Koitendag (Kugitang) is an amazing natural region in the South-East of Turkmenistan in the Koitendag etrap of Lebab area.
This district took its name from the Koitendag (Kugitang ) mountains, its height reaches 3137 metres above sea level (the top of Airi Baba). In the West, the mountains break off to Uzbekistan side with sheer walls of 200-400m, and in the East, the mountains are cut by three hundred deep gorges - the Dara, which are going to the valleys for many kilometers. It is very difficult to move here, that is why Koitendag is translated as impassable mountains.
Tourist objects of Koitendag.
The Dinosaur Plateau. Fossilized prints of 2,500 dinosaur tracks were miraculously preserved on a small sloping karst plateau near the village of Khodjapil. Presumably, the tracks measuring in length and width from 30 to 70 cm belonged to tyrannosaurs of the late Jurassic period.
A picturesque gorge-the Daray-Dere canyon. Here, the river with clear water feeds walnuts, Turkmen maple, Zeravshan juniper, wild grapes, hawthorn.
A beautiful 30-meter waterfall in the Umbar-Dere gorge, the highest waterfall in Turkmenistan. Hunting birds: bearded, white-headed vulture, hawk, owl make nests on the vertical rocks of the canyon.
Healing hydrogen sulfide source Gainar Baba.
The Kyrk-Giz grotto is a place of pilgrimage for believers even from far regions of Turkmenistan. A huge grotto up to 50 meters high is located in a deep picturesque canyon. According to one legend, a Saint lived in the grotto. There is a spring in the grotto, it’s water is considered healing, and it can treat eyes.
The Karlyuk karstic caves. The length of labyrinth passages of the Kapkutan cave system reaches 60 km. It is considered as the longest in Central Asia. Snow-white gypsum formations of Gulshirin, Hashmoyik, Dashyurak caves, resembling flowers, fir trees, pagodas, chandeliers will compete with the most beautiful caves in the world.
The sacred grove of relict unabi trees,
In 1986, the state Kugitang reserve was opened here to protect unique mountain landscapes, preserve the population of rare screw-horned goats (marhurs), and protect the indescribable beauty of the caves. The reserve covers an area of more than 200 thousand hectares. A large part of the reserve is generally closed to the public.