Turkmenistan Tour time! Ever since I first visited Turkmenistan, and made a very shaky youtube video about the Gates of Hell, I've had people email me asking if I could finally organise a onestep4ward trip there, so here it is. Turkmenistan is actually the 10th least visited country in the world, with a tricky visa situation and a government who couldn't care less about tourist dollars. So historically it hasn't been the easiest place to visit. That's where I come in though folks, so jump on board and let's go together.
For hardcore travelers, there are 2 main reasons. It's one of the least visited countries in the world, which is already pretty cool. And then of course, Turkmenistan is famous for their Gates of Hell. And my Turkmenistan tour, of course, focuses on that. But that's not the only reason to visit Turkmenistan. For me there are 3 epic places to visit in this secretive central Asian nation.
There are some other spots around the country that are historic, and hold cultural significance too. But my trips are more focused on crazy adventures so I've tailored this tour to include the 3 coolest places and try to keep the cost, and time, down. I know a lot of the people who travel with me have the same outlook, so I hope this works for all you guys too!
The Derweze gas crater, also known as the Door to Hell, is a natural gas field in Turkmenistan that collapsed into an underground cavern in 1971, creating a large crater approximately 70 meters in diameter and 20 meters deep. In an effort to prevent the release of toxic gases, Soviet scientists set the crater on fire, hoping that the gas would burn off within a few weeks. However, the fire has been burning continuously for over 50 years, creating a spectacular and eerie sight that draws visitors from around the world. The area around the crater is now a popular tourist attraction and has been dubbed the "Gates of Hell" due to the infernal flames that never go out.
You're welcome to land any time on October 18th (or morning of the 19th, with me) and my team will meet you at the airport.
Flights to Turkmenistan are super limited. And the few that do exist arrive at awful times. Most of us will probably fly via Istanbul or Dubai, and land at a god-awful hour, similar to my Mauritania trips.
Don't worry, airport pick-ups are still organised even if it's the middle of the night!
Safe doesn't even come close. I'll avoid getting political as the permits are hard enough to get, but let's just say everyone obeys the law in Turkmenistan, and leave it at that. As we say in Ireland, "safe as houses"
Strictly speaking the actual tour starts on Day 1, on October 19th.
However, due to the nature of flights, I think everyone will probably arrive late on the evening of the 18th/early AM on on the 19th.
I am flying on the Turkish air flight from Istanbul on the 18th, landing on the 19th at 02.10. I'm sure you will all be on that flight, or the Dubai one landing at 3am. See you at the airport!