Adventurous Tour in Kyrgyzstan
Highlights of this 15-day adventurous tour in Kyrgyzstan:
– Chon Kemin and Jety Oguz gorges to the north resp. south side of the Issyk Kul lake with opportunities for walking and horse riding
– relax and swim at Lake Issyk Kul
– the important and impressive Silk Road memory Tash Rabat Caravan Sarai
– the Son Kul lake with its nomadic culture around
– your stay in yurts and attractive homestays|
– travel through the inhospitable and spectacular interior of Kyrgyzstan, over mountain passes and ever-changing landscapes
– Arslanbob, a piece of Uzbekistan in Kyrgyzstan with vast walnut forests and a fantastic homestay
Kyrgyzstan is not a huge country and in the 15 days of this tour (including the flight days) you can see and experience a lot of the country. You travel across the country, traveling with a driver and his 4WD car plus an English-speaking guide.
All meals outside the major cities are included in our offer.
You can read more about travelling in Kyrgyzstan and in Central Asia here. Including much practical advise.
The program offers various options for an extended stay at several places along the way. For example for walking, hiking, horse riding or just relaxing. When you inform us how and where you might want to expand the program we will adjust our offer.
This extensive travel program through the heart of Kyrgyzstan offers the very best of the country!
Day 1, departure day
Flight to Bishkek, capital of Kyrgystan
Day 2, Bishkek
day distance: 20 kms
Early arrival at Manas International airport.
You will be met by a driver who will take you to hotel Shah Palace in the city. Early check-in.
After rest and breakfast you will be offered an excursion to the Ala Archa National Park near Bishkek, followed by a city tour. You can enjoy lunch in the National Park, from a lunch box.
The center of Bishkek is green with a few spacious parks and nice to walk in.
Day 3, Bishkek – Chon Kemin
day distance: 180 kms
You leave the city and start the tour, first to the beautiful Chon-Kemin gorge north of Lake Issyk Kul, near the border with Kazakhstan. In the gorge you can, in addition to the excursion with 4 × 4 jeep, also walk or ride a horse.
Along the way the Burana Tower Complex is first to be visited. This tower is the only remaining structure of the ancient city of Balasagun that was built at the end of the 10th century. A new museum, old tombstones, the view from the tower and stories from a guide make a visit worthwhile.
Lunch is enjoyed en route at a Kyrgyz family home.
You will arrive in the Chon-Kemin gorge in the afternoon, and check in at your guest house. Then an excursion by 4 × 4 car to the Green Lake is offered.
Dinner and overnight at the guest house.
Day 4, Chon Kemin – Cholpon Ata
day distance: 160 kms
Today you will stay on the north side of Lake Issyk Kul, with a mix of nature, culture and relaxation. You end the day in a hotel on Lake Issyk Kul where you can take a refreshing swim.
After breakfast you leave for the city of Cholpon-Ata, a summer resort located on the north side of Lake Issyk Kul. First of all you visit an open air museum (field) with numerous rock drawings.
Then you will have lunch and continue to your hotel in nearby Cholpon-Ata on Lake Issyk Kul, where you can relax and swim.
Day 5, Cholpon Ata – Yeti Oguz
day distance: 265 kms
Optional: add a trek from Karakol in the nearby Tien-Shan Mountains to your program. For example for two days, with a porter, guide and a cook. All camping equipment is available in Karakol. Ask us about the options and costs.
An intensive day that starts on the north side of Lake Issyk Kul and via the provincial town of Karakol – including a city excursion – ends in the beautiful Jety Oguz gorge on the southeast side of the lake.
After breakfast, you start with a walk in the Grigoryevskoye gorge, and continue with the transfer to the town of Karakol on the east side of Issyk Kul. After lunch you will be offered a city tour with visits to the Dungan Mosque, the Orthodox Church, the Przhevalsky Museum and the Bazaar.
At around 7 p.m. you will arrive in Jety Oguz, not far away, on the south side of Issyk Kul. Here you will stay in a yurt camp and have dinner there.
Day 6, Yeti Oguz
day distance: 10 kms
Today you stay in the Jety Oguz gorge and spend the night again in the yurt camp. The day is dedicated to walking. (You can also opt for a rest, or for horse riding, please let us know).
Lunch from a lunch box, overnight stay and dinner in the professional yurt camp – with showers! Walks to “The Meadow of Flowers” and “Seven Bulls Rocks” are possible.
Day 7, Yeti Oguz – Naryn
day distance: 400 kms
A long drive today, deep into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan to the town of Naryn, almost the geographic center of the country. Naryn is not very special but also not unattractive, surrounded by mountains and canyons left and right. And it is above all a logical stopover with good accommodation for a trip further into the country, or to China.
On the way to Naryn, along the quiet south side of Issyk Kul, you have plenty of opportunities for swimming.
You will also visit the waterfalls of Barskoon and the canyons of Skazka. Lunch on the way at a beautiful spot.
Dinner and accommodation at a hotel in Naryn.
Day 8, Naryn – Son Kul Lake
day distance: 340 kms
Today sees the start of ‘a trip in a trip’, namely in three days you cross from east to west through the central high mountains of Kyrgyzstan, visiting some of the country’s highlights along the way. In August 2019 I made this trip myself and amazed by the fantastic, ever-changing mountain landscapes. (Ardjan Langedijk, owner of Central Asia Travel).
Note: there are various options for scheduling extra days, we always indicate the options.
The first stop is the famous Tash Rabat caravanserai, south of Naryn. This 15th century, small monument has remained remarkably intact and is one of the most important remaining buildings from the Silk Road era. The fact that it is far from civilization will have contributed to its conservation. Near the caravanserai there are several yurt camps where it is possible to spend the night, in addition to having a good lunch.
From Tash Rabat you continue to Son Kul lake, which is located at an altitude of 3,000 meters, following a spectacular route. Prepare for numerous hairpin bends on narrow mountain roads, enjoying varied mountain landscapes. As soon as you reach the plateau at Lake Son Kul you will find the characteristic yurts, horses and nomads for which Kyrgyzstan is rightly famous.
The landscape, on the shores of the clear lake and against the backdrop of the high mountains, is overwhelming.
Upon arrival in a yurt camp at the Son Kul lake you can relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The water is fresh but also shallow, so it is great to swim in! Accommodation in a yurt.
Day 9, Son Kul Lake – Kazarman
Optional: spend a day at the Son Kul more to relax.
day distance: 155 kms
Travelling onwards, the trip to the town of Kazarman is on the program. It is not necessary to leave very early as the travelling time is approximately 4-5 hours.
Again a spectacular route awaits you full of mountains, canyons, hairpin bends, and on the first part Kyrgyz nomad life on the plateau. And you will encounter little traffic. Of course, along the way you can indicate where you want to stop for photos.
Arrival in Kazarman during the afternoon, stay in a homestay. Kazarman is a provincial town that is virtually unreachable for most of the year due to snow in combination with the unpaved roads. This will change from mid-2020 as a new paved road to Jalal-Abad in the west is being prepared. This brings many benefits, especially for the residents. However, the next day’s ride, Kazarman-Jalal Abad by the old road, is the most breathtaking of the entire route starting in Naryn….
Day 10, Kazarman – Osh
optional: two extra days to visit the rock drawings of Saimaluu-Tash. With 11,000 drawings, this is the largest and most spectacular collection of rock drawings in Kyrgyzstan, located at an altitude of 3,200 meters. But, it’s not easy to reach…. A two-day trip from Kazarman, first by 4 × 4 drive and later by trekking or on horse is necessary. With overnight stay in tents in the mountains. A tough adventure.
day distance: 255 kms
The last part in (south) east direction. And, the road to Jalal-Abad is also the most spectacular part of the tour. Again with varied mountain landscapes and many hairpin bends. But it doesn’t get boring!
You continue, via the old town of Uzgen to Osh, the second city of Kyrgyzstan. Uzgen has some important 12th century monuments that you will visit.
Arrival in Osh and check-in at your hotel. Dinner is not included today, you are free to choose from the wide selection of restaurants in Osh.
Day 11, Osh
day distance: 10 kms
Osh, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and the oldest and second city in Kyrgyzstan, is a vibrant city and worth a visit. The population is a mix of Kyrgyz and Uzbeks that usually live well together, apart from riots in 1990 (in Uzgen to be precise) and in 2010 between the groups.
During an excursion in Osh you will visit the enormous bazaar, Solomon’s Throne hill (the landmark of Osh) and, if desired, the Silk Road museum.
Dinner is not included, accommodation in a hotel.
Day 12, Osh – Arslanbob
day distance: 175 kms
The journey continues and will end today in the attractive town of Arslanbob, located at the end of a long valley.
In Osh you have already met the Uzbek residents of Kyrgyzstan, in Arslanbob you will hardly see any Kyrgyz faces anymore. Arslanbob is a busy place that serves as a marketplace for the region. Situated between the mountains, it has a beautiful location. Enjoy the traditional Uzbek dining & relax areas with breathtaking views in your homestay.
But Arslanbob also has a completely different attraction, and another main reason for visiting. Situated around the town are no less than 11,000 hectares of walnut forests! In combination with a larger and a smaller waterfall, this offers plenty of opportunities for both hiking and horse riding, and also 4 × 4 rides (possible in an old Soviet jeep!).
Dinner and overnight stay in the homestay.
Day 13, Arslanbob – Toktogul Lake
Optional: stay an extra day in Arslanbob and enjoy the town, the relaxed homestay and possibly a walk, horse riding or a big 4×4 ride.
day distance: 245 km
If not, and then one day later, you leave for Bishkek. Initially you drive nearby and almost on the border with Uzbekistan, before heading north to the Toktogul water reservoir. The views along the way are completely different than in earlier days, but still fascinating.
For a long time you drive along the clear blue Naryn River, which you encountered a few days earlier in the central mountain area as a gray mud current (that is, in the summer).
Toktogul is a huge reservoir that invites you for a swim in the summer. In fact, you may well do so today as you will stay here for an overnight in a hotel.
Day 14, Toktogul Lake – Bishkek
day distance: 340 kms
To the north of the reservoir, the road continues through the mountains and along a fast-flowing river. An ideal picnic spot – hopefully without many traces of previous visitors – is easily found.
And suddenly you are in the vast Suusamyr valley. Or rather, on the plateau. Over a distance of approximately 60 km you drive through the classical Kyrgyz landscape of high plateau with dozens, even hundreds of yurts, and mountains in the background.
Then, you start the final stage to Bishkek. First across the plateau, then through a long tunnel and you enter the Chui province. After a mountainous part, turn right onto the main road Taraz (Kazakhstan) – Bishkek and enter “the civilized world”, that is back to more populated areas, before reaching the capital again.
Accommodation in hotel Shah Palace and free time. Dinner is not included today.
Day 15, transfer to Manas airport
Transfer to the airport depending on your flight time. End of your trip in Kyrgyzstan!
The cost of this 15-day tour in Kyrgyzstan is €2,195 per person at a group of four people and €2,495 p.p. at two people. You can write to us for other group sizes.
Included in the offer are:
– 14 overnight stays based on double rooms incl. breakfast, in hotels, yurts and in homestays
– all transfers in Kyrgyzstan by car (two people) or minibus (from four people)
– entrance tickets for museums and monuments according to the program
– all lunches & dinners (full board) except on days 2 (dinner), 10 (dinner), 11 (lunch & dinner) and 14 (dinner)
– services of an English speaking guide during the trip
Cost of the optional excursions as mentioned in the program:
– two-day trek from Karakol, €150 per person
– extra day in the Son Kul yurt camp, €50 p.p.
– two-day trek from Kazarman to Saimaluu Tash, €210 p.p.
– extra day in Arslanbob, €50 p.p.
Not included are the international flights, remainng meals, and all other services not mentioned. Finally, we withhold €15 per booking for the Dutch GGTO Guarantee Fund.
|€2,195-2,495 p.p. at 4-2 persons|