Nomadic culture with festival
15 day tour, in small groups, since 2008
Meet the culture of the nomads
During your bike tour there will be plenty of time to enjoy the local nature
In the yurt camp on the shore of lake Issyk Kul you can go for a swim in the clear blue water.
In the mountains you can go for a hike, ride a horse or pay a visit to the nomadic families who live in the mountain pastures during the summer.
Encounter the culture and daily life of the nomads in Kyrgyzstan. Sleep in yurts, the felt houses of the nomadic herdsmen. See felt objects being made. Watch how a yurt frame is made. Take the opportunity to help cook a Kyrgyz meal. Listen to the songs of children and the music of their traditional musical instruments. Discover how kymyz, the Kyrgyz national drink, is made from mare’s milk. Meet an eagle man who hunts with a trained eagle.
Your program starts with a visit to a festival with horse games and folklore presentations, music and dancing. You can also try traditional Kyrgyz food.
Pay a visit to the Burana Tower, a remnant of a town on the old Silk Road and to the petroglyphs, stone carvings from the Scythian period, near Cholpon-Ata. In Bishkek experience the Osh Bazaar. See and hear a performance by professional musicians playing folklore music on traditional Kyrgyz instrumentsand see a fashion show of traditional Kyrgyz clothes and hats (elecheks).
In Bishkek accommodation is in a small nice hotel and on tour you stay in yurt camps, guesthouse or with a local family.
During the whole journey you are accompanied by an English-speaking interpreter/guide.
This tour is for people who are interested in the nomadic way of life and the culture of the Kyrgyz people. We expect you to be a little adventurous, be in average physical condition and happy to forget luxury.
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 your hotel. After some rest and a light lunch, sightseeing in Bishkek. Stay in hotel.|
|Day 3||By car from Bishkek to the Suusamyr valley and the village where tomorrow the festival will be held. After passing the Tor-Ashuu tunnel at 3.100 m you will descend the many serpentines to the junction to Kyzyl-Oi. Here you will stay in a B&B.|
|Day 4||Today you will visit the festival, see the different horse games, taste Kyrgyz food and enjoy the folklore show, music and dancing. Stay in B&B.|
|Day 5||Continue along the Kökomeren river to Chaek, the district capital of the region. Shortly after Chaek you start climbing the Kara-Keche pass (3.384 m), a rather bad windy road. After the pass you can see Lake Son-Kul in the distance where you will spend the night in a yurt at 3.100 m.|
|Day 6||Day in Son-Kul. Son-Kul is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, 3.016 m above sea level. It is 29 km long and 18 wide with an average depth of 13 m. Son-Kul is 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 the whole summer here with their cattle, sheep and yaks. It will be cold here at night so bring warm clothes. It is not a place for swimming or bathing, around the shore it is muddy and mostly moor (and it is too cold anyway). It is possible to rent horses here, (this is not included in the price). Stay in yurt.|
|Day 7||Over the Kalmak-Ashuu pass you descend to the Tolok valley. You drive through a beautiful mountain area with lots of wild flowers. From here continue to the small town of Kochkor. Stay in B&B.|
|Day 8||In the morning visit Kochkor, the centre of felt making. The women from the surrounding village have started a cooperative shop where they sell their products. It is interesting to visit this shop, named Altyn-Kol (means golden hands) and you can also visit the bazaar and small museum. See how felt is made. In the afternoon to the yurt camp Tuura-Suu (2.200 m) on the south side of Lake Issyk-Kul. A local family will take care of you. Stay in yurt.|
|Day 9||Day in the yurt camp Tuura-Suu. You can go for a hike or ride on horseback into the surrounding mountains, visit the village and often children from the village will come to sing Kyrgyz songs and make music on traditional instruments. Stay in yurt.|
|Day 10||From Tuura-Suu to the yurt camp Sonun on the border of the lake. This yurt camp is located in a dry semi-dessert area. Here you can swim, go for a hike in the badlands or help cook a traditional Kyrgyz meal. On the way you will first stop to visit Kyzyl-Tuu, a village known for the making of yurt frames and yurt decorations. A local family will show how this is done. The next stop is in Bokonbaevo where you will meet a man who hunts with golden eagles. He will show his bird(s) and tell about his profession. Stay in yurt in Sonun.|
|Day 11||From Sonun along the south shore of the lake to Karakol, the largest town in this part of the country. On the way you will stop for a short hike in Skaska (meaning fairy tale).The sandstone cliffs of this miniature canyon have been weather-sculptured into an ensemble of fairy-castles, pillars and human forms and faces, ranging in color from deep red to bright orange and yellow. Stay in hotel in Karakol.|
|Day 12||After sightseeing in Karakol you continue now along the north side of lake Issyk-Kul. If you want you can stop for a bath in an open air hot spa (bathing suit needed). You will spend the night in a hotel in Cholpon-Ata, a lively resort. Here you can visit the archeological open-air museum to see petroglyphs from the Scythes – entrance not included.|
|Day 13||On the way back to Bishkek you visit the new Nomadic Musuem in Chon-Sary-Oi and later near Tokmok the Burana Tower, a remnant of a town at the Silk road. Stay in hotel. Entrance fees not included.|
|Day 14||Day without fixed programme. You can go shopping, visit museums and/or go to the Osh bazaar. Later you will see a fashion show of traditional Kyrgyz women clothes and hats. Lunch not included. Stay in hotel.|
|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 26||August 9|
|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
• Transportation by own minibus
• All meals
• Stay in hotel, guesthouse, yurt, tent
• Programme as described
• English speaking guide/ interpreter
• Camping equipment except sleeping bag and Iso-mattress
• Porters to carry luggage (max 12 kg pp.)
• Trekking guide
• Road taxes
• Personal expenses
• Entrance fees
• 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.