From Shamsi to Son-Kul Lake - Horse riding trip in Kyrgyzstan
From Shamsi to Son-Kul Lake

Horse riding trip in Kyrgyzstan

From Shamsi to Son-Kul Lake
(Horse riding trip in Kyrgyzstan)

Equestrian tour in the Tien Shan is a unique opportunity not only to visit the Tien-Shan mountains and the high-mountain Son-Kul lake, get acquainted with the life of local Kyrgyz nomads, taste the national Kyrgyz cuisine, but also a unique opportunity to touch the history of the caravan routes of the Great Silk Road...

The nature of the Tien Shan is unique. Forests are found here only at the beginning of our route, but green hills in summer and bright yellow in autumn are simply mesmerizing with their beauty and endlessness. A huge number of small streams and rivulets glisten in the sun inviting everyone to try their crystal clear water originating somewhere very far away from huge majestic glaciers. Huge flocks of sheep, cows and horses scurry up and down the slopes sometimes so far from the shepherd's house that it seems that it is here, in a mountainous country called Kyrgyzstan that wild herds are still preserved peacefully grazing on the mountain slopes under protection of Mother Nature.

The culmination of our trek will be Son-Kul Lake located over 3000 meters above sea level reflecting the blue sky and the emerald green hills surrounding it. Here, from early summer to mid-October modern nomads live in their yurts grazing cattle on the jailoo. Here is a different life - measured, calm, no one is in a hurry and you should not be. All you need is to breathe deeply forgetting about problems and affairs, forgetting about the bustle and city chaos, enjoying the beauty of nature and its perfection. The Tien Shan mountains are waiting for you to give you energy and leave amazing memories!

Available Dates

  • July 01-09,2024 | 8 places Book
  • Aug 26 - Sept 03,2024 | 10 places Book
  • Individual dates are also available.

Trip details

Intensity Level 2
Season Summer, Spring, Autumn
Begins in Bishkek
Ends in Bishkek
Airport Airport Manas (FRU)
Airport out Airport Manas (FRU)
Wildlife Mountain goats, Marmots, Birds, Predator birds, Rodents, Yaks, Hares

Price: $ 1,400 (≥ 10 people)
≥ 8 people in the group: $ 1,500 per person
≥ 6 people in the group: $ 1,650 per person
≥ 4 people in the group: $ 1,800 per person

Great for Couples Individuals Families

This equestrian program is designed for confident riders. Every day you have to ride horses for 10-15 km and spend 4 to 7 hours on horseback. This is an exciting and amazing journey through the Tien Shan mountains, overcoming mountain passes, crossing fast rivers, high-mountainous jailoo and gorges. Your journey will be filled with the culture and life of nomads, you will feel like a medieval rider, knight or merchant on a long caravan route. Here is the freedom - no cities, no settlements, no Internet and the benefits of civilization, only you, your horse, the earth under your feet, the sky over your head and the wind in your hair.

What's Included:

  • Accommodation:
  • - Bishkek – "Asia Mountains" hotel
  • - on the way from Shamsy to Son-Kul – tents (one tent for 2 people)
  • - Son-Kul – yurts (one yurt for 4 people)
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals – full board
  • Cook, helper and camp staff
  • Dining room equipped with tables and chairs
  • Horses
  • Transport from Bishkek to the beginning of the route and back
  • Professional equestrian guide
  • Entrance fees and ecological fees
  • Escort vehicle
  • Meeting and seeing off at the airport

What's not included:

  • Any changes in the program
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Excursions not included in the program
  • Tips for guide, driver, horsemen, cooks and other personnel
  • Any personal expenses in hotel: international calls, bar, etc.
  • Single supplement
  • Visas and any consulate expenses
  • PCR tests
  • International flights

Arrival and drive to Tuura-Kayin. Meeting at the airport and transfer to Shamsy gorge. On the way we will visit historical-architectural complex “Burana Tower” (IX – X AC). Then we will go to the gorge called Tuura-Kayin where our cooks, guides, horses and the setout are going to wait for us. Lunch and acquaintance.

The ride to Shamsy gorge will take us about two hours and this will be enough for the first day. This ride is good for the acquaintance of the group, checking of the physical form and riding skills. Also it’s good for getting acclimatized as Tuura-Kayin gorge is located on the height of about 2100 m above the sea level and our further riding will be on height much bigger than this one. We will have dinner upon arrival. Overnight in tents.


Riding over the passes and through the gorges of Kyrgyz range. In the morning after breakfast out team will divide into two. The cars will go around Kyrgyz range through Tokmok and Kemin towns, through Boom gorge and Kochkorka village onto Sarala-Saz pastures to get everything ready for the moment we arrive. As for us, we will go at first to the merge of Eastern Tuyuk and Shamsy rivers and then along the Shamsy gorge to the same named pass (3570 m). The trail is going along the river with crystal clear water, along the fir-tree forest, through the meadows full of flowers. On the way you are able to see many different birds, sometimes deer and mountain goats but already above the forest zone. A little higher there is snow but here you may find mountain turkeys, ubiquitous crows, and eagles soaring high in the sky.

We will go slow and stop whenever you would want to make photos. We will organize a little picnic on the way. The descent is going to go by talus and alpine meadows. There’s no forest on the other side of the ridge and won’t find it anymore along our whole trip except for a few groves at the rivers, and juniper bushes on the slopes.

Our camp is going to be on the height of 3000 m. Here, there are no bushes only meadows and hills. Here are lots of edelweiss. Herds of horses, sheep like dark clouds graze on the green slopes. On the East beneath you will be able to see villages, fields and roads. To the West go same green meadows and they seem to go somewhere to the sky. On the South there are summits and behind them there is the aim of our trip – lake Son-Kul. On the North – Kyrgyz ridge from where we will come. Dinner. Overnight in tents.


Ride to the Buchuk pass. After breakfast we will go to south-west. Along the slope not losing the height we will go to the river called Eastern Karakol. The cars will go down to the villages to go around the mountains and come to the shore of the river across Buchuk pass (3400 m) first to cook dinner for us. There on the very shore of the river they will put our camp. On the way if we are lucky we will be able to try kymyz – Kyrgyz national drink made of mare’s milk and of course Kyrgyz national bread – lepyoshka. Here, in Kyrgyzstan, if you won’t try the bread you are given you may offend the host as bread here is considered to be the symbol of Kyrgyz hospitality. We will get to the camp in the evening. Dinner. Overnight in tents.


Riding over the pass. Today our aim is to go over Buchuk pass. In the morning our cars will leave us and will be waiting for us on the other side of the pass. Our trip will take us about 4 hours. The river valley here is marshy. Here every year one may watch the life of a big marmot family. It’s very interesting how they play, fight, repair their burrows and just lay with their bellies to the sun.

We will have a lot of free time today and if you have a desire we may have a little walk to gumbez – the grave of one unknown Kyrgyz noble. It’s quite destroyed but still makes an impression. Dinner. Overnight.


Descend to the road. The aim of this day will be the horse riding over the Saryk pass and go down to Kochkorka-Soyok road not far from Kyz-Art pass (2664 m). Today it’s going to be our last camp on the way to Son-Kul lake as on the day after we will already overnight on the shores of the lake.

Here the yurts are everywhere. The herds of horses, cows and sheep. There’s no trees, no bushes only grass and further up there are talus and rocks. Dinner and overnight in tents.  


Son-Kul lake. Today we will finally come to the lake. After breakfast we will get on our horses and start to go. Very long trip is waiting for us today. We will have to go over two passes: Chaar-Archa and Tyuz-Ashuu down to the northern shore of the lake. There we will meet with our cars.

Son-Kul is a big alpine lake. Its height is over 3000 m above the sea level, the climate here is very severe. In winter the thickness of the ice is about 1 meter. You may see a lot of waterfowl. All the shores are covered by edelweiss but there are many other flowers too.

Again many yurts on the shores of the lake and animal herds, but sometimes you are able to see one difference here – camels. Along the shores there are hills. In winter it gets really cold here and that’s why in November you will not see even one person here. Dinner. Overnight in tents. 


Ride to the southern shore of the lake. Today we will go on the other side of the lake along its western shores and come to yurts the host of which will be waiting for us. The road is going to be difficult, swamps, rivers, steep ascents and descents but finally it is going to change into the flat western shore.

Again we will see the yurts and maybe try tea with lepyoshka (flat bread) and kymyz. Then in the yurts the full meal will be waiting for us and the joy from the fact that we did it! We will say goodbye to our guides and enjoy the evening on the shores of an amazing alpine lake. Today we will overnight in yurts. 


Going back to Bishkek. Today the return to Bishkek is waiting for us. After breakfast we will say goodbye to the host and start off to Kochkorka where we will have our lunch and then go straight to Bishkek.

Upon arrival we will accommodate in “Asia Mountains” hotel where we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. 


Departure. Transfer to the airport for your fight home.

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