Highlights of Kyrgyzstan around Issyk-Kul Lake
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Picking up from earlier agreed spot in the morning, then heading to the village of Bokonbaevo (3:30 hours drive from the city of Bishkek).
On the way we will visit Burana Tower an ancient minaret, recognised as UNESCO Heritage.
This tower has its own legend and history, at the small museum you will have the chance to hear the full story. Burana is the ruins of the ancient city of Balasagun - the capital of the Khanate of Karakhanids. You will have an excursion throughout the complex, go to the museum and see the panorama view from the tower itself. You will also see balbals on the territory of the complex - gravestones made by ancient Turkish tribes.
Then we continue our way. On the scenic drive you will travel through Boom Gorge canyon along the Chu river with views of the mountains in the distance.
Bokonbaevo village is a picturesque village on the southern shore of the lake Issyk-Kul, which is the center of ecological tourism in Kyrgyzstan. We will acquaint you with simple rural life and with the original Kyrgyz traditions.
We will arrive to the Bokonbaev by Lunch time. Check-in and lunch at the Yurt camp.
Lunch will be served in traditional way in one of the yurts, where you will have national food.
The rest of the day you will spend in the Yurt camp, where you can learn about the yurt installation process. A local Kyrgyz woman will tell you the meaning of each part of the yurt and treat it with freshly baked “boorsoks” and fragrant tea. (Optional to arrange demonstration of Yurt installation where you can even participate.)
You can express your imagination and paint any stone with colors, make a photo with your artwork for the memory you stay in the ethnic complex.
You will have national food and Kyrgyz Folklore performance for the Dinner.
In the evening, after sunset, you can conveniently sit on the mat wrapped in blankets, choose the movie you like and watch in the big screen under the sky strewn with stars. If it rains, the film will be shown in the guest yurt.
Overnight in Yurt Camp.
After breakfast we will go to the Canyon Skazka (Fairytale). The canyon is an amazing place where sandy red formations take various fabulous forms.
Soft rocks of different shades are very flexible to the action of external forces. After the next rain, the relief of the Fairytale can really change noticeably. And shades of colors on the slopes of the canyon can change dramatically and with strong gusts of wind. Moreover, staying in the Fairytale with complete calm and clear skies from morning till night, the observer every hour will discover new details of the landscape. They will be differently illuminated by the movement of the sun in the sky and the movement of shadows on the ground.
Walking along this gorge during the rest on Issyk-Kul brings not only aesthetic pleasure, but also unity with nature. With care, you take every step so as not to disrupt the creation of the Creator. These blocks impress with their uniqueness and grandeur.
You will see a canyon called "China Wall" with a length of 5 kilometers, it seems to guard the peace of sleeping castles and amazing animals created by nature itself from red clay and sandstone - elephants, hippos, snakes and some very unseen animals.
On the return way you will have the chance to meet experienced berkutchi, who will share the story of hunting with golden eagles, their habits and features. Demonstration of the eagle hunting can be arranged for tourists for an additional fee.
In the evening we will return to the guest house/ yurt camp, you will have a free evening, where you can see the beauty of the Issyk-Kul lake and walk around.
After breakfast at the yurt camp, we will go to the Jeti-Oguz gorge, a picturesque mountain gorge in Kyrgyzstan, 28 kilometers west of the city of Karakol along the southern shore of Issyk-Kul.
On the way we will also visit Barskoon Waterfall and the holy place of "Mandjyly-Ata". The fame of Mandjyly-Ata, acquired at the end of the 17th century, is explained by the mention of the "Manas" in the epic as a sacred place for the Kyrgyz. "Mandjyly-Ata" is a whole valley, which is a whole labyrinth of shallow gorges between clay hilly steppes and healing springs. Researchers call these places natural geo-anomalous zones, where cosmic energy is concentrated.
The name "Jeti-Oguz" (translated as "seven bulls") came from a chain of weathered red rocks, similar to bulls lying on the ground, and became a visiting card of the gorge. The local point of interest is the rock "Broken Heart", near which you can always make incredibly beautiful photos.
For an additional fee, you can ride horses and try traditional dishes in yurts.
Jeti-Oguz Gorge, the second mountainous place of the Issyk-Kul Reserve and one of the most beautiful places in Kyrgyzstan. For 25 km on both sides of the gorge there are blue spruce trees that are included in the red book of Kyrgyzstan. In the gorge at an altitude of 2200 m there is a resort Jeti-Oguz, known for its healing geothermal springs.
Arrival to Karakol in the evening, check-in in the hotel. Time for rest.
After an early breakfast we have a road along the lake to the city of Karakol. Check in the hotel and tour around the city.
You will visit: the historical museum of local lore, the Dungan mosque, the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, the memorial complex of the museum with the tomb of the Russian researcher of Central Asia - Mikhail Przewalski, the bestial market, Victory Park, the river park and the park of Pushkin.
Some of these attractions you will visit before lunch, the rest after. For lunch, you can try the famous local dish - Ashlyan-Fu.
Departure to the observation deck in 7 km from the city of Karakol, where in summer in the evening you can admire the beautiful panorama.
Return to the hotel in Karakol and dinner.
After breakfast we will start move towards Bishkek through the northern shore of the Issyk-Kul lake. We will stop at Oruktu village for hot springs swimming for 1 hour. Then we will continue our trip with the stop for lunch in Cholpon-Ata. After lunch we will visit the cultural center of Ruh Ordo, named after the famous writer of Kyrgyzstan Ch. Aitmatov, who unites the history and spiritual heritage of various cultures and nationalities of the world.
The ideological concept of the cultural center is striking in its depth: there are five white chapels on the territory of the complex, located at the same distance from each other. The only external difference between chapels is the symbols of different world religions.
"Rukh Ordo" is famous not only for its unusual architectural monuments, but also for the most beautiful pier on the shore of the lake.
Then you will visit the petroglyphs located between the northern and north-western outskirts of the city of Cholpon-Ata and the southern part of the Kungei Ala-Too mountain range. On the area from east to west with a length of 4 km and a width of 2 km there are tens of thousands of stones (boulders) carried by mudflows from the mountain gorges of the Kungei Ala-Too Range.
Petroglyphs (rock carvings) of Cholpon-Ata represent a big open-air temple where religious rituals related to the spiritual world and the life of the nomadic population of Issyk-Kul were performed.
Objects and images of drawings are diverse: goats, deer, bulls, horses, dogs, wolves, etc. There are scenes from the life of predatory animals, numerous images of people and their activities.
Most of the Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs date back to the 2nd millennium BC. However, there is also a legacy dating back to the 7th-3rd centuries BC.
After departure to Bishkek through the Boom gorge, arrival at the hotel and rest after a busy day.
After breakfast short trip to National Park Ala-Archa. There you will have a small trek to the river, surrounded by high junipers on the snow covered peaks even during summer time. You can breathe in the fresh mountain air and try cold water coming from the glaciers. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to make the most memorable photos of your trip to Kyrgyzstan.
In the afternoon you will visit famous market Osh bazaar, an authentic oriental market, where you will find dried fruits, nuts, kurut (traditional snacks), fresh fruits and vegetables, sweets and local desserts. You will find yourself taking many bright and colorful photos and trying some of the local foods. At this market there is a famous souvenir section - “Kyal”, where you may buy various souvenirs and gifts at affordable price.
You will visit the Ala-too square and the Manas Monument. Manas is the national hero of Kyrgyzstan. There is in Kyrgyz literature the “Epic of Manas” which is a poem that consists of three parts, the volume of the epic Manas is much longer than the Iliad and Odyssey, “Epic of Manas” has been listed as a UNESCO intangible heritage since 2009. We continue to the Oak Park, Opera and Ballet Theater and finish at The Victory square.
For dinner time you may choose one of the many restaurants with different cuisines from local to Asian/European ones.
Return to the hotel. Relaxing evening after the intensive day
Early morning transfer for departure from “Manas” airport.
Accommodation at 3* hotel with breakfast in Bishkek and Karakol Accommodation in guest house/yurt camp in Bokonbaevo Bishkek: Bishkek Centrum Hotel 3* Baikhan Hotel 3* My Hotel Bishkek 3* Futuro Hotel Bishkek 3* Rich hotel 4* Club Hotel Bishkek 4* Grand Hotel Bishkek 4* Green City Hotel Bishkek 4* Garden Hotel 4* Karakol: Altamira Hotel 3* Green Yard Hotel 3* Argo Guest House Hillside Karakol Guest House Bokonbaevo: Oimo-Tash Yurt Camp Jaychi Yurt Camp Almaluu Ethnic-Complex CBT Guest House
Entrance tickets to main sights: Burana, Ruh-Ordo Swimming in the hot springs Meeting with Berkutchi Folklore show
Every day in the hotel