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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

+996 312 460803
+996 772 802805 (English)
+996 555 913245 (German)

Wild Tulip Expedition


Legend has it that a long time ago a Seljuk nomad discovered the tulip whilst he was searching for a lost goat somewhere in Tien-Shan Mountains close to the Chinese border, an area that is now called Kyrgyzstan. From these nomads the tulip reached Turkey. Tulips became highly cultivated flowers, developed for the pleasure of Sultan Suleiman I (1494-1566) and his entourage. Sultans used to wear the flower on their turban and that is the origin of the name tulip. During the second half of the 16th century news of this extraordinary flower reached Europe and bulbs were sent to the Prefect of the Royal Medicinal Gardens in Prague. This event marked the arrival of the tulip in Europe. There are still many different kinds of wild tulips growing in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. In early spring they can be found on the mountain slopes.

In 2014 Ecotour will host its 3rd. annual tour designed specifically to search out this beautiful flower in its original habitat. The nature of the tour means that we will have to travel to, visit and stay in remote areas of the mountains. Accommodation will be in small hotels, guesthouses or with local families. Transportation will be by minibus but hiking will also be part of the programme. Luxury should not be expected. Tourism in Kyrgyzstan is still developing, and in the places we need to visit there are no four star hotels. Usually the food will be cooked according to nomadic traditions, using seasonal vegetables and fruit, and not much meat. On day trips a packed lunch or a picnic will be provided unless otherwise stated. Accommodation in Bishkek is in the small cosy Umai Hotel near the centre of the town, about a 15 minute walk from the civic centre. Here you will have a room with private toilet and shower.

On your first two full days we will make day trips from Bishkek and return to the Umai Hotel. These day trips comprise hiking in (i) the Ala Archa National Park and (ii) Alamedin, two gorges south of Bishkek. On day three we will drive to Chon-Kemin, a valley close to Lake Issyk-Kul. On the way we will stop at the Burana Tower. This site is all that remains of the ancient City of Balasagun that was built in the 10th. Century. Only the minaret of a mosque has survived. The tower, constructed of honey-coloured bricks, is a circular structure on an octagonal base.

Soon after entering the Kemin Valley we can start looking for tulips on the mountain slopes. In the valley we will stay in a charming lodge on the edge of the village.

The next day the trip will continue to Lake Issyk-Kul (1,600m). We will be staying in a pleasant coastline hotel near Cholpon Ata. From Cholpon Ata we head to Karakol stopping at the Grigorievskaya Gorge to look for other species of wild tulips. In this valley, and the valleys we will visit over the following days, not only tulips but a wide variety of spring flowers can be found. The almond trees should be in blossom.

In Karakol, a town at the eastern end of Lake Issyk-Kul we will stay in the Hotel Amir, comfortable and close to the town centre. In Karakol the Russian Orthodox cathedral, constructed completely from wood without the use of nails, is well worth a visit as is the main mosque that was originally built as a Lama temple.

The next day we go to the Jeti-Ögus flower valley, famous for its red rocks. At different places in this valley we will study the flora before returning to Karakol in the evening.

From Karakol we continue along the south shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, stopping at different places to look for tulips and other spring flowers. A hike in the Barskoon valley is also part of the programme. How high we get depends on the condition of the road and the amount of snow at the time. Avalanches can occur and in such cases it may be necessary to change the itinerary. We overnight in the Manjyly yurt camp in a semi-dessert area.

The next day we continue to Bokonbaevo to see a display featuring a golden eagle and then on to the Kegeti valley, a forested valley high in the mountains. Here we stay in a lodge. Continuing through the mountains and with a visit to the Ysik Ata valley we return to Bishkek the next day. A final night in the Umai Hotel and departure and flight back home the next day.

An experienced English speaking guide/interpreter will accompany you during the whole of the trip.

The price includes everything mentioned in the programme. Not included: flight, insurances, personal expenses and bottled drinks. .For visitors from most countries a visa is no longer required. 


Day 1 Departure

Day 2 Arrival, after lunch visit Bishkek. Stay in Hotel Umai

Day 3 Half day trip to study flora in the Alamedin gorge (2300m). In the afternoon visit Ata Beit. Picnic lunch. Stay in Hotel Umai.

Day 4 Botanical daytrip to the Ala Archa National Park. Altitude 2200-2800m. Packed lunch. Stay in Hotel Umai.

Day 5 From Bishkek to Kemin valley by vehicle. On the way visit the Burana Tower, a remnant of the Silk Road. Lunch in Kemin village. Botanise on the slopes in the valley on the way to Kalmak-Ashu.
Day 6 From Kemin to Cholpon Ata on the north side of lake Issyk-Kul. Stops on the way to botanise. Stay in an hotel in Cholpon Ata.
Day 7 From Cholpon Ata to Karakol. Botanise in the Grigorievskaya gorge. Packed lunch. In Karakol visit the Cathedral and Mosque. Stay in Hotel.

Day 8 Daytrip to Jetti Ogus flower valley. Packed lunch. Stay in Hotel.

Day 9 From Karakol to Manjyly. Stop in Barskoon Valley to botanise. Picnic lunch. Stay in yurts in semi-dessert area.

Day 10 From Manjyly to Biskek, on the way to a display featuring a golden eagle and then on to the valleys Chui, botanise on the way up. Stay in Umai.

Day 11 To Pigeon's waterfall and afternoon time for shopping. Stay in hotel Umai.

 Day 12 Departure.

The price includes, from arrival at until departure from Manas Airport, everything except flight, visa (if required), insurance, alcoholic and bottled beverages.

For bookings of 4, or more, persons we offer a 5% discount.

If there are less than the required number of participants for any programme (tour) a small additional fee will be payable for the programme to go ahead as planned.


Kyrgyzstan is a land full of beautiful experiences and wonders unique... click the link below

plants in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan has a very rich flora,
here you can find a great variety of plants.
Several specimens can only be found in this country.

Down Home Mail


Date   April 25
May 5
Price € 1495
Group 4-8


wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan


Wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan


Wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan


Wild tulips in Kyrgyzstan



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