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Kyrgyzstan is a country of towering mountains and unique natural sites. This 12-day hiking itinerary offers a chance to explore these untouched peaks, green gorges, and turquoise alpine lakes on foot and up-close.

Explore Kyrgyzstan’s green, modern capital, Bishkek and enjoy the quiet charms and warm hospitality of Kyrgyzstan. Go trekking among wild and unspoilt mountains dotted with turquoise lakes. Watch traditional Kyrgyz horse games and meet an eagle hunter. Sleep in a yurt beside the alpine lake of Song Kul and Visit the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan” – Issyk Kul. Soak up the hustle and bustle of oriental bazaars and meet locals to learn more about Kyrgyz culture and history.

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

  • Explore mountain passes and alpine lakes on foot
  • 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
  • Included Camping equipment
Days

12

Starting from

€2,180 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, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Tour Type
Small group tour, Private guided tour

Detailed itinerary

What you'll see and do

Arrival in Bishkek

In the morning you will arrive in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, and transfer to the hotel. After breakfast and some rest, we depart for the mountain village of Kyzart. On the way, we will cross two small mountain passes. We will stop a few times to take photos and to have lunch. We will spend the night and have dinner in a family-run guesthouse in Kyzart.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Kyzart simple guesthouse
Simple

Kyzart simple guesthouse

Hike to Kilemche

Today we ditch our wheels for walking boots and start our two-day walk to the mountain lake of Song Kul. We will meet our local support crew after breakfast and set off on our hike to Kilemche.

The first part of the walk crosses the Kyzyl-Kiya Jailoo, an enormous sea of flat grass which Kyrgyz shepherds take advantage of for summer grazing. We will continue on into the Chaar-Archa Valley where we’ll break for lunch beside the river. The holy Baba-Ata Mountain (4,450 m) will be our lunchtime backdrop.

After lunch, we will cross the river at a natural ford and follow the trail over the verdant hills to Kilemche Jailoo (“jailoo” means summer pasture in Kyrgyz), where we will spend the night in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt. Each yurt has room for two people in twin beds, and all bedding and pillows will be provided. A basic long-drop toilet is located a short distance from the yurts.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Kilemche Yurt Camp
Camping

Kilemche Yurt Camp

Cross the Jaldyz Karagai Pass

After a cosy night under traditional felt, we will continue our walk this morning, ascending and crossing the Jaldyz Karagai Pass (around 700 m of ascent) which takes us up and over the Song Kul Range and into the lake’s basin.

The morning’s climb affords wonderful views over the Kilemche Jailoo in one direction, whilst in the other we get our first glimpses of Song Kul. As we descend the mountain slopes the lake looms larger and larger until we reach its shores and our campsite for the night.

The yurt camp here is a more permanent affair, with the same twin-yurt set up but with fixed, western-style toilets. This afternoon has been left free to relax in the atmospheric surroundings; alternatively, further walking is available or you can try out some horse riding. The shore of Song Kul is about 3 km from the yurt camp.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Song Kul Yurt Camp
Camping

Song Kul Yurt Camp

Arrive to Kochkor village

After breakfast we will have some more free time at Song Kul. We will also have a chance to witness a demonstration of Kok Boru, a form of polo played with the carcass of a goat. This is a traditional Kyrgyz horse game which has remained hugely popular for centuries.

After lunch, we will continue on to Kochkor, a village which is now synonymous with handmade felt carpets. Kochkor’s inhabitants have pledged to keep alive their regional traditions, and before dinner we will visit a woman’s cooperative which specialises in making shyrdak, a colorful hand-woven felt carpet. We will spend the night in a hotel with private bathroom facilities in each room.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Nomad Lodge
Classic

Hotel Nomad Lodge

Trace the shores of Issyk Kul

After breakfast we will continue our journey to iconic Issyk Kul, the lake quite-rightly dubbed “The Pearl of Kyrgyzstan”. We will trace our way alongside its southern shores to the village of Kyzyl Tuu, one of the centers for yurt production. Here we will learn more about this traditional nomadic dwelling. Further along, we will meet an eagle hunter, who will give a demonstration for us.

Our next stop is Skazka or “Fairytale Canyon”, so-called due to its bizarre landscape of intriguing rock formations, where we will have a walk. In the late afternoon we will arrive in the mountain valley of Jety Oguz, where we will have dinner and spend the night. Tonight’s yurts will be shared between two, with western-style toilets outside.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Jety Oguz Yurt Camp
Camping

Jety Oguz Yurt Camp

Trek to Telety Pass

Today we will embark on a four-day trek to Ala Kul and then from the lake further to the gorge of Altyn Arashan, where we will be rewarded with a dip in hot springs.

After breakfast, we will set off for the Telety Valley. Our path will go along the river bank in a very narrow wooded gorge called Aiu Tor which will lead us to the alpine meadows. Here, on a carpet of flowers with beautiful views, we will have our picnic lunch.

In the afternoon we will continue the trek to the foot of the Telety Pass. We will enjoy dinner together and spend the night in a tent camp.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Camping

Telety Tent Camp

Camp in Karakol Gorge

After breakfast we will trek over the Telety Pass (3,770 m). It will be not very difficult and the trail leads through a narrow path with a slight ascent. There are only two rather steep sections which require some effort. From the top of the pass we will enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view.

The descent is fairly simple. We will go along a wide slope covered with talus, across alpine meadows with various herbs and flowers, and along the East Telety River. Later, we will hike through the forest along a trail covered with roots. We will have dinner and overnight in a tent camp in Karakol Gorge.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Karakol Gorge Tent Camp
Camping

Karakol Gorge Tent Camp

Hike to Ala Kul Lake

After a hearty breakfast, we will start our hike to Ala Kul. This lake is not far away in distance, but most of the route is a quite steep ascent. We will be in no hurry today, though, and will take plenty of breaks, capturing beautiful photos and catching our breath.

Ala Kul is a mountain lake more than 70 m deep, and it is of incomparable beauty. From the shore of the lake, you can see the glacier which is its source. Dinner will be served and we will overnight in a tent camp near the lake.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Ala Kul Tent Camp
Camping

Ala Kul Tent Camp

Arrive in Altyn Arashan Valley

This morning after breakfast we will climb further up to the Ala Kul Pass (3,860 m) (about 4 km, 2-2.5 hours) and enjoy breathtaking views of Ala Kul. Ala Kul means “Colorful Lake” in the Kyrgyz language, and from here you will appreciate why. Depending on the light, the water changes color: it can be emerald green, turquoise with white clouds reflected in it, light green, dark grey, or even black.

We will descend from the pass along a talus slope and then cross the picturesque Keldike Valley with its stunning landscapes and herds of cattle and flocks of sheep grazing. Going through a forest we will end up in the Altyn Arashan Valley. This place is famous for its hot springs, the temperature of which is 50 Celsius. You can enjoy the naturally heated thermal baths in old-fashioned Russian houses. We will have dinner and once again spend the night in tents.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Camping

Altyn Arashan Valley Tent Camp

Karakol city tour

After breakfast we will get picked up by old Russian military trucks. They will bring us to the city of Karakol, where we will meet civilization once again. It is a distance of less than 20 km, but due to the terrible road condition, the ride takes about two hours.

Our short city tour of Karakol will include the wooden Russian Orthodox Church and the Dungan Mosque, which is also made out of wood. Lunch will be served in the home of an Uighur family. In the afternoon, we will transfer in a much more comfortable minibus to Cholpon Ata on the northern shore of Issyk Kul and have free time on the beach. We will check in our hotel and have dinner in Cholpon Ata.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Raduga
Classic

Hotel Raduga

Bishkek city tour

Today we will drive back to Bishkek along the northern lake shore of Issyk Kul and through Boom Gorge. On the way, we will visit Burana Tower, the last surviving minaret of the ancient Silk Road town of Balasaghun.

On arrival in Bishkek, we will have a short city tour of the Kyrgyz capital, including Central Square, Victory Square, and Osh Bazaar. Our farewell dinner in a restaurant will be accompanied by a folklore show.

Where you'll stay
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Hotel Asia Mountain
Classic

Hotel Asia Mountain

Departure from Bishkek

Today it is time to say a fond farewell to Kyrgyzstan. Early in the morning you will transfer to Bishkek International Airport. We sincerely hope you will have enjoyed your trip and will return soon to explore more of Central Asia.

Included meals: Breakfast

  • Bishkek

    Bishkek

    ...
  • Kilemche

    Kilemche

    ...
  • 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...
  • Kochkor

    Kochkor

    ...
  • Jety Oguz

    Jety Oguz

    ...
  • Telety Pass

    Telety Pass

    ...
  • Karakol

    Karakol

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

    Ala Kul Lake

    ...
  • Altyn Arashan

    Altyn Arashan

    ...
  • Cholpon Ata

    Cholpon Ata

    ...
  • Bishkek

    Bishkek

    ...
  • Bishkek

    Bishkek

    ...

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning      
21 Jul 2023 1 Aug 2023 €2,180 Enquire
16 Aug 2023 27 Aug 2023 €2,180 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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Kyzart simple guesthouse
Simple

Kyzart simple guesthouse

This small family-owned guesthouse offers comfortable rooms, located in the village of Kyzart...

Expand
Kilemche Yurt Camp
Camping

Kilemche Yurt Camp

Spend the night camped out in the Kilemche pastures in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt...

Expand
Song Kul Yurt Camp
Camping

Song Kul Yurt Camp

Experience the wild Steppe like the nomads always have, in a traditional yurt camp on the shores of Song Kul...

Expand
Hotel Nomad Lodge
Classic

Hotel Nomad Lodge

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

Expand
Jety Oguz Yurt Camp
Camping

Jety Oguz Yurt Camp

Camp in the mountain valley of Jety Oguz in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt...

Camping

Telety Tent Camp

Spend the night sleeping under the stars in a tent camp at the foot of Telety Pass...

Expand
Karakol Gorge Tent Camp
Camping

Karakol Gorge Tent Camp

Overnight stay in a tented camp in Karakol Gorge...

Expand
Ala Kul Tent Camp
Camping

Ala Kul Tent Camp

Stay overnight on the shores of the stunning Ala Kul Lake in a Tent Camp...

Camping

Altyn Arashan Valley Tent Camp

Recharge after a day of trekking in a tent camp set in Altyn Arashan Valley...

Expand
Hotel Raduga
Classic

Hotel Raduga

Hotel Raduga is situated in Cholpon Ata, along the northern shore of Issyk Kul Lake, just a short distance from the beach...

Expand
Hotel Asia Mountain
Classic

Hotel Asia Mountain

Hotel Asia Mountain is located in a quiet area of ​​the city centre, with easy access to the main streets of the Bishkek...

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 €2,180 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, guesthouses, and camping (all equipment provided). Get in touch for more information.

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.

Included Camping equipment

All equipment for overnight stays in Yurt camps is provided.

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