We suggest You to have a trip with us to amazingly beautiful places. Kyrgyzstan is a country of striking contrasts. Our routes are passing among picturesque rocky gorges and green valleys. You will see the breezing cool glaciers, crystal clear waterfalls and rivers, forests of Tien Shan fir trees, fragrant alpine meadows, ancient burial places and inscriptions on stones, open-air museums, cultural and historical monuments.
Zhety-Oguz, in English “Seven bulls”, it is exactly the name of one of the most beautiful places of Tien Shan, stretching in the southeast of the Issyk-Kul basin. The mountain valley formed by the river of the same name, descending to Issyk-Kul from the northern slopes of Terskei Ala-Too ridge, bends around the famous resort located at the entrance to the valley. The resort was created on the basis of hot hydrogen sulfide waters, the healing power of which has been known since ancient times. Here you can get therapeutic water treatments. In the vicinity of the resort, you can see rarely beautiful rock ensembles “Broken Heart” and “Seven Bull”, composed of tertiary (Paleogene) red-colored sediments. It was here, where the ancient headquarters of the Usun ruler was located.
If you climb up from the resort along the canyon gorge, then after a short time, the canyon walls will drift apart and you will see a beautiful panorama of fairy-tale mountains entirely covered with a dark green carpet of Tien Shan spruces, many of which are hundreds of years old. Kok-Dzhaiyk is very popular among tourists. Here is a cozy yurt town, you can take a horse ride to the transcendental distance, from which you can see new mountain valleys shrouded in bluish haze. In the upper reaches of Dzhety-Oguz river there are lakes, waterfalls, and a zoological reserve. The uppermost part of the valley is closed by a rocky vertical wall, in the middle part of which stands the beautiful double peak Oguz Bashi (Bull’s head), 5170 meters high. Many people compare this peak with the beauty of the Swiss Alps – Mount Jungfrau.
Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge is amazingly beautiful. On the slopes with soft outlines, green meadows stretched freely, crossed out by places with picturesque brushwood and outcrops of red-colored rocks. At an altitude of 2000 m in Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge begins a dense forest in which there are a lot of mushrooms and berries (barberry, wild rose, sea buckthorn, honeysuckle, strawberries, mountain ash, etc.). On the eastern slopes of Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge, on the right tributary of Dzhyly-Suu River of Chon-Kyzyl-Suu, there are outlets of Dzhyly-Suu hot mineral hydrogen sulphide springs with water temperature of about 43 degrees. In the far southeast corner of Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge is the western peak of Armstrong. The slopes of the right Archa-Tor tributary forming Chon-Kyzyl-Suu River are overgrown with tall grass. In the upper reaches of this tributary there is a pass leading to the Dzheti-Oguz Gorge. Six landscape belts replace each other as they ascend to the upper reaches of the gorge and to the ridge closing it with a height of up to 4500 m. The mild mountain-sea climate allows using Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge for tourism at all times of the year. Clay-colored water flow twisted with cords is rushing down with a roar, while dragging large stones. Lichen-covered rocks at Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge push the river to the right and then to the left. Rocks are like monsters, tightly clutching a mortal combat. Chon-Kyzyl-Suu River becomes red in the lower reaches, where it breaks a bed in the cliffs of red-colored rocks. As for animals, there are roe deer, wild boars, marmots, snowcocks, chukars, and pheasants. As well as: ibex, argali, snow leopards and huge vultures. In the upper reaches of Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge the following picturesque passes are located: Ashu-Tor (3900 m), leading to the syrts of the Central Tien Shan; 50 years of Kyrgyzstan (4600 m), Ulyanovets (4490 m), Nadezhda (4450 m) and Zagadka (Riddle) (4400 m), through which comes the path to Kolpakovsky Glacier, one of the largest in Terskey Ala-Too. Its length is 13 kilometers. Through the passes of the starboard side of Kok-Bel and Asantukum, you can go to the gorge of Dzheti-Oguz. On the wooded slopes of the left side of Chon-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge at an altitude of 2200 m, you can make a fascinating journey to Kichik-Kyzyl-Suu Gorge. Waterfalls are of great interest to nature lovers: Sharkyratma with a height of 20 m in a narrow gorge surrounded by forest: Shatyly-cascade of waterfalls with a height of about 100 m in the forest zone on the second right tributary of Chon-Kyzyl-Suu River.
Sary Chelek Lake is located 500 kilometers from Bishkek and 300 kilometers from Osh on the territory of Sary Chelek Reserve. The reserve is located in Arkit gorge, and Chotkala Mountains. It was founded in 1959 to preserve and study the pristine flora and fauna of these places – steppes and ridges, snow peaks, fast rivers and mountain lakes, flowering valleys and alpine meadows.
The lake is located at an altitude of 1873 meters above the sea level and stretches for 765 kilometers in length and 350-1500 meters in width. The deepest point of the lake reaches 234 meters – this is the second deepest lake in Kyrgyzstan. The coastline is heavily indented and lined with dense forests that are drowning in the depths of the lake. Small parts of the lake are only in the largest of the bays. Sea level rises, depending on the time of year, by about 65 centimeters. The lake is fed by many streams, underground streams and waters of Sary-Chelek River. Drainage is carried out by means of Tuskual River.
There are a lot of controversies regarding lake formation. Some scientists think that the lake was formed due to the collision of two mountain ranges that blocked the river, others believe that the lake was formed as a result of a change in the fault line about 2,000 years ago. The lake water is often blue with a greenish tint, which makes the lake very beautiful.
The name Sary Chelek means “Yellow Bucket”. There is a legend about a beekeeper, who placed beehives on the lake and once poured honey into a dipper and was so mesmerized by the color of honey that he decided to call the lake “Yellow Bucket”. Many also believe that the lake got its name, because in the fall, when all the trees are painted in yellow tones, the lake is very similar to a honey dipper.
Dzhuuka Gorge (Zauka) is one of the most beautiful gorges of Terskey Ala-Too. It is located south of the village of Saru, which is 10 km west of the village of Pokrovka. Unlike the neighboring gorges of Terskey Ala-Too, Dzhuuka River in its upper part runs parallel to the main ridge of Terskei for a considerable length and turns north from the confluence of the Kashkasu only. Therefore, the length of the Dzhuuka River (about 55 km) is longer than the neighboring gorges.
There are more wild animals in Dzhuuka gorge than in other gorges of Terskei. Herds of ibex – teke have up to a hundred heads. Perhaps this is the only gorge on the northern slope of Terskei, where, just like in syrts, argali and stone marten are still found. In the forest zone of Dzhuuki there are a lot of roe deer, and on the alpine meadows of snowcocks, chukars and bearded partridges.
There are red rocks throughout the gorge. Here along the river were heading caravans of the Silk Road, descending from the harsh Bedel Pass and moving along the high-mountain deserts – syrts, where the famous Kumtor Gold Mine is now located. In the VII century, in the valley of Dzhuuka River there was a settlement of Christians-Nestorians, who came from faraway Syria. Buddhists also left their mark here, knocking out their eternal mantra on a huge stone. The suffering and sick found salvation in the healing springs of the right tributary of Dzhuuki, i.e. Dzhuuchuka. At the end of the XIX century in the caves of the red rocks, like a swallow’s nest, the Kyrgyz fortress of Buginsky manap (ruler) Burumbai perched here.
Barskaun Gorge is located 90 km from Karakol – above the village of Barskaun.
Its length is more than 30 km. A highway is laid along the gorge, which, through the Barskaun Passage (3754 m), connects the Issyk-Kul hollow with the cloudless plains of syrts of the Inner and Central Tien Shan.
At the beginning of the gorge, the slopes are covered with a green veil of steppe vegetation, as well as rare thickets of shrubs. Then begins the zone of spruce forest, which densely covers both slopes of the gorge. At an altitude of 2800 meters the spruce forest begins to thin noticeably. Juniper trees, which in places form groves, start with ever increasing frequency.
More than 20 serpentines of the mountain road lead to Barskaun Passage not far away from the hanging glaciers. In the close to crest belt of the ridge from the gorge you can see a lot of sparkling snow peaks, hung with ice dumps and glaciers. Among them are the peaks named after Panfilov Heroes (4610 m) and the World Peace Council (4310 m).
The spectacular waterfalls are located in a picturesque forest area near the road. One of them is Barskaun Waterfall – it is a state natural monument. The water, breaking from the sheer wall of the left slope of the gorge 100 meters high, falls into a narrow gorge and breaks into myriad splashes. The noise of the waterfall completely drowns out the human voice. It is pleasant to stand and admire the pristine beauty of a stream of cool water sparkling in the rays of the sun.
About the occurrence of beautiful waterfalls in the folklore there is a sad legend. Leopard gave birth to three leopard cubs and, having left them in the den, she went hunting. And when she returned, she saw that insipient kittens got out of the den and fell to death from the mountain cliffs. And she began to cry. And the tears of her endless grief turned into a waterfall with three ledges.
At the very entrance to the gorge, on the brown sheer face of the cliff, you can see a meter image of a goat flying in a jump, and a little further along the road is a swollen quadrilateral of a shaft with corner towers. These are remnants of the once mighty Kyrgyz fortress (9th — 14th centuries).
On the way, there are two interesting monuments – the Soviet truck hoisted onto the platform and the Bust of Yuri Gagarin, in honor of the fact that he was resting on the southern coast of Issyk-Kul after his historic space flight.
A trip to the “Salt Lake” or as it is also called the “Dead Sea” on the southern coast of Issyk-Kul, accidentally opened only in 2001, as a new direction for tourism in Issyk-Kul, is a popular “medical tour” during which tourists have the opportunity to “read the newspaper” actually lying on the water, having a salt content of about 36 ml per liter, take mud baths, and then swim in the clear waters of Issyk-Kul Lake itself, located 400 meters away.
Fairy Tale Gorge is located near the village of Tosor. Its name is fully justified. You will be taken to one of the miraculous fabulous cities. Here you will see a canyon called the “Wall of China” 5 kilometers long, it seems to protect the peace of sleeping castles and amazing animals created by nature from red clay and sandstone – elephants, hippos, snakes, and some completely unseen animals. And on the turn to this magic corner there is a wonderful place for rest and bathing, where you can relax on your way back, wash off the road dust from yourself, look into several small grottoes and suddenly notice that you spent not an hour at the water, as planned, but full half a day. From here, just an extraordinary view opens onto the majestic panorama of the lake and the blue caps of the mountains.
Karakol is the administrative center of Issyk-Kul oblast. The city is located in the eastern part of Issyk-Kul basin, at the mouth of Karakol River, at the foot of Terskei Ala-Too, at an altitude of 1770 m above the sea level, 13 km from the shore of Issyk-Kul lake. With the city of Bishkek, Karakol is connected by a highway with a length of 403 km.
Karakol was founded in 1869 as an administrative center of the county. The place for the city was chosen on the caravan route to Gulja. In the same 1869 the city plan was drawn up by Russian military topographers. A rectangular grid of streets was adopted: the city was divided into small rectangular blocks, each of which was divided into sections. In 1881, 6 blocks were completely built up. In the last quarter of the XIX century, the city built a wooden Orthodox church on a brick base.
The population of the city grew mainly at the expense of Uzbeks, Tatars, Uighurs, Russians and Ukrainians. Residents engaged in farming, handicrafts, trade, livestock and carrier’s trade.
After the death of the great Russian traveler N. Przhevalsky, who died in Karakol in 1888, the city receives the name of Przhevalsk.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Przhevalsk had 3 breweries, 7 soap-makers, 5 candle houses, 2 saw-mills, 12 mills, over 1000 houses, 2 wooden churches, 9 mosques and prayer houses, 4 madrasas, 7 schools, a gymnasium, a library-reading room, and a military hospital.
The most active construction in Przhevalsk began after the Great Patriotic War.
In the early 90s of the 20th century, the city returned its original historical name of Karakol.
In the city of Karakol there are enterprises of electrical, woodworking, light and food industries, and construction materials industries.
The sights of Karakol include the memorial complex with the grave of the Russian traveller and explorer of the Central Asia N.M. Przhevalsky and a monument located 12 km from the city, on the high bank of Issyk-Kul lake.
The monument to N.M. Przhevalsky was built according to the project of Academician I.N. Schroeder in 1894 and is an original work of Russian sculpture from the end of the 19th century. The monument was built of gray granite mined in Ak-Suu crack by the inhabitants of Tyup. The eagle with a map and a bas-relief are cast of bronze in Petersburg. The park of the memorial complex was laid out in the 40s of the XX century under the project of the architect P.P. Ivanov. On the territory of the memorial complex in the 50s of the 20th century a museum building was constructed under the project of architect A. M. Shprung.
The attraction of the city is the city park with unique avenues of Tien Shan fir trees, founded by a military doctor and an active public figure N.M. Barsov in 1895.
As a monument of architecture, the Dungan mosque, built of wood in 1910, and the wooden Orthodox church of the last quarter of the 19th century have survived in the city of Karakol.
After entering the gates of this amazing place, the traveler leaves behind the noise of the many-voiced Cholpon-Ata Resort and enters a wonderful world of mysterious history, legends and myths. “Rukh Ordo” Cultural Center, which in Kyrgyz means the Spiritual Center or the Blessed City, was created as a place of unity of the five major religions of the world: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism and Judaism. According to the authors of the complex, it was here, under the blessed skies of Kyrgyzstan, on the shore of the beautiful Issyk-Kul Lake, that the humanity’s dream of a single god could be realized. God is one for all – this is the postulate of this spiritual center.
Without doubt, the high note of complex spirituality was also expressed in the selection of its compositions. Images of famous scientists and writers, politicians and poets, people of the spirit, saints and enlightened people froze in sculptures and monuments. Many original works are abstract and not signed by the authors, giving you the right to feel the subtle images that suddenly open up new facets of ordinary things … Everyone who comes here, regardless of religion or nationality, feels like a part of the Universe and can fully enjoy tranquility and peace, think about something high.
|“Chon-Kyzyl-Suu” Gorge||Marco Polo Resort, “Chon-Kyzyl-Suu” Gorge, Thermal and mineral spring||4-5 hours||930 soms|
|“Zhuuku” Gorge||Marco Polo Resort, “Zhuuku” Gorge, “Zhyluu-Suu” hot springs||4-5 hours||930 soms|
|Historical Sites Karakol city||Marco Polo Resort, Przhevalsky Memorial Site. Orthodox Church, 19th century mosque||4-5 hours||1050 soms|
|“Dzhety-Oguz”||Marco Polo Resort, “Broken Heart”, “7 bulls”, “Dzhety-Oguz” Health Resort “Kok-Zhaiyk” Valley||4-5 hours||1230 soms|
|“Fairy Tale”||Marco Polo Resort, “Fairy Tale” Gorge||5-6 hours||1330 soms|
|“Barskaun” Gorge||Marco Polo Resort, Waterfalls||6-7 hours||1330 soms|
|Trip to Karakol city Shopping tour, Zoo||Marco Polo Resort, Oblast Market Place, TsUM (Central Department Store) Karakol city, Zoo||4-5 hours||930 soms|
|Dead Lake - uniqueness and singularity||Marco Polo Resort, “Manzhyly-Ata”, “Shor-Kul” Lake||8-9 hours||1750 soms|
|Cholpon-Ata city- Historical and Cultural Center||Marco Polo Resort, Cholpon-Ata city, Historical and Cultural Museum, petroglyphs, Ch. Aitmatov Memorial House||8-9 hours||2050 soms|