August 7, 2014

Tourism in Kyrgyzstan:10 Things You Probably Never Knew

P5082737_Natasha-von-GeldernKyrgyzstan is a small Central Asian country with a huge personality.  It sits quietly next to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China, but holds the world’s second largest alpine lake, thousands of wandering nomads, the endangered snow leopard, and is nicknamed “the Alps of Central Asia.” The whole country has a refreshing and quirky atmosphere that is perfect for either a laid-back or adventure-filled vacation. Here are some interesting things you might not know await you when travelling in the Kyrgyz Republic:


Kyrgyzstan is dotted with alpine lakes and 90% of the country is covered in mountains of unparalleled beauty. Each small range of mountains contributes a unique feel and flavor tothe overarching landscape. Common sights include wandering herds of horses, yaks, cows, goats, and sheep. The mountainous terrain makes it a perfect vacation spot for skiers,арсланбоб3 mountain climbers, or people just looking for a serene environment to unwind in during their travels.


Nomads still wander the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, living in large, circular, felt tents called yurts.  One interesting fact is that while Kyrgyz yurts are similar to Mongolian ones, Kyrgyz roof poles are bent instead of straight.


One of the most popular national games is something expats affectionately call “Dead Goat Polo.”  Two teams of men of horseback fight to gain possession of a dead goat. 


The goal is for one team to successfully lob the goat into the opposing team’s goal.   A trip to Kyrgyzstan wouldn’t be complete without witnessing this truly extreme sport.


Kyrgyz people eat about every part of a sheep except the spleen and lymph nodes.


During your Kyrgyzstan travels, if you happen to be invited to share a meal with a nomadic family, you will notice a dietary pattern: meat, meat, and more meat.



Kyrgyzstan contains the world’s second largest alpine lake and second largest salt lake, Issyk Kul. Drawing people from all over the world, the lake is over 113 miles (182 km) long, over 37 miles (60 km) wide, and situated almost exactly one mile high (5269 ft or 1,606 meters). Its sparkling water and snowcapped backdrop make it a truly natural wonder.


 The world’s largest natural growth walnut forest is in Arslanbob (10,000 hectares) and has been in existence since the time of Alexander the Great. The forest makes a great location to take a horseback tour or maybe even help a family gather their annual walnut harvest.



The national drink is fermented mare’s milk, called kymyz. Nationals believe it is the cure for many ailments.  The taste is a bit like thin, fizzy sour cream, and is a staple for every nomadic family.


Almost 25% of the population lives in the capital city of Bishkek alone, leaving much of the land open wilderness.  For this reason, the remote areas of Kyrgyzstan are a dream come true for trekkers and bicyclists.


Nomadic families use horses as a regular means of transportation, so opportunities for horseback trekking are abundant and extremely affordable.


Riding trips as short as a few hours to as long as 15 days are readily available.


To promote tourism in Kyrgyzstan, the country has recently gone visa free for citizens of 44 countries including the USA, Canada, and most of the European Union. This development has made Kyrgyzstan yet an even more attractive destination in a region where each country has increasingly complicated visa requirements. For a country that so many people have never even heard of, a visit to the Kyrgyz Republic has a lot to offer the discerning tourist. It is far more than just beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers; its people are warm-hearted and generous, there are numerous unique activities in which to participate, it has a unique cultural heritage, and it is even an affordable place to travel! Kyrgyzstan is the kind of place where you can spend years uncovering new, unique facets around every turn. Photo by Natasha von Geldern, photo from source:, photo by Daniel Korzhonov

7 days

Motorcycle Touring in Kyrgyzstan

Join us for an adrenaline-packed Enduro adventure through Kyrgyztan’s rugged mountain terrain. Riding through Kyrgyzstan's thinly populated landscape will make you realize that the middle of ...

The price depends on a group size. The price 1750 EUR per person is available for groups of 6 people.
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5 days

Festivals of Kyrgyz Culture 2020

Kyrgyzstan is a small mountainous country in Central Asia where mountains cover 93% of the landscape. People have been inhabiting the mountains of Kyrgyzstan silk road for thousands of years ...

The price depends on a group size. The price 880 USD per person is available for groups of 2 people.
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6 days

Horseback Riding to Lake Song Kul 2020

Over many years the horses help shepherds to move their houses (Yurts) over the passes to the alpine pastures. A horse is considered to be an integral part of the life of the nomadic people. ...

Price from 1028 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 1028 USD per person is available for groups of 4 people.
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1 day

Educational Kyrgyzstan tourism packages to Burana Tower

Starting of in Bishkek, we will travel to 3 different UNESCO sites: the Nookat settlement (Krasnorechenskoe ruins), Suyab settlement (Ak-Beshim ruins), and Burana Tower (Balasagyn ruins). Pl ...

Price from 40 USD to 100 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 40 USD per person is available for groups of 6 people.
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1 day

Off-road Day Trip from Bishkek

Want to get out and go somewhere not many people see? Don’t have a lot of time? This trip is perfect for you. There is a jailoo (summer pasture) with yurts and shepherds a lot closer to Bish ...

Price from 94 USD to 130 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 94 USD per person is available for groups of 5 people.
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10 days

Offroading Games in the Tien Shan Mountains

Buckle in and enjoy the ride! Naryn has some of the most rugged and unique terrain in Kyrgyzstan. Explore the remote canyons and tracks of the Kel Suu area. Spend the night with shepherds wh ...

Price from 1500 USD to 1800 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 1500 USD per person is available for groups of 5 people.
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8 days
Fixed dates
Fixed dates for 2020:
06/05/2022 - 06/12/2022
06/12/2022 - 06/19/2022
06/19/2022 - 06/26/2022
06/26/2022 - 07/03/2022
08/21/2022 - 08/28/2022
08/28/2022 - 09/04/2022
09/04/2022 - 09/11/2022
09/11/2022 - 09/18/2022

Nomadic Culture & History Tour 2022

This week-long trip ensures travelers a wide variety of experiences during their stay in Kyrgyzstan. Start out by visiting the country’s most popular national park and continue on to see anc ...

The tour price is 995 USD.
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14 days
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/23/2022 - 08/05/2022

Hike to the Patagonia of Kyrgyz Mountains 2022

The nature of Kyrgyzstan is amazing. Its mountain landscapes are various in different corners of the Republic. SR1401 presents a new trekking program which goes along the gorges of Turkestan ...

The tour price is 2330 USD. The price doesn't depend on the amount of people in a group. The tour will be fulfilled even if only one person book it.
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14 days
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/10/2022 - 07/23/2022
07/28/2022 - 08/10/2022
08/07/2022 - 08/20/2022

Trekking to the heart of Tien-Shan 2022

This trek starts in the Karkara Gorge, an amazingly beautiful place, and ends at South Inylchek Base Camp. From the base camp you'll get stunning views of Khan-Tengri Peak (7010 m.) and Pobe ...

The tour price is 2720 USD. The price doesn't depend on the amount of people in a group. The tour will be fulfilled even if only one person buy it.
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