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Tour Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyz Land of Wonders


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Preliminary Tour Itinerary

Itinerary: Bishkek – Kochkor – Bokonbaevo – Issyk-Kul - Bishkek – Osh – Jalal-Abad – Arslanbob – Kara-Suu – Osh – Bishkek
Duration: 10 days

Day 1: Tour Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan capital
Arrive at Airport Manas; one night hotel accommodation in Bishkek. Upon arrival, you will have a guided tour of Bishkek, which is  situated in the Chui valley in the north of the country. Founded in 1878, it originally was called Pishpek, which is the name of the wooden paddle with which the Kyrgyz make kymyz (kumiss, fermented mare's milk), the national drink. Later, during Soviet rule, it was named Frunze, after the famous Russian General Mikhail Frunze. At the time of independence in 1991, it was renamed Bishkek. The city, heavily influenced by the Russians, is built in a typically Soviet architectural style. In the city’s center there are museums, an opera house, monuments, a government palace, theaters, cinemas, and parks. You will visit the National Historical Museum and Natural History Museum, and have an opportunity to enjoy the colorful oriental Osh Bazaar. After lunch, you will meet with a Kyrgyz biodiversity project representative to learn about Kyrgyz Republic history, culture, and traditions. During the welcome session, you will be introduced to the role of Community Based Tourism (CBT) in sustainable development.

Kochkor Village, Kyrgyzstan

Day 2: Tour Kochkor village 
Drive to Kochkor village, an excellent place to experience the rural lifestyle in Kyrgyzstan. You will be welcomed with a folklore show. The process of making felt carpets, in Kyrgyz “Shyrdak” will be demonstrated. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own felt carpets. The history of shyrdaks, a variety of the patterns and their meaning will be discussed, as will how to recognize high quality shyrdak.

Day 3: Tour Bokonbaevo Village, Manjyly-yurt camp 
Drive to Bokonbaevo. Dinner and overnight accommodations will be in the Manjyly-yurt camp. Continue to Issyk-Kul Lake, the largest lake in the Kyrgyz Republic and one of the biggest mountain lakes in the world (6,236 km²), filled with sky-blue water that never freezes (its name means “Hot Lake”). Bokonbaevo Village on the south shore is an excellent destination for its beach, swimming and relaxation. CBT Bokonbaevo accommodates you in a yurt camp. You will experience the nomadic lifestyle, ancient customs, and erect your own yurt. You will learn the name and the function of each component of the yurt.

Day 4: Guided tour of Biosphere Reserve Issyk-Kul 

Biosphere Reserve Issyk-Kul, KyrgyzstanYou will continue to explore the Issyk-Kul area and the UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve Issyk-Kul. The territory of Issyk-Kul biosphere reserve occupies 43,100 square km or 22 percent of the total area of the republic, and it is home to several species of plants and animals that are included in the list of endangered species. The biosphere includes the Issyk-Kul state preserve, which was the first protected territory in the Kyrgyz Republic, founded in 1948 with the aim of preserving the habitat of waterfowl that winter in the region around Lake Issyk-Kul. Find out about the challenges in preserving and sustainably developing the unique Issyk-Kul area. Walk around, swim in the lake and enjoy lunch. Drive to Bishkek. Dinner and overnight accommodations in Bishkek.

Day 5: Tour Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second largest city 

Osh, Kyrgystan's second largest city
Fly to Osh, a 2,500-year-old ancient city on the Silk Road on the way from Fergana oasis to Kashgar. Situated on both green hillsides of the Ak-Bur River, Osh is Kyrgyzstan’s second largest city. After lunch, visit the four-top Suleiman-Too mountain ridge, a unique historical and architectural monument. Explore the history of one of the most ancient cities in the world visited by Alexander the Great and King Solomon. Uzgen, another ancient settlement, is home to archaeological monuments: a tower and mausoleums dating from the 11th century; Chil Ustin, the site of spectacular caves; and Aravan, the home of “The Celestial Horses” depicted in petroglyphs. For Central Asian Muslims, Taht-I-Suleiman is the third most sacred place after Mecca and Medina. At the summit, an ancient mosque built by Bobur in 1510 still operates. Visit a picturesque traditional Oriental vegetable market (bazaar).

Day 6: Visit Osh and learn about regional environmental issues 
osh regional market, kyrgyzstanYou will learn about regional environmental issues and participate in a workshop on ecology with local school children. There will also be horseback riding/walking to a waterfall, and a picnic. Spend the night in a CBT-guesthouse. An introduction to native medicinal plants, local/region flora and fauna, birds, and bats will be presented in a guided tour. Ethnomedical use of local plants will be demonstrated.

Day 7: Visit Jalal-Abad region and take a guided tour of Sary Chelek National Park 
In the morning, you will drive to Sary Chelek, where you will have lunch and dinner, and will overnight in Kara-Suu. The region is a center for growing fruits and vegetables. In the western part of the region is the long Chatkal valley.

Jalal-Abad region, Sary-Chelek National Park, Kyrgyzstan

Nestling in the Chatkal Mountains are a number of lakes, including the pristine, beautiful Sary-Chelek. The main Bishkek Osh road travels past the large Toktogul reservoir. Cotton, rice, tobacco, vegetables, fruits, and walnuts are all grown here and in Kara Suu, one of the valleys on the edge of the Sary-Chelek biosphere reserve, which has been described as “a cultural landscape where man is important but nature dominates.” Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan’s third largest city, sits in a broad plain of the Kugart Valley. Jalal-Abad means “the city of Jalal” and takes its name from the 13th-century warrior Jalal ad Din. Nowadays, squat hills guard the edge of the town. The abundance of rivers and springs flowing down from glaciers creates a cool and fresh atmosphere. There will be a workshop with local students on ecology.   Experience the history of the Jalal-Abad region and learn about the role of the Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve in biodiversity conservation. Observe local flora and medicinal plants. Understand endangered species and their protection, and learn the fundamentals of glacier geology. Overnight in Kara-Suu.

dance in kyrgyzstan

Day 8: Tour Kara-Suu National Park
Tour the pristine walnut forest and have a picnic lunch. The national park and the surrounding area comprise river valleys and streams that flow along a winding course through almost all the territory of the reserve. Steep banks are strewn with boulders, forming rapid cascades and waterfalls up to 3 meters high. Glaciers, permanent ice fields, and high mountain lakes lie on the north-facing slopes. Explore the high mountain lake ecosystems. Participate in a guided tour with an introduction to the local fauna and flora and the general biodiversity in this remarkable national park. You will have dinner and overnight in Kara-Suu.

Day 9: Experience rural Kyrgyz life, return to Bishkek 
Drive to Bishkek, where you will have lunch, and a farewell dinner. Experience the rural Kyrgyz life; local crafts and souvenirs. Learn about the ecological challenges of Bishkek. Overnight in Bishkek.

Day 10: Tour Bishkek 
Free time in Bishkek to shop, then drive to the airport.

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