Expedition to the lakes Issyk-Kul, Son-Kul, and Kel-Suu, to the herders and hunters of the Tien Shan.


July 27 – August 3, 2024
Tour Kyrgyzstan

Tour to Kyrgyzstan travel to Kyrgyzstan Ethno-expedition to Issyk-Kul cattle breeders and hunters Tien Shan Pamir-Alai Lenin peak golden eagles

People say that when God created the Earth, He reserved a small piece for Himself to create paradise, and that's how Kyrgyzstan came into existence. A journey to the three most beautiful mountain lakes awaits us, where majestic azure waters of Issyk-Kul, the tranquil surface of Lake Son-Kul, and the necklace of rocks around the mysterious Kel-Suu, whose waters sometimes disappear.

And on the way to them, traditional herders and hunters with golden eagles of the Tien Shan, mountain passes, canyons, valleys, and historical sites from different epochs are scattered along the entire route.

Our expedition to Issyk-Kul and the Central Tien Shan will open up for you a land of mountains that you cannot help but fall in love with.

Traditional stock breeders and hunters with golden eagles of the Tien Shan, gaping peaks and wild valleys of the Pamir-Alai overlooking the seven-thousand-meter high Lenin Peak mountain and the unique Issyk-Kul Lake.
Our ethnic expedition actoss Kyrgyzstan will open for you the country of mountains, that you fall in love with.
of Central Asia.

Dates: July 23 – August 3, 2024

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost of participation per person:
– 1 450 USD subject to 11 - 12 participants.
– 1 550 USD subject to 9 - 10 participants,
– 1 650 USD subject to 7-8 participants.

Everything included (as well as full board) except:
- international flight to Bishkek and back,
- medical insurance,
- visa of Kyrgyzstan (not required for Russia citizens)

Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Bishkek – Moscow: USD 270 – 500 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).

Single supplement: 200 USD (single accommodation is provided throughout the whole itinerary, but the availability is upon request)


Day 1: July 27, 2024 (Saturday). MANAS AIRPORT (BISHKEK) – CHON-KEMIN (170 km)

Arrival by international flight at Manas Airport no later than 9 am. Morning meet and greet at the airport with the driver and guide. Departure for the route. Transfer to the Chon-Kemin River Valley, which is a national reserve of the country. Take a rest after the long journey, enjoying the mountain landscapes and clean air.

In the center of the picturesque Chon-Kemin Valley is a village where we will stay in a cozy guesthouse. In the evening, before dinner, we will take a walk in the nearby foothills, stroll to a panoramic viewpoint that offers a view of the mountain valley. Optionally, for those interested, a horseback or carriage ride can be organized.

Accommodation included: Ashuu Guesthouse in the Chon-Kemin gorge or similar (double occupancy)
Meals included: lunch, dinner

*Recommended flights:
– Direct flight from Moscow to Bishkek by Avia Traffic Company on July 26 at 22:15, arriving in Bishkek at 5:15 am on July 27,
– Direct flight from Moscow to Bishkek by Ural Airlines on July 27 at 00:25, arriving in Bishkek at 7:20 am on July 27,
– Direct flight from Moscow to Bishkek by Aeroflot on July 27 at 1:45 am, arriving in Bishkek at 9:05 am on July 27,
– or any other flight arriving in Bishkek no later than 9 am on July 27.


Departure to the stunning mountain lake Issyk-Kul through the Boom Gorge along the northern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake to Cholpon-Ata. Boat trip on the emerald Issyk-Kul Lake. Lunch on the way in the town of Cholpon-Ata or on the boat.
After lunch, we continue our journey and move to the southern shore of Issyk-Kul. Explore the Fairy Tale Canyon. Take a stroll through the amazing canyon with its unusual rocky landscape of dry mountains made of red sandstone, where you'll find yourself suddenly surrounded by landscapes more reminiscent of the "Asian Patagonia" than the Tien Shan. Our path then leads to the yurt camp on the shores of Issyk-Kul, where you can take a dip in the warm waters of the famous lake and relax. In the evening, around the campfire, enjoy a folklore concert by a wonderful Kyrgyz family ensemble.

Accommodation included: Bel-Tam Yurt Camp by Issyk-Kul Lake or similar (double occupancy) Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3: July 29, 2024 (Monday). BEL-TAM – BOKONBAEVO – KYZYL-TUU – KOCHKOR – SON-KUL LAKE (235 km)

In the morning, we head west along the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. In the foothills of the village of Bokonbaevo, we will meet a Berkutchi – an eagle hunter, and learn about the specifics of traditional Kyrgyz falconry. Lunch in the village of Kyzyl-Tuu at the home of a local resident, a master of crafting wooden yurt frames – the traditional dwelling of nomads. We will have the opportunity to visit his workshop and explore the tools and his works.

Next, we head to the central part of the Tian Shan Mountains, passing by the Orto-Tokoy Reservoir, towards the high-mountain lake Son- Kul. This lake serves as a summer pasture for modern nomadic shepherds who preserve the traditions of their ancestors. Son-Kul is an exceptionally beautiful high-altitude lake with a harsh alpine climate, situated at an altitude of over 3000 meters above sea level, surrounded by ubiquitous edelweiss. The road to the lake traverses high-mountain passes and picturesque switchbacks, where you may encounter herds of yaks, giving the feeling of being in Tibet. Evening walk through alpine meadows. Optionally, you can climb to an observation platform that offers the best view of the lake and the shepherds' camps below. Up there, you may also discover ancient petroglyphs. For those interested, horseback riding is available (optional, at an additional cost), or you can interact with the shepherd families grazing horses and even try the national drink, kumis – fermented mare's milk. On Son-Kul, we will witness the national game of Kok-Boru (goat dragging), a team sport on horseback involving a goat carcass! Immerse yourself in the life of nomads, familiarize yourself with the traditions and daily life of the local Kyrgyz people.

Accommodation included: Comfortable yurt camp Nurgul on Son-Kul Lake, organized by a Kyrgyz family (double occupancy)
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4: July 30, 2024 (Tuesday). SON-KUL LAKE – NARYN (140 km)

After breakfast, you have the option to go horseback riding along the lake (optional, at an additional cost). Magnificent horses, suitable for both novice riders and those who prefer speed and galloping. We'll provide instruction for anyone interested in learning. Son-Kul is the perfect place to get acquainted with these beautiful animals.

For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy the harmony of nature, a walk through the vast high-mountain pastures with numerous herds and flocks is an excellent choice. Observe migratory birds from the lakeshore and relax on a soft carpet of edelweiss.

The descent from the pass will be memorable. Sun-drenched slopes, abundant moisture promoting the growth of various, including endangered, plant species. From the summit of the pass to the arid valley, it's a vertical drop of over 1600 meters. Within this relatively short distance, there are six altitudinal zones, from subnival to desert-steppe.

We'll traverse mountain passes with numerous switchbacks and enjoy picturesque views and fantastic panoramas that reveal themselves from different points along the pass – vistas that can sometimes be hard to believe are real.

We'll have a picnic at one of the scenic points along the route.

In the evening, we arrive in the city of Naryn, located on the eponymous river, the largest in Kyrgyzstan and the source of the Syr Darya. Check into a guesthouse.

Accommodation included: Hotel "Khan-Tengri" or similar (double occupancy)
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5: July 31, 2024 (Wednesday). NARYN – KEL-SUU LAKE (140 km)

On this day, we venture deeper into the Tian Shan Mountains towards the border territory with China. We'll drive through mountain valleys and switchbacks, reaching a yurt camp from where we'll embark on a journey through marshy terrain either on horseback (one hour one way) or by foot (two hours one way) to Kel-Suu Lake. All these adventures are in pursuit of marveling at the gem of the mountains – Lake Kel-Suu, surrounded by cliffs and an enchanting landscape of beauty. A glacial lake with water that changes its color depending on the season and the falling light, ranging from yellow-brown to turquoise, nestled among sheer cliffs – one of the most impressive mountain landscapes in the world! Kel-Suu translates to "coming water" because there are years when all the water disappears, and the lake dries up, revealing its bottom. We stroll near the majestic lake, surrounded by cliffs, at an elevation of 3550 meters above sea level, take photographs, and return to the yurt camp for an overnight stay, which is located 7 km from the lake.

Accommodation included: Jyrgal Yurt Camp, 7 km from Kel-Suu, or similar (double occupancy) Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6: August 1, 2024 (Thursday). KEL-SUU LAKE – DOLOON PASS – KOCHKOR (265 km)

We return to civilization from the depths of the Tian Shan Mountains to the village of Kochkor. On the way from Kel-Suu to Naryn, we will witness a picturesque canyon with a waterfall and cross the high-mountain pass Dolon at 3030 meters above sea level. We spend the night in the village of Kochkor, where we get acquainted with the lifestyle of the local residents and learn about the process of making national carpets – ala-kiyiz and shyrdaks.

Accommodation included: Guesthouse "U Miry" in Kochkor or similar (double occupancy)
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 7: August 2, 2024 (Friday). KOCHKOR – BURANA TOWER – BISHKEK (265 km)

Return to Bishkek, with stops at points of interest along the way. Visit the Burana Tower – a tour of one of the most prominent historical and archaeological landmarks in Kyrgyzstan, representing the ruins of the ancient city of Balasagun from the 10th-12th centuries, the capital of the ancient Turkic Karakhanid dynasty. The historical site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the evening, we arrive in Bishkek. A short sightseeing tour of the historical center of the city. Visit Central Square, Victory Square, and Theater Square. Farewell dinner at a restaurant, where we share impressions of our journey.

Accommodation included: Plaza Hotel 4* or City Stay Hotel 4* or similar (double occupancy) Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 8: August 3, 2024 (Saturday). BISHKEK – RETURN FLIGHT

Breakfast. Transfer to Manas Airport (Bishkek). Departure from Bishkek.

*Recommended flights:
Direct flight from Bishkek to Moscow by Avia Traffic Company on July 20 at 8:05 AM, arriving in Moscow at 9:25 AM on July 20,
Direct flight from Bishkek to Moscow by Avia Traffic Company on July 20 at 7:45 PM, arriving in Moscow at 9:05 PM on July 20,
Direct flight from Bishkek to Moscow by Ural Airlines on July 20 at 8:40 AM, arriving in Moscow at 10:00 AM on July 20,
Direct flight from Bishkek to Moscow by Aeroflot on July 20 at 4:50 PM, arriving in Moscow at 6:30 PM on July 20,
Direct flight from Bishkek to Moscow by Aeroflot on July 20 at 10:20 AM, arriving in Moscow at 12:00 PM on July 20,
or any other flight departing from Bishkek at any time on July 20.

Accommodation: Not included
Meals: Breakfast

* The operator reserves the right to change the order of the program subject to keeping of all activities.

Cost includes:

• Transportation throughout the program: A Mercedes Sprinter minibus will be used along the entire route.
• Group transfer to the airport and group transfer from the airport ensure convenient transportation.
• Accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, and traditional yurt camps based on double occupancy.
• Three meals a day throughout the route: breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
• Drinking water along the route (2-liter bottles per person per day).
• Experienced English and Russian-speaking guide-team leader.
• Performances and concerts as per the program: folk concert, demonstration of eagle hunting by berkutchi, demonstration of the national game kok-boru (goat dragging).
• Boat trip on Lake Issyk-Kul.
• Horseback riding on Lake Kel-Suu.
• Entrance tickets to museums and excursions.
• Border passes for expedition participants to Lake Kel-Suu.
• Horse guide at Lake Kel-Suu.

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

• International flights to Bishkek and back.
• Medical insurance.
• Kyrgyzstan visa (not required for Russian citizens).
• Drinks and alcohol.
• Tips for guides and drivers.
• Additional program items specified as optional.
• Single accommodation.

To take with:

• Two sets of clothing (trousers, long-sleeved shirt, T-shirt, underwear, socks, sun hat).
• Lightweight hiking jacket.
• Warm jacket with windproof material for mountainous areas.
• Lightweight gloves and a mountain hat (it can be cold, ranging from +7 to +15°C in the mountains).
• Comfortable and practical footwear: 1) light for the city; 2) waterproof trekking boots; 3) slippers.
• Raincoat.
• Swimsuit.
• Sun and wind protection items (sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat).
• Headlamp.
• Backpack with a capacity of no more than 80 liters or a trekking duffel.
• Small backpack for personal items and cameras.
• Personal first aid kit (analgesic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, gastrointestinal medications, rehydration solution, plaster, motion sickness medicine, your personal medications).
• Personal hygiene items (towel, wet wipes).
• Repellents.
• Camera or video camera.
• Additional batteries for cameras and a power bank.

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