Trip in Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan
Day 1: Bishkek
Your driver will pick you up at Manas International Airport and accompany you to the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, just a 30-minute drive from the airport. This entire day is dedicated to a city tour of Bishkek. It includes visiting Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Central Ala-Too Square, National Philharmonic, and many others places of interest. But no tour of Bishkek is complete without visiting our Asian Bazaar! We will show it to you today and you will be able to take a lot of dynamic photos of bustling local life. This bazaar is a noisy and colorful tapestry of fabrics, produce, and people selling and buying goods. You will spend the night in a hotel.
Day 2: Bishkek – Ala Archa – Bishkek
Today we will visit Ala Archa gorge. It is a Natural Park. At the Soviet Time only V.I.P. people had permission to go for a walk here. The Ala Archa gorge is on a spur of the Tien Shan mountain range. It is just 45 km from Bishkek. You can have a short hiking tour to see a panoramic view of the gorge. Afterwards we return to Bishkek and you will have some free time to visit the National Arts Museum. Night is in a hotel.
Day 3: Bishkek – Burana – Chon Kemin
Today you will be transferred to Chon Kemin gorge. On route to the gorge you will visit Burana Tower (an 11th century minaret) and an open air museum of Balbals (stone warriors). After an interesting excursion and climbing on the top of the tower is transfer to Chon Kemin gorge. Here you will meet a nice family that will prepare a traditional lunch for you. In the afternoon we will have 3 hours of horse riding. Your route will go high in the mountains and you will even ride horses through a mountain forest. On the top you will see the panorama view of the gorge. The night and dinner will be in a home stay.
Day 4: Chon Kemin – Issyk Kul lake northern shore
Today you will be transferred to the celestial Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world (1608 m above sea level). Its length is 180 km and it is 60 km wide. The lake is called "the pearl of Central Asia". For more than 1 500 years local people considered the lake to be a sacred one. Thanks to the salty water, Lake Issyk Kul possesses curative qualities. On the way, we will take a short break to give you the opportunity to visit ancient stone inscriptions (dating back to 800 B.C.). These petroglyphs were made more than 2000 years ago by shamans. All these stones are still in their original places as they were at that the time. You can see a panorama view of the Issyk Kul Lake from this place – back then the people thought that it was the middle of the world. Your night is in a hotel.
Day 5: Issyk Kul – Grigorievskoye – Semenovskoye – Karakol
After breakfast we will drive along Grigorievskoe and Semenovskoe gorges! These two picturesque gorges are connected at the end. It means you will start driving in at one gorge and will drive out through the other one! While journeying from one gorge to another you will see yurts and we will stop many times to have a rest and to enjoy Mother Nature. Then we continue our way along the northern shore of the lake to the town of Karakol. You will visit the Dungan mosque. One of its highlights is the fact that it was built in a Chinese style without using a single metal nail. The mosque will be followed by a visit to an old wooden Orthodox Church. The night is spent in a guesthouse.
Day 6: Karakol – Jeti Oguz
Today we will drive to Jeti Oguz gorge. It’s famous for its red rock formations that are called the Seven Bulls – Jeti Oguz. Also you will see Broken Heart Mountain. We will take as many photos there as you’d like and if you want it is possible to walk to the top of a mountain (20 minutes) to see a panoramic view of the gorge! There are yurts in the gorge and people can offer you Kumis to drink. It is a national drink that is made from fermented mare’s milk, and it is mildly alcoholic. Your dinner and night will be in nomadic felt dwellings, yurts.
Day 7: Jeti Oguz – Issyk Kul southern shore – Kochkor
Today we will drive to Kochkor village. This time we will drive along the southern shore of Issyk Kul Lake. This is a great chance to see the whole lake from all sights. We will have a break in Bokonbaeva village, where we meet a local eagle-hunter. He hunts hares and foxes with the help of eagles (traditional way of nomads hunting). At the Kochkorka village you will meet a family that will show you the way of how national woolen felt carpets are produced. You even can create your own carpet together with them. Night will be in a homestay.
Day 8: Kochkor – Tash Rabat
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Tash Rabat Caravanserai on the Great Silk Road (Stone Castle from the 14th century). The building is unique. Tash Rabat is located at the very heart of Tian Shan Mountains. Tash Rabat was built of stone blocks inside a mountain at an elevation of 3200 m above sea level. In total there are 31 rooms in the mountain. The walls are 1 m thick. There are also underground prison cells formerly used to incarcerate thieves in ancient times. There will be a traditional dinner and the night will be spent in yurts near Tash Rabat Caravanserai.
After breakfast we start our drive to the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan – Son Kul Lake. This lake is surrounded by mountains and it is the highest alpine lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3013 meters above sea level. Kyrgyz nomads started to come to this wonderful area with their families for rest and relaxation. Herders of the Naryn region come to the lake to use it as a pastureland. After our arrival, you will be free to explore and enjoy the virgin nature of the lake and its surroundings. Dinner and overnight is in nomadic collapsible dwellings – yurts. They are made of a wooden skeleton, covered with felt coverings.
Day 10: Son Kul – Kazarman
Today we will drive to Kazarman village. 93% of Kyrgyzstan is mountainous with nomadic life in remote places – our country is a real paradise for people that are in love with mountains and unusual cultures. The route takes you along roads that wind along incredible gorges. During your drive be prepared for amazing views of the impressive mountains and gorges. Today we will see some nomads that still live in this region. Night and dinner will be in a home stay. This is a very remote village.
Day 11: Kazarman – Arslanbob
Today we will have to start early in the morning. We will start our tour at 8 a.m. to drive from Kyzyl Oi to Arslanbob walnut forest. The road will go along huge mountains and you will have many photo stops on the way. This road is one of the most popular among travelers. On the way we will stop near yurts to try the Kyrgyz drink Kumis, fermented mare’s milk. In the evening you will come to Arslanbob. Arslanbob's grove produces 1500 tonnes of walnuts per year and is the largest single natural source of walnuts in the world. You will spend the in a home stay.
Day 12: Arslanbob
After a night in a home stay, in the morning we will have a walking tour in Arslanbob walnut forests, covering 11,000 hectares and sometimes called the “Royal Woods of Kyrgyzstan”. It is known that nuts from this area were exported along the Great Silk Road in the Middle Ages. Here we can enjoy the wonderful nature and have a hike to a small waterfall. There are many incredible places. You will be able to communicate with locals. This night will rest in a home stay.
Day 13: Arslanbob – Uzgen – Djalal Abad – Osh
In the morning we will drive to Osh city. The journey takes about six hours and again you will drive along a mountain road. On the way we will visit Djalal Abad town and its famous Uzgen Tower. This tower was built in 11th century by Karakhanids. There are also mausoleums that were used as burial chambers for the leaders. The whole road will surprise you with its celestial mountains and excellent panoramic views. We will make many photo stops to remember this tour for a long time. You will really enjoy it! This night you will spend the night in a hotel.
Day 14: Osh – Sary Tash
In the morning you will go for a walk to visit the most famous place – Suleiman Mountain. Suleiman Too (Solomon’s Mountain) is situated in the center of the city. It is considered to be a pilgrimage place for local Muslims. According to the legend, biblical prophet Solomon (Suleiman in the Koran) was buried at the foot of it.Today we will drive to Sary Tash village. The road will drive along mountains and high passes. On the way you will drive over a high mountain pass – Taldik. It is 3 615 meters high. This night you will spend in a house of a local Kyrgyz family.
Day 15: Sary Tash – Murgab
In the morning is transfer to Tajik border and further to Murgab. Right on the highway of the Pamir Tract is situated the light-blue lake of Karakul (3, 815 m), the name of which can be translated as “The Black Lake”. Karakul is the highest large mountain lake of the world, excluding those in Tibet and Titicaca. After making photo of the lake we will drive to Murgab. They say in the Pamir: “to arrive here and do not see Murgab is like not visiting the Pamirs at all”. After all, by the Roof of the World, we mean Murgab. On the way you will drive over the highest Ak Baital pass (4 655 m). Often the landscape of Murghab is compared to the surface of the Moon by visitors, viewing the scene with outsiders’ eyes. Night is in a guesthouse.
Day 16: Murgab – Yashil KulLake – Bulunkul Lake –Langar
The most beautiful lakes of the Pamirs are Yashil Kul and Bulunkul (Blue lakes), stretched on the altitude of 3 700 meters above sea level, are situated in the Murghab district. The color of water in Bulunkul is a subtle inter-play of violet and dark-blue in the sunlight. Species of fish like are found in abundance in the lake. There is the opportunity to see yaks, a unique species of domestic animals, sharing features of cow and sheep, traditionally used as a beast of burden apart from giving milk and meat products. On the way to the lake you will drive over Naizatash pass (4 137 m). In the afternoon we will drive to Langar along Afghanistan border. Night is in a homestay.
Day 17: Langar – Khorog
Today we will drive along Tajik-Afgan border to Khorog. Situated in the heart of Asia, the Pamirs are a corner of sky-scraping, snow-capped, majestic mountains, transparent clear blue waters of lakes and rivers, wide valleys and bone-dry deserts. For hundreds of years, people have called these highest mountains of the world as “the Roof of the World”. Today you will understand why. The land of Pamirs is located at elevations from 3 500 to 4 200 meters above sea level. Pamirs is perhaps one the few areas in Central Asia where ancient ethnic and cultural peculiarities of the Pamir people exist. Over the years, communities were isolated from each other by impassable mountain ranges, and developed into separate enclaves with different dialects and sometimes distinct or different languages. Night is in a guesthouse.
Day 18: Khorog – Kalai Khum
This area consists of high rocky mountains over 6 000 meters and only 1 road was possible to be built. Passing though the Pamirs, the tourists have the rare opportunity to not only marvel the beauty of virgin environment, but also know more about the ethnography, history and everyday life of mountain dwellers and with this imagine how the history of humanity evolved as in the story of creation. On the way we will stop in small villages to communicate with local people and to see their life. Human settlements are located on both sides of the river in narrow mountain valleys. On the other side of the river you will see Afgan stony villages and gardens. Night is in a hotel.
Day 19: Kalai Khum – Norak – Dushanbe
In the morning we will drive to Dushanbe. Today we will finish drive along Afghanistan border. The highest point of the day is Shuraba pass (2 267 m). This part will amaze you by its unique mountains – it is Territory of Pamir Mountains. Over the centuries, the Pamirs have inspired the world’s greatest explorers – Marco Polo, Hsuan Tsang, Mirza Muhammad Haidar. And now you also have a chance to travel here. You will drive along natural border – Pyanj River. Having visited the Pamirs, many travellers called this giant mountain system the ocean of white and blue mountains. You will see Norak water reservoir that is called Tajik Sea. Night is in a hotel.
Day 20: Dushanbe
The entire day is dedicated to a city tour. First of we will visit Rudake Park, National library, White House, National state seal, and House of parliament. After it we will walk in National park to make photos of Ministry of Inner Affairs and the biggest National Flag in the world – 165 m high pole, 30 m wide, 60 m long. After excursion in Central Museum you will have lunch. Then you will visit to Gurminj Museum of traditional musical instruments. To feel real life you should visit Asian bazar. It has colorful goods, fruits and vegetables. We will see today the main highlights of Dushanbe and you will find out many interesting facts about Tajik people. Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant where you try Tajik food. Night is in a hotel.
In the morning is transfer to airport