Example Itinerary

Classic Kyrgyzstan

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Price Per Person
Destinations
Kyrgyzstan

Discover the charms of Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, on this eight-day classic journey. Travel through culturally and historically rich cities of Bishkek and Karakol, and to picturesque landscapes of Song-Kul lake and Chon-Kemin valley. Get to know the people and their traditions along the way as you meet nomadic herders, have home-style lunch with villagers, watch a Buzkashi match, taste local specialty foods, and meet the legendary eagle hunters.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Alpine Song-Kul Lake Scenes: There is no better way to enjoy the vast splendor of Song Kul lake than to do as the locals do and pitch a traditional yurt and take in the natural beauty. The surrounding summer highland pasture gives plenty of space for hiking and horseback riding.
  • Eagle Hunting: Nomads on the central steppe began the tradition of taming these birds of prey thousands of years ago as an essential part of their survival. Meet one of only a handful of eagle hunters remaining today and see the famed tradition in action.
  • Buzkashi: Watch a live buzkashi match, a centuries-old Central Asian horseback sport that involves a goat carcass. An intriguing and hyper-localized spectacle not for the faint of heart.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Bishkek

Begin your journey in Bishkek. You will be met upon arrival at the airport and transferred via private vehicle to your hotel. After freshening up, spend the day exploring this capital city, the largest in the country. Its wide boulevards, arranged in a grid pattern, are lined with marble-clad public buildings and shady trees. Though now a modern city, numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks outnumber the newer buildings which preserve the Soviet-era feel. Get a feel for the city's culture and the country's history as you visit the Philharmonic House, Victory Square, and Old Square. At Osh Bazaar, the city's huge and bustling open-air market, meet the locals and taste the specialties. From food products and spices to household goods, clothes, and souvenirs, Osh Bazaar sells just about everything under the sun. Taste the decorated flat breads and sweets, and admire the local dress of vendors and shoppers.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: This hotel is ideally situated in the center of Bishkek yet within a short driving distance from the international airport.

Services: The only five-star hotel in the country, the Hyatt Regency prides itself on world-class service, catering to guests’ every need, around the clock.

History: Since its opening, the Hyatt Regency has enjoyed a history of acclaim for its excellent quality including being twice named Kyrgyzstan's Best Hotel in the World Travel Awards.

See Hotel
Hyatt Regency Bishkek Preferred Hotel
About

With excellent views of the capital and the Tien Shan mountains, the Sheraton Bishkek is comprised of deluxe rooms, plus junior, king and executive suites, some of which include club access. Rooms are furnished in a warm and homely classic style, with air-conditioning, writing desks, WiFi and terraces.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 2

Song-kul Lake

Leave the city behind as you travel onward by car to Lake Song-Kul. En route, stop to visit the Burana Tower. This lone minaret, standing 82 feet tall, along with obscure scattered ruins, is all that remains of an ancient city established at the end of the 9th century. Make another stop at Kochkar village where most of the locals are farmers and breeders and enjoy a pastoral way of life. Here, see the local women's handicraft cooperative and have a home-style lunch. Upon reaching the lake, settle into your yurt camp and take in the grandeur of the lake.

Hotel Options
About

Set up camp in the remote outdoors of Kyrgyzstan, in a traditional yurt - a round, portable tent. Spending the night under the stars in a traditional yurt provides great insight into local nomadic lifestyle, while also allowing guests to get back in touch with nature and the area’s stunning surroundings.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Song-kul Lake
Song-kul Lake

Day 3

Song-kul Lake

Song-Kul is a freshwater alpine lake in northern Naryn province of wonderful natural beauty and home to many rare animals and birds. As you meander along the lakeshore, you will encounter local nomadic families and their herd of sheep. Get to know more about their lifestyle, and if you wish, try your hand at milking goats and sample a bowl of kumys, mildly alcoholic fermented mare's milk. You may also choose to hike or go horseback riding along various trails or the open fields. Song-Kul is a destination that even locals visit to unwind and enjoy the peace and scenic outdoors.

Day 4

Karakol

Today get back on the road and head to Karakol. Enjoy the beautiful pastoral Kyrgyz countryside panoramas of wildflower meadows, grazing livestock, nomadic yurts, green hills, and mountains in the backdrop. Break up the drive and stretch your legs with a walk along Lake Issyk-kul, the largest in the country. Notably, the lake never freezes despite being surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is home to over 20 fish species. Upon arrival in Karakol, check in and relax at your hotel. This evening, enjoy local wine and food with a private folk music performance.

Hotel Options
About

In the northern Kyrgyzstan town of Karakol, it’s hard to find any better place to stay than the award-winning, family-run Green Yard Guest House. Take its location for starters.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Karakol
Karakol

Day 5

Chon-Kemin Valley

This morning, spend a few hours getting acquainted with Karakol. Due to its location along the mountains that separate Kyrgyzstan and China, Karakol is home to a variety of ethnic groups including Dungan, Uighur, Kalmak, Uzbek, and Russians. Visit Karakol's culturally-rich prominent sites such as Dungan Mosque, the Russian Quarter and Russian Orthodox Church. For lunch, taste the cultural fusion in the city's beloved dish, ashlan-fu, a spicy noodle soup served cold. This dish comes from the Dungan people, a Chinese-Muslim minority that fled to Kyrgyzstan in the late 1870s. Before noon, drive out to Barskoon Gorge. Upon arrival, take a light hike around and see the area's famous cascading waterfalls. Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view before getting back on the road. The next stop is Bokonbaevo where a special treat awaits. Here, meet eagle hunters and watch a demonstration of this impressive traditional hunting style. Also see how a yurt is assembled. Finally, head to your final destination, Chon-Kemin Valley, to rest for the night.

Hotel Options
About

Kemin Guesthouse is an idyllic rustic hotel located in the scenic Chon Kemin Valley. The guesthouse is owned by a local family who built the hotel from ground up, with focus on large space and wide windows to take in the views, as well as small details such as planting wildflowers gathered from around the country, adding heating in the floors of the rooms, and commissioning locally handmade wooden furnishings to create a warm and homey space.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Chon-Kemin Valley
Chon-Kemin Valley

Day 6

Chon-Kemin Valley

Arise early to take in the splendor of Chon-Kemin as the sun illuminates the green valley. The entire valley is covered with green blooming meadows, the gorge slopes are overgrown with fir trees, and glaciers cover the mountain ridges in the distance. Spend the day hiking and horseback riding through this incredible natural landscape of verdant pastures, woodland, and mountain lakes. You may come across wildlife such as partridges, gold pheasant, wild boar, and mountain sheep. This afternoon, be treated to a private match of the spectacle traditional sport of Buzkashi. This popular Central Asian equestrian sport is rugged and brutal, an enduring cultural relic designed to showcase the riders' horsemanship and warrior spirit.

Day 7

Bishkek

This morning, enjoy more time exploring Chon-Kemin, one of the country's most picturesque landscapes. Take it slow with nature walks, wildlife spotting, and fishing or opt to go rafting and trekking. In the afternoon, it is back to Bishkek, two hours away. The rest of the day is yours to relax, shop for last-minute souvenirs, and enjoy the local food.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: This hotel is ideally situated in the center of Bishkek yet within a short driving distance from the international airport.

Services: The only five-star hotel in the country, the Hyatt Regency prides itself on world-class service, catering to guests’ every need, around the clock.

History: Since its opening, the Hyatt Regency has enjoyed a history of acclaim for its excellent quality including being twice named Kyrgyzstan's Best Hotel in the World Travel Awards.

See Hotel
Hyatt Regency Bishkek Preferred Hotel
About

With excellent views of the capital and the Tien Shan mountains, the Sheraton Bishkek is comprised of deluxe rooms, plus junior, king and executive suites, some of which include club access. Rooms are furnished in a warm and homely classic style, with air-conditioning, writing desks, WiFi and terraces.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Bishkek
Bishkek

Day 8

Departure

After a week of excitement, adrenaline and breathtaking scenery, your adventure in Kyrgyzstan has come to an end. You will be transferred to Airport Manas, where you will catch your flight home or continue on to your next exciting destination.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

Travelogues

An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.

What Others Say

Here is a small selection of the kind words our clients have said about us recently.