Aral Sea

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A trip to the slowly replenishing Aral Sea is the main – the only! – reason to come to Aral. Near its northern shore rise the sculpted rock formations of a magnificent canyon, in shades of ochre and yellow, reminiscent of Utah or Arizona. Four Soviet shipwrecks still lie on the seashore amidst dense growth of samphire, and the medicinal hot spring near a fishing village draws visitors from afar. Other attractions include the dam and overnighting in a fishing village.

Getting out here from Aral is an adventure, entailing a long 4WD drive through endless steppe, punctuated by herds of grazing camels, and then along the dry sea bed.