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Complete Kyrgyzstan

Tailor Made Itinerary

19 Days From C$5,556

Overview

Home to spectacular snow-capped peaks, mountain lakes and rolling summer pastures, one of Kyrgyzstan’s major draws is undoubtedly its untouched nature. For this mountainous country, more time to explore it provides the opportunity to reach its seldom-explored, remote corners.

Beginning in the Kyrgyzstan capital, you’ll have a chance to soak up some of the contrasts and correlations between its soviet past, ancient history and present-day traditions. The first few days of travel ...

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the striking scenery of the UNESCO protected Sary Chelek
  • Stay in a yurt with nomads on the shores of Lake Son Kul
  • Trek or horse-ride in the majestic Jety Oguz Canyon
  • Learn Silk Road history at the 15th century caravanserai, Tash Rabat
  • Explore the legendary Walnut Forests around Arslanbob Village
  • Witness eagle hunting and felt making demonstrations in Lake Issyk Kul’s villages

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.

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DAY 1: ARRIVE BISHKEK: CITY TOUR

DAY 1: ARRIVE BISHKEK: CITY TOUR

Early this morning, arrive into the capital, splendidly set against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Your guide will be waiting to pick you up from the airport and, after a chance to check in and freshen up, will take you on a tour through the city. Highlights include the main square, the State National History museum and Bishkek's Osh Bazaar, often filled with aromas of freshly baked Kyrgyz bread.

Navat Hotel

DAY 2: BISHKEK: ALA ARCHA NATIONAL PARK

DAY 2: BISHKEK: ALA ARCHA NATIONAL PARK

Escape the city and enjoy a full day excursion to Ala Archa Canyon, part of the Ala Archa National Park. Here, you can walk one of the various routes into the mountains for amazing views over the pine and juniper-covered park. The national park is a favourite getaway of the citizens of Bishkek and you can follow their lead by hiking through its unspoilt nature and a stopping for a rest by a waterfall. There is the option to pre arrange for a day's cycling if preferred to hiking.

Navat Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3: BISHKEK - SUUSAMYR VALLEY - CHYCHKAN GORGE

DAY 3: BISHKEK - SUUSAMYR VALLEY - CHYCHKAN GORGE

Leaving the capital today, it is not long before we get into the mountain scenery for which Kyrgyzstan is so rightly famed. The route traverses two mountain passes: the dramatic Tuu Ashuu (3,586m) and the Ala Bel (3,184m) which in Kyrgyz means “colourful pass”. Travelling through the Suusamyr Valley, there will be several stops for some short acclimatisation walks and opportunities to hopefully meet some of the nomads who are often found here in the summer herding the sheep and mare milking by their traditional yurts. Upon arrival at Chychkan Gorge there should also be time to explore some of the surrounding area.

Oson Motel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: CHYCHKAN GORGE - SARY CHELEK

DAY 4: CHYCHKAN GORGE - SARY CHELEK

An early departure from Chychkan aims to arrive at Sary Chelek by mid-afternoon. This is one of Kyrgyzstan’s least visited but most striking locations which was included in the list of UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserves in 1978. Centred around a spectacular lake (1,873m), Sary Chelek is almost alpine in appearance and provides some of the finest scenery in Central Asia, which you will be lucky enough to have as your base for the next two nights.

Sary Chelek Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: SARY CHELEK: LAKE HIKE

DAY 5: SARY CHELEK: LAKE HIKE

Armed with a picnic lunch, today you will head out for an exhilarating walk around two of the lakes. Being home to over 1000 species of plant, 160 species of bird and 34 different types of mammal, you can never be sure of exactly what you might see but the views all around are spectacular.

Sary Chelek Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: SARY CHELEK - ARSLANBOB VILLAGE

DAY 6: SARY CHELEK - ARSLANBOB VILLAGE

Leaving Sary Chelek this morning, head south towards Arslanbob village. Considered to be one of the country’s most attractive villages, it not only sits in the middle of a vast walnut forest, but it is also interestingly predominantly inhabited by ethnic Uzbeks. On arrival, you can visit the local bazaar and settle into your community-based homestay.

Arslanbob Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: ARSLANBOB: WALNUT FOREST HIKE

DAY 7: ARSLANBOB: WALNUT FOREST HIKE

You have the whole day to explore the surrounds of Arslanbob on foot and to see its famous walnut forests, as well as some of the waterfalls and streams which dot the region. The walnut forests are believed to pre-date the 11th century and may even date back to the times of Alexander the Great. In fact, legend has it that Alexander brought back large quantities of the nuts from Central Asia but had to give them up once he reached Greece as payment to the boatmen who transported his troops. While this may just be the stuff of legend, what is certainly true is that Central Asian walnuts regularly formed part of the goods that were transported along the Silk Road, branches of which ran close to Arslanbob. Those preferring a less active day can take shorter walks and relax amidst the beautiful scenery of this small village.

Arslanbob Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: ARSLANBOB - KALDAMA ASHUU PASS - KAZARMAN

DAY 8: ARSLANBOB - KALDAMA ASHUU PASS - KAZARMAN

A long drive today takes you through the country’s interior and the central ranges of the Tien Shan, over the Kaldama Ashuu Pass (3,062m) to Kazarman. This remote town sits on the Naryn River, one of the major tributaries of the Syr Darya River which was known to Alexander and the ancient Greeks as the Jaxartes.

Kazarman Village Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: KAZARMAN - MOLDO ASHUU PASS - SON KUL LAKE

DAY 9: KAZARMAN - MOLDO ASHUU PASS - SON KUL LAKE

Leaving Kazarman this morning, you will drive over the Moldo Ashuu Pass (3,660m), cross the Naryn River and head for Son Kul, a spectacular 3,000m-high mountain lake, to stay in a nomadic yurt camp. Arriving in late afternoon, there will be the chance to venture out and meet the local nomads who spend their summers here.

Son Kul Lake Yurt Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: SON KUL LAKE: HIKE OR HORSE TREK

DAY 10: SON KUL LAKE: HIKE OR HORSE TREK

Today provides opportunities for full or half day walks (or horse rides) up into the hills to enjoy the mind-blowing views over this amazing lake. Alternatively, those wishing to can, just hang out at the yurt camp and enjoy some down time. If in luck, there may be a game of kok buru (perhaps better known by its Afghan name buzkashi) for some entertainment, in which riders compete to place a headless goat in a goal.

Son Kul Lake Yurt Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: SON KUL LAKE - TASH RABAT

DAY 11: SON KUL LAKE - TASH RABAT

This morning sees another beautiful drive to Tash Rabat, the famous ancient Silk Road caravanserai, which will be home for the next two nights. Settle into your yurt and enjoy nomadic hospitality.

Tash Rabat Yurt Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: TASH RABAT: HIKE OR HORSE TREK

DAY 12: TASH RABAT: HIKE OR HORSE TREK

Today is free to explore the stunning mountain surroundings. The walking in this area is wonderful and those wishing to ride also have the chance do so. There may be the option to head up to the 3,500m Tash Rabat Pass or follow another scenic circuit. This valley, just 35km as the crow flies from the Chinese border, is lush and green, groaning with horses, yaks and sheep and the nomads who live by them.

Tash Rabat Yurt Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: TASH RABAT - KHADJY SAI (LAKE ISSYK KUL)

DAY 13: TASH RABAT - KHADJY SAI (LAKE ISSYK KUL)

A long drive today of around five hours brings you to the lakeside village of Khadjy-Sai on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul, the largest mountain lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America.

Art Hotel Al Hayat
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: LAKE ISSYK KUL SOUTHERN SHORE EXCURSION

DAY 14: LAKE ISSYK KUL SOUTHERN SHORE EXCURSION

Today may be a real highlight of your trip as you explore the many wonderful spots and meet the fascinating residents of the lesser explored southern shores of Lake Issyk Kul. Start the day meeting with a local eagle hunter and the Golden Eagles he has raised and trained, considered one of the Central Asian people's most cherished nomadic traditions. Continue on to a family-run felt workshop in Bokonbayevo where you will learn about this intrinsic craft and witness the full felt making process. This afternoon, head out to explore the colourful, sandstone cliffs of Skazka Valley, known in Russian as the Fairytale Canyons and take some short, easy hikes for fantastic views over the lake. The day concludes with a trip to the village of Barskoon (1,700m) in the Barskoon Valley where the main activity is hiking to one of three waterfalls. Alternatively, if feeling tired, you can instead opt to relax or stroll around the valley looking for some local nomads to spark up conversation with.

Art Hotel Al Hayat
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: KHADJY SAI (LAKE ISSYK KUL) - JETY OGUZ CANYON - KARAKOL

DAY 15: KHADJY SAI (LAKE ISSYK KUL) - JETY OGUZ CANYON - KARAKOL

This morning, continue your drive along the south shore of Issyk Kul Lake until you reach Jety Oguz gorge. This picturesque gorge is named after the red rocky sand formations covered with forests of Tien Shan spruces. Hike up the main gorge along the winding Jety Oguz mountain river, perhaps bumping into local nomadic families along the way. Afterwards drive on to Karakol, a quaint Soviet-style town for a tour of its Holy Trinity cathedral, brightly coloured Chinese Dungan Mosque and backstreets full of Russian-style cottages each shaded by white poplar trees.

Matsunoki Guesthouse
Breakfast

DAY 16: KARAKOL: ALTYN ARASHAN EXCURSION

DAY 16: KARAKOL: ALTYN ARASHAN EXCURSION

There’s a real adventure in store today as you pick up your Russian UAZ and head to Altyn Arashan Gorge. After manoeuvring the rocky road for two hours, you’ll reach the alpine valley area (3,000m) with views to Palatka Peak(4,260m) that form part of the Arashan State Nature Reserve, home to about 20 snow leopards and a handful of bears (although these have seldom been spotted). After a short walking exploration, you can relax in the hot mineral springs of which Altyn Arashan (Golden Spring) is named after. Natural hot water flows into a series of concrete pools here, each enclosed in a wooden shed lockable from the inside. Return to Karakol mid-afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Matsunoki Guesthouse
Breakfast

DAY 17: KARAKOL - CHON KEMIN VALLEY

DAY 17: KARAKOL - CHON KEMIN VALLEY

Early this morning you will continue to follow the lake’s shore around to its northern side to your guesthouse in the peaceful Chon-Kemin Valley.

Ashu Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 18: CHON KEMIN - BISHKEK

DAY 18: CHON KEMIN - BISHKEK

The first half of the day will be spent horse riding (or alternatively walking) through the beautiful Chon Kemin Valley, stopping for a scenic picnic lunch along the way. Get back on the road this afternoon for the two-and-a-half-hour-drive back to the capital, which begins along the river through the valley with the hills on either side eventually flattening out to areas of agricultural land. Enjoy a final evening at leisure in the capital.

Navat Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 19: DEPART BISHKEK

DAY 19: DEPART BISHKEK

Depending on your flight time, you may have an extra morning at leisure for some last-minute shopping or relaxation, before being transferred to the international airport in time for your onward flight where the tour ends.

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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
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

COMPLETE KYRGYZSTAN (19 DAYS) C$5,556

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 indulgence
Luxury - Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium - Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
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

Kyrgyzstan is truly the breathtaking and ‘wild’ Stan, perfect for landscape and activity lovers. Each day brings new spectacular vistas; from lakes and valleys to mountains and canyons.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN KYRGYZSTAN