Bishkek - Ala-Archa - Burana- Issyk-Kul- Bokonbaev- Jeti-Oguz -Karakol -5 Day Tour
This journey combines a mixture of cultural activities with hiking, horse riding, exploring local cuisine, architecture, natural beauty, picturesque southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake.
City tour in Bishkek and a short hike in Ala-Archa National Park.
During the city tour in Bishkek you will learn the history of both Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan, as part of the Great Silk Road, Karakhanid dynasty, Kokand Khanate, more recent Soviet Union and get a glimpse of how it is shaping today.
The city tour will tell how ancient civilizations thrived in Kyrgyzstan, medieval towns developed thanks to the trade routes, but then came to an end due to various factors.
You will explore main sights such as Ala-Too square, White House, old square, Osh Bazaar, but also discover hidden gems of the city and interesting places off-the beaten path. We will have a local traditional lunch during the tour.
After the city tour, we will drive to the must-see Ala-Archa National Park to have a short hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about local flora and fauna.
(!) Accommodation in Bishkek is not included in the tour.
Early morning, we will start the trip from Bishkek to Issyk-Kul Province. On the way we will have a short visit of the medieval age tower-minaret “Burana Tower”, along the Great Silk Road which is left from ancient city Balasagun (11-13th cent).
After we will continue the way to Issyk-Kul. We will drive through the most picturesque and narrow gorge Boam, and along the railway which was built during the WW2 by war prisoners.
We will stop for lunch to have traditional Central Asian meal on the way. At the end of the Boam gorge, Issyk-Kul lake will open up which is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. The lake is located at the altitude of 1600 m above sea level, the whole lake is a biosphere reserve and resembles the Earth itself, surrounded by mountains in the north and south, having its own microclimate, its own water cycle and unique ecosystems.
We will arrive in Bokonbaev village which is located along the southern shore of Issyk-Kul. If you want, there will be a chance to take part in a nomadic tradition of eagle hunting with the local hunter and his well-trained eagle. After we will have a dinner and take a rest in a quiet village atmosphere.
Driving distance: 270 km
Overnight in the guest house/ homestay in Bokonbaev village.
Bokonbaev village has an interesting combination of Kyrgyz traditional lifestyle, Soviet legacy in architecture and beautiful nature. After breakfast we will have a moderate hike to the mountains for a panorama view. After having lunch, we will leave Bokonbaev village and drive to Karakol city.
On the way we will visit Skazka Canyon (“Fairy Tale”) for a short hike. The canyon, the beauty in the south of Issyk-Kul lake, was named after its bizarre rocky landscape, which for many years has been transformed by wind into various sculptures and formations. Some structures have been named for their similarity to the well-known objects and places. For example, one set of ridges in the canyon is called the "The Chinese Wall" due to its similarity to the Great Wall of China. Not only do the rocks have different shapes, but also various colors.
We will have dinner in Karakol city.
Driving distance: 134 km
Overnight in the guest house in Karakol.
After breakfast in Karakol we will visit the Jeti-Oguz Gorge. It is a lush, picturesque valley with some striking red sandstone rock formations, including the “Seven Bulls”. The name "Jeti-Oguz" (translated as " bulls") came from a chain of weathered red rocks, similar to bulls lying on the ground, and became a visiting card of the gorge. The local point of interest is the rock "Broken Heart", near which you can always make incredible photos.
For 25 km on both sides of the gorge there are blue spruce trees that are included in the red book of Kyrgyzstan. In the gorge at an altitude of 2200 m there is Jeti-Oguz resort, known for its healing geothermal springs. We will spend there enough time to explore the area, walk in the mountains and enjoy the nature.
In the evening we will have a chance to have a meal with a Dungan family. This minority group came to Kyrgyzstan after a conflict in China and have been living in this area since the 19th cent. Most Dungan people here speak fluent Russian and Kyrgyz in addition to their own language. They are great farmers and have rich traditions and cuisine.
Driving distance: 40 km
Overnight in the guest house in Karakol.
In multiethnic Karakol we will have a city sightseeing walk and get acquainted with different nations, cultures and their cuisines. We will see Russian traditional houses that were built after the great earthquake in the early 20th cent and destroyed previous buildings. We will also visit Wooden Orthodox Church, Dungan mosque in Chinese style.
We will drive back to Bishkek via the northern shore of Issyk-Kul lake stopping to take photos in some interesting places on the way and stopping for meal.
Driving distance: 400 km
1 pax $750
2 pax $600
3 pax $520