Around Lake Yssik-Kol for 9 days
Itinerary: Bishkek – Burana Tower – Tamchy Village – Karakol Town – Altyn-Arashan Hot Springs — Jety-Ögüz Gorge – Bokonbaevo — Bishkek
Best Season: May — September
Duration: 8 days
Category: combined – 4 days auto / 3 days medium-level trekking and 1-day horseback riding
Level of Difficulty: Easy to medium
Group size: Any
Transport: Jeep or Minivan (2-6 pax); Minibus (6-12pax).
Requirements: Weatherproof warm clothes, trekking boots, hat, sleeping bag with mat, sunglasses and sunscreen
Day 1: Arrival at Manas airport. Meet and transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation in a hotel.
Day 2: Leave for Tamchy village, the north shore of the Issyk-Kul lake (4-hour drive). On the way, visit the Burana Tower architectural complex (10-11th century, an important point on the Great Silk Road), 15km from the main road. At lunch time arrival in Tamchy, after lunch walking around the village or to the lakeshore. Dinner, bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 3: Continue the drive to Karakol (about 3-4 hours). On the way, we make a stop in Cholpon-Ata to visit an open-air petroglyph (rock painting) gallery (5km from Cholpon-Ata, heading to the mountains). Lunch en-route in a café. Afternoon arrival in Karakol followed by a city tour: visit the Dungan Mosque and the Russian Orthodox Church. Dinner, bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 4: Morning transfer to the Ak-Suu Village (about 30 km). Start the trekking. Lunch-picnic on the way. Trek to the footsteps of the Ortok Pass. Camp in the tent near the Pass. Trekking time: 5-6 hours. For detailed description with map please follow the link: Almaluu & Arashan_3days
Day 5: Hike through the Ortok Pass, 3560 m. Amazing views of the valley, and the small beautiful mountain lakes. Lunch after descend. Walk to the Altyn-Arashan resort, which is situated 2450 m above sea level. Camp at this wonderful place which is surrounded by magnificent rocks and from where a lot of streams begin from the glaciers. A great panoramic view of the snow-capped Tashtanbek Tor Bashy (Peak Tashtanbek), 4600 m. Overnight is available in a mountain hut or in tents. Trekking time: 6-7 hours.
Day 6: At the Altyn-Arashan resort is possible to take a thermal water bath. You will never be able to forget the sight of the snow on Peak Palatka (Tent) 5260 m or «Swallow’s Nest Pool», nestling beneath the open sky. After breakfast walk from Altyn Arashan resort down by Arashan Gorge (4 hours). Drive to Karakol (30 minutes). Dinner, bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 7: After breakfast transfer to the Jeti-Ögüz Gorge (Seven Bulls), 1 hour. Visit the Kök-Jaik area (Valley of Flowers), 2-3 hours. Picnic lunch en-route. Continue to the southern shore of Ysyk-Köl Lake, 3 hours. Dinner and overnight stay at a yurt camp near Bokonbaevo village.
Day 8: In the morning start the day horseback riding along the lake shore and local hills. Picnic lunch during the tour. Dinner and overnight in a yurt camp. Detailed horse riding description is given below!
Day 9: Morning departure to Bishkek (5 hours). Arrival in Bishkek, hotel accommodation.
Day 10: Transfer to the airport. Departure.
— Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs;
— Ysyk-Köl (Issyk-Kol) lake;
— Altyn-Arashan Hot Spings;
— Yurt camp on the lake shore.
Accommodation & Included meals:
3 nights CBT home stays
2 nights CBT yurt stays
3 Lunches and 2 Lunch-picnics
2 nights Tents