Welcome to an exciting and adventurous travel tour around Kyrgyzstan offering stunning hiking trails, that will leave you speechless! If you love being outdoors and hiking in the mountains, Kyrgyzstan has a lot of fun places to offer.
Kyrgyzstan in 12 days!
Jul.2019: Hello, Bonjour and Salam from a two weeks travel route around Kyrgyzstan that includes some amazing outdoor adventures by foot and with horses to some of the largest and bluest mountain lakes Mother Earth has to offer. You can get some inspiration for your own tour through this lovely country in the middle of Central Asia.
- Length – 12 days / 11 nights
- Total km – ca. 1.040km
- Transportation – no rented car needed, you can take Mashrutkas or private taxis
- Road conditions – tared and gravel
- Accommodation – Guesthouses, Homestays in yurts and camping
- Highlights – Ala-Kul lake, Song-Köl and Fairy Tale canyon
If you want to spent an outdoor vacation for about 12 days, Kyrgyzstan offers you some of the most scenic hiking possibilities in high altitudes. You will see turquoise lakes with a panorama of snow topped mountains and tough semi-wild horses.
FRU Airport – Bishkek drive about 35km; 30min
Day 1: Flights from Europe to Manas Airport will most likely arrive in the very early morning hours, giving you the possibility of enjoying a full first day in Bishkek. Once you are in town you can buy a local SIM card for 100 som that will provide you with 10 Gig and calling time for one week. You can get this deal at every O! shop and it’s really helpful during your stay, especially if you are not fluent in Russian or Kyrgyz and have to use the google translator. From the western bus station in Bishkek you can take a private Taxi to Tokmok to see the Burana tower (~400 som back and forth). This whole trip will not take much longer than 2 hours and you will be back in Bishkek.
Bishkek – Balykchy drive about 185km; 3hr
Day 1: Still on your first day in Kyrgyzstan you can easily take a Mashrutka that will bring you within 3 hours to Balykchy (~250 som), where you can stay for one night in the Tian-Shan Guesthouse which is in 2 minutes walking distance from the huge lake Issyk-Kul. To get around with the Mashrutkas is very easy you just show up at a pick up spot and wait until all seats in the minibus are full, which usually takes something between 10 and 30 minutes. Once the bus is full it will leave towards your destination. Enjoy your first night at the beautiful lake where you can indulge yourself in a gorgeous lake view with never ending snowcapped mountains in the background.
Balykchy – Karakol drive about 220km; 4hr
Day 2 – 5: With a Mashrutka you can get within 4 hours to Karakol (~250 som) and stay in the marvelous Riverside Guesthouse. The owner speaks well English and is happy to provide you with plenty information and even camping equipment to do the self-hiking around the Ala-Kul. So take your time to prepare your next hiking days. You can do a 3 day hiking tour to the turquoise Ala-Kul lake with one night sleeping in your own tent or one of the 4 little yurts at Sirona camp before you hike up another day to the gorgeous lake. Be aware that even during summer time chances are high that you come into a thunder, hail or even snow storm as you pass almost 4.000m altitude. From the lake you follow the trail up the pass to cross it and hike down along the river that will guide you on your right side now. Once you come to a shepherd house, you cross the ice-cold river and follow a cow path. Stay close to the river that is now on your left side to not get lost. You will already see the big river downhill that leads to Altyn Arash where you can choose between lots of sleeping places and enjoy the hot springs. As the second day is quite a long hike that will take something between 9 – 11 hours start your day early so you can get some resting as well. The last day will lead you for another 4 – 5 hour hike downhill until you cross a road where a minibus can pick you up along the street, driving you back to Karakol. In town, the restaurant Zarina is a great place to try some local Kyrgyz food. There are not many sightseeing places but if you have time you can go and visit the old Dungan mosque.
Karakol – Tosor drive about 100km; 1hr 30min
Day 6: From Karakol you can take a Taxi to Tosor (~250 som) and enjoy one night at the Southern side of the Issyk-Kul lake. The Riverside Guesthouse will certainly be happy to help you with organizing a Taxi and a night in the cosy Tosor BnB. From here you can take a Taxi to the stunning Fairy Tale canyon (Skazka Canyon) that will make you think you are in the Western part of the USA. Follow your own hiking route along the red and orange sandstones garnished by violet lavender. You can spent hours walking around and exploring the stone formations looking like the Chinese wall, castles or just let your imagination wander around this magical place.
Tosor – Kochkor drive about 200km; 3hr
Day 7 – 10: Leaving Tosor is a bit of a challenge – you need to find a Mashrutka going to Balykchy (~300 som) from the main road. You might wait for an hour and Russian or Kyrgyz language knowledge is definitely an asset to not get lost in translation. In Balykchy you take a private Taxi (~1000 som) that will drive you to Kochkor, where you can spend a night at the Guesthouse Baytur while organizing your 3 nights hiking or riding trip to the majestic Song-Köl lake. CBT Kochkor will assist you to find your matching outdoor experience and organize the transportation for you. I can unfortunately not recommend the riding trip as I was not pleased how the horses were treated and in what conditions they were. Nevertheless the nature experience was quite nice and the nights were spent in traditional yurts.
Kochkor – Bishkek drive about 200km; 3hr
Day 11 – 12: In Kochkor you can find easily a Taxi (~200 som) or Mashrutka that will take you to Bishkek and spend some nights in the Holiday Hostel before heading back to the airport with a private Taxi that you can order through the Yandex app (~530 som). Enjoy some sightseeing in Bishkek after a fun outdoor holiday. Bye bye, salut and dshakschy kal ∞
If you have any Questions, contact me or check out my advices for Kyrgyzstan on Instagram.