Day 1: Arrive Bishkek, travel via automobile to Almaty, Kazakhstan. Tour Russian Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Almaty, spend the evening in Almaty hostel.
Day 2: Travel via automobile to see the Ile-Alatau National Park just south of Almaty and then proceed to Charyn Canyon National Park, Kazakhstan, seeing the famous canyon that is often called the “little brother to the Grand Canyon.” That evening we’ll be camping out, Western-style, near the national park. Evening meal and breakfast to be prepared with lunch at a local café.
Day 3: Travel via automobile to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan. We’ll be crossing a mountain pass only usable in the summer, and will visit the Przewalski Museum in Karakol. Przewalski was a 19thcentury explorer of the region for Imperial Russia, and the only extant wild horse species in the world is named for him. We will spend the evening in a guest house in Karakol.
Day 4: Saruu – See demonstration game of Ulak Tartysh (a local game of “goat polo,” also known as Kok Boru) and participate as well (Don’t worry, this team is very good at gently helping foreigners get some of “the basics” of the sport); horse ride to hot springs in nearby mountains, Ulak dinner (Yep, same goat – turns out really tender!); drive back to guest house, stay 2nd night. Note: this stay could be extended by a day or two if the client wanted to go fishing in the river near Saruu. One of our guides told me there’s trout in the river, and I’ve seen local gentlemen fishing there.
Day 5: Horse trek to Jailoo, a high mountain pasture, and spend the night in a yurt.
Day 6: Horse trek back to Saruu, spend the night in Saruu guest house.
Day 7: Travel via automobile to Bishkek, tour of Bishkek, spend the night at hostel there.
Day 8: Fly home from Bishkek airport.
Note: As with our other tours, this package can be easily customized to include other cultural activities, such as participating in yurt-making in the village of Kyzyl Tuu for a day. Simply ask us and we can adapt the tour to your particular requirements!
(summertime, roughly mid-May to mid-September)
Total, 8 days and 7 nights combined in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan: $1700 US Dollars per guest
Our expedition packages do not include:
- Travel to and from home country, or excess luggage fees.
- Alcoholic beverages (clients may provide their own at their own expense, but are requested to please be respectful of local customs regarding consumption. ie. there is some alcohol consumption locally, but you should still be in control of yourself and stop before you are intoxicated. )
- Any kind of insurance, medical or otherwise.
- Visas or other legal documents needed to enter Kyrgyzstan (although we can provide an “Invitation Letter” for clients at an additional fee, if required.) Most countries have a free 60 day tourist stamp agreement with Kyrgyzstan. See the Visa policy of Kyrgyzstan and Visa policy of Kazakhstan.
- Meals and optional touring while in Bishkek.
- Any other expenses of an incidental or personal nature, including telephone calls and shopping for souvenirs.
Breakfast and dinner are provided for guest house stays, and lunch is included as well for yurt stays, featuring local cuisine with the specific menu selected by your hosts. If you have specific food concerns, e.g. an allergy, please let us know in advance and we can make appropriate arrangements as needed. If the client wishes to go fishing, they are responsible for bringing necessary tackle. Also, while our tours involve several multiple-hour horse trips, the pace is gentle and the guides are very good at monitoring client safety, and even comfort. In particular, the horse trip to the hot springs near Saruu can be shortened, or even omitted, if the client requests and a vehicle can be used to arrive at the hot springs. Suggested packing lists and general descriptions of climate and terrain can be provided upon request.
Lastly, please rest assured we will do everything in our power to ensure a safe and enjoyable (and hopefully even educational!) journey for our clients. If you like what we do, tell your friends. If for some reason you don’t, then tell us – and we’ll do what we can to “make it right.”
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.