border with my car last friday, here is how it was.

Public transport is available from Dargaz to the border, when coming with your own vehicle just follow the signs for Lotfabad or the masses of trucks.

The Iranian side is very chaotic and crowded, a lot of trucks. Do not go there on Thursdays and Fridays (Iranian weekend), as the whole border will be half-closed.
You can cross as a pedestrian, should be very fast as there are nearly no people crossing the border without a vehicle.

If you cross by car, take like 2 or 3 hours for the Iranian side. You need to get 5 different stamps, I did not understand how you get them, I just walked around and went to the places they said.
Be careful about the people who want to "help" you, in the end they want 50 USD or more. Don't give them your documents.

I don't know why, but on the Iranian side they will tell you that all medicine, cameras and laptops are forbidden in Turkmenistan — don't believe them, it's not true!

The guards knew how to stamp the Carnet, but make sure they did it right.

Turkmen side was good, guards are very friendly and will help you, some of them even speak English. When arriving, drive through the desinfection water and go to the X-Ray, you can skip the truck line. They knew how to process the transit visa.
First, they didn't wanted to let me go to Ashgabat because it's not on the transit route from Artyk to Turkmenabat, but I just said something about that I need to go to the embassy or something and they allowed me to go.

I don't know why, but I did not receive a GPS device.

The guards searched my car completely, I had to take out everything and they looked in every bag. Camera, Laptop, Tablet and normal medicine is okay, just tell them if they ask. They will also ask for drugs and weapons.

This is what I paid:
50 USD customs fee, 1 USD desinfection, 30 USD entry & transit processing fee, 44 USD for compensation of the fuel, 35 USD insurance, 5 USD document processing.
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Postby Didier » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:04 pm

If you cross from Turkmenistan into Iran at the Artik border crossing beware of a guy that will tell you that he works for the Iranian custom, he will help you with the formalities but will tell you that your carnet is only good for 5 days in Iran, any extra days will cost you $10 per day. Of course it’s a scam so beware.
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