Special Announcement: During the 2022 season Supplier SR1401 will have permanent tent camps set up along this entire trekking route. This ensures a number of things: 1) Your journey will be easier and more comfortable than ever since you do not need to carry any food, tents, kitchen utensils, etc. 2) This lessens the overall cost of your tour since you will have no need to hire porters, cooks, etc. 3) Your journey is safer. There are means of communication available at every tent camp.
The capital and industrial centre of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. The gesturing statue of Lenin can still be seen in the city’s vast central square, yet it is the permanently snowcapped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range which towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop.
We visit Manas Monument, the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people. Then excursion to the State History Museum and walking tour around main Ala Too Square to watch ceremony of changing of the Guard of Honor, Kurmanzhan Datka Monument, main governmental buildings, and finish at the Old Square with Government House. Transfer to the Victory Square to finish the city tour by short excursion there.
Dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight in a hotel.
After breakfast we drive to Issyk Kul Lake that is considered to be the pearl of Tien Shan and one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Our way goes via ruins of Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok city.
That minaret was constructed in Balasagun town, one of the capitals of Karakhanid State existed in 11-12 centuries AD. Explore ruins of that important trading point at the Great Silk Road and visit a little local museum telling about that civilization. Also watch a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs.
Lunch en route in a cafe.
In the late afternoon three hours drive to Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America.
Measuring 182 km long by 58 km wide, the lake appeared as a result of volcanic activity. It is heated from below by thermal activity and never freezes even in the depths of 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 Tien Shan Mountains. Extremely deep and nicely warm over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia most remarkable locations.
Upon arrival to Karakol town accommodation at a hotel. Dinner at a local cafe and overnight.
Lunch in a local café.
Transfer to Djety Oguz gorge located in the Northern slopes of Terskei Ala Too some 35km west from Karakol town. The length of the valley is 40 km. There is a chance to see the well-known redsand rock formations – The Broken Heart and Seven Bulls. The slopes in the gorge are covered with the world-famous Tien Shan blue spruce for about 25km along the fast mountain river. The road goes along the river (five log bridges to cross). This is the most narrow part of the way. Later it opens into so called Flower Meadow (Kok Jaiyk). The upper part of Djety Oguz valley is blocked by a long Djety Oguz wall with a fabulous Oguz Bashi peak (5165m) in the central part of it.
We drive though all this beauty and reach the yurt camp we stay for overnight. Accommodation, dinner and overnight at the yurt camp (2600 m.).
PLEASE NOTE: Put all stuff (extra payment for more than 12 kg per person) into a special rucksack provided by SR1401 and give it to the porters in the morning. Porters carry the luggage from one tent camp to another, and upon arrival to a tent camp after trekking day, one will take the luggage back.
Dinner and overnight in Telety tent camp at 3050m.
From the top of the pass at 3800m asl we enjoy the views of the surroundings.
Descent is rather simple, along a wide slope covered with talus, across alpine meadows with various herbs and flowers, along East Telety river. Later we hike through the wood along a trail covered with roots.
Dinner and overnight in Karakol tent camp at 2500m.
We have a chance to see Tien Shan blue spruce forest, underwood (dog rose, honeysuckle, black barberries, mountain ash, black current, etc. There are mushrooms in the forest. Starting from May there are flowers blooming on the meadows – snowdrops, tulips, primerose, white anemone, alpine Aster, edelweiss (really big ones), etc. We reach the point with a view at the highest peak of Terskei Ala Too – Karakol peak. Here is a nice place to have lunch with a wonderfull view. Later, we walk back to the tent camp with the same route.
Dinner and overnight at the tent camp at 2500m.
Rather long ascent finishes at a steep slope covered with grass, the trail turns into a serpentine, passes by a river overflow, and arrive to an unusual place, which is called “Sirota” mountain log hut. There is a table, benches, fireplace inside. We can find a number of sculptures of animals and idols carved in wood around the hut. It looks like a fairy tale place. It is a nice place to sit down, rest, have a snack.
Later, the trail goes up higher, leaving the forest behind we hike along the river and reach a beautiful waterfall, flowing down from Ala-Kul Lake. We pass the waterfall and ascent on a natural dam, from where we can see Ala-Kul lake. The last kilometer till the tent camp goes along the lake. Dinner and overnight at the tent camp at 3600m.
Descent from the pass along a talus slope, and later across a wide valley of Keldike with picturesque landscapes, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep grazing.
Later the trail brings us into a forest again and descends into Arashan valley.
Upon arrival to the tent camp you may use an opportunity to relax in the hot springs. There are thermal baths (up to +50C) in the valley.
Dinner and overnight in Altyn Arashan tent camp at 2600m.
The Northern slopes of the left river bank are covered with fir trees. It gives an unforgettable picture – dark green trees with snowcapped mountains Aksu wall (5022m) in the background.
In the morning special military truck will come to the tent camp to pick us up. After breakfast we start drive towards Karakol town along the gorge. The descent is over green fields with blooming flowers and crystal mountain springs.
The final 5 km of the gorge are very narrow, not more than 30 m width with high rock walls. At the entrance to the gorge we pass by a village – Ak Suu (the name comes from the hot springs). Here you will take place inside the car and drive to Karakol. Lunch at a local cafe in the town.
After lunch continue drive to Cholpon Ata town. Upon arrival accommodation in a hotel on the north shore of Issyk-Kul Lake.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Continue driving to Bishkek. Lunch en route.
Upon arrival to the capital accommodation at the hotel.
Last dinner at the cafe.