During the 2019 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.
Afternoon city tour.
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.
That minaret was constructed in Balasagun town, one of the capitals of Karakhanid State existed in 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.
After excursion lunch in the family house in Tokmok, where tourist can closer learn about life of local people.
In the afternoon continue your journey to Son Kul lake, the second largest mountain lake in Kyrgyzstan.
Upon arrival in the lake basin accommodation in yurts.
Today you step into the nomadic life at the Song-Kul Lake. Here, the Kyrgyz people still live in traditional simplicity. You enjoy horseback riding or just hiking, spend time with friendly Kyrgyz families and taste their fresh airan (yogurt) and kymys (a fermented national drink from mare’s milk), also you will view horseshow.
Overnight in yurt.
On the way we will stop in Bokombaevo village. Together with the locals we will learn this ancient handicraft and get closer to the culture of nomads. In Bokonbaevo they specialize in production of huge carpets to cover a yurt or to put on the floor.
Overnight in hotel/guest house.
Lunch in a local café.
Then driving to Karakol gorge
We visit the museum of N. M. Przhevalski, the outstanding Russian explorer of Asian continent. You visit Dungan mosque, a unique construction in Chinese style, but serving as a mosque. Also you will see an old Russian Orthodox Cathedral made of wood without any nails.
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.
Dinner and overnight in Karakol 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 hut.
It is a 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 Kol Lake.
Dinner and overnight in Ala Kol tent camp at 3600m.
During the ascent we enjoy wonderful views of the lake. Arriving closer to the lake we see the main range of Terskei Ala Too with a number of peaks – Aksu, Djigit, Karakol, Oguz Bashi, etc. From the lake edge it will take us another hour and half to the pass.
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.
Possibility to take thermal baths.
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.
Transfer to Cholpon Ata town.
Possibly to descent 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 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.
Accommodation in a hotel on the north shore of Issyk Kul Lake.
Dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Lunch en route.
Upon arrival to the city accommodation in a hotel.
Dinner in a local restaurant.
Optionally: During dinner we take the unique opportunity to listen to the Manaschi (a singer performing the national Kyrgyz epos, Manas) and see Kyrgyz folklore show. The musicians in traditional Kyrgyz costumes present you a wide range of national musical instruments – starting from Komuz (a three-stringed wooden musical instrument) to Chopo Choi (wind instrument made of mountain reed). You hear the fascinating singing of young Kyrgyz ladies and men and learn more about the traditional music and poetry of Kyrgyz.
Overnight in a hotel.