Adventure to the Lakes of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan. Home of Tian-Shan, or as we Kyrgyz call it, Tenir-Too. Both titles aptly name the grand mountain range as The Celestial Mountains. Their thawing glaciers replenish the great lakes Isyk-Köl, Son-Köl, Köl-Tör and Ala- Köl – the Pearls of Kyrgyzstan. Needless to say, the lakes are transparent/clear water and clean. In this tour, we will explore these four lakes (two of which are located 3000 metres above sea level), stay in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt, ride horses and enjoy authentic local dishes.
Day 1. Bishkek
Your guide will pick you up from Airport and transfer to Bishkek. Today you will stroll the charming squares and pass by the breathtaking fountains of the Soviet style city. Visit Central Ala-Too Square, White House building, Panfilov Park, Oak Park, Statue of Lenin, Philarmony Hall, Youth Alley etc. After lunch you will visit Ala Archa National Park. Overnight is in hotel.
Day 2. Bishkek – Burana – Issyk Kul.
9:00 a.m. Pick up from hotel in Bishkek. Burana tower – a UNESCO world heritage site -- is two hours (160km) away. Burana is the only surviving building from Balasagun city – the medieval capital of the mighty Karahan state, the perfect place to learn about the Silk-Road and Kyrgyzstan’s past. After an excursion in the museum and the open-air stone sculpture and art gallery. An afternoon drive of two hours (250km) will take us to our guesthouse in Cholpon-Ata – the town with active nightlife where World Nomad Games took place.
Day 3. Issyk Kul – Karakol – Altyn Arashan.
8.00 a.m. After the two and a half hours of drive (240km) we will have a lunch in a local restaurant and prepare for hiking. It will take about 5 hours by walk (13km) to get to Altyn-Arashan – stunningly beautiful pasture with sky reaching peaks, animals, hot springs and nature. Overnight and dinner in a guesthouse.
Day 4. Altyn Arashan – Ala Köl lake – Altyn Arashan.
8.00 a.m. Wake up is as early as possible. Today is the most important day of our tour – we will visit one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Central Asia. However, it will not be easy to get there. Hike until the lake usually takes 5-6 hours (12km). After one-hour break on the shore of the lake and lunch taken with ourselves in lunch boxes, we go back. Dinner and overnight in Altyn-Arashan.
Day 5. Altyn Arashan – Karakol – Jet Ögüz – Fairy Tale Canyon – Bokonbaevo.
9.00 a.m. After breakfast, we go back to the Karakol town by old Soviet car UAZ. Those are off-road cars constructed specially for military purposes. After visiting two main sites in Karakol – Dungan mosque and Russian Orthodox Church (both of them are unique examples of wood craftsmanship and history sites) – we will visit Jeti-Ögüz. Seven bulls translating from Kyrgyz. It is a name for huge red rocks resembling bulls. We will see rocks from different angle, where it resembles mammoth and have a lunch right at the foot of the Jeti- Ögüz. Next spot is Fairy tale canyon (100km – 1.5 hours from Jeti- Ögüz). We will get there close to the evening when the unique colours and relief of the canyon are best seen. After short hiking and climbing natural “great Chinese wall” and seeing wall of hundred faces we drive to the Bokombaevo town (30km – 30 minutes) where we finish our busy day by suppering in a nice local guesthouse. Overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 6. Bokonbaevo – Kochkor – Son Köl lake.
9.00 a.m. Our next spot is Kochkor town (120km - 1.5 hours). On the way to the town we will see sky reaching Tian-Shan mountain range, which is a beginning of Tibet. After short walk and lunch in Kochkor town we continue our drive to Son-Köl lake (130km - 2.5 hours). 50km of the road is bumpy and difficult, but we will make several brakes so you can take a rest, take a photos and enjoy beautiful sceneries. In particular, sceneries of Karatal-Japyryk national park. We will get to the lake by the evening so you can enjoy one of the most gorgeous sunsets you just can experience in Kyrgyzstan and experience horseback riding in calm and peaceful atmosphere. Dinner and overnight in a yurt camp.
Day 7. Son Köl lake - Kochkor - Kegeti valley.
9.00 a.m. After breakfast we have 2 hours of free time. You can swim in the lake, ride the horses, make short hike or combine those activities. After, we start our drive back to the Kochkor town (115km - 1.5 hours). This time we take another road, which is shorter and no less beautiful. After lunch in Kochkor we will present a master class on making a traditional carpet - Shyrdak where you can make your own. Shyrdak is a traditional carpet 100% made of wool and made only by hand. Recently shyrdak was added to the list of UNESCO of intangible heritage of the world. After shopping (optional) in a souvenir shop (shyrdaks are available too) we start our drive to Kegeti valley in a footstep of the 5000 meters high Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range. Dinner and overnight are in a guesthouse.
Day 8. Kegeti valley – Köl-Tör lake - Bishkek.
9.00 a.m. Today we will make a hike to the last lake in our program - Köl-Tör lake - located 2700 meters above sea level. It takes no more than 3.5 hours (7.5km) and 70% of the way we climb no more than 15% slope. We will have enough time for making picnic by the lake, walking around, enjoying the nature, taking pictures (and even sleeping by the lake as i usually do). We return back afternoon or whenever you want. After coffee/tea break in a guesthouse we drive back to Bishkek (80km - 1 hour). In Bishkek we will visit Asian Bazaar! After you will have some time for checking-in in a hotel and taking a shower. Final (farewell) dinner will be in a restaurant.
Day 9: Bishkek – Airport
In the morning transfer to airport.
Price per person:
1 pax – 2473 $
2 pax – 1474 $
3 pax – 1141 $
4 pax – 974 $
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.