ITINERARY & MAP
Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Most flights arrive very early in the morning. Transfer to the hotel and early check in at the hotel. You can have a rest after your long flight, take a shower and have breakfast.
In the afternoon we will have a city tour in Bishkek. The tour includes Osh Bazaar, Oak Park, Ala-Too Square and monument to the national hero Manas. Dinner in a nice local restaurant.
Hotel Asia or similar (ca. 800 m altitude)
After breakfast, transfer to the National park of the valley of Chon-Kemin. 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. After lunch at the local guesthouse, hike to the Kalmak Ashuu gorge for about 2 hours (optional). Enjoy the panoramic views and go horse riding if you like. Dinner and overnight stay in the family-run guesthouse.
Ashu Guesthouse, ca. 1800m altitude (single/ twin room with private bathroom)
After breakfast transfer to Tepke village along the northern shore of Issyk-Kul lake. Lake Issyk Kul is the second-largest mountain lake in the world, after Titicaca. Located at an altitude of 1600m, it is a slightly saline lake with no outlet, surrounded completely by the Tien Shan Mountains. Some evidence suggests that ruins of an old trade center from 2nd century BC can be found under the water. We drive along the entire northern shore of the lake and make a stop halfway, near Cholpon Ata, to visit an open-air site with many ancient petroglyphs, i.e. stone drawings.
By late afternoon we arrive in the village of Tepke, where we stay for the night in the guesthouse of farmers who breed Kyrgyz horses.
Reina Kench Guesthouse (single/ twin room with private bathroom)
After breakfast, we will set out to explore the local Sunday animal market in Karakol. After, we visit the city, making sure we allow plenty of time for its wooden Dungan mosque, built in 1904, and the Orthodox wooden church dating from 1855, proof of the ethnic and spiritual diversity of the Issyk Kul region. We will have lunch in Uighur family (small Muslim nationality migrated from China).
After lunch transfer to Tamga village (120 km). On the way visit the famous Jety Oguz valley. The road goes along the southern shore of the lake Issyk Kul to Tamga village.
Overnight in yurt – 2 people in a yurt, facilities are outside (Western toilet, shower with heated water), 1600m altitude
Today, we will continue our drive along the southern shore of lake Issyk Kul to our next destination – Kochkor, we will break the journey at Skazka Canyon. Translating from the Russian word for a fairy tale, the burnished reds, ochres and yellows of the canyon’s sedimentary rocks seem almost other-worldly. We will go for a short walk and continue to Bokonbaevo village to meet Eagle Hunters. Our next stop is Kyzyl Tuu village, where we meet yurt makers and will get to know how the wooden carcass of the yurts are made. After our exploratory stops, we continue driving to Kochkor village.
Overnight in a simple guesthouse. (ca 1750 m altitude)
After breakfast, we visit a workshop where local women produce carpets from felt. You can even try to make your own. After this felt carpet making demonstration, we depart towards another mountain lake – Song Kul. The lake is not very far from Kochkor, but due to bad road conditions, it will still be a quite long and bumpy ascent to the lake. Lake Song Kul is a mountainous lake on the altitude of 3016 meters above the sea level. The nomads pass their summer on the “jailoo” (summer pasture) with their animals. You can see herds of horses and sheep grazing on meadows full of Edelweiss. If you like, you may go for a short horse ride. Accommodation and dinner will be in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt.
Overnight in yurt – 2 people in a yurt, facilities are outside (Western toilet, shower with heated water)
After breakfast in a yurt, we move on to Tash Rabat. The road goes over Kalmak Ashu Pass – 3440 meters altitude and over the Dolon Pass we reach Naryn. We will have lunch in this mountainous town and continue driving to Tash Rabat for another 120 km. On the way we will have a short stop at Koshoi Korgon fortress.
Tash Rabat is a historic stone caravanserai. These were a kind of hotel places used by merchants and their caravans on the ancient Silk Road. It is one of the best preserved of such inns in Central Asia.
Dinner and Overnight in a Yurt Camp (ca. 3300 meters altitude)
We will leave this caravansarai after breakfast and drive along Naryn river. The road from Naryn to Kazarman is not paved, gravel road, so get ready with your favorite music or audiobooks for a long shaky ride. We will arrive to Kazarman village to enjoy the local dinner.
Overnight in a simple guesthouse (ca. 1360 m. altitude)
Drive through scenic Kog Art Pass which is located at around 3300 meters above sea level. On the way, we will choose a beautiful place for a picnic and have lunch there. We arrive in Arslanbob village in the late afternoon.
Dinner and Overnight in a simple guesthouse (1600 m. altitude)
Today you can enjoy the full day at Arslanbob. Arslanbob is also the name of the largest walnut trees forest in the world. We can go hiking in the forest and walk up to the waterfall. In the afternoon we can walk around the village and take part in a cooking master class. You can help with preparing traditional dumplings called, manty.
Dinner and Overnight in a simple guesthouse.
We leave Arslanbob in the morning and drive along the Uzbek border to Uzgen. Uzgen was one of the capitals of the Karakhanid Empire during the 11th and 12th centuries. We will visit there three mausoleums and a minaret. This medieval architectural complex is unique in Kyrgyzstan and one of the few remnants of the old Silk Road.
After lunch, we drive to Osh, the 3000 years old city with UNESCO World Heritage site. We visit Suleiman mountain as well as the museum built in a natural cave. We will see the local market with its dried fruits and fresh produce.
Overnight in Sun Rise hotel 3*.
Early in the morning, we have a flight to Bishkek and it takes just around 1 hour. In Bishkek, we transfer to Ala Archa National Park, in the mountains, just 30km outside the capital city. We will have a walk in the park, enjoying the nice views and fresh air. Transfer back to Bishkek for the farewell dinner and a folklore show.
Overnight in hotel Asia mountains 3* or similar.
Transfer to Airport for departure flight back home. We hope you enjoyed your trip to Kyrgyzstan!