Tour: High Lakes of Tian Shian Duration: 12 Days Places to visit: Bishkek - Trekking - Karakol - Jeti Oguz - Kochkor - Song Kul - Bishkek
Season: middle of June - middle of September Type of the tour: cultural/trekking
Day 1 BISHKEK Arrival in Bishkek (formerly Frunze), the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Transfer to Bishkek (40 km) to the hotel Asia Mountains or similar. Breakfast and rest at the hotel. City tour, excursion on the main Ala-To Square, visit of the Historical Museum, Walk along the Oak Park to the open art gallery of Sculptures. Lunch. After lunch continue of City tour, Visit of Osh bazaar, a Kyrgyz (bazaar) where one can buy everything from clothes to food, spices, souvenirs, etc Visit the Kyrgyz drama theater. Visit to philharmonic house. Dinner in the local restaurant. Overnight stay in the hotel.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: start point - 800 m in Bishkek)
Day 2 Trekking Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the National park of the valley of Chon-Kemin (160 km) to the start point of the trek to the gorge Tory-Aigyr. Meeting with the local team with horses for luggage. Start the trekking up to the gorge Tory-Aigyr about 4-5 hours. Here you can see a unique spectacle - meadows, full of edelweiss. Stay overnight in tents.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: start point - 800 m in Bishkek, start point of the trek- 1800m, end of day -2150m in the tent camp)
Day 3 Trekking The walk takes you to the pass Tory-Aigyr (3150 m). Trekking towards the mountain Lake Kol-Kogur (Kol-Tor). (5-6 hours). The lake is a magnificent spectacle in the bright sunshine. It looks like a sapphire set amongst a vast array of silver, snow-covered mountains. Stay overnight in tents (2550 m above sea level).
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: in tent camp - 2150m, end of day -2550m in the tent camp)
Day 4 Trekking. Breakfast. Trekking over the pass Kol-Kogur (3100 m) about 4-5 hours. The path passes through alpine meadows where, in summer, local people live with their families and livestock. Picnic. Trekking down for 700 m. till the water. Stay overnight in tents (2400 m above sea level).
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: in tent camp - 2550m, highest point of the trek is 3100 m at the pass, end of day -2400m in the tent camp)
Day 5 Trekking Breakfast. Trek down to the mouth of Kol-Tor valley about 3-4 hours. Picnic for lunch. Meeting with car. Transfer to the Cholpon-Ata on the Northern shore of Issyk-Kul lake (40 km). Free time for swimming on the lake. Optionally is possible to do motor boat excursion during 1 hour in Issyk-Kul lake. It is the second largest mountain lake after Titicaca. Accommodation in the hotel on the shore of the lake, "Raduga" or similar.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: in tent camp - 2400m, end of day -1600m at the lake shore)
Day 6 KARAKOL Transfer to Karakol (170 km) along the Northern shore of Issy-Kul. Visit the Open Air Museum of Petrogliphs in Cholpon-Ata city. The Open Air Museum, sometimes referred as a Stone Garden, covers some 42 hectares and contains a number of prehistoric monumental structures (stone circles, tombs, the remains of a boundary stone wall, balbals) and Petroglyphs (dating from the II millennium BC up to the Middle Ages upto the VI century AD).. Excursion to the Farm in Tepke village. Lunch on the farm. The owners of farm are breading Kyrgyz type of horses. It will be presentation about Kyrgyz horses. As option for additional payment is possible to organize Kyrgyz traditional horse game "ULak Tartysh" (Kyrgyz Polo) in the village. Transfer to Karakol. City tour in Karakol. Visiting Prjevalskiy (famous Russian traveler) museum, Russian Orthodox Church, Muslim mosque in Dungan style. Accommodation in a hotel.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: at the lake shore - 1600m, end of day -1700m in Karakol)
Day 7 KARAKOL-JETY OGUZ After breakfast transfer to the Jety Oguz gorge (40 km) to the valley of flowers. Shepherds tell a lot of legends about the beautiful, famous, red rocks formation known as "Seven Bulls" and "Broken Heart" Pass several wooden bridges over the mountainous river to reach the Flower Valley, because it has many flowers especially in June. Upon arrival accommodation and lunch in the yurt camp. The camp has 5 yurts with 4 sleeping places in each yurta. All yurts have heating stove, wooden floor. Sleeping places will be organized on the floor in traditional Kyrgyz style. We will provide two mats, two blankets and clean bed shits for each sleeping place. The lunch will be served in separate dinning yurt. PM. Walking excursion to the waterfall named also Jety-Oguz. It is 24 meters high. Walking distance is about 3-4 km, walking time to the waterfall about 1 hour to one direction. The same time takes walking back to the camp. Relax on the riverbank or in the Yurt camp. Overnight stay in the yurt camp, in "Flower valley".
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: in Karakol - 1700m, end of day -2250m in the yurt camp)
Day 8 JETY OGUZ -KOCHKOR Transfer to Kochkor village (280 km). The road goes along the southern shore of the Issyk-Kul lake. Stop for picnic on the shore. Visiting woman group who is producing traditional nomad's carpets from the felt which call "Shiyrdak'" and "Ala Kiiz". You can see the processing the carpet production. Optionally it is possible to have an Eagle hunting show in Bokonbaevo on the way to Kochkor. Stop on the shore of the lake for picnic and for swim. This night you will stay in the family guesthouses of local people. Four family guesthouses located on one street (2-3 minutes walking distance from one house to another). Each house has 2-3 sleeping rooms, one toilet and one shower. You need to share the toilet and the shower between people staying in one house. The dinner will be organized in one of the family for whole group. It will be prepared Kyrgyz traditional meal Beshparmak . Some people from the family will join you for the dinner and you can know about the life of people in villages during the discussion.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: in the Yurt camp - 2250m, end of day -1750m in Kochkor village)
Day 9 KOCHKOR - SONG KUL (130 km) Breakfast. Transfer to Song-Kul Lake which is located on the altitude 3030 m. Local people call the pasture around the lake as nomad's paradise. Hundreds of local shepherd stay during the summer in the area around Song-Kul lake and using local traditional felt houses yurta to stay on the pasture. Upon arrival to Song-Kul you will stay in the yurt camp nearby shepherds. Lunch and dinner in the yurt camp.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: in Kochkor village- 1750m, end of day -3040m in Song-Kul Lake)
Day 10 SONG KUL Breakfast. Free day in Song-Kul. This is a popular place among the local people, who come here every summer with their families and cattle. You can do one day hiking to mountains, meet local shepherds or ride horses, watch the shepherd's way of life: taste bread and kumyz (the national Kyrgyz drink from mares' milk). For walking excursion and visit nomads the guide will be with you. It is different possibilities of walking distances on Song-Kul. - Local shepherds families stay around the camp on distance about 1 km. - It is no special walking routes on Song-Kul. You can do walking for yourself and spend time for walking from 1 hour and up to 5-6 hours. If you go for whole day walking, we will organize packed lunch and you do not need to come back to the camp for lunch time. You can have free fly program for walking this day and stay along on the nature. For horse riding we will organize local stableman for escorting. Accommodation and dinner in the yurt camp.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: -3040m in Song-Kul Lake)
Day 11 SON KOL -BISHKEK Breakfast. Transfer to Bishkek (380 km). The road goes over the hight pass Kalmak Ashuu (3065 m). Lunch. On the way a visit to Burana tower the remaining of Karakhanid Empire in Central Asia (11 c). Dinner in the local restaurant. Optionally Kyrgyz folklore program during the dinner. Accommodation in the "Asia Mountains" or similar.
(Altitudes above sea level during the day: -3040m in Song-Kul Lake)
Day 12 BISHKEK-AIRPORT Transfer to the Airport.
Want to see the top sights and feel the pure nature, then this The High Lakes of Tian Shian Tour is exactly for you. There are about 2000 lakes in Kyrgyzstan, the total area of which is 6836 square kilometers. Most of the lakes are mountainous and lie at an altitude of 2500 to 4000 meters above sea level. The main reason for the formation of lakes is the melting of glaciers. For example, one of them is second largest mountain lake after Titicaca Issyk Kul lake. This lake never freezes even though surrounded by mountains. There wereу found many archaeological remains around Issyk-Kul, for instance, petroglyphs, ruin of buildings and cities that lie under the waters. The other one is Song-Kul Lake, which is located on the altitude 3030 m. Son Kul Lake is considered by many to be the ‘Jewel in the Kyrgyz Crown' for natural beauty. This is a land of nomadic shepherds tending their flocks. You will see these two beautiful lakes yourself in your itinerary, which begins from Bishkek and a 4-day trek high in the mountains and valleys, driving through the Jeti Oguz gorge, Kochkor village and transfer to Son Kul Lake and back to Bishkek.
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