Day 1: Bishkek – Ala Archa – Bishkek
Meeting from Bishkek (Manas) airport and transfer to hotel
After putting the luggages and, change of clothes, depending on the weather
We will start at the very heart of the capital – Ala Too Square. We will walk around and see the Parliament House, Lenin Statue, the White House, the change of the Guard of Honor, and Manas Monument, National Philharmonic.
In the afternoon 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. A traditional dinner will be organized at 7 o’clock. This overnight will be in a hotel.
Day 2: Bishkek – Issyk Kul Lake
Your guide will pick you up at 8 a.m and you will be transferred to Issyk Kul Lake, surrounded by the celestial mountains. It’s the second largest alpine lake in the world (1608 m. above sea level). The lake is called “the pearl of Central Asia”. Due to the salty water, Lake Issyk Kul possesses curative qualities. On route to the lake you will visit Burana Tower (an 11th century minaret) and an open air museum of Balbans (stone warriors). You will get to enjoy a traditional lunch and then we’ll make our trip to the lake. Your dinner will be in a local restaurant. Night is in a hotel.
Day 3: Issyk Kul lake – Karakol
The day starts with a breakfast at 8 o’clock. Afterwards, you will start your trip to Karakol city. 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 petroglpihs were made more than 2 000 years ago by shamans. 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 4: 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 5: Jeti Oguz – 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. There are still some people in villages that continue this ancient way of hunting in our days. They train eagles and hawks when they are young and every winter go with them to the mountains for hunting. You will find out many interesting facts about this way of hunting and you will be able to take photo while keeping the bird on your hand! In Kochkor you will meat a family that makes felt carpets. Night is in a home stay.
Day 6: Kochkor – Kichi Naryn – Naryn
In the morning we will drive along high mountains to the town of Naryn. It is situated right in the gorge. The high mountains, picturesque passes, and nomadic way of life make Kyrgyzstan an irresistible travel destination. Views of this mountain road are absolutely breathtaking. You will drive over mountain pass at an elevation of 3000 meters. This day offers a great chance to experience the variety of mountains which make Kyrgyzstan so popular. On the route it will be possible to meet real nomadic families. Night will be in a guesthouse.
Day 7: Naryn – Tash Rabat – Torugart – Kashgar
Early in the morning 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. After the excursion we will drive to Kyrgyz-Chinese border. Chinese guide will meet you there and you will drive to Kashgar city. Dinner is in the national restaurant. Night is in a hotel.
Program continue to Karakoram Highway in China only with short days in order to enjoy sight seeing and walking.