Pearls of Tien-Shan

 

Countries: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Tour duration: 13 days

The program is developed for nature-lovers: densely planted forests of conifers, wide valleys and amazing rivers, unique mountain lakes with transparent water, magic glaciers, powerful mountain ranges, horses, sheep and yaks. You will be kept in touch with the history of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and see major historical sightseeing places as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1. Flight to Almaty

Early morning arrival in Almaty. Meeting at the airport and transfer to Otrar Hotel. Time for a rest. Almaty  is a modern metropolis with a picturesque panorama of mountains and apple tree forests. Almaty is the Southern capital of Kazakhstan and at the same time is the largest city of the country. Officially for more than 20 years it is not the capital of the country, but still an important cultural and business center. Our city sightseeing tours includes: 28 Panfilov’s guardsmen park, Zenkov-Cathedral, National museum of History, Medeo gorge, Republic Square (Overall duration of the city tour - 4 hours).

Accommodation: Hotel Otrar****

Day 2. Transfer to Altyn-Emel, 200 km

Transfer to Altyn-Emel National Park, situated in the desert zone of South-East Kazakhstan. The site holds a combination of desert, including the famous "Singing Dunes" with surrounding sands, dry rocky mountains and wetland avifauna. Up to 280 bird species can be observed here, including up to 160 breeding species. The territory plays a great role in the conservation of ungulates. The territory of National park abounds archeological monuments of the stone epoch, bronze, early and late iron century, ethnographic and historical cultural monuments.

Accommodation: Guesthouse Altyn-Emel at Baschi

Day 3. Baschi, circular trip 200 km

Excursion to Ak Tau and Katutau mountains. The chalk mountains Ak Tau are situated slightly eastward of Katutau. They are pressed of various rocks. The nature has created here the most beautiful gorges from many colored layers of rocks: from green and red at the bottom up to motley and white at the top. The height of strata is over thousand meters. Traces of extinct subtropical plants, petrified bones of ancient animals were found in the clefts. The first paleontological open-air museum in Kazakhstan was founded exactly in this part of the park. The Katutau Mountains, situated at the east of the national park, are the most arid and dark. They are distinguished by steep slopes and numerous gorges. An appearance of these mountains is like a Martian lifeless landscape, which is known from cosmic pictures. These mountains were formed in the result of volcanic activity. There are many rock carvings (petroglyphs) and imprinted scenes of hunt and animals.

Accommodation: Guesthouse Altyn-Emel at Baschi

Day 4. Baschi – Charyn Canyon, 200 km

On the way to Charyn Canyon we make an excursion to Relict Ash wood Grove. Walk in the forest and picnic. Further transfer to Charyn Canyon. The Canyon is considered as the Grand Canyon’s younger brother. The dramatic erosion made by the river Charyn has created an impressive landscape. The site is also known as a Valley of Castles. It has a peculiar bright red color and its rock formations resemble ancient castles. It’s spectacular during the day and at night, under a star-lit sky.

Accommodation:  Yurt camp

Day 5. Transfer to Kol-Say Lakes, 150 km

After accommodation at the guesthouse we will take a hike to the first and second lakes. These lakes are located at heights of 1800 and 2250 meters above sea level. They are distinguished by the unique mountain watershed consisting of three natural zones and amazing variety of rare plants and animals. Kolsay lakes are very deep: the deepest point of the first lake is 80 m and about 50m of the second. You will never forget their magnificence and calmness around. When the water is smooth the surface is absolutely quiet, the sky and a bewitching panorama of a mountain landscape are reflected in it. Lakes are surrounded by rocks, woods, Alpine meadows and whole glades of gentle-olive mountain colors.

Accommodation: Guesthouse “Jibek Jolu”

Day 6. Transfer to Karakol, 250 km

Today we cross a border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan at Kegen and head to Karakol town. The atmosphere of Karakol town will bring you hundred years back and give you an impression of Tsarist Russia. The afternoon city tour includes: Old Russian Style houses (1870 – 1910), Russian Orthodox Church (1886) and Dungan mosque (1899) that was made out of wood without nails.

Accommodation: Green Yard Guesthouse

 

Day 7. Trip to Altyn-Arashan gorge

Altyn Arashan (“Golden Springs”) gorge is very popular of its radon hot springs and as a start point of many trek and hike routes. Springs are situated at the alpine meadow at the altitude of almost 3000 meters. The temperature of water in the spring reaches +41C. The area of this nature reserve includes thousands hectares of relict fir-trees, diverse flora and fauna. Easy hike in the direction of 5000 meters Aksu Wall peak. Return to Karakol.

Accommodation: Green Yard Guesthouse

Day 8. Transfer to Kochkor, 300 km

Transfer to Kochkor along the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake (700m deep). The lake is situated at the altitude of 1600 meters and with dimensions of 180 km long and 60 km wide is known as the second largest mountain lake in the world. The lake sits in a tectonic hollow surrounded by magnificent Terskey and Kungei mountain ranges of the Tien-Shan chain. On the way we visit Jety-Oguz gorge with famous “7 bulls” and “Broken Heart” rocks and canyon "Skazka" (Fairy tale). The canyon was named so due to its bizarre rocky landscape, which for many years has been transformed by wind into fabulous sculptures and formations. Some formations in "Skazka" have been named for their similarity to well-known objects. For example, one set of ridges in the canyon is named "The Chinese Wall" due to its similarity to the Great Wall of China. You can also find what appear to be statues of a hippopotamus, snake, dragon, sleeping giant and even whole castles.

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 9. Transfer to Son-Kul Lake, 100 km

Transfer to alpine lake Son-Kul over “33 parrots” pass (3300 m). It is the second largest lake after Issyk Kul Lake, and the largest fresh water lake in Kyrgyzstan. It is surrounded by broad summer pastures dotted with yurts, grazing cattle and mountains. Here you will get acquainted with traditional lifestyle of Kyrgyz nomads.

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Day 10. Son-Kul Lake

Relaxing day at the lake. You can enjoy horseback riding, easy hike to the mountains to see an amazing panorama of Son-Kul Lake and mountains, play with children or participate in cooking of national meals.

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Day 11. Transfer to Jalal-Abad, 350 km

The road to Jalal Abad goes over picturesque Moldo Ashuu (3439m) and Kok Art (3200m) passes. On the way you will see colorful landscapes of Naryn river basin. The river is the largest in Kyrgyzstan, flowing further in Uzbekistan as Syr Darya and feeds Aral Sea.

Accommodation: Hotel Roza Park ***

Day 12. Transfer to Osh via Uzgen, 100 km

On the way to the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan – Osh we make a stop in Uzgen. Excursion to 2000 years old minaret and mausoleums nearby. Visiting of famous rice bazaar. Further transfer to Osh. Osh is believed to be one of the oldest towns in Central Asia. Excursion to Suleiman Mountain and local museum in a cave.  The mountain is also known as Salomon’s throne. The site is still a popular place among local with a small mosque originally built in 1510. The mountain is included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO. Evening flight to Bishkek.

Accommodation: GH

Day 13. Departure

Transfer to the airport and departure. End of services

 

Tour price and list of services - on request

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