Tour around Issyk-Kul

For those who don't like to sit on one place, for those who like to see  more than just the beach we offer the tour around the pearl of Kyrgyzstan - Issyk-Kul lake. You will be able to see not only the lake itself but the beautiful nature that surrounds it: Chon-Kemin gorge, Grigoriev gorge, Djeti-Oguz with its massive rock formations "The Heart" and "Seven Bulls", The "Fairy Tale" gorge and much more...


In the north-east of Kyrgyzstan among mighty mountain ranges that make up the Nothern Tien-Shan is located a big hollow of the Issyk-Kul Lake sometimes called “Kyrgyz Sea” because of its size. The hollow stretches from west to east over 275 km, from north to south over 146 km. Lake Issyk-Kul (in Kyrgyz “hot lake”, in ancient Turkic “Holy lake”) is regarded as a pearl of the country and whole Tien-Shan. The first record of the Issyk-Kul  Lake is found in the Chinese chronicles of the end of II century B.C.  where it is called “Dje-Hai” (“warm sea”).  The lake is located in the north-east of Kyrgyzstan in a wide tectonic hollow formed more than 50 milliard years ago. 

The surface square of this lake located at the altitude of 1607 m above the sea level makes up 6236 According to its size it is on the 23th place among words biggest lakes. Moreover, it is one of the deepest lakes of the globe. It follows only the Baikal Lake, the Kaspian Sea, the Tanganika and Nyasa Lakes.  Issyk-Kul is the second largest mountain lake in the world after the Titikaka Lake in South America. Its length  is about 178 km, and its width makes up 60 km, the coastline reaches to 668 km and the maximum depth makes up 668 meters.  The coastline of the lake is much  indented – there are about twenty picturesque bays and creeks. 

A narrow lakeside plain adjoins straight to the lake crossed b many rivers.  The lake has no outflow, but about eighty rivers and brooks flow into the lake. That is why the water in the lake is a bit salty, (almost 6 gr/liter), not drinkable but very transparent.  The main sources supplying the water to the lake are the Djyrgalan , Tup, Karakol, Djuuka, Ton, Djety-Oguz, Chon Ak-Suu, Ak-Terek, Barskoon, etc.  rivers.  

As a result of the climate changing and increase in using water of the rivers flowing into the lake for irrigation, the water level in the lake has decreased recently, but, according to the latest information, this process has begun developing it the opposite direction.

The Issyk-Kul Hollow is encircled by two massive mountain ranges – Kungei Ala-Too in the north (length 285 km, Chok-Tal – 4771 m), the Terskei Ala-Too in the south  (length 354 km, Karakol – 5280 m).  The mountain ring seems to fence the lake hollow from penetrating of the cold air from the north and the hot air from  the deserts of Central Asia that is why the climate here is pretty mild and makes the Issyk-Kul lake one of the biggest holiday centers of Central Asia. The water temperature in summer reaches +224 degrees, in winter - +4 degrees Celsius   (this is the reason of its name’s origin). The famous Russian explorer Semenov Tien-Shanskii called Issyk-Kul  “Aquamarine in a silver frame of the mountains”.

The name of the lake means “hot lake”  because it doesn’t freeze up all year round. The climate of the lake hollow is warm, dry, temperate, mountain-sea, favorable for  and treatment in sanatoria and health resorts, having holidays, tourism, water and mountain-skiing sports: few rainy days, many sunny days, high level of ultraviolet radiation, ionized air, good sandy beaches,  clean air, comfortable temperature (air temperature is +22-28 degrees, water temperature is +19-24), medicinal mineral waters and mud, plenty of fruit and vegetables – all this will create wonderful opportunities for rest and health recovering.    Various sanatoria, health resorts and holiday hotel concentrated mainly on the northern shore of the lake enable this opportunity . Cristal pure water, mineral springs together with mountain and at the same time mild, almost marine climate, enable a unique opportunity for resort rest with mud and thermal treatment. Lake Issyk-Kul is a true pearl of Central Asia.

Best time: May – October
Activity: Rest, Auto-tour, Excursions
Duration: 10 days

Day 1 Bishkek. Airport "Manas". City tour. yurt B/L/D 
Day 2  Transfer to Chong-Kemin. Homestay B/L/D 
Day 3  Day in Chong-Kemin. Homestay B/L/D  
Day 4  Transfer to Cholpon-Ata. Homestay B/L/D
Day 5 Day in Cholpon-Ata. Homestay B/L/D 
Day 6  Grigoriev gorge. Karakol. Homestay B/L/D 
Day 7  Transfer to Djeti-Oguz gorge. yurt B/L/D  
Day 8  Djeti-Oguz gorge. yurt B/L/D
Day 9  Transfer to Bokonbaevo village. Homestay B/L/D 
Day 10  Transfer back to Bishkek. yurt B/L/D  
Day 11  Departure. --- B/-/-

Duration: 10 days 
Location: Kyrgyzstan. Issyk-Kul.
Best time: May - October
Activity: Rest, Auto-tour, Excursions
People quantity: 2 - 12


Day 1. Arrival in Bishkek.

Arrival in Bishkek – the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. City tour.

Day 2. Bishkek – Chong-Kemin

After breakfast transfer the Chong-Kemin Gorge. On the way visit of Burana Tower Museum not far from the town of Tokmok – an architectural complex of the 10th survived from the times of the Great Silk Road.  In the middle ages it was a city of Balasagun that was the capital of the Karachanid Khaganate – a Turkic dynasty of that time. You will see the 24 meter minaret and mausoleums that survived the attack of Chingiz Khan and were reconstructed. Balasagun was not only an important city on the Great Silk Road but also a birthplace of a famous Turkic writer Djusup Balasagun. Arrival. Dinner and overnight. 

Day 3. Chong-Kemin

The whole day you will spend in the Chong-Kemin Gorge. Chon-Kemin zone includes valleys of Chon-Kemin and Kichi-Kemin between high spines of Zaili and Kyngei Ala-Too. It is located in 150 km to the east from Bishkek city. The valley of Chon-Kemin River is extremely beautiful, it covers territory of 100 km from west to east. The river comes from the Chon-Kemin Glacier (4000 m) and flows into the Chu River in Boom Gorge (1340 m).

Kemin Natural Park is situated on the territory of 500 hectares, in high-water bed below Shabdan Village. It is used for protection of pheasant and hares.

In the gorge there is an opportunity to ride a horse or to walk in the forest. Dinner and overnight.

Day 4. Chong-Kemin – North side of Issyk Kul lake

In the morning drive towards Cholpon-Ata town over the northern shore of the Issyk-Kul Lake –   the pearl of Central Asia and the most beautiful and popular lake in the country. It is the biggest lake in the country (180 km long and 60 km wide) and the second largest mountain lake in the world located at the altitude of 1600 meters. The name of the lake is translated from the Kyrgyz language as “hot lake”. But it is not because the water in the lake is very hot. It is because the lake doesn’t freeze up in winter because of its 700 m depths. Many long and short rivers flow into the lake but the lake has no outflow. The lake is surrounded by high mountain ranges that are popular among trekkers from all over the world.  Cholpon-Ata is a holiday center of the Issyk-Kul Lake. Arrival. Dinner and overnight.

Day 5. Cholpon-Ata

In the morning excursion to the Chong-Aksu (Grigorievka) Gorge located  not far from Cholpon-Ata town. You will get an opportunity to walk along the Chong-Aksu River and according to the road conditions drive to the mountain lakes. It will take one hour to drive to the lake, some time to walk there and one hour to drive back. Opportunity to have rest on the beach. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6. Cholpon-Ata – Karakol

After breakfast drive along the northern shore of the lake following one of the routes of the Medieval Great Silk Road. On the way possible to visit petrogliphs in Cholpon Ata and  Prjvalskii Museum devoted to a famous Russian explorer N. Prjzvlskii nearby Karakol town. By lunch time arrival in a town of Karakol that was founded in the 19th century as a Russian settlement and it still keeps a spirit of an old rural town. But the town is famous not only for its history. Many climbers spend some days here to get used to the altitude before starting their mountaineering. You will have a city tour in Karakol visiting the famous wooden Orthodox Holy Trinity cathedral completed in 1895, used as an officer's club during Soviet times, but now restored and in use again. Another place of our visit is the unique wooden mosque built by Chinese artisans for the local Dungans between 1907 and 1910 entirely without a single nail. Overnight in Karakol.

Day 7. Karakol – Djety Oguz

Today after breakfast you will drive to one of the most beautiful gorges in Kyrgyzstan – Djety Oguz Gorge located at the altitude of 2200 meters above the sea level. You will see famous rocks the “Seven Bulls” and the “Broken Heart”. Then drive further to the gorge where you will be accommodated in a yurt camp. Opportunity to walk in a picturesque valley.

Day 8. Djety Oguz

The whole day you will spend in this wonderful gorge and enjoy a stunning views. Opportunity to hike to the waterfall or ride a horse of just enjoy a view of the Kok-Djaik Valley – the valley of flowers.

Day 9. Djety Oguz – Bokonbaevo 

In the morning drive along the southern shore of the lake. The southern shore is different from the northern shore of the lake. Here the beaches seem to be wilder and quieter and the nature more untouched. Opportunity to take wonderful pictures on the way and visit the "Fairy Tale" gorge. Arrival in Bokonbaevo village. Opportunity to go to the beach. Dinner and overnight.

Day 10. Bokonbaevo – Bishkek

Half day we will stay on the lake Issyk Kul and afternoon transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation.

Day 11. Departure

Transfer to the airport for flight home.

Price for groups:

2 – 3 pax - 1099 USD per person

4 – 5 pax - 766 USD per person

6 – 7 pax - 685 USD per person

8 – 9 pax - 621 USD per person

10 + pax - 583 USD per person


Price includes:
1. Transport according to the program (driver will speak English)
2. Accommodation in the houses of locals
3. Meals – full board (B/L/D)
4. Excursions according to the program
5. Water 1 l. per day per person

Price does NOT include:
1. Any changes in the program
2. Alcohol beverages
3. Excursions not included in the program
4. Tips for driver and hotel personnel
5. Any personal expenses in hotel: international calls, bar, etc.
6. Visa (Please look over this information in case you need visa)
7. Guide
8. Horseback ridings (anywhere)