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The Taste of Tian-Shan 2020: one of the best routes for hiking in Kyrgyzstan!

Tour Country:



11 days

Price per person:

1980 USD

Tour dates:

August 4 – August 14, 2020

Tour description:

Trekking through the Terskei Ala Too Mountain Range is an experience full of breathtaking landscapes and the thrill of exploring remote places. On this tour you’ll sleep under the starlit sky of Kyrgyzstan, relax next to a campfire at night, and uncover amazing beauty hidden away in secluded corners of the country. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to discover the wonders of our mountainous land! You’ll see both the Oguz Bashi (5,165 m) and Karakol (5,216 m) Peaks and the famous moraine-glacial lake, Ala Kol (3,532 m). We’ll trek over two mountain passes – Telety (3,800 m) and Ala Kol (3,800 m), and for the cherry on top, take a dip in natural hot springs with curative mineral water in the Altyn Arashan Valley!

Special Announcement:

During the 2020 season Supplier SR1401 will have permanent tent camps set up along this entire trekking route. This ensures a number of things:

1) Your journey will be easier and more comfortable than ever since you do not need to carry any food, tents, kitchen utensils, etc.

2) This lessens the overall cost of your tour since you will have no need to hire porters, cooks, etc.

3) Your journey is safer. There are means of communication available at every tent camp.

Tour program:

Day 1 – August 4, 2020: Airport – Bishkek.

Upon arrival to the international airport Manas you will be met by a guide. Short drive to Bishkek and accommodation in a hotel. Afternoon city tour.

The capital and industrial centre of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, handsome buildings and Soviet heritage. The gesturing statue of Lenin can still be seen in the city’s vast central square, yet it is the permanently snowcapped Kyrgyz Alatau mountain range which towers over Bishkek providing a quite stunning backdrop.

We will visit Manas Monument, the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people. Then excursion to the State History Museum and walking tour around main Ala Too Square to watch ceremony of changing of the Guard of Honor, Kurmanzhan Datka Monument, main governmental buildings, and finish at the Old Square with Government House. Transfer to the Victory Square to finish the city tour by short excursion there.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

Optionally: During dinner we take the unique opportunity to listen to the Manaschi (a singer performing the national Kyrgyz epos, Manas) and see Kyrgyz folklore show. The musicians in traditional Kyrgyz costumes present you a wide range of national musical instruments – starting from Komuz (a three-stringed wooden musical instrument) to Chopo Choi (wind instrument made of mountain reed). You hear the fascinating singing of young Kyrgyz ladies and men and learn more about the traditional music and poetry of Kyrgyz.

Overnight in a hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Hotel.

Day 2 – August 5, 2020: Bishkek – Karakol, 430 km, 7-8 h, +900 m.

After breakfast we drive to Issyk Kul Lake that is considered to be the pearl of Tien Shan and one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Our way goes via ruins of Burana Tower (old minaret) near Tokmok city.

That minaret was constructed in Balasagun town, one of the capitals of Karakhanid State existed in 11-12 centuries AD. Explore ruins of that important trading point at the Great Silk Road and visit a little local museum telling about that civilization. Also watch a collection of Balbals, Turkic ancient tombs.

Optionally: On the area around the tower it is possible to organize horse riding games. Along with hunting dogs and birds, horses have always played an important role in the life of Kyrgyz people. They were used in every day life as true assistants in household and as thoroughbred racers. There are festivals of Horse Games (Ulak Tartysh, Kyz Kuumai, Tyiyn Enmei, etc) held throughout the year.

Lunch en route.

In the late afternoon three hours drive to Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America.

Measuring 182 km long by 58 km wide, the lake appeared as a result of volcanic activity. It is heated from below by thermal activity and never freezes even in the depths of winter. In the summer the water temperature reaches 25-28 degrees centigrade (warmer than the air) and you can swim in the lake enclosed on all sides by the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains. Extremely deep and nicely warm over the centuries the lake has been something of an oasis in this inhospitable mountain environment. With diverse flora and fauna Issyk-Kul Lake and the surrounding environments are rightly considered to be one of Central Asia most remarkable locations.

En route we also visit so called Stone garden or Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs site, the temple in the open air of Scythians and Hung suns civilizations dated back 9-8 centuries BC till 3-4 centuries AD. The area of those stone drawing lies at the foot of Kungei Alatau Ridge with a beautiful view of the whole lake.

Continue driving to Karakol town. Upon arrival accommodation in a guest house.

Dinner in a local cafe/local family.

Overnight in a guest house.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Guest House.

Day 3 – August 6, 2020: Tour of Karakol. Karakol – Jeti Oguz Gorge, 45 km, 4-5 h, +900m.

Morning short sightseeing tour in the town – Dungan Mosque, Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Prjevalskii Memorial Complex.

Lunch in a local café.

Transfer to Djety Oguz gorge located in the Northern slopes of Terskei Ala Too some 35km west from Karakol town. The length of the valley is 40 km. There is a chance to see the well-known redsand rock formations – The Broken Heart and Seven Bulls. The slopes in the gorge are covered with the world-famous Tien Shan blue spruce for about 25km along the fast mountain river. The road goes along the river (five log bridges to cross). This is the most narrow part of the way. Later it opens into so called Flower Meadow (Kok Jaiyk). The upper part of Djety Oguz valley is blocked by a long Djety Oguz wall with a fabulous Oguz Bashi peak (5165m) in the central part of it.

Dinner and overnight in Djety Oguz tent camp at 2600m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Tents.

Day 4 – August 7, 2020: Trek to Telety Pass, 16 km, 6-8 hrs., +450 m.

The path along the river bank in a very narrow wooded gorge Bay Tor leads us to the alpine meadows. Here, on a flower carpet, in the mountains the air is sweet and clear, the views are amazing, one forgets all his troubles and gets closer to the nature. Picnic. After rest continue the trek to the tent camp at the foot of Telety pass. It is not a difficult trek, about 6-7km along West Telety river.

Dinner and overnight in Telety tent camp at 3050m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Tents.

Day 5 – August 8, 2020: Trek over Telety Pass (3,800 m) down to Karakol valley (2,500 m), 18 km, 6-8 hrs., +750 m/-1300 m.

Going up the pass is not very difficult, mainly the route goes along a narrow path with a slight ascend. There are only two rather steep slopes, which require some efforts.

From the top of the pass at 3800m asl we enjoy the views of the surroundings.

Descent is rather simple, along a wide slope covered with talus, across alpine meadows with various herbs and flowers, along East Telety river. Later we hike through the wood along a trail covered with roots.

Dinner and overnight in Karakol tent camp at 2500m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Tents.

Day 6 – August 9, 2020: Hike to the foot of Karakol Peak (5,216 m), 16 km. 6-8 hrs, +700 m/-700 m.

Radial hike up along Uyun Tor river to the foot of Karakol peak.

We have a chance to see Tien Shan blue spruce forest, underwood (dog rose, honeysuckle, black barberries, mountain ash, black current, etc. There are mushrooms in the forest. Starting from May there are flowers blooming on the meadows – snowdrops, tulips, primerose, white anemone, alpine Aster, edelweiss (really big ones), etc. We reach the point with a view at the highest peak of Terskei Ala Too – Karakol peak.

Possibility to use sauna. Dinner and overnight in Karakol tent camp at 2500m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Tents.

Day 7 – August 10, 2020: Trek along the gorge to Sirota Hut and Lake Ala Kol (3,532 m), 9 km, 6-8 hrs, +1100 m.


Descent along the gorge about 3 km, later we cross the river over a bridge and the trail leads us into a forest. Rather long ascent finishes at a steep slope covered with grass, the trail turns into a serpentine, passes by a river overflow, and arrive to an unusual place which is called “Sirota” mountain hut.

It is a log hut. There is a table, benches, fireplace inside. We can find a number of sculptures of animals and idols carved in wood around the hut. It looks like a fairy tale place. It is a nice place to sit down, rest, have a snack.

Later the trail goes up higher, leaving the forest behind we hike along the river and reach a beautiful waterfall, flowing down from Ala Kol Lake.

Dinner and overnight in Ala Kol tent camp at 3600m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Tents.

Day 8 – August 11, 2020: Trek over Ala Kol Pass (3,800 m), passing Lake Ala Kol and descend into Arashan Gorge (2,600 m), 18 km, 6-8 hrs, +200 m/-1200 m.

Moraine Lake of Ala Kol stretches from east to west for 2.8km, its width is 500m, and depth 70m. Ala Kol means Colorful Lake in Kyrgyz language. Depending on the light the water might change its color. It can be emerald green, turquoise with white clouds reflected, light green or dark grey, or even black. During the ascent we enjoy wonderful views of the lake. Arriving closer to the lake we see the main range of Terskei Ala Too with a number of peaks – Aksu, Djigit, Karakol, Oguz Bashi, etc. From the lake edge it will take us another hour and half to the pass.

Descent from the pass along a talus slope, and later across a wide valley of Keldike with picturesque landscapes, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep grazing.

Later the trail brings us into a forest again and descends into Arashan valley.

Upon arrival to the tent camp you may use an opportunity to relax in the hot springs. There are thermal baths (up to +50C) in the valley.

Possibility to take thermal baths.

Dinner and overnight in Altyn Arashan tent camp at 2600m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Tents.

Day 9 – August 12, 2020: Altyn Arashan Gorge – Cholpon Ata, 155 km, 4-5 hrs, -1000 m.

There is a resort Altyn Arashan founded 1963, famous for its hot mineral springs. The resort represents several wooden huts located on a big treeless meadow on the right bank of Arashan river.

The Northern slopes of the left river bank are covered with fir trees. It gives an unforgettable picture – dark green trees with snowcapped mountains Aksu wall (5022m) in the background.

Transfer to Cholpon Ata town.

Possibly to descent over green fields with blooming flowers and crystal mountain springs. The final 5 km of the gorge are very narrow not more than 30 m with high rock walls. At the entrance to the gorge we pass by a village – Ak Suu (the name comes from the hot springs). Here you will take place inside the car.

Accommodation in a hotel on the north shore of Issyk Kul Lake.

Dinner and overnight in a hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Hotel.

Day 10 – August 13, 2020: Cholpon Ata – Bishkek, 250 km, 3-4 hrs, -800 m.

Morning, after breakfast, transfer to Bishkek city.

Lunch en route.

Upon arrival to the city accommodation in a hotel.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in a hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Accomodation: Hotel.

Day 11 – August 14, 2020: Bishkek – Manas International Airport.

Morning transfer to airport to catch your flight back home.

Meals: breakfast.


Single supplement in hotels: 130 USD/person

Single supplement in tents: 70 USD/person

Please note – you do not need to set up your tents. They will be set up for you in advance and a cook will be waiting with a hot meal for you when you arrive!

Luggage allowance on trek: Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 12 kg of personal belongings. 1kg extra – 12 USD for programs. It is possible to leave travel clothes or other items not required on trek in our office – we will deliver them to Issyk-Kul Hotel on your arrival there after BC.

Equipment: For this trip you will need the following: 4 season sleeping bag, walking boots, waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket or similar, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, a daypack of around 40 liters, head-torch and batteries, 2 x 1 liter water bottles, sun cream. A down jacket, pair of sandals, swimming suit and walking sticks are recommended.

  • • Accommodation in hotels in Bishkek – 3 nights
  • • Accommodation in Amir hotel or Green Yard Guest House in Karakol – 1 night
  • • Accommodation at the Hotel at Issyk-Kul Lake – 1 night
  • • Accommodation and full board (hot food for breakfast and dinner, lunches as snack boxes) in the permanent tent camps along the trek Djety Oguz gorge – Altyn Arashan gorge – 6 nights. (Please note, you do not need to set up your tents, they will be set in advance + cook will be waiting for your with hot meal when you arrive!)
  • • Full board during whole program
  • • Escorting Guide during the whole program
  • • Porter service during the trek (*please read about baggage allowance on trek below)
  • • All the transfers according to the program
  • • Entry and ecological fee
Does not include
  • • Visa support and fees (if necessary)
  • • All optional deviations from the main itinerary
  • • Beverages and meals not included in the main menu.


Fixed price per person


  • August 4 - August 14, 2020

About the company

We work to ensure that tourists who come to Bishkek have an opportunity to learn better our city, people and nature. We do our best to improve all services.