We are sitting in Istanbul on the way home from the very memorable trip you arranged for us over the last 10 days. All three of us had the most wonderful time and cant praise your company enough. The fabulous team have reached a very high standard of service in a developing country, which is a real achievement. Thank you all so much, and to Nuraiyim and Mahrat especially for a wonderful time in the field.
Lesley, David and Debby, the IK, Jule 2017
Just to thank you both, once again, for a wonderful tour in Kyrgyzstan. From our first very comfortable night in Hotel Umai, the whole tour went according to plan, thanks to Kenji, Ermek and Azamat. They really are the most fantastic team. They were well organised and great fun to be with. Everyone on the tour enjoyed their company and were extremely complimentary about the arrangements you and the team made on our behalf. Several participants commented that Kyrgyzstan exceeded their expectations. It is a very beautiful and interesting cycling destination.
Pat and John, the UK, June 2017
Your excellent capacity to understand my needs and wishes made me to choose Ecotour. Nurayim was truly an amazing guide – I found her very professional, attentive to all my wishes and able to answer all my questions. She made the whole trip very pleasant by finding the right balance between information sharing, resting period and exploration phases. I like as well very much her quick capacity to understand what was important to me even though they might not be “classical” area of interests. I would like to thank Kalys our driver as well who was very professional throughout the trip. Unfortunately since I am not speaking Russian or Kirghiz our interactions were limited but very pleasant though. Thank you for making this happen despite short deadlines.
Guillaume Lehallier, France, April 2017
I truly enjoyed the tour in Kyrgyzstan. It was such a memorable experience. So many beautiful places. Your company really put a lot of thought into all the details of the tour.
So thanks again to you and your team (especially Nargul).
Cornelia Kropp, Germany, May 2016
I had a wonderful experience during my recent tour around Issyk-Kul. The tour was a balanced combination of outdoor activities and cultural exchanges. In particular, I would like to highlight the efforts of Nargul Dyushebaeva, who was a particularly welcoming and capable guide. She did an excellent job managing the daily activities of the tour; everything ran on schedule, and we spent an appropriate amount of time at each stop on the itinerary. She also did a great job of translating our many conversations with Kyrgyz people and providing information about Kyrgyzstan, including its history, geography, and culture. I am very glad that I decided to book with Ecotour, and I feel particularly lucky that I had Nargul as a guide. Please pass along my highest praise to Nargul. Thank you.
Davis Woodruff, the USA, May 2016
It was a wonderful trip! Thank you so much for all the organization! We enjoyed it so much! All the guides (including horse guides) were incredible nice! The hospitality of the families was super nice too! And the variety of food (meals) was stunning and it tasted so good!
We really wished to stay longer! What a beautiful land with its warm and funny people!
Hopefully we can come back one day!
Thanks a lot & kind regards,
Claudia and Johanna, Switzerland, September 2015
We wanted to thank you again for the easy and wonderful preparation to our trip to Kirgisia. We had an amazing wonderful awesome great voyage. Kirgisia and the People we met are really wonderful. What a proud and beautiful country. We where so well receveided everywhere we went. What an hospitality. Really, we are so impressed! Even beeing a tourist and intruser in the country, nobody did I give this feeling. In every yurt we were a guest, the hosts did give us the feeling to be unique and welcome. This is a Tradition that has become so rare in our country. Our Guide was a little Fee! Nuraiym is a wonderful, kind Person, very helpful and an agreable Person to travel with. She is very well-educated and rafined and told us so much about Kirgisia. For us it was much easier to gain a little insight view and to help us for a better understanding. Michael and Lisbeth of our Group were also wonderful Persons to travel with. We really had so much Luck to have the opportunity to travel in this constellation.
Ann, Kay, Alma and Ernest, Germany, August 2015
I just wanted to express thanks again to you both and the whole team (Michael, the wonderful girls - especially Nuraiym - and Marat) for organising such a splendid trip. The whole experience was great and as well as the stupendous landscapes and marvellous plants I was struck by the friendliness and welcome of the Kyrgyz people. I’ve been signed up to speak to a number of horticultural societies/clubs in the coming months and will have no hesitation in promoting and recommending Ecotour.
Frazer Henderson, April 2015, Scotland
Sorry it has taken me so long to provide feedback from my private tour of Kyrgyzstan in November 2014. I had a fantastic time and Nuraiym was the perfect guide. She was very professional, organised, caring, punctual and her English is excellent. The driver was also very professional, punctual and caring. My itinerary was great-a good mixture of culture and scenery. The snow covered mountains were stunning. I enjoyed meeting Nuraiym's relatives and was spoiled by their very generous hospitality. All my accommodation was very good. I experienced a local homestay through to a 4 star hotel. All were very different to each other but each had their strong points.
Ecotour was very easy to work with. You organised an itinerary that met all my requirements and made many appropriate suggestions. I was pleased with everything you organised. I would definitely recommend Ecotour to anyone considering a tour of Kyrgyzstan.
Alison Fleming, November 2014, Australia
Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful last minute tour. Every part of it, from the itinerary to the food, accommodation, guide and driver and beautiful scenery far exceeded our expectations. We loved krgyzstan and hope to return some day soon!
Heather Bishop, October 2014
It has been a little over two weeks since we returned from Kyrgyzstan. We had an absolutely amazing experience -- one that neither of us will soon forget. The beauty of Kyryzstan is rivaled only by the warmth of her people. From the day we arrived, Nuraiym introduced us to both as would a dear friend inviting us into her home. Indeed, some of my fondest memories of our visit were not tourist activities at all; rather they were the random experiences and conversations with Nuraiym, your dear aunt and uncle, and our fellow travellers. Kyrgyzstan and Ecotour are jewels that we are torn between wanting everyone to experience and keeping secreted away as our own private treasure -- a sentiment, I think, that all who pass through Umai House must share. We are by no means professional photographers but surrounded by such beauty, it was impossible not to capture a few nice pictures during our journey. I also wanted to thank everyone for going out of the way to accommodate my multiple food allergies. I never expected to be so well fed and admittedly packed meal replacement bars just in case alternatives weren't easily available. I happily brought them all back home! I wish I could have recipes for all the delicious food we were treated to. Thank you, sincerely, for your commitment and vision for Ecotour. It was one of the best, most stress-free vacations I've ever had, and I hope we'll be able to visit again soon!
Kind regards, Jennifer and Chris, USA/ Bahrein, August-September 2014
Hello Elmira and everybody at the Umai-hotel! We had a perfect trip back to the Netherlands and are still dealing with our extreme positive experiences and feelings about Kyrgyzstan; this has been a vacation of which we will always remember so many details: all those wonderful people we've met and the beautiful landscapes... Scrolling through our photo's we keep thinking of all of you and your beautiful country!!! Thank you again for having made this trip one of the highlights in our life!
Johan and Nicole van Gans Hilversum the Netherlands, August 2014
We would like to thank you for our GREAT holiday in Kyrgyzstan. We enjoyed very much the spectaculair landscape, the hospitality of the Kyrgyz people and the nice yurtcamps and evan more the campsites. Our stays at the local families in Kyzyl Oi and Kara Talaa were great. A very special way to travel by bicycle through this land. Especially the first two weeks, in which we saw no other tourist, is something which is hard to find anywhere in the world, but makes a journey so special. The way Indira and Urmat/Tima guided us was awsome. They gave our trip an extra dimension! We learned a lot about the habits and traditions of your country.
Thanks for everything and all the best to you, Ecotour and KYRGYZSTAN!
Best wishes, Caroline Timmermans, the Netherlands, 2012
June 2010: my mother and I made the textile trip to Kyrgystan which we enjoyed very much! All the people we met from Ecotour were very polite, hospitable, professional and very friendly. What impressed us most is that I have a food allergy and, although it is difficult, that all the people where we stayed were well informed about this and took very much care of the preparation of the food! We learned a lot about wool, felting and embroidery and full of inspiration we went back home. We even bought felt to create a few more shirdaks back home, as the one we made during this trip couldn't still our hunger to work with the felt... Besides that we very much enjoyed being in this beautiful country, we also had the idea that we could help the local people. Ecotour specifically searches for local people where you can stay so the money gets to the Kyrgyz people themselves and doesn't stick to a western organisation. If you want to experience a real local visit to Kyrgystan, we can definitely recommend Ecotour!
All the best, Paula and Caroline The Netherlands
Greetings from New Zealand !!
It was a long, complicated journey from Down Under to Kyrgyzstan but more than worth every bit of effort - I had the trip of a lifetime. I did the Long Horse ride with Ecotour in summer 2009 and cannot fault the way the trip went, I had an utterly brilliant time, the horses were fabulous, my guide and horsemen deserve a huge amount of praise – thank you Meerim, Talant and Marat. The communication in the run up to the trip was fast and informative, Ecotour were very willing to answer all questions etc.
As for horse riding in Kyrgyzstan - it rocks !, seriously this trip gives you a range of scenery in a 3 week period I don't think you could experience anywhere else - and plenty of excitement and adventure along the way. If you like to be challenged, like to have the opportunity to meet the people of the country and love to be awestruck by nature then this is definitely the trip.
The Kyrgyz people are more than generous and hospitable, they are genuinely interested in you and where you're from and they have a brilliant sense of fun and humour. As yet the people and country don't exhibit traits of being over touristy which is so refreshing.
I was a female solo traveller and after my Ecotour trek they helped me sort further travel with CBT and I explored more of the country by myself, I never encountered any problems along the way only friendly, generous people.
As for me the highlight would have to be galloping at huge speed across the hills to the glaciers above Temir Kanat.....the memory of that ride on a gorgeous horse still thrills me to bits !!....not many places in the world you can do that....wow !
Thanks Ecotour I loved every single moment of my trip.
Cheers, Barbara Tily 2009
We can give our warm recommendations to anyone considering going to Kyrgyzstan in general, and with Ecotour in particular! In June 2008 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. We got horse riding, camel riding, hot springs, hiking in the mountains, varied landscapes (from semidesert to green, lush vallies and high, dramatic mountains) and delicious and very varied food. Our guide/interpreter was also excellent and felt more like a friend than a guide.
All in all it was an unforgettable journey for us. The landscapes were more beautiful and breathtaking than any photos can convey, and the people we met were all so friendly. The whole country was very exotic for us in a way, but still we felt very much at home.
We realize that this might sound overly positive, like something that the Ecotour staff has made up to put on their homepage, but the fact is that we were so happy with everything that we have to say it anyway.
Tom & Karin Airaksinen
Today I placed my photos of the September trekking on internet. And then I thought: let me mail it to you too. Perhaps you find it interesting with what eyes I looked to your beautiful country.
The address is: www.landvaninkt.nl/kyrgyzstan
I enjoyed the trekking a lot. The views on Son Kul lake changed every hour and were breath-taking, the silence in the mountains was delicious and soothing and the valley of Temir Kanat was one of the most beautiful I have seen.
When you manage to route the first part of the trekking a bit more in the direct neighborhood of the Tien Shan mountains (the views on these huge white peaks I liked the most), then you have the perfect trip, I think.
The guides did take very good care of us. Talant - you don't hear him much, but we could see he felt very responsible and took notice of everything. And Nurzat, she is top class! Cheerful, very social, intelligent - really a good one.
Well, I wish you all the best,
I hope a lot of tourists will find their way to Kyrgyzstan,
with all regards,
Today it is already more than a month ago that we left Kyrgyzstan, but it is still every day that we think about our wonderful time we spent there. One of the things mostly staying in our mind is that from the very beginning we felt we were your personal guests where ever we are staying. That kind of hospitality is unique.
And of course we had a lot of extraordinary experiences; the overwhelming nature, the flowers, the meals, the kymyz...
We hope we will see you back soon!
Arnoud van Grieken en Marion van den Ende
One week ago I came back from my vacation in Kyrgyzstan and I am still full of it. What a fabulous country! The moment we arrived at our first camp our hasty, stress full lives were forgotten. We were absolutely spoiled by our Kyrgyz hosts (great food!) and were made to feel very welcome. We had a lot of fun together, such open, good-natured people! And compliments to Ecotour for the excellent organisation and care. They make an important contribution to preserving the authenticity of this country (that is unspoilt by mass-tourism!) while supporting the local economy.
I will definitely come back!
Simone vd Zande
In Holland we e-mailed a lot with Ecotour and they made a lovely trip for us. We have enjoyed every part of it. At all yurt camps the food was different and very tasty. The people were so friendly and hospitable that I cannot describe my feelings. It was just wonderful.
I had wonderful time in Kyrgyzstan. Some places look like the paradise in the earth. The people are very friendly and want to know a lot of us. With the interpreter we could speak with them and had very nice conversation. With Ecotour you know a lot of the country. The organization is more than perfect. I am thankful that I have found you.
After 18 months we finally went to your country. I had read something about it and we had some e-mails together. The last three weeks I enjoyed very much. I liked the camps, the people and the country. It was a wonderful time now I am going home with a lot of good memories.
Theo van Miltenburg
One week in Bishkek and two weeks in the yurt camps were a wonderful experience. We think that Ecotour does not only give a good time for the tourists but also it has a lot of importance to the Kyrgyz people.
Herman & Nel
I thank you for your very kind and warm welcome. It was like being with friends. I had never that kind of vacations before. My young friend added a lot to the pleasure of discovering your country and horse riding. Maybe I will come back.
So why go there now? For one reason: the mountains. After the Himalayas, Kyrgyzstan's Tien Shan peaks are the world's Big Daddies. I had a dream: I wanted to ride off on horseback into these mountains and sleep in a nomad yurt. Thanks to a local travel company called Ecotour, that dream came true. It was at Temir-Kanat that my equestrian fantasies were realised. Up here, Edelweiss, which European botanists can search ten years to find, grows like a weed, its tiny star-shaped flowers lending a silvery sheen to the pastures.
In May 2007, I guided a two-week trip for Ecotour in Kyrgyzstan. As I will write an article about birding in this country for Dutch Birding magazine, probably published sometime in 2008, this report is shorter than usual. After publication, I will post the article on my website as well. The itinerary and the bird list of this trip, as well as some photos are presented there. We made a circuit around Issyk Kul at 1600 m, the second largest high altitude lake in world after Lago de Titicaca, Peru. In this time of year, the pass to Son Kul was still closed due to snow. As this site e.g. holds breeding Demoiselle Cranes, Lesser Sand Plovers and Hill Pigeons, future trips will probably be later in the year, so it can be included in the itinerary as well. Ornithologically, Kyrgyzstan is still somewhat of a mystery, and that's just what makes this country interesting for the more adventurous birder. Birding while you don't exactly know what to expect, in truly breathtaking landscapes: it made this country one of the most interesting places I ever visited. Here is more.
Vincent van der Spek