We welcome you to this unique region of Uzbekistan named Karakalpakstan and specifically Chimbay district which is rarely included into any tourist itinerary. You will get a chance to stay in desert village of Topi, meet local residents and have a cultural exchange by participating in cooking and craft workshops (yurt, carpet, patchwork, jewellery). Karakalpak people sacredly honour and preserve the culture of their ancestors and follow traditional life of subsistence farming. Karakalpakstan was always a land of semi-nomadic traditions, and the yurt made it possible for these nomads to move from place to place as needed.
- Experience a stay with rural Karakalpak family
- Get to know the daily livelihood activities of desert semi-nomads
- See how a yurt is made and carpet being woven
- Watch or participate in traditional cooking practices consisted of local organic products.
Note: If you are short in time, you can visit Aul Topi as a part of a day excursion from Nukus. It will also include organic lunch and demonstration of workshops. Aul Topi can also be a part of an extended tour to Ustyurt plateau or to the shores of Aral Sea where you can stay in Karakalpak yurts.
Day 1. Nukus – Aul Topi
Morning pick up from Nukus and drive to Aul Topi. Along the way enjoy endless horizons of a desert. Arrival to the village. Your host welcomes you and shows the guesthouse facilities. Settle in a guesthouse. Walk around the area to get to know the village people and their daily life activities as well as the houses of Topi village built in traditional way with local straw.
Then our host invites you to participate in cooking process of “Jugery gurtik,” (national dish made of Jugery flour (Sorghum wheat), chicken meat and vegetables) and “Baursak”. These highly nutritious wheat type is very resistant to drought, can grow on salty and very poor soil which is the case of this region badly affected by disappearing Aral sea.
Lunch with a family made of local organic products. Free leisure time to avoid the heat.
In the afternoon you are invited to participate in making a cover/fence/carpet from reeds (following an ancient technology). Reeds harvested from rivers nearby were used in the construction of straw houses, shi (reed fences), shipta (floor linens), smaller household products, as well as unique handcrafts.
In the evening you will have a free time. As an option you can have a short ride on horseback. Dinner and overnight in the local family house.
Day 2. Aul Topi – Chimbay – Nukus
Breakfast in the guesthouse. Today we will drive back to Chimbay district to learn about how a famous Karakalpak yurt is being made. You will be able to see and participate in production of a yurt from scratch which includes carving out wood for a corset, weaving reed linens and felt carpets for walls, as well as colourful elements for decoration of the yurt.
A visit to the yurt-makers of Chimbay puts the visitor in touch with the heart and soul of Karakalpakstan. Easily reached from Nukus, this small town is the only place in all of Uzbekistan where yurts are still being made on a daily basis by skilled craftsmen and industrious women in family-run operations. Lunch in a local cafe.
After lunch we will visit the workshop of sculptor and jeweller. Karakalpak jewellery is quite large and made mainly from silver. It formed an essential part of a Karakalpak woman’s costume and is still very preciously kept in families and handed-over from mother to daughter.
Drive back to Nukus. Upon arrival, drop off to hotel/airport/railway station. End of the tour.
275 $ for one person
182 $ per person in a group of 2
180 $ per person in a group of 3
155 $ per person in a group of 4
138 $ per person in a group of 5
128 $ per person in a group of 6
- Accommodations in guesthouse (twin sharing occupancy)
- Meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinners
- Throughout English-speaking guide
- All transfers according to the program
- Modern transport with A/C (not older than 3 years): 1-2 pax-Sedan car (Chevrolet Lacetti); 3-7 pax-Van (Toyota Hiace)
- Entrance fees according to the program
- Master classes & participation fees
- 0.5-liter mineral water per day.
- Bank transfer charges
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Personal expenses
- All not mentioned in above program