Full Itinerary for Great Lakes Nomad Adventure
Day 1: Arrive in Bishkek
We take a tour of the ‘White City’ – so called because many of the government buildings in Soviet times were built from the beautiful locally mined white marble. We will learn about the history of the country with our local tour guide and have dinner in one of the most well-known tea houses in the city with traditional live music and dancing.
Day 2: Day hike in Ala Archa National Park
A short drive out of town we will stretch our legs with a day-hike in Ala Archa National Park taking in in the beautiful alpine air and views of the mountains and rivers. We return to the city for dinner and to relax before heading out on our adventure in the morning.
Day 3: Drive to Lake Issyk-Kul; visit Skazka Canyon & eagle hunting
We drive a few hours to the southern shore of Issyk-Kul where we will stay in yurts on the shores of the glistening lake – so large its turquoise waters often look like the Mediterranean. We will explore the interesting rock formations of Skazka Canyon and be treated to a demonstration of eagle hunting by some of the local nomads.
Day 4: Drive to Tashrabat Caravansari yurt camp
We drive south down alongside the rising snow-capped Tian Shan Mountains to the ancient Caravanserai of Tashrabat which lies on the ancient Silk Road only two days travel from the Chinese border. We will stay in the yurt camp and explore the Caravanserai itself where traders throughout history would have holed up to protect themselves from bandits or bad weather on this lucrative but perilous trade route.
Day 5: Hike/horse ride up to pass with views of Chatyr-Kol Lake
You can either horse ride or hike up the winding valley trails up to the top of a high pass (4000m) where (weather permitting) we will have an incredible view of Chatyr-Kol Lake. It is a radial hike, as we will return the way we came to the yurt camp alongside horses grazing in the lush pasture and we have all day so there is no rush! The hike is optional – if you would rather you can just stay and explore the foothills around the Caravanserai but the views are absolutely worth it.
Day 6: Drive to Song-Kul Lake yurt camp
We will take the winding road up into the very centre of Kyrgyzstan’s hidden plateau to the majestic Song-Kul Lake; probably the most picturesque lake in the country. It is a popular ground for nomadic shepherds who bring their flocks here in the summer months. We will stay in a beautiful yurt camp on the southern shore with the family who run it, play with the innumerable children, and sample the delicious local cuisine.
Day 7: Hiking and/or horse-riding around Song-Kul Lake
Today we have a whole day of leisure in these beautiful surroundings. We can hike, horse ride or do nothing! It is an amazing place just to spend time under a never-ending sky viewing incredible sunrises and sunsets, not to mention impeccable views of the Milky Way in clear skies. Spend time with the local people in ours and other yurt camps dotted along the shores.
Day 8: Drive back to Bishkek
We will drive back to the capital for out last group dinner in the city and to celebrate our adventure in this unique and beautiful country.
Day 9: Fly out from Bishkek