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We can give our warm recommendations to anyone considering going to Kyrgyzstan in general, and with Ecotour in particular! We spent two weeks in some of Ecotour's yurt camps, and it was a highly memorable experience. Ecotour was very flexible and had arranged a programme that suited our wishes perfectly.

Tom & Karin Airaksinen
Stockholm, Sweden

46-A, Donskoy Pereulok
720040 Bishkek
Kyrgyz Republic


+996 557 802805 (English)
+996 772 802805 (English)
+996 555 913245 (German)
+996 700 584245 (English)

Around Kyrgyzstan

Date: 02/06 – 16/06, 17/07 - 31/07 and 04/08 – 18/08 2017

Price 1295-euro p.p. if 4 or more participants

On this 15 day programme we will visit some of the most beautiful parts of the country and get a taste of the history and culture of the semi- nomad. In the yurt camps, especially, we will experience the reality of everyday life in remote mountain villages and high pastures. During the tour we sleep in yurts, B&Bs and guesthouses. In Bishkek we stay in a small friendly hotel not far from the centre of town. Transportation is in our own minibus and an English or German speaking interpreter will accompany us during the whole tour. To fully enjoy this tour an adventurous attitude and the ability to improvise are needed. Luxury is not available on this trip, sanitary facilities are very basic, and hot showers are usually absent.

We start with a daytrip to Ala Archa National Park to get used to the altitude and the time difference. The next day we start our tour around Kyrgyzstan beginning with Lake Issyk-Kul, the second largest and second highest mountain lake in the world. On the south shore we will experience the traditional way of living in a mountain village. From there we will go further south and close to the border with China. We will stay in a yurt in Tash Rabat at 3,500m. Tash Rabat is a “caravanserai” built in the 11th century where the caravans, in the time of the Silk Road, stopped for shelter and food. From here we go to Naryn and then on to Lake Son-Kul. During the summer months shepherds move their cattle here and live around the lake. Again we will stay in a yurt. From Son-Kul we start our drive back to Bishkek stopping in the Kemin Valley for a night.

Programme Day by Day

Day 1 Departure from local airport.

Day 2 Arrival at Manas Airport and transfer to the hotel in Bishkek. After lunch we will go sightseeing around Bishkek along with guide/interpreter. Bishkek is a rather new town built mostly in the Soviet style with wide boulevards, many parks and numerous terraces. The Historical Museum and the Museum of Modern Arts are well worth a visit, but just strolling through town is also a good way to get to know the city. A visit to the Osh Bazaar is a special experience and a good way to get an impression of Kyrgyz life. Stay in hotel.

Day 3 Daytrip to the Ala Archa National Park, a popular hiking area located 40km south of Bishkek. The park is about 200 square kilometres and the altitude goes from 1,500m at the entrance until almost 5,000m at Peak Semenova Tian Shanshki the highest mountain in the Kyrgyz Ala-Tau Range. There are three marked itineraries and we do the one leading to the Ak-Say waterfall (medium difficult). In the park there are a great variety of alpine flowers and plants. Our picnic lunch will be near the waterfall and in the afternoon back to Bishkek. Stay in hotel.

Day 4 Today by minibus to Tamchy, a small village on the north side of Lake Issyk-Kul, 250km driving. On the way we will stop to visit the Burana tower, one of the few historical buildings of Kyrgyzstan and a remnant of an old Silk Road town. The tower is part of the minaret of the town of Balasagun that was the capital of the Karahanieden in the 11th century. In 1974 the tower was restored and now you can climb up inside the tower and enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Around the tower you find Balbals from between the 6th and 10th centuries. The small museum contains more artifacts collected in this area. From the tower on to Tamchy where we will stay in a B&B. Depending on the water temperature and how brave you are we can have a swim in the lake.

Day 5 Continue along the north shore of the lake. In Cholpon-Ata it is possible to visit the Archaeological Open Air Museum and to see the petroglyphs (rock drawings made by the Scythes from the 11th to 3rd centuries BC). In the afternoon we reach Karakol at the eastern end of the lake where we visit the Russian Orthodox Church and the Dungan Mosque. From Karakol it is short drive to the east until we come to the yurt camp Kara-Kyz located at the edge of the forest. Stay in yurts.

Day 6 A full day in Kara-Kyz. Hike in the area with plenty of beautiful flowers. If you walk up to the mountains it is possible to visit the shepherds living in their yurts and huts. A longer hike to a small mountain lake can be arranged. Stay in yurts.

Day 7 By car to the flower valley of Jeti Ögus, about 65km from Kara-Kyz. Here there are differently-shaped bright red rocks. Most of the rocks have names and their own legends and stories about their origin (names like the seven oxen, broken heart). Our interpreter will tell us more about these legends. In the late afternoon a short drive to Jengish village, on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul where we stay in a nice guesthouse.

Day 8 Travel along the south shore of the lake to the yurt camp at Tuura-Suu (2,200m). On the way there will be a short hike in Skaska (Russian for fairy tale). Here, again, there are very impressive rocks formations. Hundreds of years of wind, sun and rain have formed the chalk/limestone hills into weird figures in many different colours. With some imagination, you can see castles, animals and other figures from fairy tales in these rocks. There is a stop in a village to visit a man who hunts with golden eagles. We continue to Tuura-Suu. We spend the night in the yurt camp just outside the village where a local family will take care of us. This yurt camp is exclusive to Ecotour guests and thus there is no mass tourism. Here we will have the opportunity to truly experience the life of local people in these remote mountain villages.
Day 9 A rather steep road along a small river brings us back to the main asphalt road running along the lake. We carry on to the village of Kochkor, a centre of felt making. We will visit the bazaar and Altyn-Kol, a cooperative shop where the women from the surrounding villages can sell their shyrdaks (felt carpets) and other felt products. It is also possible to visit a family in one of the nearby villages where we can see how felt carpets are made (wokshop felt making 10 Euros p.p. not included). Stay in a B&B in Kochkor.

Day 10 Continuing south over the Dolon Pass (3,030m), through the town of Naryn and into the valley of Tash Rabat. In this valley we will find the caravanserai built in the 11th century. The building is partly hidden in the mountains. During the time of the Silk Road this building was used by tradesmen and their caravans to stay overnight. Now there are also many yurts where tourists can stay. It is possible to have a tour through the building. We will stay in yurts. As the altitude, here is 3,500m it is necessary to bring warm clothes as, even in summer, the temperature at night can drop to around zero.

Day 11 A morning hike in the surrounding mountains to discover the wide variety of alpine plants. After lunch we drive back to Naryn. This was the last Soviet stronghold before the Chinese border and therefore of strategic importance. In Soviet time it was a flourishing industrial town. After a period of decline it is now regaining importance due to the rapidly growing trade with China. Stay in a B&B.

Day 12 Our route continues along the Naryn River, the longest river of Kyrgyzstan to Ak-Tal. Here we turn into the mountains and over the Moldo-Ashu pass (3200m) we reach Son-Kul. We will stay in a yurt camp on the south side of the lake. It can be cold here at night, so bring warm clothes.

Day 13 A whole day in Son-Kul where we will hike and visit the nomads and have the opportunity to try fresh kymyz (the Kyrgyz national drink). For those interested it is possible to go horse riding across the plateau (payable). Again we will overnight in yurts.

Day 14 Drive down the mountains over the Kalmak–Ashu Pass with many serpentine and have lunch in Kochkor. After lunch we continue to Bishkek which we will reach in the afternoon and check into the hotel. An end of tour supper will be arranged.

Day 15 Transfer to the airport and departure.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, it might be necessary to make small changes in the programme. We ask for your understanding.

In case there are fewer participants than required, for the payment of small additional fee the trip will go on as planned.


Down Home Mail

Data: 02/06-16/06, 17/07– 31/07 and 04/08-18/08 2017

1,295 euro p.p. min. 4 people

Included in the price:

Transfers and all transportation by minibus or car
All overnight stay as mentioned in the programme
All meals
Programme and activities as mentioned
(optional programmes not included)
English or German speaking guide/ interpreter
All entry fees where necessary and local taxes.

Not included:

Personal expenses (pocket money
of 75-100 euro p.p.usually is
sufficient for the tour)
Tipping money
Bottled beverages

Broken Heart

Broken Heart



Burana tower

Burana tower


yurt camp

Yurt camp



The lake Issyk-Kol


Ala-Archa National Park

Ala-Archa National Park


Kara-Kyz valley

Kara-Kyz valley






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