Kyrgyzstan trekking holiday

“Epic 16 day small group trekking trip amongst the mountain lakes and river valleys of Kyrgyzstan. Full service camping and nomadic herders in some exceptionally remote Central Asian scenery.”


Bishkek | Ala-Archa National Park | Lake Issyk-Kul | Burana Tower | Juuku Gorge | Orto Bulak Pass (2,540m) | Kyrgyz nomads | Jety-Oguz Gorge | West Telety River | Uyun Tor River | Ala-Kul Lake | Arashan Valley | Karakol | Noodle making in a Dungan family home | Cholpon Ata Petroglyphs |

Description of Kyrgyzstan trekking holiday

This fantastic fortnight will take you well off the typical tourist trail, and then some. Any opportunity to walk in the realm of nomadic herders has to be held in high regard and this trekking trip in Kyrgyzstan is absolutely no exception.

Not only will you witness the lifestyles of indigenous Kyrgyz communities but you’ll also experience nights under the stars with full service campsites and traditional yurt camps conjuring up authentic outdoor adventures. Local staff and locally sourced produce at mealtimes also ensure you get to see the real Kyrgyzstan as well as ensuring your hard earned travel funds go where they’re needed most.

Throughout the holiday you’ll be trekking in some exceptionally isolated areas with alpine meadows and lush green pastures giving way to fast-rushing rivers and waterfalls. Walking high above Issyk-Kul Lake with the snow topped Tian Shan Mountains behind is simply breathtaking.

Trekking through the country’s gorges, including Jety-Oguz, and over high altitude mountain passes, such as Telety Pass (3,800m), takes you into the shadow of Karakol Peak (5216m). And after all the exhilaration and exercise at altitude there’s no better place to rest tired limbs other than the hot thermal springs at Altyn Arashan.

This trekking trip concludes with traditional noodle making with a local Dungan family in Karakol before enjoying an evening of Kyrgyz food and folk culture in Bishkek via a visit to the ancient Cholpon-Ata rock carvings. What better way to celebrate the completion of a truly unique walking holiday in the rugged heart of Central Asia.

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09 Jul 2022
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23 Jul 2022
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06 Aug 2022
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Holiday type

Small group tours

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we will spend 4 nights in hotels, 8 nights full service camping and 2 nights in yurt camps. All accommodation employs local staff. As over half of the trip is camping, we minimise energy usage thereby having minimal impact on the environment. While camping, meals are prepared by our local team using locally sourced ingredients. This ensures we are supporting the local community and contributing to their economy. Lunch on trek will be a box lunch. There will be a buffet selection from which to fill your lunch box from each day. For one of the dinners, we will visit a Dungan family home in Karakol town where clients will be exposed to traditional cooking methods and learn how to make lagman noodles before we share a meal with the family.

Walking and trekking trips have very little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, and use local businesses in order to leave behind a positive cultural exchange.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

The Impacts of this Trip

Local craft and culture:
We start and end the trip at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s modern capital city and industrial centre where we will have a guided tour to explore its wide avenues and soviet heritage. The city tour will explore some of the main sites of the city such as the Manas Monument, the State History Museum, the Lenin Statue, Ala-Too Square, Vistory Square and the Government buildings. In Karakol town, a sightseeing tour will explore the Dungan Mosque, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Prjevalskii Memorial Complex. Throughout the journey, our visits to local bazaars are great opportunities for clients to support local craft.

Our local operator is committed in giving back to the community hence they financially support various orphanages and social organizations. In 2016, they started a new long term project to support orphanages financially. They developed a sport-educational program to allow children and teenagers to learn more about their own heritage through travelling in Kyrgystan and spending time in summer camps. Events and activities are also organised to help them to think about their future and motivate them to develop themselves.

A Fair Deal:
We work with our in-country operator to ensure that all of our guides are locals and in exchange for their expertise they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders give briefings on Responsible Tourism issues to help clients understand how they can reduce the impact of their travel and maximise the benefits to the local community.


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