Active + Adventure

Best Adventure Trips 2008

by Sarah Tuff

River Wild in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan

Sometimes, going back to the '80s is a good thing. Like when Mountain Travel Sobek revives its epic rafting trip on the Chatkal River. In 1988, the outfitter made the first Western descent of the 117 mile–long, blue-green beauty that somersaults out of the Tien Shan Mountains. The trip was dropped during the dissolution of the USSR. Now co-founder and eco-tourism consultant John Yost dusts off his paddle to take experienced rafters back down the Chatkal. (Of all the trips here, this is the most hard-core—you'll need at least Class III experience.) It's a quintessential adventure that climaxes in a tough run of the Class V "Slalom II." A riverside sauna just before the monster rapid eases jangled nerves, as do Russian delicacies prepared by guides. Add the Silk Road extension, and you'll get to explore old haunts of Genghis Khan in Samarkand and wander through bazaars nearly as eye-popping as the Chatkal.

Departures: August 31–September 9 (with Silk Road extension, September 13), September 14–23 (with extension, September 27)

Price: From $3,595 for Chaktal River portion; from $1,395 for Silk Road extension; includes lodging, meals, and travel within Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan; originates in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Mountain Travel Sobek
Tel: 888 687 6235 (toll-free)
Tel: 510 594 6000

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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