Day 1. Bishkek – Ala Archa National Park – Bishkek (120 km / 3 hours).
Arrival to Bishkek early in the morning. Meeting at the airport by your guide and driver. Transfer to the city (30-40 min).
Early check-in is included.
After a restful morning and breakfast at the hotel we drive around 40 km out of Bishkek to Ala Archa National Park.
It is a popular place for picnics, hikes, rock climbing and alpinism. You can go for a walk on the paved road along the river (1 hour – easy level) or hike up to the mountains to get a spectacular view of the gorge.
If you are in a reasonable state of health you can hike up to the waterfall (3.75 km – 2.5-3 hours one-way, medium level of difficulty). For this hike you need proper trekking shoes. Walking sticks are advisable.
Lunch included in the park or local café.
In the afternoon we head out on a sightseeing tour of Bishkek, which includes the Monument of Kyrgyz National hero Manas, Kurmanjan Datka and Lenin monuments, Oak Park, the State historical museum and the main governmental buildings that is our legacy of the Soviet Union. A sightseeing tour of Bishkek comes to an end at the Victory Square dedicated to the WWII (1-2 hours for the city tour, easy walk, light shoes required).
Dinner at a local restaurant.
(Breakfast – hotel, lunch – local café/park, dinner – local restaurant)
Day 2. Bishkek city – Chon Kemin valley (170 km / 3 hours).
Breakfast at the hotel.
After breakfast we will take another beautiful drive to the Chon Kemin valley. En route we stop at Architectural Archeological Complex “Burana Tower” (UNESCO).
Burana Tower (ancient minaret) is located in 12 km far from Tokmok town. The territory where the tower is located was called Balasagyn. This town had the strategic meaning for the Great Silk Road. Here you will see a small museum with exhibits found at excavations, providing more details about this ancient settlement, and become familiar with collection of Balbals, Turkic grave marks. (Excursion takes approx. 1-hour, simple walk, but good shoes required as it’s dusty and little climbing to the tower up along the steep stairs).
Optionally: horseback riding games at the Don Aryk village, near Burana Tower complex.
Lunch at a local family.
Further drive to Chon Kemin valley which is a unique natural complex with a diverse flora and fauna and many picturesque landscapes, from semi-deserts to glaciers.
Options to do this here:
1) Walking around the village Kalmak Ashuu (simple level of walks, altitude is not high, many ways to follow, walking shoes required).
2) Renting horses and ride up to the closest mountains (extra cost).
4) Setting yurt (nomadic house) (extra cost).
5) Swimming in the pool (extra cost).
Dinner and overnight in a guest house.
(Breakfast – hotel, lunch – local family, dinner – guest house)
Day 3. Chon Kemin valley – Son Kul lake (230 km / 5-6 hours).
Spend some time in the morning at your disposal, have breakfast and continue our journey. Next destination is Son Kul Lake.
Alpine Lake Son Kul is located in Tien Shan range at the altitude of 3016 m. During the summer Son Kul pasture is considered to be the best Kyrgyz jailoo. The road to the lake goes through the windy mountain passes, over 3500 m and get down to the level of the lake.
En route we stop for lunch in Kochkor village and spend some relaxing time.
Drive further to Son Kul. Our way goes through the spectacular Kilemchi valley, over the pass Kalmak Ashuu (3400 m asl) and around the lake to the south shore where our yurt camp is waiting for us. Accommodation in the yurt camp (up to 4 people).
Dinner and overnight in yurts.
(Breakfast – guest house, lunch – local family, dinner – yurt camp)
Day 4. Son Kul lake.
Full day at Son Kul lake. Full meal board.
After breakfast take easy hiking to the closest hill from where a panoramic view opens up. On the way it’s possible to hunt for petroglyphs as the ancient dynasties left some carvings on the stones of the wide area. (Level of difficulty is medium, walking on grass, no rock climbing, gentle way up, good walking shoes required. The altitude of the area makes any hike challenging. Walking time 2-4 hours).
After lunch you are free to choose more hiking in the different directions, or go down to the lake, relax (swim if you want), or visit local nomads and test their famous hospitality and try local milk products (be careful with fermented mare’s milk). Also, here such options like horseback riding games and yurt settling up demonstration are available for extra charge.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner – yurt camp).
Day 5. Son Kul lake – Tash Rabat caravanserai (280 km / 5-6 hours).
Another driving day to Tash Rabat yurt camp over the most mountainous province of Kyrgyzstan – Naryn. Naryn is known for some of the best meat and traditional Kyrgyz dishes in the country. The way to Naryn we take over “33 Parrots” pass and enjoy the incredible photo stop at the top. Close to the noon time reach Naryn town.
Stop for lunch in Naryn town.
Wasting no time and continue of drive to Tash Rabat yurt camp. Admire picturesque landscapes on the way we reach Kara Koun gorge and get accommodated at the yurt camp not far from the famous caravanserai (about 3000 m asl). Here we have free time to look around and do short walks along the canyon before dinner (simple walks, walking shoes required, 1-2 hours, climbing only if you’d like).
Dinner and overnight in yurt camp.
(Breakfast – yurt camp, lunch – in Naryn, dinner – yurt camp).
Day 6. Tash Rabat caravanserai – Kel Suu lake (300 km / 6-7 hours).
Today we start from visit to Tash Rabat caravanserai that is situated a little bit further deep in the canyon. Short drive after breakfast and start excursion. Its origin is a complete mystery; however, there is a hypothesis that it was built in 10th century. Researchers consider it to be a Nestorian monastery, others suppose it to be a victualing-house for the trade caravans, and third ones insist on its defensive function. It is obviously clear that during the various epochs Tash Rabat caravanserai had different functions (40 min excursion, good walking shoes required, cool inside – jackets are advisable).
After excursion drive to Kel Suu tent camp.
Lunch en route.
The road goes back to the Naryn town and turned right to the deep country side. Distance is not so long, but the condition of the road delays arrival. Close to the evening we reach Kel Suu tent camp and get accommodated. Some free time to explore the area around the camp before and after dinner.
Dinner and overnight in tents.
(Breakfast – yurt camp, lunch – lunch boxes/en route, dinner – tent camp)
Day 7. Kel Suu lake.
Today we visit a secret of Kyrgyzstan – Kel Suu lake. Remote even by Kyrgyzstan standards, magnificent Kel Suu lake stretches over 10 km through a sheer mountain gorge that reaches nearly to the Chinese border. It has one unusual feature, in which honor this name was given to it. Kel Suu is translated from Kyrgyz as “incoming water”. And indeed, sometimes the lake disappears, flowing into underground caves and grottoes, and therefore before going there, you need to know that not always you can catch the lake.
The way to Kel Suu from the camp takes some time. You can walk or drive up to the lake as it takes a while (2-3 hours one way). Level of difficulty only prescribed by the altitude (3200-3300 m asl), walking terrain is not challenging, but you need proper walking boots. Spend full day in the area, have lunch boxes on the lake and enjoy the exploration of the secret areas of Kyrgyzstan.
Dinner and overnight in tents.
(Breakfast – tent camp, lunch – lunch box, dinner – tent camp)
Day 8. Kel Suu lake – Naryn town (200 km / 5-6 hours).
After restful morning and good breakfast say good bye to the local stuff and drive to Naryn town.
The way back also takes time as the road conditions are tough.
Lunch en route with lunch boxes.
Arrival to Naryn town and get accommodated at the local hotel 3*. Refresh after some time at the wild nature and head to a short city tour. Drive along the main and the longest street of Naryn to see local Blue Friday Mosque, Main Square, monument of Turdakun Usubaliev (famous politician, leader of the Communist’s party during the Soviet Union) and the fine art gallery nearby.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
(Breakfast – tent camp, lunch – lunch box, dinner – hotel)
Day 9. Naryn town – Bishkek city (350 km / 5 hours).
After breakfast drive back to Bishkek city. The way from Naryn to Kochkor village goes over Dolon pass – strategic road that is going over 3030 m asl, but stays open all year around. Big portion of trading between China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia depends on the availability of Dolon Pass.
En route stop for lunch in Kochkor village.
Kochkor village is center of handicraft. Here we meet local women cooperation and check their souvenir shop-museum to get understanding of what local people do, how and what does it cost.
Optionally: felt producing demonstration in a local family of Kochkor village.
After all activities in Kochkor we have another 3-hours’ drive to reach Bishkek city. Arrival and get accommodated at the hotel. Refresh before the last dinner.
Farewell dinner and folklore show at a local restaurant.
Specially performance by the professional musicians, orient on demonstration of musical instruments, sounds and melodies of our ancestors.
Overnight in hotel.
(Breakfast – hotel, lunch – local family in Kochkor, dinner – restaurant in Bishkek)
Day 10. Bishkek – airport (30 km / 40 min).
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home or next destination.