Ethnographic tour in Kyrgyzstan - ITMC Travel

Adventure & cultural tours in Kyrgyzstan

Ethnographic tour in Kyrgyzstan


Season: July – September

Location: Kyrgyzstan

Duration: 10 days (tour duration can be changed according to the interest of participants)

To touch the history and get closer to the mysteries of the ancient state, to expand the borders and get the brightest impressions — all of this is possible if you choose this route. During the tour you will visit national parks, museums that open the world of ancient culture, as well as places that most clearly reflect the traditions of the great people who lived here in the remote past and living now. We will certainly visit places such as:

Ala-Archa National Park

The National park located in the Northern part of Kyrgyz Range, 40 km far from Bishkek. Magnificent landscapes of foothills, fantastic vegetation and the smell of Tien Shan spruce, pure mountain air, coolness of rapid rivers – this is the perfect place to get away from heat of summer.

In addition, Ala-Archa is a Mecca for tourists and professional sportsmen from the Soviet era.

Ala – Archa National Park name in translation from Kyrgyz language means “motley juniper “. This is due to the fact that many kinds of this bushes grow in the Park. The river of the same name flows here. The Northern border of the territory is scenic Ala-Archa Gorge, popular among the guests of the Republic, where there are about 150 sports and tourist routes. On the territory of the Park there is also an Alpine camp, which operates year-round.  Asphalted road goes from Bishkek to the Park.

Chon-Kemin National Park

This is unique in its beauty natural area with a total length of fifty kilometers located in the North of Kyrgyzstan in the valley of Chon-Kemin River. This is a real treasure trove of rare species of flora and fauna. Glaciers here harmoniously coexist with forest and steppe areas; landscape is natural and untouched by time.  The territory has been put under State protecion in 1997 in order to preserve the natural heritage of Kyrgyzstan. Every year hundreds of naturalists and biologists come here for scientific research.

Moreover, Chon-Kemin is popular with extreme sportsmen. The Park is bordered by mountain system at the altitude 1400-2800 meters above sea level; that significantly reduces the frequency of winds in the area and creates comfortable conditions for active tourism fans. Chon-Kemin is very attractive place for lovers of rafting, trekking and horseback riding.

Issyk – Kul Lake

This is the pearl of Central Asia, a source of incredible energy and beauty, the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, one of the largest in the world and takes the second position in size and quality of water resources in the world ranking, behind only the Baikal Lake. Astronauts said, that Issyk-Kul Lake is one of the most unusual objects on the surface of the Earth planet. It looks like the human eye from outer space. It is also interesting that the color of the water changes, it depends on the angle of sun’s rays fall, as well as the fact that the lake is enclosed, no one river flows out from the lake. Legend tells us and archeological research confirms that there are ruins of the sunken city at the bottom of the lake.

There is no sweltering heat in this area, despite the sun shine is quite active. Average temperature in July – August is 17 degrees; water temperature warms up to 18-23 degrees in the middle of the swimming season.

Tourists come to the lake not only for active holidays or beach rest. Issyk-Kul water possesses curative power, there are also hot springs located near the lake; fresh air by itself is very good for health.

Son-Kul Lake

The second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan behind Issyk-Kul Lake is located at an altitude of more than 3 thousand meters above sea level. A lot of people call Son-Kul “the soul of Kyrgyzstan”. The atmosphere here is very peaceful: fresh air, clean water, and the world of plants and animals is rich and varied. Tourists even first time visited the coast of Son-Kul Lake fill improving in their physical condition. Freshness and purity of mountain air has healthy effects on people. When the sun goes down, the sky is full of bright stars. Stars seems so close that you can touch them by hand.

Jety-Oguz Gorge

Jety-Oguz Gorge is famous with red rocks, lush vegetation, geothermal springs and fresh air. Kyrgyz people know many legends about this place. Magnificent beauty of this place will impress even experienced travelers. Flowers meadow, mountain lake Ak-Djailoo and twenty-meter waterfall Kok-Djailoo rightly regarded as the most beautiful places of Kyrgyzstan.

The name of gorge in translation from Kyrgyz means “seven bulls”. However, toreadors do not visit this place at all; it is popular among romantic couples. Seven bulls are red rocks, resemble bulls lying on the ground. One of the rock has the shape of a human heart and it has a name “Broken heart”. It is supposed to be good luck for lovers to come here.


The ancient caravanserai Tash-Rabat (translated from the Kyrgyz “Stone yard”) is one of the few architectural monuments preserved at the territory of Kyrgyzstan. It dates from about the 15th century. It was built on three kilometers pass of Kara-Koun Gorge. This gorge is a pasture for wild yaks today, but it was a road for long trade caravans centuries ago. You will feel here the power of nature and the spirit of ancient civilizations, lived and moved along this road in different eras.

Tash-Rabat building has a very original architecture; the most part is located underground. Perhaps Tamerlane or Babur were staying here or Tagay-Biy was preparing for the battle with the Kashgars. We cannot say for sure now, but the opportunity to touch the ancient history means a lot!

We described here not all the attractions of the program. You will have the opportunity to visit museums of Kyrgyzstan, to taste national dishes, to know legends and discover Kyrgyz traditions in addition to natural and historical attractions.

1st Day. Arrival to Bishkek

Arrival to the capital airport by morning flight. Our representative will meet you at the airport and arrange group transfer to 3* hotel in Bishkek. After a short rest you will join an excursion to Ala-Archa National Park and stay for lunch there. City sightseeing tour includes visit to the following attractions:

* State Museum of Fine Arts, where presented an exhibition of Kyrgyz traditional art, as well as works of the Soviet period;

* Square and alleys of the National Philharmonic. We will see the building, which keeps a rich history of performances of the best Soviet artists and our contemporaries;

* Ala-Too Square. The Central Square of the capital of Kyrgyz Republic; administrative and cultural institutions are built on the perimeter of the square.

* Victory Square. Famous sculpture of the woman-mother under the tunduk near the Eternal Flame is located in the center, this is the monument of the Great Patriotic War;

* Studios, handicraft shops, and Oriental Bazaar.

In the evening you can relax and taste the masterpieces of Kyrgyz cuisine, visiting one of the local cozy restaurants.

Important! Meal in Bishkek is not included in the tour price.

2nd Day.  Bishkek – National Park Chon Kemin

After Breakfast, group participants will travel to the National Park Chon-Kemin, the distance from the capital is about 140 km and it takes 2-3 hours. We will visit the ancient architectural monument –Burana Tower on the way. The Tower was built in the X-XI of centuries. This monument is associated with many legends and secrets; your guide will tell you some during the excursion and walking on the surrounded area.

You will have a lunch of national dishes upon arrival to the Park. Free time after lunch can be spent for exploring of the surrounding area, participation in excursions on carts, or learn more about the life of Kyrgyz people, visit local families.

Accommodation in comfortable rooms of local guest house. Internet and three meals a day will be provided. Folklore programs, horseback riding, cart (telega) riding or show “Kyrgyz Yurt installation” can be arranged on request.

Important! For cart tour, performance of creative teams and demonstration of the yurt installation booking in advance and extra payment are required.

3rd Day. National Park Chon Kemin – Issyk – Kul Lake

After Breakfast, we will go to the Northern coast of the legendary Issyk-Kul Lake and sty close to resort town of Cholpon-Ata. Transfer takes about three and a half hours. The hotel is located on the coast.

Additionally, we can arrange visit to the local village for traditional boorsok show on the way to the hotel. Boorsok is local bread. You can taste this delicious national dish and try to cook it by your hands.

Free time in afternoon for the rest on the beach or a walking in the area of the hotel.

Important!  Culinary events should be booked and paid preliminary.

Breakfast and dinner will be provided by the hotel.

4th Day. Cholpon-Ata – Karakol

Today, you will travel to Karakol city. The trip takes approximately two hours; the distance between two cities is 140 km. We planned to arrange an excursion to the Museum of petroglyphs (stones’ park in the open air; unique drawings of animals and plants still clearly visible on the stones, as well as action painting, which reflects people life in different eras) on the way.

Sightseeing tour in Karakol town includes:

* Museum complex of Przewalski, opened in memory of the world-famous scientist and traveler. The Museum holds more than 2000 exhibits.

* Dungan mosque, built in the shape of a Chinese pagoda without a single nail. This is perhaps the most original building in the city. The building dates from the late 19th – early 20th century, when the Dungans (Chinese nationality practicing Muslim) who suffered discrimination, fled into the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

* Orthodox Church. The temple has a rich and complicated history. Now it is not only a decoration of Karakol, but also a popular place of pilgrimage for Christians, as well as lovers of wooden constractions.

* Oriental Bazaar, where you can buy local souvenirs.

We will arrange your accommodation in the Hotel 3*.

Important! The cost of the program includes only breakfast on this day; lunch and dinner tourists will pay by themselves.

5th Day. Karakol – Tamga

Transfer to the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake, Tamga village. It takes no more than two hours, the distance is about jne hundred kilometers. Ong the way, you will visit to Djety-Oguz gorge, where you can walk along the gorge and ride horses.

Accommodation in family run guest house in Tamga village. Program price includes breakfast and dinner on this day.

6th Day. Tamga village – Kochkor village

After Breakfast we will go to Kochkor village, visit the local Handicraft Museum, get to know more about the culture and life of the Kyrgyz people. Here you can learn techniques of national carpets (Shyrdak) manufacture and produce your own.

Accommodation in guest house CBT-Kochkor (breakfast and dinner are included).

7th Day. Kochkor village – Son-Kul Lake

Group will travel three hours to the coast of the picturesque alpine Son-Kul Lake, located 120 kilometers far from Kochkor. You will have time to take a walk along the shore of the lake, visit the yurts of local shepherds, will get to know life of nomadic Kyrgyz, taste kymyz (Kyrgyz national drink made from fermented mare’s milk) and ride on horses. Dinner and overnight in yurts under the stars.

Important! Yurts in the area of Son-Kul Lake operated from beginning late June to mid-September. Program price includes breakfast and dinner on this day.

8th Day. Son-Kul Lake – Tash-Rabat caravanserai

After a delicious breakfast, we will have quite long journey via Naryn Town to the caravanserai Tash-Rabat. The total distance is 260 kilometers; time for transfer is about five hours. On arrival we will visit famous historical monument, walk along the stone corridors of ancient building and along the valley covered with flowers.

Important! Dinner and breakfast are included. Horseback riding is available at extra charge.

9th Day. Tash-Rabat – Bishkek

We planned long journey from Tash-Rabat Valley of to the capital of Kyrgyzstan this day. It takes about 8 hours. The distance is 470 km along the roads of beautiful Kyrgyzstan. We will have time to discuss the highlights of the tour. Comfortable rooms in a three-star hotel will be prepared for you in Bishkek.

10th Day. Departure

Airport transfer after breakfast in the hotel. Aircraft will deliver you home today.


-Accommodation in Yurt Inn is usually 5-6 people of the same gender in a yurt. Double and Single occupation may be arranged at extra charge. If the Yurt is not fully booked at the time of the group arrival, double accommodation may be arranged without extra supplement.

– Weather in the area of Son-Kul Lake and other mountain areas of the Kyrgyz Republic is quite cold at night.  It is highly recommended to have warm clothes and a raincoat. 

– Tour duration and services can be changed according to the wishes of tourists

Group of 2 people – USD 1435 per person

Group of 3 people – USD 1095 per person

Group of 4 people – USD 925 per person

Group of 5 people – USD 825 per person

Group of 6 people – USD 755 per person

Group of 7 people – USD 710 per person

Group of 8 people – USD 675 per person

Group of 10 people – USD 620 per person

Prices include the following services:

Twin bed accommodation in the Guest House, Home Stay and Hotels – standard rooms

Transport: Car (3 seats) for groups of 2 people

Minivan (7 seats) for group of 4 people.

Minibus Mercedes Sprinter (15-17 seats total) for group of 4 to 10 people

Extra vehicle for luggage for groups of 11 people or more

Meals as specified in the programme itinerary

Bottled water (1 liter per person per day)  

English speaking local Guide

Entrance fees for museums 

Additional services available at extra cost:

  • Shyrdak making demonstration in Kochkor – USD 50 per group
  • Borsok show in Tamchi village – USD 70 per group
  • Folklore show in Bishkek – USD 150
  • Photo fee in museums
  • Alcoholic beverages in cafes and restaurants