trip
Plan your active adventure.View relaxed booking conditions.
5
Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 5 day trek
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotel/guesthouse
  • 5 nights camping
  • 3 nights yurt
Meals
  • 14 Dinners
  • 13 Lunches
  • 14 Breakfasts

15 Days$2680USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: NCM

Trip highlights


  • Journey through spectacular scenery to Son-Kul and Issyk-Kul Lakes
  • Discover Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs
  • Trek over the Telety and Ala Kol Passes and to the foot of Karakol Peak
  • Soak in the hot springs of Altin Arashan
  • Explore the intriguing capital city of Bishkek

The celestial Tian Shan Mountains take up much of the small republic of Kyrgyzstan and provide a stunning landscape of eternal snows and alpine meadows. Explore this culturally rich country meeting local herders to learn about their traditional way of life, and discover this mysterious land where people's lives are shaped by breathtaking sheer peaks, swift horses and majestic glaciers in a very unique interpretation of lands forgotten by time. Explore the lonely beauty of Son-Kul and Issyk-Kul Lakes situated on a treeless mountain plateau with its verdant meadows used by shepherds in the summer months. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience exploring a remote country of blue lakes and green valleys, this is the journey for you!


Upon arrival into Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, you will be met at the airport and a transfer is provided to the group hotel (30km, ~1hr). Your local guide will conduct a group briefing in the lobby that evening (time to be advised) before you head out for a welcome meal to get to know your travel companions. Overnight: Asia Mountains or similar

Meals:  D

This morning we will visit the highlights of Bishkek including Alatoo Square, the State History Museum and the cultural-ethnographic complex 'Manas Ayily'. After lunch we journey by road to Kyrgystan’s largest gorge, Ala-Archa set in the Ala-Too Mountains. Drive 40 km, 1 h., + 1500 m (asphalt road). This gorge was declared a National Park in 1976 in order to protect its rare flora and fauna, 2200m. The park's name translates from Kyrgyz as 'the Speckled Juniper (Archa)', in honour of a plant which can be seen here at every turn. Overnight: Overnight: Asia Mountains or similar

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we drive to Son-Kul Lake where we are introduced to the nomadic life of Kyrgyz families who live much as their ancestors have for generations. Drive 390 km, 8-9 h., + 2000 m (asphalt + dirt road). We will have the opportunity to sample fresh airan (yoghurt) and kumis (the national drink of fermented mare's milk). This evening we spend the night in a yurt camp in the summer mountain pastures. Please note that there is no for single occupancy option at the yurt camp. Overnight: Yurt camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we learn how to set up a yurt. The yurt is the traditional shelter for people of the Tian Shan Mountains. These nomadic dwellings are constructed of a multi-pieced wooden frame that is overlaid with several felt coverings of sheep wool. It takes only about two hours to put a yurt together. There are usually many colorful handmade mats, felt rugs and embroideries to be found inside, as well as a 'dastorkon' – a low table with delicious food prepared for guests. Overnight: Yurt camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we journey by road to the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake (drive 290 km, 6-6,5 h., - 1400 m asphalt + dirt road), the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. It is set at 1608m above sea level against the scenic backdrop of the Tian Shan mountains. Measuring 182 km long by 58 km wide, the lake was created by volcanic activity. It is heated by geothermal activity and never freezes, even in the depths of a Kyrgyz 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 Tian Shan Mountains. Extremely deep and nicely warm, over the centuries the lake served an oasis in this hostile mountain environment. With its diverse flora and fauna Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding countryside is considered to be one of Central Asia’s most remarkable locations. Please note that there is no for single occupancy option at this small guesthouse. Overnight: Guesthouse in Tamga

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we drive to Jeti-Oguz Gorge which translates from Kyrgyz as 'Red Cliffs of Seven Bulls'. Drive 100 km, 3 h., + 560 m (asphalt + dirt road). Jeti-Oguz is set at the height of 2,250 m above sea level on the northern slopes of the Terskei Ala-Too Ridge. The gorge slopes are covered with the world-famous Tian Shan blue spruce along the fast mountain river which flows parallel to the trail. Today we will trek through mountain woods and hike up to the 'Maiden Tears' Waterfall. Please note that there is no for single occupancy option at tonight's yurt camp. Overnight: Yurt camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will begin our ascent of Telety Pass (3,800m) (16 km, 6-8hrs). The trail follows the river bank in a very narrow wooded gorge called Bay Tor that leads up to alpine meadows. Here on a flower carpet the mountain air is sweet and the views amazing. After lunch we continue our trek to our camp site at the foot of Telety Pass. Overnight: Tented camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will trek over Telety Pass (3,800m) and down to Karakol Gorge (2500m) (18 km, 6-8hrs). Hiking up the pass is not too demanding as the route follows a narrow path with a slight ascent and only two rather steep slopes. From the top of the pass enjoy panoramic views. Descending, we follow the trail along the course of the East Telety River. Overnight: Tented camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we start our trek to the foot of Karakol Peak (5,216m) (16 km. 6-8 hrs) with the trail running parallel to the course of the Uyun Tor River. The route enters a blue spruce forest rich in vegetation. Forest mushrooms can be found in abundance. From May, the meadows turn into a panoramic delight as flowers begin to bloom. Here you can find snowdrops, primrose, white anemone, alpine aster, edelweiss and various species of wild tulips. We follow a breathtaking trail with wonderful viewpoints. Overnight: Tented camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will trek along a picturesque gorge to 'Sirota' hut and further to Ala Kol Lake (3,532m) (9 km, 6-8 hrs). We cross the river over a bridge from where the trail will lead us into forest. We hike along the river and reach a wonderful waterfall flowing down from Ala Kol Lake. Overnight: Tented camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will trek over Ala Kol Pass (3,800m) passing Ala Kol Lake before descending into Arashan Gorge (2,600m) (18 km, 6-8 hrs). Ala Kol Lake stretches from east to west for 2.8 km. Depending on the light, the water regular changes its colour. It can be emerald green, turquoise green with reflections of white clouds, light green or dark grey, even black. During the ascent we enjoy wonderful views of the lake as the main range comes into view across the wide valley of Keldike with picturesque landscapes, flocks of sheep and herds of goats. Later the trail will bring us into a forest again as we descend into Arashan Valley. Enjoy picturesque Arashan Gorge with its magnificent mountain side alpine meadows rich in fir-trees against a backdrop of the mighty Palatka (4,956 m) This afternoon we can enjoy a swim in hot springs. Overnight: Tented camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we journey by road to Karakol, a small administrative center of the Issy Kul region, situated on the southern bank of the lake. (Drive 30 km, 1 h., - 800 m asphalt + dirt road.) Overnight Amir Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we set off for the north shore of Issyk Kul Lake. (Drive 140 km, 3-4 h asphalt road.) Along the way we visit the Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs site set at the foot of the Kungei Alatau Ridge. Overnight: Karven Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we drive back to Bishkek. (Drive 250 km, 4-5 hrs, - 800m asphalt road.) Along the way we will visit the ruins of Burana Tower near Tokmok city as well as Turkic ancient tombs. Overnight: Asia Mountains or similar

Meals:  B,L,D

The trip will conclude after breakfast today, with private transfers to the airport. (Drive 30 km, 1 hr, asphalt road).

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners
  • Airport transfers (group transfers day 1 and 15)
  • comfortable hotels on twin share basis
  • mountain guide on trek
  • 50l kit bag for personal items provided during trek
  • local doctor (days 3-14)
  • porter and cook services on trek
  • group camping equipment
  • private transport throughout
  • medical kit

Accommodation


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$2680USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Kyrgyzstan & the Tian Shan Mountains trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Similar trips

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips