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Kyrgyzstan is a fascinating country with a strong nomadic heritage in the heart of Central Asia. This is your opportunity to experience the itinerant way of life, witnessing how people live hand in hand with nature and continue customs that have been passed down through many generations.

This trip will lead you on a one-week tour of Kyrgyzstan. Enjoy the quiet charms and warm hospitality of Kyrgyzstan. Visit the rural lakeshore of Issyk Kul, the lake known as “The Pearl of Kyrgyzstan”. Experience nomadic life sleeping in a yurt beside the alpine pastures of Song Kul. Soak up the hustle and bustle of oriental bazaars and explore Kyrgyzstan’s green modern capital Bishkek. Watch a performance of traditional Kyrgyz horse games and become immersed in the ancient nomadic culture of the Kyrgyz.

Book With Confidence

We fully appreciate that we all need to be flexible in the world of travel right now. You can book with us with complete confidence that you have the flexibility to change your plans if needed.

All bookings made this year can be changed or postponed free of charge. If you cancel your trip up to 16 days before the departure, we will hold your deposit as a credit towards an alternative trip in the future with Kalpak Travel.

Good to know

  • Tour rural lakeshores and alpine pastures
  • Fully escorted multi-lingual guide
  • Small groups (max 12)
  • Flexible rebookings: change dates at no cost

What's included

  • Included Accommodation
  • Included Guided excursions
  • Included Ground transfers
  • Included All meals
  • Included Internal flights
Days

8

Starting from

€1,540 pp

Contact us now for more information about this trip
Speak to Luca for expert travel advice
Talk to us
Destinations
Kyrgyzstan
Activity
Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Museums & Galleries
Tour Type
Small group tour, Private guided tour

Detailed itinerary

What you'll see and do

Arrive in Bishkek

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Most flights arrive very early in the morning. You will transfer to the hotel and check-in at the hotel with time to rest after your long flight, take a shower, and have breakfast.

Now we will transfer to Ala Archa National Park, 30km outside Bishkek. We will walk in the park, appreciate the mountain views, and inhale the wonderfully fresh, clean air. After this interlude, we will return to Bishkek.

In the evening, when it’s not too hot anymore, we will have a walking city tour in Bishkek. Our sightseeing program includes stops at Oak Park, Ala-Too Square, and Victory Square. Welcome dinner will be in a tasty local restaurant.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

Explore Chon-Kemin Valley

After breakfast, we will depart from Bishkek. Our first stop will be Burana Tower near the town of Tokmok, 60km east of Bishkek. Burana’s 11th-century minaret is the only remaining building from the ancient city of Balasagun, once the capital of the mighty Karakhanid empire. You can walk up the winding staircase and enjoy a wide view of the scenic Chuy Valley. There is also a small open-air museum of balbals, carved stone figures often found around ancient burial mounds.

We will then continue driving further into the mountains to a guesthouse in the beautiful Chon-Kemin Valley. Upon arrival, we will have lunch, and in the afternoon you can walk in the village, observe the life of the local people, or opt for a short horse riding tour into the surrounding hills. Before dinner, we will learn how boorsok (deep fried bread, a Kyrgyz specialty) is made, and you will be able to taste it during dinner. Dinner will be at the guesthouse, where we will spend the night.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Chon Kemin Guesthouse
Classic

Chon Kemin Guesthouse

Arrive in Karakol

This morning we will transfer to Karakol, the largest town and administrative center of the Issyk Kul region. Issyk Kul is the second-largest mountain lake in the world, after Titicaca in South America. Located at an altitude of 1,600m, Issyk-Kul is a slightly saline lake with no outlet, surrounded completely by the Tien Shan Mountains.

We will drive the entire length of the lake’s northern shore but make a stop halfway, near Cholpon Ata, to visit an open-air site with many ancient petroglyphs (artworks carved into the rock). We will have lunch in Cholpon Ata. On the way to Karakol we will make a detour from the main road to visit the beautiful Semenov and Grigoriev gorges. By late afternoon we will reach Karakol, where we check-in at the hotel. Dinner with a Uighur family.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Green Yard Hotel
Classic

Green Yard Hotel

Pass the shores of Issyk-Kul

After breakfast, we will tour Karakol's most interesting sights. Karakol was founded as a Russian military outpost in 1869. It grew in the 19th century after explorers came to map the peaks and valleys separating Kyrgyzstan from China. The tour includes the Dungan Mosque, built in 1904; and the wooden Russian Orthodox Church, which has been standing since 1869. We will also visit the museum of Russian explorer Przhevalsk, and the local market of Karakol.

After the short city tour, we will drive to the village of Tamga on the southern shore of Issyk Kul. On the way, we will visit Jety Oguz Valley with its two famous red rock formations, “Seven Bulls” and the “Broken Heart”. Your guide will tell you the legends of how the rocks got these names.

Upon arrival to Tamga, check-in at the yurt camp and go swimming, if you like. Later in the afternoon, we visit Skazka Canyon. Skazka means “fairytale” and it’s a reference to the bizarre rocky landscape, which has been formed by wind and rain into fabulous sculptures and formations. We will go for a short hike here. Dinner in the yurt camp with cooking class of a local dish called Manty (dumplings).

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Tamga Yurt Camp
Camping

Tamga Yurt Camp

Kochkor village tour

After breakfast, we drive further along the southern shore of lake Issyk Kul to the village of Kochkor. On the way, at the village of Barksoon we will turn into the picturesque Barskoon valley – famous for its waterfalls. There are also monuments of Yuri Gagarin, the first Cosmonaut, who came here to have some rest after his time in outer space. We will meet an eagle hunter, who will show his eagle and make a demonstration for us.

Later, we stop in the village of Kyzyl Tuu, where we will meet a yurt maker and learn more about this traditional nomadic dwelling. Many people in this village are involved in yurt making business. Upon arrival in Kochkor, we will visit a workshop where local women produce traditional shyrdak carpets from felt. The workshop is a women’s cooperative. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Nomad Lodge
Classic

Hotel Nomad Lodge

Travel to Song Kul Lake

Today we will depart from Kochkor towards another mountain lake, Song Kul. The lake is not too far away, but due to the bad road conditions, it will still be quite a long and bumpy ascent. Song Kul is at an altitude of 3,016m above sea level.

The nomads pass their summer on the jailoo (summer pasture) with their animals. You will see herds of horses and sheep grazing on meadows full of Edelweiss. If you like, you can go for a short horse ride. Accommodation and dinner will be in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt. You can taste kymyz (mare’s milk) and watch the shepherd’s wife preparing bread and cheese. We will also get a chance to watch Ulak Tartysh, a traditional spectacle of horsemanship.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Song Kul Yurt Camp
Camping

Song Kul Yurt Camp

Explore Bishkek at your leisure

After breakfast, we must return to Bishkek. We will arrive in the later afternoon. Upon arrival, you can have some free time for rest or shopping. Farewell dinner with folklore show.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

Depart from Bishkek

Transfer to Bishkek Airport for your flight back home. We hope you will have enjoyed your trip to Kyrgyzstan and will return soon to discover more places in this beautiful part of the world!

Included meals: Breakfast

  • Bishkek

    Bishkek

    ...
  • Chon-Kemin

    ...
  • Karakol

    Karakol

    Karakol, on the eastern side of Lake Issyk-Kul, is a traveler’s favourite...
  • Tamga

    Tamga

    ...
  • Kochkor

    Kochkor

    ...
  • Song Kul

    Song Kul

    Located in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Song Kul is a high-altitude, alpine lake perfect for hiking and horseback riding, although the area is covered in snow for the majority of the year...
  • Bishkek

    Bishkek

    ...
  • Bishkek

    Bishkek

    ...

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning      
9 Jul 2022 16 Jul 2022 Enquire
30 Jul 2022 6 Aug 2022 Enquire
27 Aug 2022 3 Sep 2022 Enquire
10 Sep 2022 17 Sep 2022 Enquire
10 Jun 2023 17 Jun 2023 Enquire
22 Jul 2023 29 Jul 2023 Enquire
26 Aug 2023 2 Sep 2023 Enquire
9 Sep 2023 16 Sep 2023 Enquire
More dates available     Enquire

Looking for a different date?

Not sure when you're travelling yet? Looking for a different date? Contact Kalpak Travel for more information.

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Good to know

Speak to a Kyrgyzstan specialist about this trip

Kalpak Travel

Call one of our travel experts for ideas and trip planning advice.

Talk to us

Where to stay

Some of our sample accommodation.

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The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

The Plaza Hotel Bishkek

The Plaza Hotel Bishkek is the embodiment of aristocratic elegance and modern multi-functionality...

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Chon Kemin Guesthouse
Classic

Chon Kemin Guesthouse

This comfortable guesthouse is located within the scenic chon-kemin valley, surrounded with the valley's mountain ranges and alpine forests...

Expand
Green Yard Hotel
Classic

Green Yard Hotel

Situated in Karakol, this cosy accommodation offers a local and authentic feel with all the attributes of a modern hotel...

Expand
Hotel Nomad Lodge
Classic

Hotel Nomad Lodge

Nomad Lodge is ideally located in the centre of Kochkor town, only 60km from Balykchy town...

Reviews

What people are saying about Kalpak Travel

S
Sten-Enok, Norway
01/11/2018

I got a tip to visit the webpage for Kalpak and have not regretted since. They arrange trips to Central Asia and do it really well. They are professional, respond to inquiries instantly, are very flexible and know the region well. I was in contact with Luca for a combination of mountain biking and trekking in the Fann mountains in Tajikistan. My experience is solely positive; truly professional and passionate about the region.

Mind you, Kalpak uses local resources and is responsible tourism. I really recommend Kalpak Travel! They make astonishing trips to Central Asia and are professional, serious and responsible.

S
Spencer, Australia
01/07/2018

We had a fabulous 13-day tour of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - in May/June. Luca, the owner of Kalpak Travel, has been very reliable and committed to giving excellent service. He was constantly keeping in touch during our trip to ensure that everything was running smoothly.

The guides in each city spoke excellent English and were extremely informative on all aspects of Central Asia. In Almaty, we were invited to have dinner at our tour guide's home. The food was fabulous and we had a wonderful evening….

We were very lucky to have Kalpak Travel as our tour company which exceeded our expectations with flying colours. We highly recommend Kalpak Travel if you are planning a hassle-free tour of Central Asia.

R
Rebecca, USA
01/07/2018

We had a wonderful 3.5 week trip through the 5 Stans. I feel like I've seen the highlights in case I don't get the opportunity to return, but I most certainly DO want to return and see more. These are the warmest and most welcoming people I have every encountered.

My regret is that Kalpak does not arrange trips for other parts of the world, as I truly enjoyed every minute of working with them, and would love to do so again. SUPERLATIVE service.

How to book

Contact us now for expert advice

Price guide

This itinerary would cost from €1,540 pp.

Pricing may vary by accommodation choice, group size and time of year.

What's included

Included Accommodation

Kalpak trips visit a combination of quality hotels, traditional Yurt camps, and local guesthouses.

Included Guided excursions

Expert, English-speaking guides accompany you throughout the entire trip, giving you unique insights into the local culture and history.

Included Ground transfers

All airport collections, hotel transfers and rail journeys are included.

Included All meals

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included in the price. You're not obliged to eat every meal with the group, and your guide will happily direct you to recommended local restaurants and markets if you prefer.

Included Internal flights

Domestic/internal flights are included where applicable.

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