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The Essential Kyrgyzstan

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10 days, 9 nights

June 29, 2020 —
October 07, 2020

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62 km



A ten day tour that offers a taste of the best places to see and things to do in Kyrgyzstan.  At the heart of the tour is a 4-day trek past the high alpine lake, Ala Kol.  This trek is challenging and requires significant walking and climbing for extended periods at high altitudes.  It is recommended for those with some experience doing long hikes. The overall tour is designed to acclimate and guide guests throughout their entire stay, ensuring that they make the most of each day that they have to spend in Kyrgyzstan.


Day 1 | Manas Airport - Bishkek

A White Leopard employee will meet you at Manas Airport and transfer you to a hotel in Bishkek. After breakfast and a rest at the hotel, go on a city tour of Bishkek to see Oak Park, Ala-Too Square, and Osh Bazaar.

Lunch and Dinner will be at a national café

 Day 2 | 
Burana Tower and Issyk-kul

We leave from Bishkek through the Boom Gorge. On the way, we will visit the Burana Tower near the city of Tokmok. This tower was built during the era of the Karakhanid Kaganate, which existed in the 11-12 centuries.  The tower was a center point in the capital city, Balasagyn.

Lunch will be at Food Zone, in Boom Gorge.  After lunch we will explore the intricate mysteries of Kok Moinok Canyon before drive along the north shore of the lake, through Cholpon Ata, where we can stop to see the open air Petroglyphs Museum.

We will continue to Jyrgylan, where we will stay at a yurt camp. 

 Day 3 | 
Horse Riding in Jyrgylan

Wake up in a cozy yurt and enjoy breakfast.  We will then saddle up and take a ride, enjoying one of the more beautiful locations in Kyrgyzstan.  Here there are easy trails with scenic hills, forest, and streams.

Barbecue picnic with traditional Kyrgyz shashlik (barbeque) either near the lake or the waterfall.

In the early evening we will drive to Karakol and overnight at a hotel.

 Day 4 | 
Trekking Day:  Telety Pass

From Karakol we will drive to the Kok-Kzhaiyk valley.  On the way, you will have the opportunity to see the famous Jeti Oguz, covered with legends, red sand, and the rocks “Broken Heart”.

Trek from Kok-Kzhaiyk through the Telety pass.  The height of Telety Pass is 3800 m. 

Dinner and overnight in Telety camp at 3050m.

Crossing: 16 km, 6-8 hrs., +1500m / -750m

Day 5 | 
Trekking Day: Kurgak Tor Valley

Leave Telety camp and descend into Karakol Gorge before making a final ascent into the Kurgak Tor Valley.

Overnight in tent camp at Kurgak Tor Valley

Crossing: 15 km. / 6-8 hours / +900 m. / -1300 m.

 Day 6 | 
Trekking Day: Ala Kol

Today we will be on our way to one of the most beautiful lakes in the Central Tien Shan - Ala-Kol (3532 m).  A moraine lake, Ala Kol stretches from east to west for 2.8 km,  its width is 500m,  and reaches a depth of 70m.  After the lake, we continue to Ala Kol Pass, then descend all the way down to Altyn Arashan river.  Altyn Arashan means the Golden Source, which was named after the hot, healing sources of hydrogen sulfide that are prevalent in this valley. After the long walk, you can relax in one of the hot springs. (Remember to pack your swimming suit!)

The height of the pass is 3900 m.

Dinner and overnight in tent camp at 2600m

Crossing: 16 KM / 8-9 HRS / +1100 / -1450

 Day 7 | 
Trekking Day: Altyn Arashan

Downhill walk through the Altyn Arashan valley, with spectacular views of the mountains and plenty of places to picnic. 

Transfer from Ak Suu to Karakol by car.

Dinner at national restaurant, then transfer to boat dock for sunset cruise on Lake Issyk-kul.

Overnight in a guest house in Karakol

Crossing: 15 km. / 4-5 hrs. / -671 m 

 Day 8 | Karakol - Bokonbaevo

 Breakfast at guesthouse, then drive on the south shore of Lake Issyk-Kul.  This area is known for stunning views of the Tien Shan Mountains.  We will stop at Skazka Canyon, or Fairytale Canyon, which is the other end of Kok Moinok canyons (from Day 2).  We will arrive at Bokonbaeva mid-day, and there are options for short hikes with amazing views from the valley behind the town.  You can also request to see an eagle hunting demonstration and we will visit a locally run women’s co-operative that makes beautiful felted shyrdaks. 

Day 9 | Bokonbaevo - Bishkek

Depart from Bokonbaevo after breakfast at the guesthouse.  Drive back through Boom Gorge and to arrive at the hotel accommodation in Bishkek.  In the afternoon you can visit souvenir shops or ask our guides about places to see in the city, depending on your interests!  Dinner will be at one of the famous ethno-cafes, with traditional food and decor.

Day 10 | 

Transfer to airport and goodbye!

Cost Includes

  • All accomodations

  • Meals during the program

  • English speaking guide during the whole program

  • All the transfers according to the program

  • Entrance and ecological fees

Not Included:

  • Visa support and visa fee (if necessary)

  •  International airfares

  • All optional rejections from the main route

  • Drinks and dishes not included in the main menu

  • 4 season sleeping bag (available for rental or bring your own)


This tour gets straight to the point, and takes you deep into the heart of Kyrgyzstan's beauty.  It is designed to maximize your time, making the most of each day so that you don't miss anything!


For the trip you will need: 

·        boots

·        waterproof jacket and trousers

·        fleece jacket or similar

·        backpack

·        sunglasses

·        sun cream.

·        warm hat and gloves



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