Kyrgyzstan Trekking Tour

Kyrgyzstan - Active Holidays

Explore the home of Kyrgyz nomads on foot, traversing mountain passes, alpine lakes and unforgettable landscapes.

Days

16

Price

€2790

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Kyrgyzstan

Route:

  • Bishkek
  • Issyk Kul
  • Song Kul
  • Bishkek

Themes: Active Adventures

Kyrgyzstan is the country of high mountains and unique nature. The ancient and present nomads moved from gorge to gorge over high untouched mountain passes to the alpine pastures to spend the summer in the quiet, among the mountains with pure, clean air. Now you have the chance to explore the mountains, green gorges, and turquoise alpine lakes. Walk the same roads the shepherds have passed since ancient times and feel as if you are the first explorer. Meet locals along the way and learn more about the Kyrgyz culture and history.

highlights

  • Go for a sightseeing tour in charming Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan
  • Go trekking among wild and unspoiled mountains dotted with turquoise lakes
  • Experience nomadic life
  • Sleep in a Yurt – traditional dwelling of Kyrgyz nomads
  • Visit the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan” – Issyk Kul Lake
  • Experience the hustle and bustle of oriental bazaars

ITINERARY & MAP

Central Asia tour in Bishkek

Meet your guide and trekking group at 10:00 in the hotel lobby. After a short introduction have a quick city tour of Bishkek, including the main Ala-To Square, and walk along the Oak Park to the open art gallery of Sculptures. After lunch, transfer to the National park of the valley of Chon-Kemin (200 km, about 3 hours). On the way stop at Burana Tower. The minaret was built in the 11th century in the medieval town of Balasagun, capital of the mighty Karakhanid empire. You can climb up the winding staircase to enjoy a nice view of the Chuy Valley. There is also an open-air museum featuring a collection of ancient balbals, carved stone figures used as monuments. Dinner and overnight stay in the family-run guesthouse.

Simple Guesthouse, ca. 1800m altitude

Kyrgyzstan trekking with tents

After breakfast short transfer to the starting point of the trek to the gorge Tory-Aigyr. Meet with support staff, including horses for luggage. Start the trekking up to the gorge Tory-Aigyr about 5-6 hours from altitude 1750m up to the gorge to 2520 m. Here you can see a unique spectacle – meadows, full of Edelweiss.

Overnight in tents, ca. 2500m altitude

The walk takes you about 2 hours up to the pass Tory-Aigyr (2790 m). Descend down to the valley to cross the river at an altitude of around 2500m, and after another trek up for about 2 hours we cross the second small pass (2780m). Have a packed lunch at the pass with the nice view to the lake from the top of the pass. Trekking towards the mountain Lake Kol-Kogur (Kol-Tor) about 1 hour. The lake is a magnificent spectacle in the bright sunshine. It looks like a sapphire set amongst a vast array of silver, snow-covered mountains. Stay overnight in tents by the lake.

Overnight in tents, ca. 2500m altitude

Kyrgyzstan Trekking Tour

Breakfast. Trekking up to the pass and over the pass Kol-Kogur (3350 m) about 4 hours. The path passes through alpine meadows where, in summer, local people live with their families and livestock. Picnic. Trekking down for 790m. Stay overnight in tents by the river.

Overnight in tents, ca. 2560m altitude

Breakfast. Trekking up to the gravel road about 2 km to altitude 2650 m and after a trek down to the mouth of Kol-Tor valley about 3 hours to an altitude of 2100 m. Picnic for lunch. Meeting with car at the end of the valley Kol Tor about 5 km before the main road. Transfer to the town of Cholpon-Ata on the northern shore of Issyk-Kul lake (40 km). Free time for swimming on the lake. Optionally, it is possible to do a motorboat excursion for 1 hour in Issyk-Kul lake. It is the second largest mountain lake after Titicaca and called “pearl of Kyrgyzstan”. Accommodation in the hotel on the shore of the lake.

Hotel Raduga 3* or similar, 1600m altitude

Trekking in Jyrgalan Valley in Kyrgyzstan

Free time in the morning. After lunch transfer to Jergalan village in the mountains to the East of lake Issyk Kul. On the way we visit an open-air museum of ancient petroglyphs. Upon arrival to Jergalan village we have dinner and overnight in the family guesthouse.

Simple family guesthouse (single room not guaranteed, shared western toilet and shower), ca. 2300m altitude

Breakfast. Drive to Ak Suu forestry. Excursion in Dendra park. Delightful hike over the Kara Beltek pass to Karakol for about 4-5 hours. Lunch boxes. Meet the driver and transfer to the hotel. Dinner in the Uighur family.

Hotel Amir 3* (ca. 1600m altitude)

Breakfast. City tour in Karakol. Visiting regional history museum, Russian Orthodox Church, Muslim mosque in Dungan style. Lunch. Departure to Jety Oguz Yurt valley (40 km). The area is well known for its red rock formations Seven Bulls and Broken Heart. Walking to the waterfall.

Yurt Camp (ca. 2250m altitude)

Trekking with yurts in Kyrgyzstan

Transfer from Jety Oguz to National Park Karakol. Meet the trekking personal (no horses available for this trek, only porters – you will need to leave some of your luggage behind in the car). Start the trek up to Karakol Gorge. You will walk around 12 km on a path which leads to a tent camp near a nomads’ stopping place. Here you can see cows being milked and acquaint yourself with the natural way of life of the shepherd-nomads. Spend the night in fixed tent camp.

Fixed Tent Camp (ca. 2550m altitude)

Ala Kul Trekking in Kyrgyzstan

Breakfast. Cross the Karakol river on a narrow bridge. Hike about 8 km (2.5 – 3 hours), from Karakol Gorge to the “Orphan” Mountaineer Shelter. Stop in the “Orphan” Shelter, for a rest and lunch. Continue hiking up towards mountain lake Ala-Kul (3550 m), about 6 km (2.5 – 3 hours). The trails are narrow and in some parts steep with loose stones. Ala Kul mountain lake is more than 70 meters deep and of incomparable beauty. From the shore of the lake, you can see a beautiful glacier, which is the source of the lake. You will be setting up your tent camp in this wonderful place which is surrounded by magnificent rocks.

Tents (ca. 3550m altitude)

Kyrgyzstan Trekking Tour

Hike to Ala Kul pass (3860m) (about 4 km, 2-2.5 hours). Hike over the pass to the Keldyke Gorge about 1 hour. From the Pass, you will have an excellent view of the five thousand mountain peaks of Terskey Ala-Too – including Karakol peak, Djigit peak, and Tashtanbek peak. Picnic for lunch at Keldyke gorge.
Four-hours walk to the Altyn-Arashan resort, which is situated 2450 m above sea level. Lunch. Optionally you can visit the hot spring pools. Meet the military Russian truck and transfer to Karakol. Dinner in the family. Total distance during the day is 16 km.

Hotel Amir 3* (ca. 1600m altitude)

Traditional family making felt carpet Shyrdak in Kyrgyzstan tour

Breakfast. Transfer to Kochkor village (260 km). The road goes along the southern shore of Issyk Kul lake. On the way visit Skazka canyon for short walk. Also, you will stop in Bokonbaevo to see an eagle hunter. Picnic for lunch on the shore of the lake. Continue driving to Kochkor . Visiting woman group in the village who is producing traditional nomad’s carpets from the felt which are called “Shiyrdak’” and “Ala Kiiz”. You can see the processing the carpet production. Dinner and accommodation in the Family Guesthouse.

Accommodation: Family Village Guesthouse (ca. 1750m altitude)

Kyrgyzstan trekking tour in Kilemche

After breakfast transfer to Kyz Art village 70 km (ca. 2 hours due to bad road condition). The road goes along the Jumgal valley over the Kyz Art pass. Meet the local guide with the horses for luggage. Start hiking to Kilemche about 16km (ca. 6 hours). Lunch in form of picnic along the way. Within sight of the road, cross Kyzyl-Kiya jailoo, an enormous, relatively flat sea of grass. Continue into the Chaar-Archa valley cross the river and follow the trail over verdant hills to Kilemche Jailoo (“jailoo” = summer pastures). Dinner and overnight in the yurt camp.

Accommodation: Simple Yurt Camp (ca. 2800m altitude)

Central Asia tour locals riding at the lake

After breakfast at Kilemche, spend the morning hiking to Jaldyz Karagai pass (3400 m), over the Song-Kul Mountains and into the lake’s basin. The morning climb offers wonderful views of Kilemche jailoo, and the pass itself is rocky. From the pass, Song-Kol is still distant, but as you hike down the slopes, it gets larger and larger; the mountains on the other side get higher and higher. Son-Kul is a mountain lake in the Central Tian Shan range, virtually in the center of Kyrgyzstan. One translation of the name is “The Last Lake”. At an altitude of 3016m above sea level it is 29km long and 18km wide and a maximum depth of 13.2m – it is Kyrgyzstan ‘s second largest lake. It is frozen for more than half of the year – between October and May. It is situated on a treeless, high mountain plateau, and is surrounded by lush mountain meadows, where shephers stay during Summer with their families and cattle. Dinner and overnight in the yurt ca. 3 kilometers from the lake. Upon arrival at the yurt camp, you have some free time to walk on foot or ride on horseback to the lake.

Simple Yurt Camp (ca. 3030m altitude)

Kyrgyzstan Osh Bazaar in Bishkek

Breakfast. Transfer to Bishkek (380 km). Have lunch on the way. Upon arrival in Bishkek free time or time to go shopping. Farewell dinner with small folklore demonstration.

Hotel Plaza 4* or similar

Kalpak Travel, Central Asia Adventure Company

Today it is time to say a fond farewell to Kyrgyzstan. Early morning transfer to Bishkek International Airport.  We sincerely hope you have enjoyed your trip and will return soon to explore more of Central Asia.

Inclusions

Transport
Foot, Jeep
Meals
16 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 15 dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights), Yurt (1 night), Tent (7 nights)
Included Activities
  • Bishkek – City Tour
  • Trekking in Tien Shan Mountains
  • Karakol – City Tour
  • Felt workshop in Kochkor

dates & price

You can choose to join a small group on a guaranteed departure or book a private tour on the date of your choice
*
*
*
Total trip price

€2790

Euro

16

Days

Single supplement available for €350

Deposit: €500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
10 Aug 2019
25 Aug 2019
+ Available
15 Jun 2019
30 Jun 2019
+ Available
20 Jul 2019
4 Aug 2019
+ Available
Price includes
  • All accommodation during the trip based on double/ twin share in guesthouses/ hotels and four/ two people in one Yurt in Jety Oguz
  • All transportation during the trip
  • English speaking trekking tour guide, including assistant guide starting from 6 people
  • Trekking personal (guide, cook, stableman)
  • Horses for luggage
  • Porters on second trek (to Ala Kul)
  • Trekking equipment (tent, kitchen, etc.)
  • All meals (Breakfasts, lunches, dinners & mineral water/ soft drinks)
  • All permits, taxes and entry fees
  • Airport pick up/drop off
Price does not include
  • International airfares
  • Personal kit and equipment (e.g. sleeping bag, mat)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips to porters, guides, and drivers (optional)

Important notes

  • Travel insurance is required for this tour. Which insurance you choose is up to you. We recommend for example WorldNomads.
  • Single room cannot be guaranteed for Yurt at Tosor and Jyrgalan Guesthouse
  • Trekking experience is required – duration of trekking and is 5-6 hours per day on this tour
  • Departure for this tour is guaranteed

KYRGYZSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Kyrgyz currency is called the Som (KGS). In the capital Bishkek there are many ATMs that you can find in shopping centers, supermarkets or on the main streets. All of them accept Visa cards and some, like Kyrgyz Kommerts Bank, Demir Bank and Uni Credit accept other cards such as MasterCard or Maestro card. Outside of Bishkek, we don’t recommend relying on ATMs as there are so few of them. We also recommend that you bring some cash in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. There are many exchange offices, some working 24/7. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible at most places, except for high-end restaurants, hotels and a small number of international stores. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Kyrgyzstan is the most liberal and democratic country in the Central Asian region. For the last seven years, the political situation in the country has been calm and there is nothing to suggest that this situation might change. Guests and locals are treated with respect and the whole country can be regarded as very safe destination for travelers. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and only use official taxis. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Kyrgyz partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most Western countries do not need a visa for a stay of up to 60 days in Kyrgyzstan. To be sure whether you need a visa or not you can check on www.thevisamachine.com. Any special permits that you might need for access to places that will be visited during your tour, we will provide to you free of charge.
As soon as we receive your deposit payment, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Kyrgyzstan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Kyrgyzstan is continental and dry in the majority of the country, including the largest cities. In the Ferghana Valley in the south and in capital Bishkek, summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius. However, most of the country is situated more than 1500 meters above the sea level, where temperatures are in the mid-20s during summer. At high altitudes of 3000 meters or more it may even snow overnight during the summer, so make sure you bring some warm clothes. The best season to visit for activity or jeep tours would be in summer and winter for skiing tours. Please note, weather in some mountain areas may be very changeable.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Kyrgyzstan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Kyrgyzstan are basic at best.

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