Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Overview

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

Nestled in the heart of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan beckons with its awe-inspiring natural beauty and rich nomadic heritage. Here, untouched mountainscapes, rugged ridges, and lush summer pastures come alive under the care of semi-nomadic shepherds.

As you journey through this captivating nation, you’ll encounter traditional yurt homes dotting the landscape, encounter breathtaking glaciers, and be mesmerized by the majestic Tian Shan (Heavenly Mountains) gracing the horizon. With a staggering 90% of Kyrgyzstan’s land situated above 1,500m, the allure of snow-capped peaks awaits at every turn.

 

Beyond its breathtaking landscapes, Kyrgyzstan embraces you with its abundant ancient culture, displaying traditional Islamic architecture that tells the tale of a vibrant history. And throughout your travels, you’ll be greeted with warm smiles and open hearts by the friendly local people who make Kyrgyzstan an inviting and unforgettable destination.

Embrace the allure of Kyrgyzstan’s untouched landscapes and immerse yourself in the warm embrace of its time-honored culture. Your adventure awaits!

Dates: June 2024 (TBC)

Highlights

Included

Travel

Memorable Moments

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Central Asia? Join us on a captivating journey as we explore the hidden treasures of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, two enchanting countries that boast a rich tapestry of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes.

Discover an immersive experience into the heart of Central Asia. With a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, this adventure promises to leave you with unforgettable memories. Experienced guides will ensure your safety and comfort throughout the trip, allowing you to focus on savoring every moment of this unique journey.

Don’t miss the chance to discover the hidden gems of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Reserve your spot on our tour and embark on an extraordinary expedition through the heart of Central Asia.

Itinerary

Trip Schedule

Almaty – Charyn Canyon -Kolsai Lakes

Our journey begins with a city, nestled at the foot of the snow-capped Tien Shan mountain range: Almaty, the apple of Kazakhstan’s eye. This metropolitan gem boasts a vibrant blend of modernity and tradition, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the country’s rich history and promising future. Upon arrival comfortable transfer will bring all guests to the Swisshotel (5*), which is located in a forest area in the outskirts of Almaty.

Charyn Canyon is the first stop on this tour. It’s an impressive natural wonder located about 200 kilometers east of Almaty. Thecanyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States. Its red rock formations, winding paths, and stunning views make it amust-visit destination for nature lovers. With this beautiful backdrop we will enjoy our traditional lunch set up, which will be the introduction to our gastronomic adventure and exploration of local tastes.

Kolsai Lakes

Following the Canyon we will head to Kolsai Lake, which  is located in the Northern Tien Shan Mountains, and has a series of three beautiful alpine lakes, with the first lake being the most visited. The water is crystal clear and the surrounding forest is full of wildlife. The lake is surrounded by tall spruce trees where we will have the chance to take a leisurely hike around the lake andenjoy the serenity or a fun kayaking tour. We will stay in a comfortable hotel with all amenities and excellent views.

Degustation evening by the lake with folk music

In the evening you will enjoy an outdoor dinner with pre-set menu of traditional-fusion food and wines. The menu will be fully customized for our guests. As you savor each bite of your meal, the warm glow of lanterns and the twinkling stars above create amagical ambiance that makes you feel at one with nature. The musicians will be filling the air with beautiful melodies that evoke the essence of Kazakh culture.

Sunken Lake Kaindy

Our second day starts with a breakfast at the terrace with a view. Later we will hike to unique beautiful alpine lake locatednearby. What makes Kaindy Lake so special is that it’s a “sunken forest” lake, which means that there are submerged trees sticking out of thewater. The lake was created by an earthquake in 1911, which triggered a landslide that blocked a river and created the lake. The water is crystal clear and has a beautiful blue-green color. The surrounding forest is also stunning, with tall spruce trees and vibrant wildflowers.

Dinner at Sandyq

We will end the day full of adventure with an experiential dinner at Sandyk. The perfect blend of traditional and modern elements makes Sandyk a truly unique and memorable dining experience in Almaty. Directly from the entrance  you are immediately struck by the beautiful fusion of traditional and modern decor. The restaurant also serves as a museum with one-of-a-kind artifacts from Kazakh collectors.

Ancient-style Scythian steam bath & SPA

Scythian Saka steam bath –is an ancient bath ritual. It derives from Scythians tribes, which originated in Central Asia possibly around the 9th century BC. The whole ritual lasts 3 hours and includes 7 entries to special herbal sauna under the guidance of experienced bath attendant. Heating of the bathhouse starts 6 hours before the procedure and includes scrubbing with herbal balsams, steaming with the besom, herbal tea and bathing in the ice-cold mountain river. You will definitely feel refreshed after this one of a kind experience!

Half a day city tour before the flight

On our last day in Kazakhstan, we invite you to tour some of the city’s most prominent parks. You will visit Panfilov Park and it’s famous Zenkov Cathedral. This Orthodox church was built more than a hundred years ago using only wood, making it one of the few remaining buildings of its kind in the world.

Kazakhstan is known for its multi-cultural population, so to add some flavors, we invite you to try traditional georgian food in the heart of the city center.

Pack your bags in the evening, as the best part of the journey begins! We are flying to Kyrgyzstan.

Arrival to Bishkek

On our last day in Kazakhstan, we invite you to tour some of the city’s most prominent parks. You will visit Panfilov Park and it’s famous Zenkov Cathedral. This Orthodox church was built more than a hundred years ago using only wood, making it one of the few remaining buildings of its kind in the world.

Kazakhstan is known for its multi-cultural population, so to add some flavors, we invite you to try traditional georgian food in the heart of the city center.

Pack your bags in the evening, as the best part of the journey begins! We are flying to Kyrgyzstan.

Song Kul Yurt Camp

The yurt camp located near Song Kul lake is an incredible and unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the rich culture and breathtaking landscape of the region. Along the way to the camp, we will admire the stunning views of the snow-capped peaks and the valleys dotted with yurts and flocks of grazing livestock. The road curves through narrow passes, revealing breathtaking vistas of pristine wilderness and endless horizons. After our arrival, you will be free to explore and enjoy the virgin nature of the lake and its surroundings.

Traditional Grilled Dinner and Campfire

The day will wrap up with traditional pre-set dinner by the brand chef of the best restaurant chain in Kyrgyzstan. We invite youto try unique dishes and wine pairings developed especially for this occasion. Each dish was carefully chosen and is a perfectlybalanced fusion of traditional tastes with modern culinary techniques. As the sun sets, accompanied by the crackling of the campfire we will enjoy live traditional music performance. Gathered around the fire, enjoying delicious food and good company. One can’t help but feel a sense of peace and contentment in such a beautiful natural setting.

Song Kul Lake

Song Kul Lake is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. It is surrounded by mountains and it is the highest alpine lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3013 meters above sea level. As you near the lake, the landscape opens up, and the vast expanse of Song Kul comes into view, with its tranquil waters and the surrounding mountains reflecting in its shimmering surface. 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. Our day will be filled with traditional activities and games of nomads, which will allow you to experience the culture first-hand.

Performance of horse riders and eagle hunters

Horse games have been an integral part of nomadic culture for centuries, and they still play an important role in many Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. These games not only showcase the skill and bravery of the riders but also serve as a way to celebrate and preserve the cultural heritage of these communities. Throughout the day we will get the chance to observe games of nomads live. You will have a chance to become a nomad yourself by going for an exciting  horse riding tour. On the way we will meet the real nomads, which will always invite you inside their yurts to drink tea with them. Hospitality is one of the most significant traits of nomadic cultures. There is a saying among nomads: “Guest is sent by God”, therefore they will never just let you pass by without an offer to host you. Followed by the games we will see the eagle-hunting show, which is a thrilling display of the traditional nomadic skill of hunting with trained golden eagles.

Kyrgyz-fusion seated dinner in a yurt

After an active day outdoors we will enjoy a dinner by the chef in a traditional yurt set up. With this our “one day in a life of nomad” experience will be over. A yurt is circular in shape and is made from a wooden frame covered with layers of felt and canvas. The walls are typically decorated with colorful patterns, and the roof is crowned with a circular opening called a “tunduk,” which serves as a chimney and allows for ventilation. The communal nature of yurt life creates a sense of warmth and community, with everyone coming together to share food and conversation in the cozy space. We invite you to build your own yurt during the day and enjoy a tasty dinner in the evening.

Performance of horse riders and eagle hunters

Horse games have been an integral part of nomadic culture for centuries, and they still play an important role in many Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. These games not only showcase the skill and bravery of the riders but also serve as a way to celebrate and preserve the cultural heritage of these communities. Throughout the day we will get the chance to observe games of nomads live. You will have a chance to become a nomad yourself by going for an exciting  horse riding tour. On the way we will meet the real nomads, which will always invite you inside their yurts to drink tea with them. Hospitality is one of the most significant traits of nomadic cultures. There is a saying among nomads: “Guest is sent by God”, therefore they will never just let you pass by without an offer to host you. Followed by the games we will see the eagle-hunting show, which is a thrilling display of the traditional nomadic skill of hunting with trained golden eagles.

Kyrgyz-fusion seated dinner in a yurt

After an active day outdoors we will enjoy a dinner by the chef in a traditional yurt set up. With this our “one day in a life of nomad” experience will be over. A yurt is circular in shape and is made from a wooden frame covered with layers of felt and canvas. The walls are typically decorated with colorful patterns, and the roof is crowned with a circular opening called a “tunduk,” which serves as a chimney and allows for ventilation. The communal nature of yurt life creates a sense of warmth and community, with everyone coming together to share food and conversation in the cozy space. We invite you to build your own yurt during the day and enjoy a tasty dinner in the evening.

Issyk Kul felt workshop and dungan cooking class

After our arrival to Issyk Kul region two interesting workshop await. In Kyrgyzstan, felt is a widely used material, and it plays an important role in the country’s culture and traditions. Throughout the process of the workshop you will see the various stages of the felting process, from cleaning and carding the wool to shaping and coloring the finished product.

Later on we will enjoy the cooking class of dungan cuisine, which is a unique culinary style that originated from the Dungan people, a Chinese Muslim ethnic group who migrated to Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, in the 19th century. Dungan cuisine blends the flavors and cooking techniques of Chinese and Central Asian cuisine, resulting in a delicious and distinctive fusion.

Issyk Kul evening banya with traditional fruits

Our final destination is a luxurious wooden villa complex which is located on the Issyk Kul lake. The lake is called “the pearl of Central Asia”. Due to the salty water, Lake Issyk Kul possesses curative qualities.

We will spend a relaxing day and enjoy banya in “maldivian style” located right on the water, from where you can directly dive into the lake. The experience will be enriched by tasting of fresh local fruits.

Departure to Bishkek

Following breakfast at Issyk Kul we will head back and conclude our trip in Bishkek. Upon arrival we will have free time and a chance to explore the city and prepare for the return flight. 

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