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Hiking & Skiing Winter Tour in Kyrgyzstan - New Years Trip

Hiking & Skiing Winter Tour in Kyrgyzstan

I would like to introduce you to a fascinating region perched in the middle of the Tien Shan. Kyrgyzstan, a country of nomads, in the heart of Central Asia, largely unexplored mountains offers a wonderful playground for all nature lovers and virgin lands. The Kyrgyz people which has preserved its tradition of hospitality lives peacefully in a surprising variety of landscapes and made this country the pearl of Central Asia: steppes, prairies, deserts but also canyons, high alpine valleys, lakes and turquoise waters.  I invite you to discover in winter the great lake Issyk Kul, at over 1600 meters altitude. For ski lovers and winter trekkers. Click on this link to see a fun film about my tours.
Program
D1 Manas airport - Bishkek – Ak-Tash ski resort:
∣      Once you arrive in Bishkek your driver will greet you at the airport.  Most flights land at 4 am you will be able to have a quick rest at a guesthouse in Bishkek before you start your tour. 
∣      At 10:00 am your guide and driver will meet you and give you a briefing of the tour and you will be able to have a walk through the city of Bishkek before you head up to the Ak-Tash Ski resort.
∣      Once you arrive at the ski resort you will be able to have a fun day of skiing or snowshoeing and many winter activities. If you are more of a trekker than skier it’s also possible to use snowshoes near the ski base. 
∣      Tonight, you will be accommodated at the ski resort and be able to enjoy dinner with a great view.
Skiing / Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Driving time: 2 hours
Accommodation: Ak-Tash Ski Resort.
 
D2 Ak-Tash to - Ala Archa National Park- Chong Kemin:
∣      After breakfast, you will be able to make your way to the Ala Archa National Park which is just down the road from the Ak-Tash Ski resort.  You will be able to enjoy a short hike in the national park and see a mix of high mountains and Tian Shan Pine trees.
∣      The next stop for the day will be in Chong Kemin where you will be able to unpack your bags at your guesthouse for the night. 
∣      After lunch, you will be able to meet your horseman and enjoy half a day on horseback in the Chong Kemin National park.
∣      There is countless spots to enjoy horseback riding in the Chong Kemin National Park in winter.
∣      After horseback riding, you will share bottomless cups of tea with your hosts over dinner.
Horseback riding: 3-4 hours
Trekking time: 1-2 hours
Driving time: 3.5 hours
Accommodation: Guesthouse in Chong Kemin.  
 
D3 Chong Kemin – Bokonbaeva - Turasu:
∣      After the last cup of tea with your hosts, you will make your way to Konorcheck Canyons for a 2-3-hour trek into the dry canyon with great views.
∣      The local legend is that you can see statues/people in the Konorcheck Canyons.  An additional legend is that it was once a volcano million years ago and that’s why it’s so dry.  Winter is the best time to see Konorchek Canyons because of the contrast between the snow and sand.
∣      Later in the day, you will be able to see the amazing Lake Issyk Kul with its crystal-clear water and countless snow capped peaks all around you.
∣      Once you arrive in Turasu valley make sure you have your camera ready for a great local experience.  Your hosts will share his traditions and techniques of hunting with Golden Eagles.
∣      After the sun sets you will be able to enjoy a Kyrgyz national dish with your hosts. 
Trekking time: 2-3 hours
Driving time: 3.5 hours
Accommodation: At a guesthouse in the mountains near the Turasu area with a great family.
 
D4 Turasu - Bokonbaeva – Geophysical station of Chong Kyzyl Suu:
∣      After breakfast, you will make your way to another hidden valley in Kyrgyzstan.
∣      The first stop of the day will be in Fairy Tale Canyon where you will be able to enjoy a 1-2-hour hike through the dry canyon.  Everyone loves this stop with the great views of Issyk Kul lake from the top of the sandy rock formations.
∣      The next stop for the day will be in the former Soviet Union Geophysical station in the Chong Kyzyl Suu valley.  This geophysical station is full of history from WW2 and it’s on the real Silk Road that would pass into China from Kyrgyzstan.
∣      To reach the geophysical station in winter you will have to hike 6-8 km in the snow.  It’s also possible to hike in with snowshoes.
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Driving time: 1.5 hours
Accommodation: Soviet-style Geophysical Station in Chong Kyzyl Suu.
 
D5 Day hiking in the Chong Kyzyl Suu valley:
∣     After a strong coffee, you will be able to hike through the valley.  You will be guided through the Karablkak valley on the southern slopes that are snow-free.  Once you reach the top of the ridge you will be able to see the north face of the mountain and its snow-covered valley.
∣      You will be able to see stunning snow-covered glaciers and mountains.
∣      Lunch will be had in the mountains with your guide.
∣      After the hike, you will head back to the geophysical station for the night.
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Driving time: 0 hours
Accommodation: Soviet-style Geophysical Station in Chong Kyzyl Suu.
 
D6 Chong Kyzyzl Suu - Karakol:
∣      Morning departure will start with a hike to meet your driver at the bottom of the Chong Kyzyzl Suu valley.
∣      The first stop of the day will be at the hot springs in Kyzyzl Suu where you will be able to relax after your hike to the nearby mountains.
∣      Lunch will be had next to the "Seven Bulls" in the Jeti Oguz valley. It’s a great spot to see the famous red canyons and enjoy a short hike to the panoramic point. 
∣      The last stop for the day will be in Karakol, where you will be able to enjoy a walk through the small Soviet feeling town. 
∣      You can explore the vintage orthodox church and the Chinese Dungan Mosque and of course the bazar of Karakol.
∣      Karakol is a great spot to enjoy a coffee and to enjoy countless local dishes at cafes.
∣      Once you arrive at your guesthouse for the night you will be able to relax next to the fireplace.
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Driving time: 2 hours
Accommodation: In a Soviet-style log house in Karakol.
 
D7 Skiing in Karakol ski resort - Tamchy:
∣      Today it’s important to get an early start because today is a packed full day of fun winter activities.
∣      The first winter activity is skiing at the Karakol Ski Base.  The ski base has 4 lifts and the top of the ski lift offers a great view of the whole area.
∣      Lunch will be had at the ski resort with your guide and driver. 
∣      At ~3:00 pm you will make your way from the ski resort to the north side of Lake Issyk Kul where you will be able to enjoy hot springs.
∣      After the hot springs, you will be greeted by your hosts in the village of Tamchy and share dinner together with the family of the guesthouse.
Skiing time: 5-6 hours
Driving time: 3.5 hours
Accommodation: In a guesthouse in the small village of Tamchy.
 
D8 Tamchy – Burana Tower - Bishkek:
∣      After breakfast, enjoy a short walk down to Issyk Kul Lake before you make your way back to Bishkek.
∣      In the village of Tamchy it’s possible to meet with local masters that are making handicrafts and special Kyrgyz slippers that are great gifts for your friends back home.
∣      The first stop of the day will be at the historical Burana tower where you can see the ancient city of the Balasaugn.  It’s a great stop to see a bit of Silk Road History.
∣      The next stop will be in Bishkek where you will be able to enjoy a walk through the city and see a few of the hidden bazaars and buy possible gifts for friends back home.
∣      Tonight, you will be able to have a farewell dinner with your guide and driver before you take a rest at your guesthouse in Bishkek.
Driving time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Blue Camel Guesthouse in Bishkek
 
D9 Bishkek - Manas airport:
∣      After an early breakfast, everyone will be transferred to the airport.  It’s always a good idea to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight and the drive from Bishkek to the airport takes 45 minutes one way.
∣      We hoped you're enjoyed your trip to Kyrgyzstan.  There are so many high mountains pass and amazing places to explore. We hope to meet you or your friends one day.
 
The price per person $
2 pax 1,345 $/per
3 pax 1,115 $/per
4 pax 999 $/per
5 pax 989 $/per
6 pax 885 $/per


The price includes:
∣      English speaking Guide Driver
∣      All airport pick-ups and drop-offs
∣      All transfers by 4x4 van or 4x4 jeep
∣      Accommodation, 3x full board, mineral or drinking water
∣      Ski packages (day pass + ski rental + snowshoes) in Ak-Tash and Karakol
∣       Permit entry to museum, national parks, hot springs
The price does not include:
§ Travel insurance / Repatriation insurance
§ International flights
§ International banking fees
§ Airport taxes, visa and visa fees
§ Alcohol or sodas
§ Tips (always optional, but always appreciated)
§ Personal expenses such as souvenirs for friends back home
§ Ski instructor in Karakol ski base 4000 som/per/day, 1500 som/per/hour
 
Testimonials
“Thank you very much for a most fascinating time in Kyrgyzstan. The ski touring was fun and I much enjoyed Kok-Boru, horseback riding, eagle hunting, The Farm, and meeting your many friends. It was all a great experience: I do hope to bring my family to Kyrgyzstan sometime. Thank you for all your patience, care, and flexibility.
Kevin 61 English“

Documentation
Though Kyrgyzstan evidenced caravans over the last 3000 years touristic infrastructures and quality of services are not always meeting western standards. However, hospitality is something serious here and refusing it might be offensive. We selected some interesting books that will help you to get acquainted with the Central Asian culture, its customs and history:
- Chingis Aitmatov “Jamila” , “The First Teacher” , “Tales of the Mountains and Steppes” etc... 5 - Peter Fleming “News of Tartary”
- Ella Maillart “Turkestan Solo” - Peter Hopkirk “The Great Game”
 
Weather
In winter, the days are short, but mostly sunny. In Bishkek, it's common that the temperature is 10 degrees warmer than in Karakol. In the high altitude areas the weather can change very quickly. In case of unsafe snow or weather conditions, we will do our best to propose alternative activities.
 
Health
During your whole trip, we will do our best to follow the customs regarding body acclimatization in altitude in order to avoid altitude sickness. We will also adapt to your physical condition and rhythm. Despite all these measures, altitude sickness can happen. Travelers could feel headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, general tiredness, or even nausea.
Your trip has been also designed to avoid immediate exposition to local food and its preparation methods, because the hygiene standards are not always meeting western ones. Nevertheless, as everyone’s body reacts differently, it is common to feel the effects of an “exotic” cuisine.
Therefore, it is recommended to see a doctor prior departure, as he is the only one who can prescribe an appropriate travel pharmacy. Besides, a pharmacy will always be available in our vehicles.
We kindly ask you to communicate us any medical contraindication or food allergy, so that we could adapt to it.
Medical infrastructures out of Bishkek are limited, therefore we strongly recommend our travelers to take travel insurance with repatriation policy.

Number of days: 9
Start Date: Dec 28, 2019
End Date: Jan 5, 2020
Included services:
Guide
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Accommodation (Hotel/Guesthouse)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Entrance tickets (e.g. museums, parks etc.)
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/Train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
Not included: - Insurances - Flight to and from Europe - Airport taxes, visa and visa fees - Alcohol or sodas - Personal expenses - Instructor in Karakol ski base 4000 som/per/day, 1000 som/per/hour
What to bring: ● Travel bag (70-80L) ● Light hiking backpack (20-30L max) ● Sunglasses ● 50+ sun cream ● Hat / Beanie ● Personal hygiene set ● Hiking shoes ● Warm clothes for cold evenings ● Summer clothing Light fleece ● Light gloves Scarf ● Silk inlet ● Rain cloak ● Camera + batteries ● Bathing suit Towel ●Your good mood
Transport: SUV 4x4
Start in (City): Bishkek
End in (City): Bishkek
Languages:
English
German
French
Spanish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Russian
Other