First day: Arrival at Manas airport. Transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation in a hotel. Rest. After the rest: a visit to to the central square, eastern bazaar. Lunch. Check in the hotel.
Day 1: Bishkek
Arrival at Manas airport. Transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation in a hotel. Rest. After the rest: a visit to to the central square, eastern bazaar. Lunch. Check in the hotel.
Day 2: Bishkek – Chon Kaemin
After breakfast, approx 09:00 am transfer to Chon-Kemin (150 km, travel time 2 hours). On the way, a visit to the Burana Tower. Burana Tower is one of the oldest structures of its kind on the territory of Central Asia. Its construction dates back to X-XI centuries. The original height of the tower was no less than 40 m, but its upper part was toppled by an earthquake. Today the height of the tower is 21.7 meters. Then transfer to Chon Kaemin. Lunch. After lunch you will have a chance to make photos of the process of setting up the yurt. Dinner and accommodation in a guest house.
Day 3: Chon-Kemin – Konorchek – Issyk-Kul
Early rising. Transfer to the Tar-Suu Gorge, you will have a chance to take pictures of sunrise and enjoy the beauty of the nature. Transfer to the guest house. Breakfast. Rest. After lunch transfer to Boom Gorge, in the canyons of Konorchek the real “Kyrgyz Grand Canyon”. For centuries the wind and rain have been sharpening the mountains, creating the real masterpieces. The walking distance to the canyon is 5 kilometers (1,5 hours on foot one way), and you will see majestic clay sculptures which will not leave you indifferent. We return on foot to the car. Transfer to the hotel on the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul. Dinner and check in to the hotel.
Day 4: Issyk-Kul – Karakol
If you want you may get up early and take pictures of Issyk-Kul Lake at sunrise. Breakfast at 09:00. After breakfast transfer to Karakol (150 km). Upon arrival, lunch in Uyghur family. City tour – bazaar, mosque built without nails, church. Transfer to a Dungan village near Karakol. Dinner with a Dungan family where will offer you a variety of Dungan cuisine. Learn the fascinating story of why this Muslim Chinese group migrated to the region 140 years ago and how Dungan families today retain their traditional culture and cuisine. Transfer to Karakol. Accommodation at hotel.
Day 5: Karakol – Karakol gorge – the foot of Karakol peak
After breakfast transfer by Soviet military car to Karakol Gorge (drive time 2 hours). Further on horseback ride up to Karakol Peak (5000 m), time: 2 hours. Lunch – picnic. It is a beautiful valley with streams and delightful nature. Along the way you will enjoy the amazing nature around. Dinner and overnight in tents. You’ll photograph the last light falling on the mountain, and if you’re lucky and the weather is nice, perhaps take pictures of the starry sky and the Milky Way.
Day 6: Karakol Peak – Jety Ogz
In the morning you can catch the sunrise. Breakfast, after that we will ride horses back to Karakol Gorge (2 hours). Transfer to Dzhety Oguz (on the way we will replace military vehicles with our own transport). Jety-Oguz means ‘7 bulls’ in Kyrgyz. Such a specific name was given to the gorge because of the red clay massif, which is a kind of visiting card of the gorge. The rocks have a very bright color, and it is quite rare for the Tian Shan Mountains. Along the way you will take pictures of the famous red rocks. After that you will take a vehicle to a spectacular valley where you will see Yeltsin peak (5168 m). The route will take you through a spectacular valley. To get a good view of the mountain and to take pictures of the horses, streams and nature on the background of Yeltsin Peak we have to hike 1.5 hours one way. After sunset we will head back. Dinner and overnight stop at Jety-Oguz yurt camp.
Day 7: Jety-Oguz – Southern coast of Issyk-Kul – Bokonbaevo
Early morning transfer to the Mars Canyons, which are located near the village of Kadzhi-Sai on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. Canyons are a ridge of red mountains similar to the landscapes of the planet Mars. There are many interesting reliefs and structures created by the abundance of precipitation, which was created over time. And the color scheme will amaze you with the splendor of its beauty. Climbing to the top, you will get a stunning view of the Issyk-Kul Lake. You will see marvelous landscapes – red mountains on one side and snowy peaks and green meadows on the other. Then you transfer to Bokonbaevo. Lunch. After lunch demonstration of hunting with a golden eagle. The tradition of hunting with hunting birds has its roots in ancient history, which is proved by petroglyphs found in the neighboring Mongolia, and belonging to the period of the Bronze Age. You will have the opportunity to photograph a traditional golden eagle hunter. Dinner and accommodation at the guest house in the village of Bokonobayevo.
Day 8: Bokonbaevo – Son-Kul Lake
After breakfast, transfer to Son-Kul lake (3016 m). The road will pass through Kalmak-Ashuu Pass (3446 m), the beauty of this path will not leave you indifferent. Son-Kul is a lake located at an altitude of about 3,000 meters with surrounding mountains, which will take your breath away as it is completely flat and has its own climate. The weather conditions here can change quickly and there is a good chance that at night the temperature can drop to 0 C and possibly even be sub-zero. The spacious meadows around the lake have been a summer pasture for many years, where local shepherds bring their cattle. Lunch, dinner and accommodation in the yurt camp. If you wish, you will have the opportunity to do a horseback ride. You can also watch local housewives bake bread, milk cows and mares. You will have the opportunity to taste the national drink made of mare’s milk, called Kymyz.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 9: Son-Kul – Bishkek
Early in the morning sunrise photo shooting. Rest. Breakfast. Transfer to Bishkek through the pass called 33 parrots (3133 m). It is a pass with a lot of serpentine turns that you can photograph from the top. One of the most picturesque roads in Kyrgyzstan. On the way a stop in Kochkor, lunch. After lunch a visit to the workshop of felting products. You will have an opportunity not only to observe, but also to participate in the production. Transfer to Bishkek. Farewell dinner in a cafe. Folklore program during the dinner. Check-in at hotel.
Day 10: Airport
Transfer to the airport. Flight home.
June (last decade) – September