Day 1. Airport – Bishkek city. Bishkek city – Ala Archa NP – Bishkek city (120 km). (BLD)
Arrival to the Manas airport. Transfer to Bishkek city. Accommodation in a hotel. Rest.
Late breakfast and transfer to Ala Archa gorge for excursion.
Ala Archa National Park located in a picturesque gorge of Ala Archa 40 km off from Bishkek. It is a popular place for hiking, skiing and mountaineering including trips to more than 20 glaciers. It covers the area of 200 km² - mostly forested valleys, waterfalls and rivers rich in trout. The altitude of ranges varies from 1500m to the highest point 4895m (Peak Semenov Tien Shanskii). Several rare species of fauna and especially traditionally revered juniper trees are under protection in the Natural Park. It has very diverse fauna: mountain meadows are the habitat for wild goats, deer and marmots. Ala Archa National Park is one of the few places of the habitat of the rare snow leopard
Nice hiking and photo opportunity.
Lunch picnic in the gorge.
Afternoon drive back to Bishkek.
The capital and industrial centre of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. The gesturing statue of Lenin can still be seen in the city’s vast central square, yet it is the permanently snowcapped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range which towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop.
Upon arrival to the city we visit Manas Monument, the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people. Then excursion to the State History Museum and walking tour around main Ala Too Square to watch ceremony of changing of the Guard of Honor, Kurmanzhan Datka Monument, main governmental buildings, and finish at the Old Square with Parliament House. Transfer to the Victory Square to finish the city tour by short excursion there.
Dinner in a local restaurant.
Optionally: During dinner we take the unique opportunity to listen to the Manaschi (a singer performing the national Kyrgyz epos, Manas) and see Kyrgyz folklore show. The musicians in traditional Kyrgyz costumes present you a wide range of national musical instruments – starting from Komuz (a three-stringed wooden musical instrument) to Chopo Choi (wind instrument made of mountain reed). You hear the fascinating singing of young Kyrgyz ladies and men and learn more about the traditional music and poetry of Kyrgyz.
Overnight in a hotel.
Day 2. Bishkek city – Cholpon Ata town via Burana Tower (280 km). (B,L,D)
After breakfast we drive to Issyk Kul Lake that is considered to be the “pearl” of Tien Shan and one of the most beautiful lakes in the country.
Our way goes via ruins of Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok city.
That minaret was constructed in Balasagun town, one of the capitals of Karakhanid State existed in 11-12 centuries AD. Explore ruins of that important trading point at the Great Silk Road and visit a little local museum telling about that civilization. Also watch a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs.
Optionally: On the area around the tower it is possible to organize horse riding games. Along with hunting dogs and birds, horses have always played an important role in the life of Kyrgyz people. They were used in everyday life as true assistants in household and as thoroughbred racers. There are festivals of Horse Games (Ulak Tartysh, Kyz Kuumai, Tyiyn Enmei, etc) held throughout the year.
Lunch in Tokmok in a local family.
In the late afternoon three hours’ drive to Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America
Measuring 182 km long by 58 km wide, the lake appeared as a result of volcanic activity. It is heated from below by thermal activity and never freezes even in the depths of winter. In the summer the water temperature reaches 25-28 degrees centigrade (warmer than the air) and you can swim in the lake enclosed on all sides by the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains. Extremely deep and nicely warm over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia most remarkable locations.
We are going to visit so called “Stone garden” or Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs Site.
After the excursion we will accommodate in a hotel.
Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 3. Cholpon Ata – Karakol town (180 km). (B,L,D)
Optionally: You can go on an hour boat cruise in the lake to admire clear water of Issyk Kul with snowcapped Tien Shan Mountains in the background.
That day you visit so called “Stone garden” or Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs site, the temple in the open air of Scythians and Hung suns civilizations dated back 9-8 centuries BC till 3-4 centuries AD. The area of those stone drawing lies at the foot of Kungei Alatau Ridge with a beautiful view of the whole lake.
You visit the Ethnological Museum in Cholpon Ata town, where you can acquaint the history of the Kyrgyz people from 8th century BC until to the present day.
Continue drive to Karakol town. On the way we visit the museum of N. M. Przhevalski, the outstanding Russian explorer of Asian continent.
Lunch in a local café in Karakol town.
Upon arrival to Karakol - sightseeing tour in the town.
We visit Dungan mosque, a unique construction in Chinese style, but serving as a mosque. Also you will see an Old Russian Orthodox Church – Holy Trinity Cathedral made of wood without any nails.
Dinner in a local dungan or Uigur family, where you can learn more about local traditions.
Day 4. Excursion to the Djety Oguz canyon (30 km). (BLD)
Morning transfer to Djety Oguz gorge.
If this day will be the Sunday, it will be possible to visit Sunday catle market and after drive to Djety Oguz.
Djety Oguz in Kyrgyz means “Seven Bulls”. This picturesque gorge is named so because of the red rocky sand formations covered with forests of Tien Shan spruces.
On this day you get acquainted with nomadic way of life of the Kyrgyz people and enjoy beautiful views of the gorge.
Lunch picnic in the gorge.
It’s possible to go towerd to the Oguz Bashy Peak (5168 m).
Optionally: In the late afternoon you can also visit a Hunting Birds Performance on the one of the mountain slopes.
After excursion transfer back to Karakol town. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 5. Karakol town – Karkara gorge (170 km). (BLD)
After breakfast we drive to Karkara gorge.
Our way goes along the eastern shore of the Issyk Kul Lake passing Tjup village that is situated 22km from Karakol town. Its population – is about 12000 people.
After passing the village we turn left, drive along the Kyngei Ala Too Mountain range (in Kyrgyz “sunny mountains”) and Terskey Ala Too Mountain Range (in Kyrgyz “shady mountains”) .These mountain ranges protect Issyk Kul Lake from the winds bringing either too cold or too hot temperatures. And then we reach Karkara gorge.
Upon arrival to the gorge we get accommodated in Mountaineering Camp.
Lunch in the Mountaineering Camp.
You can hike around Karkara gorge and enjoy the views of the Tien Shan Mountains.
After hiking dinner in the Mountaineering Camp.
Overnight in Tents.
Day 6. Helicopter flight from “Karkara” Base Camp to Base Camp “South Inylchek”. (B,L,D)
In the morning you take a helicopter and your journey starts.
We fly over the magnificent mountains of Tien Shan.
The views below change desperately: starting from green carpets of lower hills and slowly turning into snow capped huge mountains. You flight over one of the longest and largest glaciers of Tien Shan Mountains – Inylchek, the mystical and one of the kind mountainous lake Merzbacher Lake.
The helicopter lands at the Base Camp “South Inylchek” located at the altitude of 4200 m above sea level. From the camp you may observe the highest peaks of Tien Shan Mountains (Pobeda Peak (7439 m) and Khan Tengri Peak (7010 m).
Lunch in the Base Camp.
You have some time to walk around the Camp. And then in the afternoon flight back to Karkara.
Dinner in the Mountaineering Camp.
Overnight in Tents.
Day 7. Karkara gorge – Chon Kemin valley (355 km). (BLD)
Morning transfer to Chon Kemin valley. Upon arrival accommodation in a house.
Our way to Chon Kemin goes along the north shore of Issyk Kul Lake.
Lunch en route.
Also, the road will lead us through tight Boom Gorge where boisterous Chu River, so much loved by rafters (routes up to 6th category difficulty!), cuts its way, it passes northwards and then enters the wider Chuy valley.
Boom Gorge is an antecedent gorge between Chuy and Issyk Kul Province of Kyrgyzstan. The gorge cuts, in a general north-south direction, across one of Tian Shan's mountain range systems. The range east of the gorge is known as Kungey Ala Too, the one to the west is the Kyrgyz Range. The Bishkek-Tokmak-Kemin-Balykchi highway (A365) passes through the gorge, as does the railway from Bishkek to Balykchi.
Dinner and overnight in Chon Kemin guest house. Free time.
Day 8. Chon Kemin valley – Bishkek city (140 km). (BLD)
After breakfast free time to walk around the area of the guest house.
Otionally: horse riding.
Transfer to Bishkek city.
Upon arrival half day city tour in Bishkek.
We will visit Opera and Ballet theatre, Frunze museum and art gallery.
And finish our tour in the biggest shopping Centre ZUM where you can buy smart souvenirs and handicraft things.
Optionally: Dinner in a local restaurant with folklore performance. During dinner we take the unique opportunity to listen to the Manaschi (a singer performing the national Kyrgyz epos, Manas) and see Kyrgyz folklore show. The musicians in traditional Kyrgyz costumes present you a wide range of national musical instruments – starting from Komuz (a three-stringed wooden musical instrument) to Chopo Choi (wind instrument made of mountain reed). You hear the fascinating singing of young Kyrgyz ladies and men.
Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 9. Bishkek city – Manas Airport (30 km). (B)
Morning transfer to the airport. Flight back home.
End of our service
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