Example Itinerary

Classic Kyrgyzstan

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Price Per Person
From $7,700
Destinations
Kyrgyzstan
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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

Map

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 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 hosuehold 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

Day 2

Map

Song-kul Lake

Leave the city behind as you travel onward by car to Lake Song-Kul. Enroute, 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
Song-kul Lake

Day 3

Map

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 meader 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

Map

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.

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Karakol

Day 5

Map

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
Chon-Kemin Valley

Day 6

Map

Chon-Kemin Valley »

Arise early to take in the splendour 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 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

Map

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
Bishkek

Day 8

Map

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.

Terms & Conditions

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

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.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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