Highlights: Issyk Kul Lake, Son Kul lake, Syr-Darya, Arslanbob, Uzgen, Osh, yurt staying, horse riding, hiking, nomadic lifestyle, ethnical diversity, culture, history of the Silk Road.
This trip will lead you from Bishkek to Osh on the tracks of the Kyrgyz nomads and their history. You will discover the main highlights of Kyrgyzstan; the rural shore of Issyk Kul lake, the alpine pastures of stupendous Son Kul lake, Arslanbob village and its famous walnut forest, the medieval city of Uzgen. Throughout this trip, you will be immersed into the ancient nomadic culture and its equestrian tradition. This trip is ideal if you want to connect your trip in Kyrgyzstan with Uzbekistan, as it ends in Osh, right at the uzbek border.
D1 Arrival in Bishkek and city tour
- Your guide/driver will meet you at the airport. Transfer to your hotel in the city center. Installation and resting time.
- Meeting at noon at the reception desk for a welcome lunch.
- Bishkek city tour, we discover the city center, parks and monuments.
- Drive to the city panorama, then dinner at Faiza’s place, the best canteen in town.
D2 Konorchek Canyon on the way to Issyk Kul
- Meeting at 8.00 at the reception desk for departure.
- We drive to the entrance of Konorchek canyon, from where we walking in the narrow mountainous canyon. At the end of the canyon, we can admire the wonderful red structures built by erosion.
- We continue driving and have lunch at Bilim’s place, our typical Kyrgyz guesthouse for the night, on the northern shore of Issyk Kul. Issyk Kul is the pearl of Kyrgyzstan, the second largest mountain lake in the world, at 1600m high. Discover the place, go for a swim, play, you will have free time to enjoy the lake. Dinner in the guesthouse.
- Optional: visit a Kyrgyz eagle hunter who will tell us about his passion and show his eagles = 15 USD / group
D3 Heading to Son Kul
- Last moments on the shore of Issyk Kul, today we drive up to Son Kul Lake through Kalmak-Ashuu pass (alt.3446m).
- Arrival at Roza’s yurt, where we will have lunch, at 3000m high. Son Kul lake is an oasis surrounded by mountains, where many migratory birds stop on their way from Siberia to Pakistan. Nomadic herders used to nomadize on the shores of the lake since centuries.
- In the afternoon, we go horse riding in the vast meadows covered by Edelweiss around Son Kul lake. This is the opportunity for you to get along with horse riding among the grazing cattle, and scattered yurts and herders.
- After the ride, we drive to Bakyt’s yurt, where we will stay for the night, on the southern shore of the lake. Night in the yurt. After nightfall, the clear sky full of stars, far from any light pollution guarantees a magical moment.
D4 Son Kul – Kyzyl Korgon
- In the morning, we go hiking in the hills south of Son Kul Lake. We walk in the middle of green pastures and tiny torrents.
- After the hike, we leave Son Kul through Kara Keche pass (alt.3360m), and drive in a contrasted landscape made of red sedimentary rocks, green meadows, black rocky mountains, and yellow sandy hills. Picnic on the way.
- We arrive in Kyzyl Korgon, a very small mountainous village where we will stay in a family.
D5 Kyzyl Korgon – Toktogul lake
- We leave in the early morning and drive on a difficult road along the Kekemeren River. We drive in a gorge where 500m high red cliffs are overhanging us.
- Picnic on the way.
- After crossing the Ter Jailoo pass (alt.2465m), we have the possibility to hike through the jailoo (pastures in Kyrgyz) to the village of Kara Jygash. We will also have the opportunity to meet nomadic families on the way, who will most likely invite us to drink kumis, the traditional beverage of the nomads, the fermented mare milk.
- We arrive on the shore of Toktogul’s Lake, an artificial water reservoir built on the Naryn River.
- Dinner and night in a small hotel in Kok Bel, on the southern shore of the lake.
D6 Toktogul Lake – Arslanbob walnut forest
- In the morning, we drive along the Naryn River flowing stronger and stronger even it is still the beginning of the mighty Syr-Daria, known as Iaxarte by the ancient Greeks.
- We leave the Tien Shan Mountains to enter the Ferghana valley, a very fertile plain spread among Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The climate starts to be warmer, there is a higher density of population, and the landscape changes totally.
- We arrive in Arslanbob, in the middle of the largest walnut trees forest in the world. We settle in one of the families and discover the village, the forest, and the surrounding nature (waterfalls).
D7 Arslanbob - Osh
- We leave Arslanbob in the morning and drive along the Uzbek border to Uzgen, one of the capitals of the Karakhanid Empire during 11th and 12th centuries. We take the time to visit this medieval architectural complex, unique in Kyrgyzstan. Lunch in Uzgen, next to the old bazaar.
- After lunch we drive to Osh, visit Solomon’s mountain and his throne, as well as the museum built in a natural cave inside the mountain. We pass by the bazar, one of the most beautiful bazar in Central Asia, settled along the river.
- Dinner in a traditional chaikhana, where we taste plov, the famous central Asian dish. Night in the house of a typical Uzbek family. End of our journey in Kyrgyzstan.
Price per person is for a group of 6 people
Price per person for:
2 people - 1230 USD
3 people - 950 USD
4 people - 830 USD
5 people - 725 USD