Among the vast mountain spaces of Tian-Shan, among the snow summits the velvet waters of Issyk-Kul are spread. Its colors from soft blue to sapphirine, stuns by its ineffable beauty and depth of colors. Its tons of waters hide the ancient civilizations, majestic towns of the time long gone inevitably covered by the smooth blue surface of this amazing nature creation.
Issyk-Kul Lake is the second biggest mountain lake after Titicaca in South America; it is one of 25 biggest and 7 deepest lakes in the world. The length of this lake from west to east is 178 km, from south to north is 64km, depth is 668m. Issyk-Kul Lake ranks second in the transparency of water after Lake Baikal. The climate here is very soft, the average temperature of the summer is +17 C, it seems that at such a low temperature of summer the winters should be severe but vice versa the winters here are quite warm, average temperature in January is -3 C. The number of hours of sunshine is 2700 that is even more than at the Black Sea. The local people call this lake the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan”. As a small bead put on the chain of mountain ridges it definitely justifies this name. The “Pearl” is located on the height of 1609 m above the sea level and enclosed from two sides by the ranges with the poetic names Terskey-Ala-Too (turned from the sun) and Kungey-Ala-Too (turned to the sun).
Issyk-Kul has a very convenient geographical location and this defined its destiny even in the very ancient times. In the middle ages on the territories nearby the lake one of the main ways of Great Silk Road was leading its way, therefore a great amount of settlements were formed there. And some of them are now hidden by Issyk-Kul waters.
Issyk-Kul lake attracts the attention not only of the people that like to rest on the beach, people who want to see the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan” but also the historians, archeologists and treasure hunters. It’s not without reason as the lake has its stories and legends.
Yes, this is the Pearl of Kyrgyzstan; you may try to enjoy its ineffable beauty and the majesty of its big blue waters, reflecting the high mountains and the endless blue sky. And looking into the depth of Issyk-Kul lake you may try to see the lineaments of ancient civilizations.
|Day 1||Arrival to Bishkek. Manas airport. City tour.||Hotel||B/L/D|
|Day 2||Excursion to National Ala-Archa park||Hotel||B/L/D|
|Day 3||Burana tower, Lunch in local family and transfer to Cholpon-Ata town||Hotel||B/L/D|
|Day 4||Day in Cholpon-Ata town||Hotel||B/L/D|
|Day 5||Grigoriev gorge and transfer to Karakol town||Guest house||B/L/D|
|Day 6||Djeti-Oguz gorge and transfer to Tamga village||Guest house||B/L/D|
|Day 7||Skazka gorge and transfer to Kadji-Sai village||Guest house||B/L/D|
|Day 8||Return to Bishkek||Hotel||B/L/D|
|Day 9||End of the program||B/-/-|
Program: 9 days
Place: Kyrgyzstan. Issyk-Kul
Best time: April - October
Activity: Rest, Auto-tour, Excursions
Day 1. Bishkek
Arrival to Bishkek, meeting at the airport Manas, Transfer to the hotel «Asia Mountains», accommodation. Lunch at the restaurant of the hotel "Asia Mountains". City tour with visiting Youth alley, Philarmonic, Manas complex, old and new square, small "Raritet" museum and Oak park. Dinner in the "Asia Mountains" hotel.
Day 2. Ala-Archa National park
Today after breakfast we will go to the national park Ala-Archa where we will spend our time seeing a great Kyrgyz nature. The park is located in 40 km from Bishkek on the slopes of Kyrgyz Ala-Too.
Ala-Archa is translated from Kyrgyz language as “motley juniper”. The gorge got its name due to a great amount of juniper covering its slopes. As different kinds of juniper have different colors and the gorge seems to be very colorful. We will have a little hike to a beautiful waterfall, organize a small picnic and come back to Bishkek in the evening. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 3. Bishkek - Cholpon-Ata
In the morning we will be transferred to Cholpon-Ata town. On the way we will visit the historical-architectural complex of Burana tower. We will have lunch at the house of local family and continue our way through Boom gorge into Issyk-Kul valley. Upon arrival to Cholpon-Ata we will accommodate in the hotel. Today evening will be free and you will be able to rest from the long drive.
Day 4. Cholpon-Ata
All day today we will spend on the shore of Issyk-Kul. In the morning we will visit Cholpon-Ata petrogliphs (stone inscriptions) left on the stones by ancient artists. On the territory of 42 hectares there is a great amount of stones of different size with petrogliphs, which were drawn by the ancient settlers of this territory. To see all the pictures in this open air museum one will need several days, each drawing is very interesting and contains the whole history of ancient people. We will also visit the museum and cultural-architectural complex Ruh-Ordo which is very interesting for the collection of religiuos architecture. Our evening will be free. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 5. Cholpon-Ata - Karakol
In the morning after having breakfast we will go to Karakol town. On the way we may visit Georgiev gorge and if the weather allows us we will have hike to the mountain lake. Upon our arrival to Karakol we will be accommodated in “Amir” or “Green Yard” hotel. After having some rest we will have a little walk around the town, visit an ancient Dungan Mosque, and a Holy Trinity wooden Church which was first built without a single nail. Free time, rest, dinner at the hotel.
Day 6. Karakol- Djeti-Oguz gorge- Tamga village
After breakfast we will drive to Djeti-Oguz by the eastern shore of Issyk-Kul lake. The gorge is located in 60 km to the west of Karakol on the northern slopes of Terskey-Ala-Too. This is one of the most beautiful places in Kyrgyzstan. For 25 km on both sides of the gorge the fir trees are growing at first merging into small groups and then turning into huge forest mass. We will be able to have a little hike to a beautiful waterfall and then go to the place of our next night stay - Tamga village. We will have free time in the evening to enjoy the waters of the lake and make great pictures of the sunset on the shores of the second biggest alpine lake in the world. Accommodation in guest house. Dinner.
Day 7. Tamga - Kadji-Sai village
In the morning we will enjoy the view of Terskey-Ala-Too ridge and after breakfast will continue our way. We will see the amazing change of landscapes like in kaleidoscope. The first place we will visit today is the “Fairy Tale” gorge. The whole originality of the place is the frozen in bizarre forms colorful rocks, like after the eruption. Solid clusters made of limestone and sandstone are bulging from the colorful soil and the place looks like the ruins of ancient castles. The most surprising is that the architect and sculptor of the place is the nature that used only water, sun and wind as instruments. Besides the fancy castles and fairy figures there the structures can also be considered as many-domed churches, and crenellated walls with loopholes; so for example - Sandy fence, which is very much like a "Chinese wall", stretching for several kilometers along the southern shore of Lake Issyk- Kul. After the excursion we will go to Kadji-Sai village. Accommodation in guest house. Evening on the shores of the lake. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 8. Kadji-Sai village - Bishkek
This day we will have a long drive back to Bishkek. Upon arrival accommodation in the hotel. Farewell dinner.
Day 9. Transfer to the airport. End of the program.
Price for the groups:
2-3 people in a group – 1435 USD per person
4-5 people in a group – 1070 USD per person
6-7 people in a group – 925 USD per person
8-9 people in a group – 850 USD per person
10+ people in a group – 810 USD per person
Single supplement - 190 USD per person
1. Meeting and seeing off at the airport
2. Accommodation according to the program (double accommodation)
- Bishkek- "Asia Mountains" hotel or similar
- Cholpon-Ata - "Raduga" hotel or similar
- Karakol- "Green Yard" guest house or similar'
- Tamga - "Tamga" guest house
- Kadji-Sai - "Al-Hayat" guest house
3. Meals - full board
4. Transport according to the program
6. Entrance fees for the excursions according to the program
Price doesn't include:
1. International flights
2. Single supplement 190 USD
3. Visa and consulate services
4. Personal expenses in hotels: bar, international calls, etc.
6. Any changes in the program