Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul Lake is not only one of the world's few remaining ancient lakes, estimated to be an incredible 25 million years old, but also the second-largest alpine lake on the planet. Surrounding the lake are the snowcapped Tian Shan mountains, towering as high as 13,000 feet in the sky. The lake itself reaches depths of over 2,000 feet.
Boasting a long and storied history, the lake was once a stop along the ancient Silk Road. Issyk-Kul was also once used by the Soviet Navy as a torpedo testing site, during which time foreigners were not permitted to visit the area. The lake was a popular summer escape during the Soviet Era, and continues to attract sun-seekers from around the world, especially in the warm month of August. A mountain pass will soon connect Issyk-Kul and Almaty, allowing for easier visitor access to the beautiful lake.