Activity: Horse riding
Duration: 9 days
Places to visit: Bishkek - Issyk Kul Lake - Karakol - Chong Kyzyl Suu - Ashu Tor - Kishi Kyzyl Suu village - Jumakuchak - Kok Terek - Bishkek
A Kyrgyz proverb says "Horses are the men's wings" and no exaggeration is made on this point. Because horses play such an important role in the life of Kyrgyz people. It has been very difficult to survive without a horse in such mountainous country like ours. During this trip you will be riding a horse all along the Great Silk Road like a nomad. At the same time you will get acquainted with Kyrgyz traditions and try the national drink Kumis (mare's milk) and delicious dishes.
Day 1: Bishkek - Issyk Kul Lake
As soon as you are landed at Manas International airport you are met by your guide and transported to Bishkek city, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. This ride will take only 30 minutes after which you will have a wonderful breakfast. Then you will be transferred to the celestial Issyk Kul Lake (200 km), the second largest and deepest lake in the world the coastline of which stretches for the length of 180 km. On our way, we will visit the Burana Tower (minaret from the 11th century) and an open air museum of Balbals (stone warriors dated back to the 7th century). After having taken a traditional lunch, we continue our way to the lake. As soon as we are in Hotel you will have a rest on the northern beach of the lake where you can lie on the warm sand or swim in the lake. Thanks to the salty water, Issyk Kul Lake possesses curative properties. Your dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
Day 2: Issyk-Kul Lake - Karakol
A delicious breakfast is served at 8 ‘clock in the morning. Then you are given free time to swim in the lake till 12 pm. Afterwards, you will start your trip to Karakol city by car (200 km). On the way, we will make a short break to give you the opportunity to visit ancient stone inscriptions (dating back to 800 B.C.), including the local museum. You will have a second stop during the trip at 12 o'clock, where you can enjoy lunch in a relaxed atmosphere. Then we continue our way to Karakol city along the northern shore of the sparkling pearl of Central Asia, which's beauty you will be able to enjoy to the full during another break, where you go on a one hour cruise on a steam boat. Then you will be transferred to Karakol city. National dinner will be served in a restaurant at 8 p.m. Also for additional price you can have a folklore show there. Night is in a Guesthouse.
Day 3: Karakol - Chong Kyzyl Suu Valley
A delicious breakfast is served at 8 ‘clock in the morning. The entire morning is dedicated to a guided Karakol City Tour. The tour includes the visit of the Dungan mosque. One of its highlights is the fact that it is built in Chinese style without using a single metal nail. This is followed by the visit of an old wooden Orthodox Church. Later, you will visit the museum of M.V. Prejvalsky, one of the world's greatest explores. His biggest achievements were the crossing of the great desert Taklamakan and the discovery of more than 4000 animals, including the Horse of Prejevalsky. We will end the City Tour with a traditional lunch and leave Karakol at 1 p.m. and start our way to impressive Chong Kyzyl Suu Valley (70 km). On the way, you will see red mountains in different shapes, just before we will visit the mineral sources of hot springs at Jeli Suu ( Dungan Village), where you will have the possibility to take a bath. Afterwards, a horseback riding tour to the Physical and Geographical station of Chong Kyzyl Suu is waiting for you (1 hour). Your dinner and overnight stay will be in yurts. A yurta is one of the most amazing charms of nomads as it is prepared with the help of only wood and felt and no nail is used. There is no any analogue of such a portable and collapsible nomadic dwelling and that is why it is still used nowadays.
Day 4: Chong Kyzyl Suu - Ashu Tor - Chong Kyzyl Suu (6h)
After a wonderful breakfast, we will leave the camp at 9 am and start our horseback riding tour to the Ashu Tor pass (2800m). After your lunch you will have an ascent on horses to an amazing mountain lake that finds its sources in a glacier. With a bit of luck you may see mountain goats. After enjoying the view of the mountain lake we come back to the station. Dinner and overnight stay is prepared in tents
Day 5: Chong Kyzyl Suu - Kishi Kyzyl Suu
After an early breakfast that is served at 7 am, you will ride off to the valley of Kishi Kyzyl Suu (lunch on the way) - it is a gorgeous canyon that you will definitely like. It will take us 6 hours. You will be carried away by the amazing scenery offered through views the untouched nature. We will arrive in Kishi Kyzyl village at 7 pm, where you are given half an hour time to settle in your tents, before being served a traditional dinner.
Day 6: Kishi Kyzyl Suu village - Jumakuchak
After a good breakfast we continue our horseback riding tour from the Kishi Kyzyl Suu valley to Jumakuchak (6h) via the small Jumalai pass. This is where we will have a picnic. There is a gorgeous sight of the surface of Issyk-Kul Lake. You will have a chance to explore its virgin nature on your own. Traditional dinner is served at 7 p.m. Overnight is organized in Jumakuchak in tents among nomadic yurts of Kyrgyz people.
Day 7: Jumakuchak - Kok Terek village
A delicious breakfast is served at 8 ‘clock in the morning. We start our ascent on horses from Jumakuchak to Kok Terek Village under the hoofs (6h). On the way you will come across the red cave that is called "500 rams" and a striking mountain waterfall. The lunch is to be given at the bottom of the gorge. The waterfall is located not far from hot springs (40 degrees Celsius) that are also possible to visit if you wish. After having a rest we continue our way to Kok Terek village. Our dinner and overnight is in a home stay.
Day 8: Kok Terek - Bishkek
As soon as you have packed your backpacks you are served breakfast. Then you will be transferred to Bishkek city by car along the southern shore of the legendary Issyk-Kul Lake (380 km). You will arrive in Bishkek in a Hotel **** at around 8 pm. Here you have some free time to get yourself in order. Afterwards you will be picked up to a restaurant to have a farewell dinner.