There are many beautiful places in the world to trek through, but Kyrgyzstan has a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that is drawing trekkers into Central Asia from all over the world. It’s a country set in the clouds. Saturated with high elevation mountains and alpine lakes in the heart of the Tian Shan “Heavenly” mountains, Kyrgyzstan reigns as a peaceful haven in the midst of Asia. Besides a few large cities, Kyrgyzstan is just wild expanses of nature speckled with small villages and random nomadic yurt camps tending to herds of horses, sheep, and yaks. It’s a trekking destination that won’t disappoint.
Hiking tours are numerous in Kyrgyzstan. To give you an idea of what’s available, here are some samples:
HIKING AROUND LAKE SONG KUL
Song Kul is a high altitude alpine lake (3,000 meters, 10,000 ft)that sits suspended at the top of a high mountain pass in the Naryn Province. Travelers can take a backpacking tour up to the lake, but most plan trekking tours at the top of the pass. Mountain peaks surround the lake and there is an absence of buildings or crowds. The only things in the area are yurt camps, herds of animals, and shepherd boys. Yurt camps provide housing for trekkers. Tours vary in length depending on the desires of the traveler.
TREKKING KYRGYZSTAN’S RANGES
Visit the Sokuluk and Ala-Archa Gorges connected by the Ozernyi “place of lakes” Pass on a 6 day tour. The area is full of gorgeous snowcapped mountains, raging waterfalls, and immense glaciers. Trekkers spend the night in tent camps and cross elevations of 3,900 meters (13,000 ft).
Take a walking tour of Arslanbob, a small town in the province of Jalal-Abad with a naturally growing walnut forest. Arslanbob’s forest is actually the largest natural growing walnut forest in the world at 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) and was famous even during the time of Alexander the Great. Its walnuts were the first known product exported out of Kyrgyzstan to Europe.
Close to the forest are also 2 waterfalls that are great trekking excursions especially with Kyrgyzstan’s springtime mountains in bloom. One falls for 80 meters (260 ft) and the other for 23 meters (75 ft) and is neighbor to two prayer caves.
BACKPACKING TO LAKE AI-KEL
Backpacker tours are available to a secluded alpine lake in the Turkestan Range, Ai-Kel, which translated means “Moon Lake.” Ai-Kel is pocketed away in the mountains, surrounded by steep cliffs. It’s 0.82 square km (0.5 sq miles) and sits at an elevation of roughly 3,000 meters (10,000 ft). Trekkers can catch shimmering glimpses of it through the mountain vistas on their journey there.
A PEAK IN THE PAMIRS
For a Pamir trekking experience, visitors can tackle Peak Lenin, one of the three 7000+ meter peaks in Kyrgyzstan. Peak Lenin crescendos to a height of 7,134 meters (23,000 ft) and is considered the most accessible of the three tall peaks. Climbers don’t have to have special training or lots of high altitude experience to summit this one.
Kyrgyzstan trekking is some of the best Central Asian trekking available. Not only are tour providers flexible to meet the needs of travelers’ schedules, but travelling in Kyrgyzstan is extremely affordable for people looking for vacation deals. Add the country’s sunny mountainous landscape, alpine lakes, forests, caves, waterfalls, canyons, gorges, and hospitable culture to the mix and it’s an irresistible destination for a relaxing vacation. Book a tour trekking in Kyrgyzstan and experience its charms firsthand.
Photo by Andrey Osyanin, photo from source: www.mountpix.livejournal.com