Let’s go for a three-day horse trek in the Chon Kemin National Park, then for a two-day hike to discover the Kok Ulok and Kol Tor lakes.
You’ll get to meet a lot of shepherds in the summer jailoos.
This authentic trip combines cultural discovery and sight-seeing.
The trek is open to beginners, as long as you are in a good physical condition. There are no particular difficulties.
Day 1Welcome to Chon Kemin National Park
Manas airport - Bishkek
Your driver will pick you up at the airport and drive you to your hotel, where you can rest.
Bishkek - Chon-Kemin National Park
We stop to visit the ruins of the Burana Minaret, a Jami mosque destroyed in the 13th century during invasions. The monument is rich in history, archeological findings and legends, and belongs to the Unesco world heritage. We can climb at the top of the tower to get a beautiful view on the valley and the mountains. We’ll also visit the museum on site.
We arrive in the green Chon Kemin Valley, a natural park rich with an impressive diversity of landscapes: pine forests, pastures, gorges, glaciers and lakes. We go for a short walk in the surroundings to enjoy this calm environment. We’ll get to watch how Kyrgyz women make the traditional felt rug, shyrdak.
Day 2Let's get on our horses
Chon-Kemin National Park - Toru-Aygyr
We start our horse adventure and gallop through fields, before getting into the Toru-Aygyr Gorge. We enter into a forest of pines and streams. Then, we slowly gain in altitude towards a pass.
Day 3A small alpine lake
Toru-Aygyr - Kol-Tor
Today, we climb this pass, which gives us a splendid view on the snowy mountains of Ala Too. We have lunch, and head towards the glacial lake of Kol Tor, at 3000m altitude. We set our camp on the shores of the lake for the night.
Day 4On the Issyk Kul Lake shores
Kol-Tor - Jeltyibes
We get back on our horses towards Jeltyibes, via the Kol Tor Pass (2200m). We cross a river, and meet a few shepherds who came here with their herds for the summer. On our way, we’ll have a beautiful view point on the Issyk-Kul Lake.
Jeltyibes - Tamchy
In Jeltyibes, we say goodbye to our team, before driving to the village of Tamchy, where we’ll be able to rest and relax near the lake shore for the rest of the day.
Day 5Arts and crafts in Kochkor
Tamchy - Kochkor
We get back on the road towards the village of Kochkor, known for its local development initiatives. We visit a felt fabric held by local women who make traditional felt rugs, the shyrdak, and other handicrafts.
In the evening, we’ll get to see a traditional Kyrgyz music concert. The program includes the performance of a Manaschi, as well as national instruments and songs.
Day 6HIking to Kok Ulok
Kochkor - Kol Ukok lake
Early in the morning, we drive to the small village of Isakaev where our hike will start. We meet our local guide, who will accompany us on this two-day trek.
After putting our equipment on the horses, who will carry it, we start walking on a small trail. We walk through fields, cross a few small streams, until we finally gain in altitude. New landscape appears before us, rocky, mountainous, and less green. On the way, we’ll see herds in the jailoos.
The last hour of our hike is more difficult: we have to climb up a pass at 3000 m (9842 ft) to arrive at the lake.
Finally, we get to see the Kol Ukok Lake, whose turquoise water contrasts with the rest of the landscape.
We settle in our yurt camp for the night.
Day 7Another small lake
Kol Ukok lake - Kol Tor Lake
Those who want will have the possibility to hike to another small lake, the Kol Tor Lake, at around 3500 m altitude. We’ll leave at dawn for a hike of 3 hours total (to and back).
We follow the river until reaching a stone heap. The trail becomes steeper, with tall grass. Be careful if it has rained recently, it could be slippery.
We reach this beautiful lake after about one hour of hiking.
Kol Tor Lake - Kol Ukok lake
Then we hike back down to Kochkor.
We arrive in small village, where we’ll settle in our guest house and enjoy a well-deserved rest. Free evening.
Day 8The burning canyon
Kochkor - Konorchek canyon
We’ll go for a short hike in the Konorchek Canyons, a gorge with towering red, orange and yellow rocks similar to the Grand Canyon. You’ll be impressed and intimidated by the heights of the rock formations.
Konorchek canyon - Bishkek
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.