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Issyk Kul

Hiking & Skiing around Issyk Kul lake

We invite you to discover in winter the great lake Issyk Kul, at over 1600 meters altitude.

Highlights the program's focus on a combination of outdoor activities, the stunning natural setting of Lake Issyk Kul, the all-inclusive nature of the program, and the cultural experience of staying in comfortable accommodation and enjoying local food

Explore the winter wonder of Kyrgyzstan's Tien Shan range

Experience the winter wonder of Kyrgyzstan's Tien Shan range and explore the winter amazing beauty of Lake Issyk Kul.

9 DaysUntainted toursKyrgyzstan

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Program


            Manas International Airport - Ak-Tash Mountain Ski Base
Bishkek, arrival and first descents!
Manas International Airport - Ak-Tash Mountain Ski Base

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Pick-up at the airport where you are greeted by a member of the team who will drive you to your hotel in the heart of the Kyrgyz capital, where you will have breakfast. After getting to know your guide and settling the last administrative formalities, we leave for the bucolic small freeride ski resort of Ak Tash located on the foothills of the Ala Too range, visible from Bishkek. The small family resort of Ak Tash which has 2 ski lifts and a small hotel restaurant is the haunt of the rare Kyrgyz freeriders who love nature and thrills.

During the day, after reviewing the equipment, briefing on the peculiarities of Kyrgyz snow and mountain safety rules, your guide will take you on a first short ski non-groomed slopes of the small station to warm up and take the temperature of the Kyrgyz snow. You will also have the chance to borrow a unique, homemade ski lift that is sure to amuse you! A little advice, raise your spatulas well! Dinner and overnight in the small family hotel.

BreakfastLunchDinner
70 km
02:00
04:30
2050 m
400 m
400 m

            Ak-Tash Mountain Ski Base - Chong Kemin
Ak-Tash to Ala Archa National Park and to Chong Kemin National Park
Ak-Tash Mountain Ski Base - Chong Kemin
  • After breakfast, you will be able to make your way to the Ala Archa National Park which is just down the road from the Ak-Tash Ski resort.  You will be able to enjoy a short hike in the national park and see a mix of high mountains and Tian Shan Pine trees.
  • The next stop for the day will be in Chong Kemin where you will be able to unpack your bags at your guesthouse for the night. 
  • After lunch, you will be able to meet your horseman and enjoy half a day on horseback in the Chong Kemin National park.
  • There is countless spots to enjoy horseback riding in the Chong Kemin National Park in winter.
  • After horseback riding you will share bottomless cups of tea with your hosts over dinner.
BreakfastLunchDinner
190 km
03:30
02:00
03:30
1600 m

            Chong Kemin - Tuura-Suu
Road to the South shore of the Issyk Kul lake
Chong Kemin - Tuura-Suu
  • After the last cup of tea with your hosts, you will make your way to Konorcheck Canyons for a 2-3-hour trek into the dry canyon with great views.
  • The local legend is that you can see statues / people in the Konorcheck Canyons.  An additional legend, is that it was once a volcano million years ago and that’s why it’s so dry.  Winter is the best time to see Konorchek Canyons because of the contrast between the snow and red sand.
  • Later in the day, you will be able to see the amazing Lake Issyk Kul with its crystal-clear water and countless snow caped peaks all around you.
  • Once you arrive in Turasu valley make sure you have your camera ready for a great local experience.  Your hosts will share his traditions and techniques of hunting with Golden Eagles.
  • After the sun sets you will be able to enjoy a Kyrgyz national dish with your hosts. 
BreakfastLunchDinner
180 km
03:30
02:30
400 m

            Tuura-Suu - Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station
By the south shore of the lake Issyk Kul to the valley of Chong Kyzyl Suu
Tuura-Suu - Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station
  • After breakfast, you will make your way to another hidden valley in Kyrgyzstan.
  • The first stop of the day will be in Fairy Tale Canyon where you will be able to enjoy a 1-2-hour hike though the dry canyon.  Everyone loves this stop with the great views of Issyk Kul lake from the top of the sandy rock formations.
  • The next stop for the day will be in the former Soviet Union Geophysical station in the Chong Kyzyl Suu valley.  This geophysical station is full of history from WW2 and it’s on the real Silk Road that would pass into China from Kyrgyzstan.
  • To reach the geophysical station in winter you will have to hike 6-8 km in the snow.  It’s also possible to hike in with snowshoes.
BreakfastLunchDinner
140 km
03:30
02:30
550 m
200 m

            Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station - Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station
Day exploring the Karabatkak lake
Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station - Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station

The Kashkator gorge starts from the geo-physical station of Chong Kyzyl Suu. This gorge can be visited even in winter. At the top of the valley, you can visit the glacier's lake of the peak Karabatkak. This glacier is under study of the geo-physical station. In Summer, to reach the glacier's lake, you may count around 3-4 hours hiking. In winter, the gorge offer a good way to observe the wild nature. In winter, it’s also possible to hike in with snowshoes but to get to the the lake can be hard depending on snow cover, nevertheless the track is safe (no avalanche risks). Overnight at the geo-physical station of Chong Kyzyl Suu.

BreakfastLunchDinner
14 km
06:00
3280 m
700 m
700 m

            Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station - Karakol
Road to Karakol by Jeti Oguz bull's rocks
Chong Kyzyl Suu meteo station - Karakol
  • Morning departure will start with a hike to meet your driver at the bottom of the Chong Kyzyzl Suu valley.
  • The first stop of the day will be at the hot springs in Kyzyzl Suu where you will be able to relax after your hike to the nearby mountains.
  • Lunch will be had next to the "Seven Bulls" in the Jeti Oguz valley.  It’s a great spot to see the famous red canyons and enjoy a short hike to the panoramic point. 
  • The last stop for the day will be in Karakol, where you will be able to enjoy a walk through the small Soviet feeling town. 
  • You can explore the vintage orthodox church and the Chinese Dungan Mosque and of course the bazar of Karakol.
  • Karakol is a great spot to enjoy a coffee and to enjoy countless local dishes at cafes.
BreakfastLunchDinner
56 km
03:00
02:30
1750 m
0 m
750 m

            Karakol - Tamchy
Day skiing in Karakol ski resort, then road to Tamchy
Karakol - Tamchy

Today it’s important to get an early start because today is a packed full day of fun winter activities.
The first winter activity is skiing at the Karakol Ski base.  The ski base has 4 lifts and the top of the ski lift offers a great view of the whole area.
Lunch will be had at the ski resort with your guide and driver.  
At ~3:00 pm you will make your way from the ski resort to the north side of Lake Issyk Kul where you will be able to enjoy hot springs.
After the hot springs, you will be greeted by your hosts in the village of Tamchy and share dinner together with the family of the guesthouse.

BreakfastLunchDinner
180 km
03:00
05:00
1610 m
1150 m
1150 m

            Tamchy - Bishkek
Drive from Issyk Kul's lake to Bishkek, through the Burana tower (Balasagun ancient city)
Tamchy - Bishkek
  • After breakfast, enjoy a short swim or walk down to Issyk Kul Lake before you make your way back to Bishkek. 

In the village of Tamchy it’s possible to meet with local masters that are making handicrafts and special Kyrgyz slippers that are great gifts for your friends back home.
The first stop of the day will be at the historical Burana tower where you can see the ancient city of the Balasagun.  It’s a great stop to see a bit of the Silk Road History.
The next stop will be in Bishkek where you will be able to enjoy a walk thought the city and see a few of the hidden bazars and buy possible gifts for friends back home. 
Tonight, you will be able to have a farewell dinner with your guide and driver before you take a rest at your guesthouse in Bishkek.

Options : rafting in Chuy or Chong Kemin river; hiking in the Konorchek canyon, visit of the Chong Kemin valley; baths in hot water springs of Issyk Ata.

BreakfastLunchDinner
205 km
04:00
0 m
900 m

            Bishkek - Manas International Airport
Transfer from Bishkek to Manas International Airport.
Bishkek - Manas International Airport

Depending on your flight time, your guide will join you to the airport and help you check in for your flight.  If your flight is later in the day your guide will show you more places in Bishkek before your flight. We hope you enjoyed your trip to Kyrgyzstan and we hope you come back again to explore other counties in Central Asia with us. 

BreakfastLunchDinner
40 km
00:40
0 m
100 m

"Visit to Kyrgyzstan = Nomad’s Land"

Our stay in the country boils down to this. An unforgettable experience!

The whole team is very competent and responsive.

The country is amazing. We did 17 days and visited incredible and untouched corners.

I recommend the nights with nomadic shepherds. Magical moments!

Yann Décaillet

They only have one problem ... do everything to please us! And it is successful! To be redone without moderation

Beatrice Peton

On your way

Ala-Archa national park KG

The state natural Ala-Archa park — Kyrgyzstan of 2280 hectares, located in 41 km from Bishkek on a northern slope of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too at the height of 1600-4860 m. Begins with the high center of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too and stretches to the North to the Ala-Archinsky gorge

Landscapes of foothill steppes and the mountain woods where more than 600 species of the higher plants, including 70 species of trees and bushes, about 50 species of herbs grow, there are a lot of melliferous herbs and tannic plants.

The Siberian roe, capricorn, boar, roe, fox, wolf, hare, badger, ermine, porcupine, marten live архар; from birds are usual a stone partridge, keklik, ular.From Red Book animals meet a lynx Turkestan, a golden eagle, a humai, baloban; from rare species — a snow leopard and a signature stamp.

Serves as object of active tourism, since 1951 for what in the park ways and tracks are paved, the glacier and the falls of Joint stock company Sai of the same name is most often visited by tourists. The gorge enjoys wide popularity, in it about 150 routes are laid. There are walls up to 1100 m high and year-round climbing bases.

The entrance fee works. At the weekend the park is visited on average by one and a half thousand people. About twenty tons of solid waste are weekly taken out. 

In the park the small museum of the nature is located. 

The are interesting climbing spots.

Chong Kemin National Park KG

This park encompasses the entire Chong Kemin Valley. There are many trails still virgin or almost. Several passes between Issyk Kul Lake or Kitchi Kemin Valley.

The total area is 126,514 hectares. Here in the park the river Chon Kemin flows. More than 780 species of plants grow and rare mammals such as snow leopard, brown bear, maral, Eurasian lynx, golden eagle, himalayan griffon vulture (Gyps himalayensis),  bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), saker falcon and sablefly are found.

Issyk Kul lake KG

The Issyk-Kul lake has a length of 182 km, a maximum width of 60 km and covers an area of ​​6,236 km². This makes it the second largest mountain lake in the world behind Lake Titicaca. Located at an altitude of 1,606 m, it reaches 668 m deep. About 118 rivers and streams flow into the lake. The largest are the Djyrgalan (Jergalan) and Tyup. It is fed by springs, including many hot springs and snowmelt, and it has no outlet. Its south side is dominated by the Tian Shan mountain range of wild beauty. The lake water is slightly saline and level down about 5 cm per year.

The Issyk-Kul lake is an important step on the Silk Road, a dirt road for travelers from the Far East to Europe. Many historians believe that the lake was the point of origin of the plague that hit Europe and Asia in the early and mid 14th. The status of the lake as a place of passage for travelers allowed the plague spread across the continents through the medieval merchants who unknowingly took away the vermin infested with them. Armenian monastery from the 14th century was found on the northeast coast of Lake retracing the steps of a medieval map used by Venetian merchants on the Silk Road.

Jeti Oguz valley KG

The valley Dzheti-Oguz is located on a northern part Terskey Alatoo and stretches to the southern coast of Issyk Kul.

Dzheti Oguz (from Kyrgyz it is translated - "Seven Bulls") is in the southwest in 25 km from Karakol. Dense vegetation covers red rocks of the gorge. These rocks so wild and delightful that they have been represented on the Soviet stamp in 1968. The name "Seven Bulls" follows from Red Rocks, being on against sanatorium, which known for the medical hot springs.

Also these rocks are called "the Broken Heart" if to look from North side of the rock remind Heart, and are the place for a pilgrimage of lovers. There are sets of legends which are connected with red rocks and the Lake Issyk Kul.

The top of the valley is finished by the Oguz Bashy array - "The Head of the Bull", 5168 m high.

Karakol KG

At the eastern tip of Lake Issyk-Kul, Karakol is a fertile garden town of wooden chocolate-box cottages and shady, poplar-lined avenues. Fringed to the east by the Terskey Ala-Too Mountains, which tower dramatically over its low-rise skyline, Issyk-Kul ripples 10 km to the west.

Karakol is the best base from which to explore the lakeshore and Central Asia's prime trekking and mountaineering routes. With the most spectacular parts of the Central Tien-Shan right on its doorstep and newly open to foreign visitors, the town attracts trekkers, hikers and climbers from all over the world.

Karakol and its surroundings have just as much to offer their less energetic visitors. Besides one of Kyrgyzstan's largest and most colorful bazaars, a nomadic livestock market and several good museums, its spectacular environs boast an endless array of truly unique day trips. Blood-red cliffs, hot springs, Scythian burial mounds, nomad camps and sandy beaches thousands of miles from the sea are all within easy reach.

The town was build since 1869, one year after Teplokluchenka (actually name Ak-Suu). There is a unique building in the center of Karakol - ancient wooden orthodox church. But you may visit also the zoo, the regional museum, the wooden mosque, the Panfilov park, the Park Victory, the museum and memorial Prejwalski.

Despite Karakol's status as the administrative center of the Issyk-Kul region, it has only 75,000 residents and a gentle, small-town atmosphere.

Info

What is included

  • All transportation in a private vehicle

  • All airport transfers

  • Accommodation as described in the program

  • Meals (3 per day)

  • Bottled water & tea

  • English-speaking IFMGA ski touring tour leader

  • All the activities listed in the program

  • Entry fees at national parks and/or border zones listed in the program

  • Entry fees at museums and historical sites listed in the program

  • Domestic flights mentioned in the program

  • A contribution to our sustainable development projects

  • Organisation of the trip & local taxes

What is not included

  • International flights

  • International banking fees (PayPal, ...)

  • Travel & repatriation insurance

  • Visas / LOI (if applicable)

  • Alcoholic and soft drinks

  • Personal expenses

  • Personal equipment (sleeping bag, headlight, personal medication, etc)

  • Additional costs due to unexpected personal events (health, loss of luggage, ...)

  • Tips for guide & driver (always optional, always appreciated)

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Postal address

Nezhinsky lane 27

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

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Ecotourism projects

Through various ecotourism projects and initiatives, Nomad's Land aims to increase awareness of ecotourism and responsible travel, for a sustainable development of the tourism sector.

Village Monde - Vaolo
community permaculture garden
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Rural development in Nepal

The Nepalko Sathi association leads its actions in favor of the Sherpas of Khembalung in the Arun valley (Province of Koshi). Nepalko Sathi

From Tumlingtar airport we reach by jeep the small town of Kahandbari where we are greeted by Kibutie and his family. From there, we climb to the small village of Gontala, in the heart of the actions of Nepalko Sathi (three days of walking), then we go up to Saissima, where Tendi Sherpa is rehabilitating the hamlet of his childhood. From Saissima it is possible to continue and make a loop towards Makalu and the impressive surrounding peaks (under tent).

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Samuel Maret

5 November 2021

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