“It is better once to see, than to listen many times”


  • Category: horseback/trekking
  • Duration: 3 days horseback or 3-4 days trekking
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate
  • Overall distance: 55 km
  • Best season: May 15 – September 30
  • Requirements: trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, torch, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.
  • Itinerary: Kara-Suu village – Kara-Suu Lake – Kotormo Pass – Sary-Chelek Lake and Reserve –Kara-Suu or Arkyt Village



The village of Kara-Suu is 600km from Bishkek on the upper reaches of the Kara-Suu River, 1,300m ASL. The village is 70km from Kerben and 260km from Jalalabat. A distinguishing feature of the area is the variety and multitude of flora and fauna. The Kara-Suu River flows from the southern part of the At-Oinok mountain range and joins the river Naryn at the town of Tash-Kömür.

Because the Kara-Suu is the Sary-Chelek National Park’s buffer zone, flora and fauna of many kinds are found there. Sary-Chelek (“Yellow Jar” in Kyrgyz) is a gorgeous alpine lake in western Jalalabad oblast, surrounded by walnut and fruit forests and protected, at least nominally, as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The park and area comprise river valleys and settlements which flow along a winding course through almost all the territory of the reserve, in places between steep banks, strewn with boulders forming rapid cascades and waterfalls up to 3 meters high. Glaciers and permanent ice fields and high mountain lakes lie on the north facing slopes.

It is possible to view all this while driving to the shore of the fascinating Sary-Chelek Lake. It is right at the foot of the Chatkal mountain range. The beauty of this lake can be compared with the best in the world; its waters often appear a greenish shade of blue and make excellent photographs.

Day 1: Arrival in Karasuu, accommodation in CBT home stay with dinner.

Day 2: Breakfast, followed by a briefing and choosing horses then setting off northwards to Kara-Suu Gorge, crossing the river by wooden bridges. The gorge becomes rather narrow and the slopes are covered with a beautiful silver fir forest. Further on the track passes below a waterfall and then climbs over a pass to Kara-Suu Lake (1,800 m, 17 km, 4 hours).  Have lunch and then relax and experience the real way of life on the jailoo (mountain pasture). Enjoy supper by an open fire.

Day 3: Breakfast, then continue the trek to Kotormo Pass-2446m. On the descent from the Pass, stop for a picnic lunch in a field. (7km, 3 hours) After lunch continue the trek and see the 5 lakes of Sary-Chelek. Have supper and camp overnight in tents (10km, 3 hours).  

Day 4: Breakfast and relax near Iri-Kol Lake, followed by lunch at 12.00. After lunch continue trekking among the nut forests and get a panoramic view of Sary-Chelek. Descend from the Pass to Kara-Suu or Arkyt village for dinner in a guesthouse (20 km, 4 hours).

Day 5: Breakfast. Morning departure.

Attention: above description is given for 3-days horse riding tour, trekking can be either 3 or 4 days!

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