Best of Kyrgyzstan Tour

Highlights of Kyrgyzstan

Experience the cultural and natural highlights of Kyrgyzstan

Days

8

Price

€1590

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12 persons

Countries: Kyrgyzstan

Route:

  • Bishkek
  • Chon Kemin
  • Karakol
  • Song Kol
  • Bishkek

Themes: Cultural Tours, Immersive Experiences

Kalpak Travel would like to introduce you to Kyrgyzstan – a fascinating country of nomadic heritage in the heart of Central Asia. Explore the nomadic way of life in Kyrgyzstan, witness how people live hand in hand with nature continuing customs that have been passed down the generations for centuries in Central Asia. 

This trip will lead you in one week on a roundtrip through the country. You will discover the main highlights of Kyrgyzstan: the rural shore of Issyk Kul lake, the alpine pastures of stupendous Son Kul lake, and the green capital Bishkek. Throughout this trip, you will be immersed into the ancient nomadic culture and its equestrian tradition.

highlights

  • Enjoy the quaint charm and hospitality of Kyrgyzstan.
  • Visit the ‘Pearl of Kyrgyzstan’ – Issyk Kul Lake
  • Experience nomadic life at the alpine lake Song Kul, and sleep in a yurt
  • Experience the hustle and bustle of oriental bazaars
  • Explore the green capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek
  • Stay at a guesthouse of farmers breeding Kyrgyz horses

ITINERARY & MAP

Bishkek City Tour, Ala Too Square

Welcome to Central Asia! 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.

Transfer to Ala Archa National Park, in the mountains, just 30km outside of Bishkek. We will have a walk in the Park, enjoying the nice views and fresh air. Transfer back to Bishkek for lunch in the city center.

In the afternoon we will have a city tour in Bishkek. The tour includes Osh Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Ala-Too Square with the National History Museum, and monuments to national hero Manas, writer Chingiz Aitmatov and another Kyrgyz hero Baatyr Kozhomkul. Dinner in a nice local restaurant.

Hotel Plaza or similar

Kyrgyzstan Tour, Burana Tower

After breakfast we depart from Bishkek. First stop is Burana Tower near the town of Tokmok, 60km east of Bishkek. The minaret from the 11th century is the only remaining building from the ancient town of Balasagun, once capital of the mighty Karakhanid empire. You can walk up the winding staircase and enjoy a nice view of the Chuy valley. There is also a small open-air museum with “balbals”, carved stone figures used as monuments.

We then continue driving further into the mountains to a guesthouse in the beautiful Chon-Kemin Valley. Upon arrival we have lunch at the guesthouse. In the afternoon you can have a walk in the village, observe the life of the local people, or optionally go for a short horse riding tour into the surrounding hills. Dinner and overnight in the guesthouse.

Ashu Guesthouse (single/ twin room with private bathroom)

Kyrgyzstan Tour, Boorsok show

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 half way, 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)

Kyrgyzstan tour, Karakol City, Dungan Mosque

In the morning the farmers will present to us their horses. Very few people in Kyrgyzstan breed real Kyrgyz horses, most of them are mixed nowadays. We will also learn how “Boorsok” (deep fried bread, typical for Kyrgyzstan) is made and you can taste it at lunch. We transfer to the town of Karakol, administrative center of the Issyk Kul region.

In Karakol we have a tour of the town’s most interesting sights. The tour includes the Dungan Mosque, built in 1904 with no metal nails and the wooden Russian Orthodox Church which has been standing since 1869. We will also visit the museum of Russian explorer Przhevalsk and the small historical Museum of Karakol.

Amir Hotel

Kyrgyzstan Tour, Kyrgyz people

After breakfast we drive along the southern shore of lake Issyk Kul to the village of Kochkor. On the way we visit Jety Oguz Valley with the famous red rock formations “Seven Bulls” and the “Broken Heart”. Your guide will tell you the legends of how the rocks got these names. Next stop is the canyon “Skazka”, translated as “Fairytale” due to its bizarre rocky landscape, which for many years has been transformed by wind into fabulous sculptures and formations. We go for a short hike. Near the village of Bokonbaevo we will then meet an eagle hunter, who will make a demonstration for us. By evening we arrive in Kochkor village. Before dinner we enjoy a folklore show. Dinner and overnight in the guesthouse.

Adamkaly Guesthouse or similar (Single room might not be available, shared western toilet and shower inside)

Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Tour, Song-Kul

After breakfast we depart towards another mountain lake – Song Kul. The lake is not very far from Kochkor, but due to bad road condition 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. You can taste “kymyz” (mare’s milk) and observe the shepherd’s wife preparing bread and cheese. At night, gaze at the skies like an astronomer – the nearness of the stars will take your breath away.

Overnight in yurt – 2-4 people in a yurt, facilities are outside (Western toilet, shower with heated water)

Kyrgyzstan best tour, travel

After breakfast transfer to Bishkek. The way to Kochkor is the same as we came up. In Kochkor we will visit a workshop where local women produce carpets from felt. You can even try to make your own. At the place of the women’s cooperative we will have lunch. By evening we arrive in Bishkek. Farewell dinner.

Hotel Plaza or similar

Kyrgyzstan tour, departure Manas airport

Transfer to Airport for departure flight back home. We hope you enjoyed your trip to Kyrgyzstan and will return soon to discover more places in this beautiful part of the world!

Inclusions

Transport
Minibus, Foot
Meals
8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights, incl. early check in on day 1), Guesthouse (3 nights), Yurt (1 night)
Included Activities

 

  • Bishkek – City Tour
  • Horse Riding at Chon Kemin & Song Kul (optional)
  • Felt workshop
  • Hike at Skazka Canyon
  • Karakol – City Tour
  • Sleeping in a Yurt
  • Meeting eagle hunter
  • Folklore show at Kochkor

dates & price

Total trip price

€1590

Euro

8

Days

Single supplement available for €400

Deposit: €250

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
10 Jun 2018
17 Jun 2018
+ Available
2 Sep 2018
9 Sep 2018
+ Available
Price includes
  • All transfers by mini bus according to the itinerary, from/to airport
  • English speaking tour leader accompanying the group for the whole time
  • Accommodation based on double / twin room sharing
  • Four people accommodation in a yurt
  • All entrances fees according to the itinerary
  • Full board (breakfast, lunch, dinners)
Price does not include
  • International air fares
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Travel insurance required
  • Personal expenses, e.g. souvenirs
  • Horse riding (optional)
  • Tips for guide and driver

Important notes

  • Travel insurance is required for this tour.  You are free to choose any insurance company of your choice. We recommend for example using World Nomads.
  • 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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