Trekking in the area of Sonkul Lake - ITMC Travel

Adventure & cultural tours in Kyrgyzstan

Trekking in the area of Sonkul Lake


Best season: July – August

Location:  Naryn Region, Kyrgyzstan

Duration: 10 days

Highly recommended: All tourists should have medical insurance for the particular activities with a minimum coverage of USD 35 000.


Son-Kul lake … is better to feel instead to look at it on the pictures. The second biggest high altitude lake in Kyrgyzstan is located at the altitude 3000m. This is the place with special atmosphere untouched by civilization. Local chabans (shepherds, who graze their cattle at mountain pastures) live here in summer time and keep real life of Kyrgyz people how it happened many centuries ago. Trekking itinerary is simple enough and can be used as acclimatization before more serious routes.  Trekking distance takes 4-5 hours per day at the altitudes from 2600m up to 3600m (Kichi Kumbel pass). Lack of ordeal will give you the opportunity to focus on untouched nature of the area. You will also to have a chance to be nomad, stay in yurt and enjoy environmentally safe food products.

1st Day.  Bishkek

International flight to Bishkek. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Rest. Afternoon city sightseeing tour in Bishkek: Philharmonic Society, Ala-Too Square, Victory Square, Handicraft Shops, Osh bazaar, Fine Arts Museum. Overnight in the hotel.

2nd Day. Bishkek – Naryn Town

After breakfast transfer to Naryn town (350km, 6 hours drive). Preparations for trekking, shopping. Overnight in Guest House.

3rd Day. Naryn Town – Son-Kul River

Transfer via Terskey Torpok pass (3132m) to the valley of Sonkul River by minibus (approx. 100km), to the start point of the trek in a forestry area at an altitude of 2600m. Set up a tent camp. Hiking. Acclimatization. Optional: Excursion to waterfall – the route follows the Sonkul River, one-way distance of 6 km. Overnight in tent camp.

4th Day. Son-Kul River – Kokjerty Gorge

Trekking to the valley of Djina River via Kokjerty Gorge (approx. 10km, 5-6 hours) at an average altitude of 2800m. Set up a tent camp before the nameless pass. Tent camp.

5th Day. Kokjerty Gorge – Terme River

Cross the nameless pass (3000m). Trekking along Archaly-Tor River, via the Kyzyl-Beles pass (3242m). On this route it is necessary to wade across the river twice. Altitude on this route ranges from 2700m to 3000m. The trekking distance is approximately 12km and takes approximately 8 hours. Tent camp on the banks of the Terme River.

6th Day. Terme River

Circular trek around Ak-Chii Tash Mount. Overnight in Tent Camp on the banks of Terme River.

7th Day. Terme River – Son-Kul Lake

Trekking along the Terme River via Kichi Kumbel pass (3608m) to Sonkul Yurt Inn. Trekking distance of 12-14km, takes approximately 7-8 hours. Overnight in Yurt Inn.

8th Day. Son-Kul Lake

Option 1: Circular trek to petroglyphs. Trekking time of approximately 1.5 hours.

Option 2:  Excursion to Uzun Bulak pass 3124m via petroglyphs. Total trekking time of approximately 4 hours. Overnight in the Yurt Inn.

9th Day. Son-Kul Lake – Bishkek

Transfer to Bishkek (360km). Overnight in Hotel.

10th Day. Departure

Check-out. Transfer to Airport. Departure by international flight.

Group of 2 people – USD 1660 per person

Group of 4 people – USD 1065 per person

Group of 6 people – USD 920 per person

Group of 8 people – USD 785 per person

Group of 10 people – USD 750 per person 

Single supplement – USD 120 per person per programme (in Bishkek only)

Prices include the following services:

  • Mountain Guide for trekking
  • Cook for trek
  • Workman for groups of 6 people or more
  • Twin bedroom accommodation in 3* Hotel in Bishkek (3 nights)
  • Twin bedroom accommodation in Guest House in Naryn (1 night)
  • Accommodation in Yurt Inn in Son-Kul (2 nights)
  • Meals: full board during the trek, breakfast in the Hotel in Bishkek and Guest House in Naryn)
  • Land transport by Minibus (15-17 seats total)  
  • Excursions and entrance fees 

Additional services available at extra cost:

  • Kyrgyz visa fee (if required) – USD 45 per person
  • Lunches and/or Dinners in Bishkek and Naryn – approx. USD 7-15 per person  
  • Porter service – USD 320 per porter per programme
  • Horses to carry food and personal equipment – USD 130 per horse per programme
  • Horseman – USD 175 per programme (one horseman per 2 horses is required)
  • Transport for porters if there is not enough space in the vehicle – USD 460 per programme  


  • Yurt Inn operates for the period from mid-June until mid-September
  • Accommodation in any Yurt Inn is usually 5-6 persons of the same gender in a yurt.
  • Each porter carries 20kg of commercial weight. Any additional weight in excess of this will be charged at a rate of USD 3 per 1kg.
  • Each horse carries 50-80 kg of commercial weight.