Tour 6: Issyk Kul and Son Kul lakes tour
Duration: 8 days
In short: Bishkek – Burana – Issyk Kul northern shore – Karakol – Altin Arashan – Karakol – Jeti Oguz – Issyk Kul southern shore – Tamga – Kochkor – Kichi Naryn – Naryn – Son Kul – Kyzyl Oi – Bishkek
Day 1: Bishkek – Burana – Issyk Kul northern shore – Karakol
Your guide and the driver will be waiting for you at the airport. Upon arrival you will directly drive to Issyk Kul lake to start your tour in Kyrgyzstan. It is the biggest lake in Central Asia and the second biggest alpine lake in the world. Along the road to the lake, we will first visit the Burana Tower, which marks the original site of the Karakhanid town, Balasagun. It was located along the important branch of the Silk Road. Later we will visit a city of the north shore – Cholpon-Ata, where the World Nomad Games are held. There you will also find an open-air museum of petroglyphs dating from 800BC to 1200AD during your travel in Kyrgyzstan. In Karakol, you will find The Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Dungan Mosque. Night is in a hotel.
Day 2: Karakol – Altin Arashan – Karakol
After the breakfast at the hotel you will get on Russian military vehicle and drive to Altin Arashan Gorge. Altin Arashan is a valley and mountain resort not far from Karakol. Famous for its splendid landscapes and hot springs, the Arashan Valley is the ideal place for short and long hikes. Some of the routes are difficult, but the breathtaking landscape always comes as a great reward for your efforts. The resort has several natural hot springs which you can visit after your hiking tour in the gorge. Some are free and open air, located near the river. Others are in private small pools in the guest houses. You will have a picnic in the nature. After a one hour hiking in the gorge you will get back to Karakol. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 3: Karakol – Jeti Oguz – Issyk Kul southern shore – Tamga
Today we will visit Jeti Oguz gorge. The gorge is best known for the seven sand rock formations resembling bulls. It is from where the name comes. The broken heart, formed by a cleft at the back of the bulls, is another iconic sight in the area and, unsurprisingly, is the source of many tragic love stories. To get a better view of the gorge and the bulls you can get on the top of the hill nearby. Among the dewy green fields hugged by pine forests, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d strolled right into the Swiss countryside rather than a remote valley in Kyrgyzstan. Only the collection of yurts and the shepherds riding horses will remind you that you are still in Central Asia. You will eat the dinner in Tamga village in the southern shore of Issyk Kul. Night will be in a home stay.
Day 4: Tamga – Kochkor – Kichi Naryn – Naryn
Today you will complete the round travel around the lake and move to Naryn region. Along the road you will stop by Bokonbaeva village to meet a local falconer. He will share his hunting skills with the help of trained eagles. Then you will continue to Kochkor village. A local family will show you the way traditional felt carpets are made. You will be able to create your own mini carpet, using the colored wool to make different patterns. You will also visit a little handcraft museum there. Then you will continue your tour driving through beautiful Kichi Naryn gorge. The whole gorge will be surprising you by astounishing views from the cliff down to the river across gigantic mountains. Night will be in a guesthouse.
Day 5: Naryn – Son Kul
Today you will explore another beautiful lake and experience the complete wildness of nature on the height of 3013 meters above sea level during your travel. Son Kul lake is the secon largest in the country. The surroundings of the lake are dotted with the yurts. You will meet the people on the horses shepherding their cattle and herds. For many years the fertile meadows near the lake are used as pastureland. When we will reach the yurt camp, you will have free time to wander around. Son Kul lake is truly an enchanted place where mystery intertwines with beauty. You will sleep overnight in a yurt, ride your horse through the lake and its green pastures, eat the national food and enjoy the landscape.
Day 6: Son Kul – Kyzyl Oi
The first part of the day you will have a leisure time on the shores of Son Kul lake. Also you can visit a yurt of nomads to have a look in their lifestyle and communicate with them. According to Kyrgyz hospitality, in any yurt you stopped, you will be offered some drinks and food, or at least to taste something from the table. Then you will head over Kyzyl Oi village. Kyzyl Oi is a small village hidden far away in the mountains that rests next to the Kekemeren River in the middle of a red valley. You’ll see poplar trees interspersed throughout the village during your tour, red clay houses that have been built in the area since the 1900s, and a comforting enclosure of mountains anywhere you turn. Night is in a home stay.
Day 7: Kyzyl Oi – Bishkek
Today you will travel to the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek city. The road goes through the Suusamyr valley and Tue Ashuu pass. Expect to find lots of herds and yurt camps in the Suusamyr Valley along with lots of fresh dairy products being sold on the side of the main road such as kurut (dried, salty yogurt balls) and kymyz (fermented mare’s milk). Tue Ashuu is a spectacular pass with a breathtaking mountain scenery that sports ice caps year round. There is a several kilometers long tunnel connecting Bishkek and Suusamyr sides of the pass. Upon arrival you will get acquainted with Bishkek city, visiting the main sights such as Victory Square, oak Park, Ala-Too Square, the National Arts Museum, National Philharmonic and other landmarks. Night is in a hotel.
Day 8: Bishkek – Airport
Transfer to the airport.
02 pax – Mitsubishi Delica
04-10 pax – Mercedes Sprinter
Price per person:
02 pax – 870 $
04 pax – 545 $
06 pax – 435 $
08 pax – 375 $
10 pax – 340 $
Single – 110 $
Early check-in – 35 $
Single early check-in – 60 $
All dinners – 105 $
All lunches and dinners – 210 $
English speaking guide – 540 $ per group
To be 2 in one yurt (now 4 pax) – 15 $ per person
- Driver with a car
- Hotels and Guest houses:
Karakol – “Green Yard” Boutique Hotel
Tamga – Homestay
Naryn – “Khan Tengri” Guesthouse
Son Kul – Yurts, “Nomad’s Dream” camp (4 pax in 1)
Kyzyl Oi – Homestay
Bishkek – “Discovery” 3* or “Garden” 4*
- Entrance fees to all museums
- Bottled water during the tour
Service does not include:
- Single rooms
- Early check-in
- Travel insurance
- Visa and visa support
- A guide with competence in English language