This 4-day tour tells the story of the Karakum Desert and the various roles it has played over time for its inhabitants.
Early morning transfer to the airport for the short flight to Mary. Visit the Mary Regional Museum and central bazaar. Afternoon drive into the Karakum Desert and visit the Bronze Age excavations of Gonur Depe. Set up camp near the site. Camp dinner and overnight in tents.
Drive off-road through the heart of the Karakum. Cross sand dunes and takyrs (dried water sources) and watch camels graze and sheep drink at water wells. Visit several semi-nomadic settlements on the way. Set up camp near one of such settlements. Camp dinner and overnight in tents.
Drive off-road to Darwaza gas crater, while visiting several small villages on the way. This gives you a chance to observe the semi-nomadic traditions that continue to be present in the lifestyles of the local population. BBQ dinner and overnight in tents.
Return to Ashgabat by road, with visits of the water and mud craters on the way. Arrival around noon. Afternoon at leisure in Ashgabat.