Wild Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

Tailor Made Itinerary

13 Days From C$3,894

Overview

Bigger than Western Europe, Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country. Along with Kyrgyzstan, its mountainous neighbour to the south, it encompasses a vast landscape of snow-capped mountains, deserts and steppe that have long been steeped in the history of the Silk Road.

Beginning in Almaty, the former Kazakh capital and one of the country’s most important cities, you head out into the captivating landscapes of the Valley of the Castles and the Kolsai Lakes National ...

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the cities of Almaty and Karakol
  • Trek to the beautiful Kolsai lakes and Kaindy Lake in the Tien Shan mountains
  • Enjoy the warm hospitality of village homestays and guesthouses
  • Wander through traditional Kyrgyz farms in Chon Kemin Valley
  • Learn to bake traditional bread with a Kyrgyz family in Bokombaevo

ITINERARY

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE ALMATY

DAY 1: ARRIVE ALMATY

Arrive in Almaty and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon take a guided sightseeing tour of the Kazakh city. Visit Republic Square with the former Presidential Palace and Independence Monument; Panfilov Park, named after the 28 Panfilov guards from Almaty who died heroically defending Moscow against the Nazi invasion in 1941; Zenkov Cathedral, built entirely of wood in 1904 without the use of any nails; the Museum of Musical Instruments; and the colourful St Nicholas's Cathedral.

Kazzhol Hotel Almaty

DAY 2: ALMATY - CHARYN CANYON - KOLSAI LAKES

DAY 2: ALMATY - CHARYN CANYON - KOLSAI LAKES

Leaving Almaty, travel east to the Charyn Canyon, which is 80km long and 200-300 metres in depth and is often compared to the Grand Canyon. Erosion and weathering have left bizarre shapes like fantastic sculptures and exposed the many colours of the earth. Continue to the remote Kolsai Lakes where you will stay in a welcoming home stay in Saty village.

Arkabi Guesthouse
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3: KOLSAI LAKES

DAY 3: KOLSAI LAKES

A day's trek today takes you from the first lake (1,820 metres) to the second (2,250 metres), the largest of the group. The Tien Shan Mountains around you have evergreen covered slopes which reflect in the clear waters of the lakes. Return to Saty Village for another night getting to know your host family.

Arkabi Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KOLSAI LAKES

DAY 4: KOLSAI LAKES

Continue your trek today on to Kaindy Lake, set at 2,000 metres above sea level. The lake is truly magical with its turquoise waters submerging a forest of beautifully preserved spruce trees which stick out of the water. The lake was formed after an earthquake created a natural dam. After your day's trek you will return to Saty Village once more.

Arkabi Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: KOLSAI LAKES - ALMATY

DAY 5: KOLSAI LAKES - ALMATY

Leaving the national park, you will drive back down to Almaty today. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Kazzhol Hotel Almaty
Breakfast

DAY 6: ALMATY - BISHKEK - CHON KEMIN VALLEY

DAY 6: ALMATY - BISHKEK - CHON KEMIN VALLEY

Leaving Almaty, you will drive to the border with Kyrgyzstan. After completing the border formalities you will continue on to the village of Ashu in the Chon Kemin Valley, a total journey time of around 4.5 hours; leaving you time this afternoon to take a walk in the village and surrounding hills.

Ashu Guesthouse
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7: CHON KEMIN VALLEY - KARKARA GORGE

DAY 7: CHON KEMIN VALLEY - KARKARA GORGE

Leaving the valley, drive to Lake Issy Kul. Issy Kul means "warm lake" and it is the second largest mountain lake in the world, heated by geo-thermal activity. From here a beautiful drive through varied landscapes takes you to the Karkara Gorge. Stop en route to see petroglyphs and overnight in a tented camp in Karkara.

Karkara Mountain Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: KARKARA GORGE - KARAKOL

DAY 8: KARKARA GORGE - KARAKOL

This morning you have the chance to go trekking in the area or you may choose to take an optional helicopter flight over those majestic landscapes of snow-capped peaks to "South Inylchek" Base Camp. In the afternoon drive to the end of the lake and the small town of Karakol.

Hillside Karakol Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9: KARAKOL

DAY 9: KARAKOL

Spend today in Karakol. Explore the backstreets full of Russian style cottages shaded by white poplar trees and see the Holy Trinity Cathedral built all of wood in 1895. The cathedral was used as a club by the Bolsheviks, but later restored and reconstructed in 1991. Also visit the Chinese Dungan Mosque built in 1910 by a Chinese architect specially invited from Beijing together with 20 craftsmen. The Sunday market draws traders from all around. Visit local Dungan and Uighur families and learn to cook traditional dishes and sit down to enjoy the result.

Hillside Karakol Hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10: KARAKOL - KHADJY SAI VIILLAGE

DAY 10: KARAKOL - KHADJY SAI VIILLAGE

Today drive along the south shore of the lake, stopping in Jety Oguz Canyon where you experience a traditional eagle-hunt. Hunting with birds of prey is one of the Central Asian people's most cherished nomadic traditions and the hunters demonstrate the art of using these regal birds to catch hares and other small animals. There will also be plenty of time for a hike in this great landscape. Continue on along the south shore of the lake to the village Khadjy Sai and overnight in a guesthouse.

Art Hotel Al Hayat
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11: KHADJY SAI VILLAGE - BISHKEK

DAY 11: KHADJY SAI VILLAGE - BISHKEK

In the morning drive along the Southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul to Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. Stop en-route in Bokonbaevo to have lunch with a local Kyrgyz family and witness the traditional way of baking bread. After lunch continue to Bishkek, visiting the Burana Tower, an XI century minaret, on the way.

Asia Mountains 1
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12: BISHKEK

DAY 12: BISHKEK

Established in 1825, Bishkek is an attractive city set against a background of snow-capped mountains. This morning's city tour includes Ala Too, the main square, the State History Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Frunze House Museum as well as a visit to the busy Osh bazaar.

Asia Mountains 1
Breakfast

DAY 13: DEPART BISHKEK

DAY 13: DEPART BISHKEK

Transfer to the airport for your return flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

WILD KYRGYZSTAN AND KAZAKHSTAN (13 DAYS) C$3,894

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

If you book international flights through Wild Frontiers.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHEN TO GO

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Natalie

Natalie is our Central Asia expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Natalie by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Lake Kaindy is a must if venturing to the southeast, remote and well-hidden but all part of the adventure. The nearby Kolsai Lakes allow you to make the journey extra worthwhile with some great hiking routes.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN KAZAKHSTAN