Tour Program

Day
1
Day 1: Bishkek – Kyzyl Tuu
Itinerary
Leaving Bishkek you have to cover some highway kilometers. Oh well, the destination is worth it. Stay in the small village (pop. 1800) of Kyzyl Tuu. This village near the shore of Issyk Kul is known for manufacturing yurts. You’ll stay with a family in the village that manufactures yurts in their yard. Learn about the process of making the traditional Kyrgyz backcountry dwelling. This becomes the launch point for the off road portion of the expedition.
Meals
_ L D
Accomodation
Guest House (outdoor toilet, has a shower)
Day
2
Day 2: Kyzyl Tuu - Issyk Kul Lake
Itinerary
From Kyzyl Tuu head just a little further down the Issyk Kul South-Shore road then turn at the MIG Jet mounted on a pedestal and head into the mountains. There you’ll see ancient Tibetan inscribed stones over one of the streams that feeds Issyk Kul. Continuing into the mountains you head over the Tosor pass and into the Kyrgyz/Naryn heartland. After crossing a couple more passes, spend the night camping in a valley that has no villages, only yurt camps.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Camping (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
3
Day 3: Issyk Kul Lake - Tamdi Suu village
Itinerary
Break camp breathing fresh mountain morning air. Visit with some shepherds and sample their Kumys (lightly fermented horses milk—a national delicacy). After exploring the valley a bit, head back over the pass to the main road (dirt) and head into a stunning gorge. After running along the river for a couple hours, you exit the gorge and enter the tiny village of Tamdi Suu. Stay with a family in a village so small it is not on any maps!
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Homestay (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
4
Day 4: Tamdi Suu village - Naryn
Itinerary
Spend the morning hiking or horseback riding near the village. After lunch in the village head out toward Naryn. On the way you pass through the Eki Naryn Gorge, which unlike the grass and rock gorges that came before has forests of evergreens. Working through the gorge stopping frequently for short hikes and pictures, come to Naryn at a reasonable time. Stay in a guesthouse with a hot shower and eat in a nice café.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Guesthouse (toilet, shower)
Day
5
Day 5: Naryn - Kel Suu Lake
Itinerary
Leaving Naryn you head deep into the remote mountains near the Chinese frontier. The goal for the night is Kel Suu. This 3500 meter elevation lake fills a narrow, rock gorge, exiting underground for a truly mysterious lake. The road there is unpredictable, changing every season. Usually the Jeeps can make it all the way there, but if not, the last of the distance will be done on horseback. Camp near the lake or stay in a local family’s yurt some distance away.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Camping or yurt stay (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
6
Day 6: Kel Suu Lake
Itinerary
Spend the day around Kel Suu exploring on foot or on horseback. You can explore canyons that few tourists have every seen and go on a guided expedition looking to get a photograph of the elusive Marco Polo sheep (season dependent) or other elusive wildlife among the craggy peaks.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Camping or yurt stay (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
7
Day 7: Kel Suu Lake - Naryn
Itinerary
Leaving Kel Suu behind head back to the north toward the provincial capital of Naryn. On the way you will pass through some of Kyrgyzstan’s most remote jailoos, such as the Bosogo jailoo, which produce some of the finest milk. Rather than stop in Naryn, continue on toward Song Kul. Along the way, north of Baetova, pull off on an old, abandoned road and camp near the bank of the Naryn River in a stunning, virtually uninhabited valley.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Camping (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
8
Day 8: Naryn - Song Kul
Itinerary
Have a relaxed morning then break camp and head to Song Kul. Along the way you will cross the Moldu Ashuu Pass. The terrain varies wildly along the road. In the afternoon you will arrive in Song Kul. The lake surface is at about 3000 meters elevation and it is surrounded by one of the most picturesque jailoos (mountain pastures) in all of Kyrgyzstan. There are no villages here, only yurt camps. Stay in a camp on the south shore of the lake. If you are brave, go for a swim in the frigid water. After the sun sets admire the breathtaking stars then sleep in a yurt like an ancient nomad.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Yurt (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
9
Day 9: Song Kul - Kyzyl Oi
Itinerary
Spend the morning in Song Kul and take in the fresh air, go for a short horseback ride, or hike. Leave before lunch and either eat along the way or in Chaek. After crossing along south shore, you head into the Kara Keche road. Working your way through the pass you cut through Kyrgyzstan’s most productive coal mine. After a quick resupply stop in Chaek, head back onto the dirt roads and toward Kyzyl Oi. As you enter the red rock gorge leading to the village, you are greeted by stunning colored rock sentinels. After nearly 20 kilometers of gorge you suddenly come into a village set in a gap in the gorge walls. This is Kyzyl Oi, quite possibly the only true Kyrgyz village to exist before Soviet collectivization.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Homestay (outdoor toilet, no shower)
Day
10
Day 10: Kyzyl Oi - Bishkek
Itinerary
After Kyzyl Oi the mountains close back in for another 20 kilometers of red rock gorge. When you exit the gorge you enter the Suusamyr valley with its wide grasslands and herds of horses. Stop in the village of Kojumkul and learn about Kyrgyzstan’s strongest man and admire his monuments. Moving across the Suusamyr valley on the last gravel road of the trip you eventually reach the Bishkek-Osh Highway. Turn north and cross the narrow Too Ashuu pass and re-enter the Chui valley and modern civilization again. After stopping at your hotel so you can clean up from the trip, the group goes to dinner at one of Bishkek’s great restaurants for a final group dinner.
Meals
B L D
Accomodation
The hotel you booked in Bishkek (not included in trip price)