The wild mountain landscape of Kyrgyzstan lies in the heart of the Silk Road, the ancient trading route stretching from China to the Mediterranean. This unique jeep expedition carries you over the magnificent views of the soaring Tian Shan mountain range, home to snow leopards, lynxes and nomadic shepherd cultures. This exhilarating trip is suitable for the travellers who are looking for a real encounter with the wild scenes of Central Asia and takes you on a discovery of unspoilt mountain ranges, impressive canyons, hot springs and endless herds of horses, authentic markets and valleys.
From the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek, the jeep tour begins at the remote Toktogul, an off-the-beaten-track gem that boasts dramatic scenery and the unbelievable beautiful Toktogul Resevoir. From here you will follow the Kökömeren River in the Suusamyr Valley and pass through Kyrgyzstan’s agricultural areas and picturesque villages. The day will end in Kyzyl-Oi, a small village surrounded by an extraordinary view of the mountain landscape, clay hills and rolling pastures of wild herbs and flowers.
Day two will begin with a visit to the Kökömeren River Marine Observatory. From here we will explore the area of Naryn and Song Kol Lake, passing through the areas’ hidden lakes and visiting the Kara-Keche coal mine. After climbing the Kara-Keche pass the evening will be spent in the Yurt tents, snug in the Song Kol Lake that sits in the Naryn Basin at an altitude of 3000m. It’s tranquil seclusion and impressive views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks makes this one of the must-visit places in Kyrgyzstan.
The expedition continues through the Tian Shan mountain range, visiting some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. The day will be spent exploring the areas’ striking canyons and after a lunch-time picnic we will visit Naryn itself – historically one of the most important towns along the Silk Road. This is where we will spend the night in one of the local hotels.
The jeep will carry us over the challenging Tosor Pass, described by many as one of the best mountain drives in the world. With an altitude of nearly 4000m, this is arguably the most wild and wonderful part of Krygyzstan, revealing vistas of white glaciers and steam-filled pools. From here you will see the Issyk-Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world. Near here we will stop by the hot springs for a picnic. The day will end in a guesthouse village on the south-shore of the lake.
The expedition takes us an a downward path towards the sea, travelling through the Skazka Canyon along the way. Skazka (or Fairy) is named so as the wind has beaten the rock into beautiful animal shapes containing an amazing array of colours. Following on through the canyons we will also pass the Barskoon valley, containing one of Krygyzstan’s largest waterfalls and the Kumtor gold mine. Continuing southward through the alpine landscape we will end the day in one of Krygyzstan’s larger cities Karakol where we will stay for the night.
This day can be used to relax in one of the areas variety of local interests. There are further tours throughout the alpine forest and glacial rivers with a visit to the hot springs. However, local shopping malls are also available if you need some retail therapy. In the evening you can enjoy a wonderful home cooked dinner and a typical folkloric show with the best musicians in the area.
Our final day will begin with a short trek and then rafting down the mountain River Chui. After this we will head back to Bishkek, visiting some of the Silk Road relics along the way, such as the Burano Tower. The evening will be spent in the Capitol where you can rest before departure.