15-days, in small groups, since 2015
Visit some of the most beautiful parts of the country, and get a flavour of the history and culture of the semi-nomad
In the yurt camps, especially, you will get to experience daily life in the high pastures
During the tour you will stay in yurts, B&Bs and guesthouses, and get to meet real Kyrgyz people, and try their food and their way of life. There will be time to see our textiles, and to swim and hike.
On this 15-day programme you 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, you will experience the reality of everyday life the high pastures. During the tour you will sleep in yurts, B&Bs and guesthouses. In Bishkek you stay in a small friendly hotel not far from the centre of town. Transportation is by minibus and an English or German speaking guide/interpreter will be with you for 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.
You start the trip around Kyrgyzstan with a tour around Lake Issyk-Kul, the second largest and second highest mountain lake in the world. On the south shore you will experience the traditional way of living in a mountain village. From here, you will go further south and close to the border with China where you will visit Tash Rabat, a “caravanserai” at 3.200 m, built in the 15th century and a place where the caravans, in the time of the Silk Road, stopped for shelter and food. From Naryn on to Lake Son-Kul. During the summer months shepherds move their livestock here and live around the lake. Again, stay in a yurt. From Son-Kul head back to Bishkek, stopping in the village of Kyzyl-Oi to take part in a festival.
Day By Day Programme
Here you can find a detailed description of the tour with routes and locations
|Day 1||Departure from your local airport.|
|Day 2||Arrival at Manas Airport where you will be met and taken to the hotel in Bishkek. After lunch we will go sightseeing around Bishkek along with our guide/interpreter. Bishkek is a rather new town, built mostly in the Soviet style with wide boulevards, many parks and numerous terraces. 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||Today by minibus to Cholpon Ata, a bathing resort on the north side of Lake Issyk-Kul, 250 km 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 Karahanids in the 11th century. In 1974 the tower was partly restored and now we can climb up inside the tower and enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Around the tower we find Balbals (grave-stones) from between the 6th and 10th centuries. The small museum contains more artifacts collected in this area. From the tower on to Cholpon-Ata where we will stay in a hotel. Here we can go for a swim in the lake.|
|Day 4||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), and then continue along the coast. At the end of the north side of the lake we head into the Kegen Valley, visit San-Tash and then cross the San-Tash Pass. We will spend the night in the yurt camp Kara-Kyz (2.000 m).|
|Day 5||In the morning we hike in the mountains near the yurt camp, leaving after lunch and stopping for a bathe in the hot springs of Kench. Next onto Karakol where we visit the Russian Orthodox Church and the Dungan Mosque. Stay in hotel.|
|Day 6||An early morning visit to the famous animal market and from there to Jeti Ogus. 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 bulls, broken heart). Our guide will tell us more about these legends. We will spend the night in Sonun, a yurt camp close to the edge of the lake. On the way there will be a short hike in Fairy Tale Valley. Here, again, there are very impressive rocks formations. Stay in yurt.|
|Day 7||In Bokonbaevo we stop to visit a man who hunts with golden eagles. The next stop is Kyzyl-Tuu, a village where we visit a family that makes yurt decorations and yurt frames. We continue to Kochkor, centre of felt making. We will visit Altyn-Kul, the cooperative store where women from the surrounding villages show and sell their shyrdaks, the beautiful felt carpets for which Kochkor is famous. Stay in B&B.|
|Day 8||From Kochkor to Naryn. Naryn is the administrative center of the region. Museums, institutes, various administrative and public buildings are located here. The city is located in the scenic area of the foothills of the Naryn-Too range. The natural landscape of Naryn combines mountains, forests and grasslands. Naryn is the coldest city of Kyrgyzstan. The temperature sometimes reaches here -40 degrees Celsius in winter. Stay in guesthouse.|
|Day 9||Today we visit Tash Rabat. Here we will find the caravanserai built in the 15th 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. Stay in guesthouse in Naryn.|
|Day 10||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 (3.200 m) to reach Lake Son-Kul. We will stay in a yurt camp on the north side of the lake. It can be cold here at night, so bring warm clothes.|
|Day 11||Day in Son-Kul. This lake is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan (alt 3.016 m). It is 29 kilometres long and 18 wide with an average depth of 13 metres, and located on a wide plateau surrounded by mountains that are around 4.000 m high. There are many shepherd families on the plateau and they spend their whole summer here with their cattle, horses, sheep and yaks. We can hike or rent horses to ride in the mountains. Horse rental not included. Stay in yurt.|
|Day 12||Drive down the mountains over the Kara-Kech Pass (3.384 m) and descend into the Suusamyr Valley. We will stay in a B&B in the village of Kyzyl-Oi.|
|Day 13||Today we stay in Kyzyl-Oi and take part in the festival. There will be horse games, folklore show with music and dance, and opportunities to taste various Kyrgyz foods. Stay in B&B.|
|Day 14||Today a long drive, first through the Tor-Ashu tunnel at 3.100 m and then to descend to Kara Balta. From here along the main road to Bishkek where we will arrive in the afternoon. Stay in the Umai Hotel or equivalent.|
|Day 15||Transfer to Manas Airport and departure.|
Due to unforeseen circumstances, it might be necessary to make small changes in the program.
We ask for your understanding.
Our tours can be organized for individual travelers or groups of up to 10 people (and sometimes more) and for families with (young) children. For the majority of our tours you can specify the start date and length of the tour.
|July 14||July 28|
|4 and more persons|
|For four and more persons|
|Price||€ 1.325 p.p.|
For bookings of 4, or more, persons we offer a 5% discount. In case there are less participants than required, if you pay an additional fee, the trip will go on as planned.
Terms of payment
Your booking will be confirmed upon receipt of a deposit of euros 250 per person. The outstanding balance must be paid either 8 weeks before departure or in cash upon arrival. We do not accept debit or credit cards.
• Transportation by minibus
• Transfer from and to the airport
• All meals, breakfast, lunch and supper
• Stay in hotel, B&B, guesthouse, yurt and homestay
• Programme as described
• English/German (as required) speaking guide/interpreter
• Personal expenses
• Entrance charges if applicable
• Alcoholic and other bottled beverages
• Activities not mentioned in the programme
If you have to cancel a tour you already booked, we have to charge you cancellation fee.
If Ecotour cancels the tour, of course you will get back the full amount you paid.
If you cancel your trip, depending on the time your message reaches us, you owe Ecotour the following amount:
|till 42 days before departure||one pays the deposit|
|day 42- till day 28||35 %|
|day 28- till day 21||40 %|
|day 21- till day 14||50 %|
|day 14- till day 5||75 %|
|day 5 – till day 2||90 %|
|on the last day before and the day of departure||100%|
A trip with Ecotour means an unusual and unforgettable vacation.
Our trips are suitable for those who do not insist on luxury, love the mountains,
appreciate the silence and do not want to travel in large groups.
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU
Kyrgyzstan is a land full of beautiful experiences and wonders unique…
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Mountain passes, bad tracks, off-road, and firm climbs over 3000 m characterize this route.
Not all slopes are steep, but some are very long and on dirt roads.
But it is worth the effort.