Photography Tour in Kyrgyzstan 11 Days

Photography Tour in Kyrgyzstan

11 days/ 10 nights


Kyrgyzstan is great country to visit for countless reason but it’s really a great country for photography!  Ask yourself the question, how many of your friends have been to Kyrgyzstan and who do you know that has captured pictures of high alpine pastures ted with yurts, horses and snowcapped peaks?  Kyrgyzstan is one a kind and now is a great time to come and explore!  Discover authentic nature, welcoming people and remote nature here in Kyrgyzstan. Check out this film about my services.
 
Highlights: Kyrgyzstan, Burana Tower, Issyk Kul lake, Eagle show, wild landscapes, hiking to Altyn-Arashan, real nomadic lifestyle, real local people, real local culture and real local food.
 
Day 1 Arrival in Bishkek to Rot-Front
∣      Arriving at the Manas Airport your guide and driver will meet you at the airport and welcome you to Kyrgyzstan.
∣      Once you land in Bishkek you will be able to have a rest at a guesthouse before you day starts.  (90% of all the flights arrive at 4 am in Bishkek.)
∣      At 10 am breakfast will be ready; your guide will do a pre-trip briefing with you and go over any questions you might have about Kyrgyzstan or about your trip.
∣      The first activity of the day will be a walking tour though Bishkek. Your guide will show you the hidden gems and introduce you to Osh Bazaar, Ala Too Square, and road side sellers on the corners of each street.  It’s a lot of fun for your first day in Kyrgyzstan.
∣      A late lunch, you will head out of the city to capture the sun set at Burana tower. The lighting should be amazing. 
∣      The Burana Tower is a must-see spot on the silk road because of it’s an accent minaret from the 10thcentury.  It’s full of many local legends and tale tails.
∣      Tonight, you will be accommodated in a small guesthouse in Rot-Front which is an old German village lost in the former Soviet Union.
Driving 2 hours
Accommodation in Rot-Front at the Farm Guesthouse
 
Day 2 Rot-Front to Bokonbayevo
∣      After breakfast, you will leave the city and make your way through the Tian Shan Mountain Range.
∣      The first stop of the day is in the village of Balykchy where you will be able to stretch your legs after the drive from Rot-Front.  You will be able to have a walk on the “boardwalk” in the former Soviet ship building factory. It’s quite a nice place to see the contrast between the past soviet life and the current character of the town.
∣      The last stop for the day will be in the mountains near Bokonbayevo at Aitebeks’s house. Aitebek works with Eagles to hunt rabbits, coyotes, and even wolfs and he will introduce you to the tradition of Eagle Hunting.
∣      You will be able to enjoy an Eagle show sounded by rolling hills.  The lighting should be great for pictures and getting close to Aitebek’s family.  Aitebek’s family is very welcoming and Aitebek himself is a man of few words, but very kind eyes.
∣      We will share dinner with his family and Aitebek will tell you stories about his travels with his Eagle in the mountains in Kyrgyzstan and abroad.
Driving time: 4.5 hours
Accommodation close to the mountains at Aitebeks’s guesthouse.
 
Day 3 Bokonbayevo to Kara Say
∣      After an early breakfast, you will head to the wild mountains on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China.
∣      The first stop will be at the Barskoon waterfall where we can have a view of the 3 large waterfalls.  Make sure to bring a tripod and a zoom lens to capture the 3rdwaterfall.
∣      The next stop will be in the Ara Bel valley before the Sook Pass at 4001 m.  It’s a great place to capture a picture of the historic place where 100’s of Kyrgyz people died during the Tsarist times.  Your guide will tell you about the somber history of this place.
∣      The next stop will be at the military check point in Kara Say where your border zone permits will be check along with your passport.
∣      After you pass through the check point you will be able to explore the wild nature.  You will be able to explore one of the most remote places in Kyrgyzstan close to the Chinese border.
∣      It’s possible to meet shepherds living with their Yaks and sheep and share a tea with them.
∣      If you are a bit lucky you will be able to capture pictures of a wild ibex sheep or Marco polo sheep.
Driving time: ~4-6 hours driving depending on the weather.
Accommodation near Ak-Shirak in tents or a shepherd’s house. 
 
Day 4 Kara Say to Karakol
∣      After breakfast, you will make your way to Karakol town where you will be greeted by your host Taalai Bikiea at his guesthouse.
∣      After unpacking your bags, you can have a walk though Karakol town and see the highlights of the small town.
∣      If you wish it’s also possible to have a tea with a local shepherd which lives close to the mountains.  His name is Almas and he has a great family that would love to share a tea with you. From his house, you have a great panoramic view of the whole Karakol area.  It’s one of my favorite places to capture the sun set in the Karakol area.
Driving time: ~5 hours depending on the weather.
Accommodation in Karakol at Tekey Guesthouse.
 
Day 5 Karakol to Altyn-Arashan
∣      After breakfast, we will hike up to Altyn-Arashan which will take around 4-5 hours.
∣      It’s an easy hike up and the view outside of the hot springs makes it all worth it.
∣      Once we arrive at the guesthouse we will be greeted by Musia and we will be able to unpack our things and share a tea with him next to the fire place.
∣      Before dinner we will be able to enjoy the hot springs in Altyn-Arashan.
∣      Tonight, will be a great time to capture the night starts in the wild nature.  It’s a great time to capture the milky way at night.
Driving time: 30 mints.
Trekking time: 4.5 hours
Accommodation in Altyn-Arashan at the VIP Guesthouse.
 
Day 6 Altyn-Arashan to Karakol to Englichek Village
∣      Leaving Altyn-Arashan you will be able to enjoy the 4-5-hour hike back to the Karakol area.  It’s very important to get an early start because today you have a full day of adventure in the Englichek area.
∣      After lunch, you will be able to pack up the 4x4 and start your long drive to the Englichek area.  The goal is to reach the abandoned Englichek town.
∣      It’s a great place to capture wild nature and soviet history all in one spot.
∣      Tonight, will be another great night to capture a shooting start or the milky way if you're luckily.
Driving time: ~5-6 hours depending on the weather.
Trekking time: 4.5 hours
Accommodation in the Englichek area in tents or a shepherd’s house.
 
Day 7 Exploring the Englichek village and the Sary Jaz River
∣      After a strong coffee start to the day you will be able to explore the two valleys near the Englichek village.
∣      Depending on the amount of time and the weather you could enjoy a short hike to a panoramic view point of the area.
∣      You will be able to explore the valley of Kaindy valley as well.  This valley is stepped in soviet and Silk Road History. Ask you guide about the road that goes to China from the Kaindy valley. 
∣      A picnic lunch will be shared in the mountains with a great view of the area. 
∣      After a short hike, it’s always a nice idea to jump into the wild hot springs in Englichek village.
∣      After the hot springs, you will make your way towards the Sary Jaz river where you will camp for the night.
Driving time: ~2 hour
Trekking time: ~3-4 hours
Accommodation near the Sary Jaz River in tents or a shepherd’s house.
 
Day 8 Sary Jaz River to Jyrgalan village
∣      After a short hike, it’s always a nice idea to jump into the wild hot springs in Enilcheck village.
∣      After the hot springs, you will make your way towards the Sary Jaz river where you will camp for the night.
∣      Walking up next to the Sary Jaz river makes a great place for sunrise pictures with an amazing river and snow-covered peaks all around. 
∣      After breakfast, you will make your way back to “civilization” where you can have a shower and see another amazing spot here in Kyrgyzstan.
∣      On your way to the Jyrgalan village you will be able to make a stop for a road side picnic at Chong Ashu 4001 m.
∣      Once you arrive in the Jyrgalan village you will be greeted by bottomless cups of warm team by Almaz and his lovely family.
∣      Tonight, you will enjoy a hot Russian banya and clean up after the trip to the Englichek area.
∣      Jyrgalan is a great place to take pictures of the true village life in Kyrgyzstan.  The log cabin houses, dirt roads and countless animals throughout the village makes it a great place for photography.
Driving time: ~5-6 hours depending on the weather.
Accommodation in Jyrgalan at Almaz’s Guesthouse
 
Day 9 Jyrgalan to Tamchy Village
∣      Today you will say good bye to Almaz’s and his family and make you way to the village of Tamchy which is on the north shore of the Issyk Kul lake.
∣      You will be able to make a few stops along the way to capture pictures of lake Issyk Kul from the North shore of the lake today.  At any time, ask your driver to stop so you can take a picture of something that catches your eye.
∣      The first planed stop for the day is in the small resort town of Cholpon Ata to see petroglyphs from the 1stand 2ndcentury.  It’s worth the stop and it’s quite interesting to see so many stones with carvings of different animals and symbols.
∣      Once you arrive in the village of Tamchy you will be greeted by Bilim and her family. You will be able to have a tea with her and have enough time to head down to the lake for some fresh air. Don’t forget to take your camera sunset at Lake Issyk Kul is really amazing.
∣      If there is enough time in the day it’s also possible to meet a small women’s cooperative that is making Kyrgyz slippers for export.  They make the best slippers in Central Asia and they are great gifts for friends or family back home.  *If you wish to do all of these things you will need to leave Jyrgalan very early.
Driving time: 4.5 hours
Accommodation in Tamchy at Beliem’s Guesthouse.
 
Day 10 Tamchy Village to Bishkek City
∣      After breakfast, you will make your way to Bishkek with a few stops along the way.
∣      The first stop of the day will be at Konorchek Canyons.  It’s a great place for a 3 hour trek where you will be able to see the red rocks and capture a huge contrast between the red rocks vs. the snow-covered mountains near Karakol.
∣      Once you arrive in Bishkek you will be able to unpack your things and head into the city to have a farewell dinner at an Ethnic Kyrgyz Café.
Driving time: 3 hours
Accommodation at the Blue Camel Guesthouse in Bishkek
 
Day 11 Bishkek to Manas Airport
∣      After an early breakfast, everyone will be transferred from your guesthouse to the airport.  It’s your responsibility to inform your guide about your flight departure times.  It takes 40 minutes to drive from your guesthouse to the airport and it’s always recommended to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight. 
∣      Tell your friends back home about Kyrgyzstan and we hope to see you again one day!

Price for Person:

2 pax: $1,475 /pers.
3 pax: $ 1,175 /pers.
4 pax: $ 1,025 /pers.
5 pax: $ 935 /pers.
6 pax: $ 880 /pers.  

Included:

      Airport transfers

      All accommodations listed

      Full-board during the whole trip (3 meals per day)

      All transportation in 4WD vehicle

      Border zone permits

      Drinking water and tea

      English speaking guide

      All activities mentioned in the program

      Entrance fees for monuments and parks mentioned in the program

 

Non-included

      International flights

      Visas (if applicable)

      Travel insurance

      Repatriation insurance

      Alcoholic beverages

      Tips (always optional, but always appreciated)

      Personal expenses

      Any charged activity not mentioned in the program

      International banking fees

Testimonials From My Clients:

Alex is a tour guide par excellence, especially for English-speaking visitors. He is very knowledable about Kyrgyzstan, considerate, flexible, and a born problem-solver. Combined with his detailed knowledge of off-the-beaten-path sights and wonders plus his many friendships with locals everywhere, a traveler cannot go wrong picking Alex as a companion. I know because we toured the mountains together for two weeks of glorious fun.  Christian Dame 58 years old American 

Number of days: 11
Covered regions:
Bishkek City
Batken
Chuy
Jalal-Abad
Naryn
Osh
Talas
Issyk-kul
Osh City
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: ● International flights ● Visas (if applicable) ● Travel insurance ● Repatriation insurance ● Alcoholic beverages ● Tips (always optional, but always appreciated) ● Personal expenses ● Any charged activity not mentioned in the program ● International banking fees
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
Tour season:
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Tour categories:
Private tours
Cultural tours
Adventure tours
Offroad tours
Sightseeing tours
Winter tours
Special Event tours
Wildlife tours
Highlight tours
Photo tours
Hiking tours
Horseback riding tours
Circle tours
Short tours
Budget tours
Languages:
English
German
French
Spanish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Russian
Other
Payment Method

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.

Cancellation Policy

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.