Karakol town is an administrative center of Issyk Kul region and takes place in 403 km distance from Bishkek. You can easily get the by public transport or rent a car in Bishkek. The town is located in the east of Issyk Kul lake, in the foothill of Terskey Ala Too Mountains at the altitude of 1, 770 meters above sea level. If you came to visit Kyrgyzstan for a short tour, Karakol is must visit.
Karakol town was founded in 1869 as an administrative center. Its plan was worked out by Russian topographers and the town was divided into rectangular blocks with straight streets. The population was of mixed nationalities including Uzbek, Tatar, Uigur, Russian and Ukranian settlers. They were engaged in agriculture, trade and cattle breeding. Following the death of great Russian explorer N. Przhewalsky (he died in 1888 in Karakol), the town was renamed Przhevalsk until its traditional name was restored in 1990.
Nowadays Karakol is a modern touristic town with a population of more than 70, 000 people. It hosts guests all year round. It is a perfect starting point for alpinism, mountaineering, cycling and many other activities. In winter its ski resort of the same name welcomes guests from near and far abroad. The city sites are Orthodox Church, Dungan Mosque, Museum of Przhewalsky, and Memorial Park with Tien Shan fir trees, local bazaar and cattle market. The most outstanding local meal is Ashlayn-fu, a cold sour soup with noodles, starch, vegetables, meat and vinegar.
Karakol is one of the most popular destinations in Kyrgyzstan, so make you sure you include this town in your tour and have a great time. Or rent a car and explore the city and all its surrounding highlights.