Osh - Jalal-abad
This morning, our Kyrgyz'What? team picks you up at your hotel. We leave for Jalal-Abad, the third biggest city in Kyrgyzstan. On the road, we’ll visit the historical sight of Uzgen, where you’ll be able to see three mausoleums and one minaret from the 11th century.
Jalal-abad - Arslanbob
After driving on a dirt road, we finally reach the picturesque Uzbek village of Arslanbob. Nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 1600m, besides one of the world’s largest walnut forests, this village, which looks like no other in Kyrgyzstan, is a paradise for hikers.
We explore this small village, where time seems to have stopped.
Our host family shows us some local cuisine: plov (rice with carrots and meat), mastava, or borsok (fried bread).
Today, we go for a hike in the walnut forest, where we’ll be able to glance at two splendid waterfalls. We’ll take our lunch in this relaxing and stunning environment.
4-5 hours hike
Arslanbob - Arkit village
We get back on the road for Sary-Chelek. We cross mountainous landscapes, with their bright contrasting colors. Lunch on the road.
This morning, we go horseback riding to discover this little lake at 1837m (6027 ft) altitude.
We can rest by the lake, and even go for a short swim in its clear water.
Arkit village - Toktogoul Lake
We take the road towards Toktogul, a large artificial lake of 284km2.
The landscape is breath-taking, with mountains and cliffs of all colors. We go through the magnificent Low-Naryn gorge, and follow a river of the same name. The turquoise water only adds to the beauty of the scenery.
Chychkan - Suusamyr valley
Finally, we arrive in the Suusamyr Valley, and are amazed by its superb landscape – one that you could easily find on a postal card of Kyrgyzstan.
Suusamyr valley - Kyzyl-Oi
We continue our trip to Kyzyl Oi, which translates as "the red bowl".
This little village, located at 1800m altitude (5905ft), gets its name from the surrounding red mountains. The road is a little harsh, but this new landscape will astonish you.
We go for a short three-hour hike to discover this unexpected environment.
Kyzyl-Oi - Son Kul lake
We arrive on the shores of Son Kul Lake. This huge alpine lake is an important water reserve in Kyrgyzstan. Nestled in the celestial mountains, it is located at 3016 m (9895 ft) above sea level. Its crystal clear water changes colors depending on the weather, which can change every hour. The lake takes on blue, turquoise and sometimes even orange colors. It hosts nomadic shepherds and their herds in the warm months of summer.
You can enjoy the day, relax, and discover the daily life of our host family. You might be lucky enough to attend the production of Kumys, the local mare milk, or see how shepherds gather their herds.
You can also go for a small horseback riding adventure near the lake after lunch.
Son Kul lake - Kochkor
We continue to the village of Kochkor, famous for its local tourism development initiatives. We visit a women’s association where they make felt rugs (sherdaks) and other handicraft.
We visit the superb Skazka Canyons, whose name translates as Fairy Tale Canyons in Kyrgyz language. Formed from erosion, the rocks tower over the Issyk Kul Lake and offer a great contrast in color. Let your imagination work to make out the shapes of the rocks.
After dinner, we will get entertained by a group of musicians playing traditional Kyrgyz music.
Bokonbayevo - Bishkek
This is our last day before getting back to the capital. We leave the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, where we met a generous culture, and go back to Bishkek. Drop-off at your hotel, where you’ll be able to relax.
We visit the Osh Bazar, one of the most fascinating markets in Kyrgyzstan. Enjoy the colors and the smells coming from stands of dry fruits and spices. You can also buy a few traditional souvenirs to bring home.
Walk on the Ala Too Square in the center of Bishkek. Meeting place for Bishkek’s youth, it comes alive every evening with families and friends who come here to relax. It’s also an important historical place, since it hosted several revolutions.