Nomadic culture

Nomadic culture

15 day tour, in small groups, since 2001

2 week cultural tour

During your roundtrip 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.

About tour

Sample the culture and everyday life of the nomads in Kyrgyzstan. You will sleep in yurts, the felt houses of the nomadic herdsmen, will see felt objects for everyday use being made and get the opportunity to swim in the lake

You visit Ata Beyit, the place were victims from Stalin where buried, the Burana Tower, the petroglyphs (stone carvings from the Scythian period) near Cholpon-Ata and the Prezwalski museum in Karakol. In the capital Bishkek visit the organized chaos at the Osh Bazaar.

In between activities there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Tian-Shan Mountains.

Transportation is by minibus. An English or German speaking guide/interpreter is with you all the time and will explain the customs and habits from of the Kyrgyz, and will help in communicating with local people. Bishkek accommodation is in a small pleasant hotel and on tour in yurts, B&Bs, and hotels.

This journey suits people who are interested in the nomadic way of life and the culture of the Kyrgyz people. It is possible to do some hiking but this is not necessary. This programme also suits those who cannot walk much. However, we expect you to be a little adventurous and happy with a simple lifestyle.

Day By Day Programme

Here you can find a detailed description of the tour with routes and locations

  Day 1Departure from your local airport.
  Day 2Arrival at Manas Airport where we will meet you and take you to the Umai Hotel (or equivalent) in Bishkek. After a rest and a light lunch sightseeing Bishkek. We will visit the Historical Museum where you can get a good impression of the history of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz nomadic way of life.  Stay in hotel.
  Day 3We drive to the Alamedin Gorge, about 30 km from Bishkek. Then we continue to Ata Beyit, a memorial complex, the name of which means ‘Grave of Our Fathers’ in Kyrgyz. Here we will see a mass grave from the Stalin area, and close by the final resting place of the famous author Chingiz Aitmatov and of those who were killed during the 2010 revolution. Picnic lunch, stay in hotel in Bishkek.
  Day 4Drive from Bishkek to Tamchy on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. En route visit the Burana Tower, the remnants of the old Silk Road City that existed in the 10th to 12th centuries. Around the tower we will see Balbals (gravestones) from between the 6th and 10th centuries. The small museum contains more artifacts collected in this area. Stay B&B.
  Day 5In Sary Oi we will visit the Nomad Museum which gives a good impression of the Nomadic way of life, both in the past and present. In Cholpon-Ata we visit the Archaeological Open-Air Museum and to see the petroglyphs (rock drawings made by the Scythes from the 11th to 3rd centuries BC). We drive to Karakol and just outside town we visit the Prezwalski Museum. The museum hosts the life story of one of the world’s great explorers. Prezwalsky is one of the first Russian Scientist-Geographer who started studying in details the Kyrgyz geography, flora and fauna and discovered over 200 plant species in Central Asian countries. In Karakol we do some sightseeing. Overnight stay in nice guesthouse.
  Day 6We leave Karakol and drive to Jeti Ogus, one of the most beautiful gorges in Kyrgyzstan located at an altitude of 2.200 metres. You will see the famous red rocks, the “Seven Bulls” and the “Broken Heart”. Many legends are told about those rock formations. Continue along the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul to Royal Gate yurt camp close to the shore of the lake, swimming is possible here.
  Day 7Our first stop is the Fairy Tale Valley. 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. Visit Manjyly Ata, not far from there, a site held sacred by the Kyrgyz. The Mazar is a complex of sacred places, hidden amongst the gentle clay hills, there are holy trees, 7 healing.  springs, old graves and a dilapidated mosque. There is an area for ritual sacrifice, for the preparation and arranging of food, a place for eating, a place where pilgrims can spend the night and a room for those who guard the site. From here we continue to the yurt camp Sonun, located in a semi-desert area close to the edge of the lake (1.600 m). Stay in yurt.
  Day 8Leisure day in yurt camp. The lake is very close and it is possible to go swimming.  Stay in yurts.
  Day 9We drive to Bokonbaevo to meet a man who hunts with golden eagles, and then onto the yurt camp Temir Kanat in the mountains. We will visit the shepherds living in their yurts in pastures and taste kymyz, fermented mare’s milk, and see how it is made. Stay in yurt.
  Day 10Through the Köngur Olung Valley back to the road around Lake Issyk-Kul, and from here we continue to Kara Suu, a village near Kochkor, where we will stay with a local family that specializes in making felt carpets. On the way we will stop in Kyzyl-Tuu to see yurt frames and yurt decorations being made. Stay with local family.
  Day 11Today onto Kochkor, a centre of felt making. An interesting place to visit is Altyn-Kol, the cooperative shop of the women from the surrounding villages. From here over the Kalmak Ashu pass to Son-Kul a beautiful lake at 3100m. Stay in yurt.
  Day 12Day in Son-Kul. This is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, 3,016m. above the sea level.  It is 29 kilometres long and 18 wide and located on a wide plateau surrounded by mountains that are around 4,000m high.  There are many shepherd families on the plateau and they spend their whole summer here with their cattle, sheep and yaks.  It will be cold here at night so bring warm clothes.
  Day 13Back to Bishkek and stay in the Umai Hotel or equivalent.
  Day 14Day for sightseeing Bishkek, shopping, visit the Osh Bazaar (lunch not included). If sufficient participants, a folklore concert and farewell dinner. Stay in hotel.
  Day 15Transfer 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.

Tour specifics

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.

June 1June 15
August 26September 9
4 and more persons
For four and more persons
Price€ 1.490 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.)
•  Cook
•  Trekking guide
•  Road taxes

•  Flight
•  Insurances
•  Personal expenses
•  Entrance fees
•  Tips
•  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 departureone pays the deposit
day 42- till day 2835 %
day 28- till day 2140 %
day 21- till day 1450 %
day 14- till day 575 %
day 5 – till day 290 %
on the last day before and the day of departure100%

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.


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

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.