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Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan Mountain Adventure
Some people like to cycle, others love bonding with a horse during a nice long ride, and still others prefer water sports. This 14 day mountain adventure through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is for the adventurer that loves it all. A physical, multi-activity trip exploring the region’s natural and cultural delights by horseback, foot, mountain bike, raft, and even helicopter.
- Sleep in a yurt and be the guest of nomads
- Mountain bike across the Narin Valley through the Mountains of Heaven
- Stand on the Inylcheck glacier with its awesome view of Mount Khan Tengri
- White water raft down the Chui River
- Enjoy a helicopter ride over some of the most phenomenal glacier systems on earth
The Tien Shan or Celestial Mountains are quite simply one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on earth. Though perhaps not as immediately dramatic as the mighty Himalaya or Karakoram, the colour, variety, shapes and simple wildness of the Tien Shan will still have you buzzing with wonder.
If you’re looking to get away from it all then this really is your trip. Camping by wild rivers in forests of pine, for the most part many miles away from civilisation, this is 2 weeks that will enable you to leave the stresses and strains of the modern world behind you.
Requiring a moderate level of fitness, this trip is perfect for a fairly active person looking to combine a range of physical outdoor activities with equal amounts of culture in a remote and beautiful part of the world. Enquire today.
Day 1: Tour starts in Almaty (Kazakhstan)
The tour starts at lunchtime today in Almaty. This afternoon we’ll have a look around the city centre and visit the museum and the Orthodox Russian church, Holy Ascension Cathedral.
Day 2: Almaty – Charyn Canyon – Karkara (Kyrgyzstan)
Leaving Almaty this morning, we’ll stop at Charyn Canyon for a picnic lunch before continuing our journey into the mountains to Karkara and our camp.
Day 3: In Karkara
We will head out with a picnic today to take a good walk, taking in the surrounding hills and forest scenery. We return to camp late this afternoon with a chance to make use of the camp sauna.
Day 4: Helicopter to Inylchek
Today we will ride in the Mi8-MTV high-altitude ex-Soviet helicopter to the worlds most northern 7000m peaks.
Day 5: Karkara – Tamga
We drive down to Karakol and follow the southern edge of Lake Issyk Kul to Tamga, where we stay in a family-run guesthouse. There should be time for a swim in the lake this afternoon.
Day 6: Tamga – Yurt Camp
We walk up through the foothills of the Tien Shan (Mountains of Heaven) to our yurt camp in time for lunch. This afternoon we have the opportunity to watch an eagle hunting demonstration.
Day 7: Yurt Camp – Hot Springs
Take a challenging trek over the 4100m Ton Pirival Pass and camp by the river and natural hot-water spring.
Day 8: Hot Springs – Camp
Today we collect our mountain bikes and begin our 90km ride to Narin through steppes and high mountains.
Day 9: Camp – Narin
The second day of our bike ride. Eagles, horses and wild yaks are common here and we also swim in a beautiful crystal pool en route to Narin, where a warm shower and bed await.
Day 10: Narin – Camp
Today we will meet our horses and ride through the most incredible scenery towards the stunning Son Kul Lake.
Day 11: Camp – Son Kul
Continue the ride/trek to the striking 3000m Son Kul and mingle with the nomads. Tonight we stay in our yurt camp.
Day 12: Around Son Kul
Walk in the mountains and soak up this area of phenomenal natural beauty over a picnic lunch. We also try to spot petroglyphs on the hillside.
Day 13: Son Kul – Bishkek
Take an unusual route back as we white water raft down the rapids of the Chui River before returning to the capital and our final night’s dinner.
Day 14: Tour ends in Bishkek
The tour finishes after breakfast. Those on the recommended group flight will have some free time this morning to explore Bishkek.
As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip.
On this particular trip accommodation will be in small hotels and guesthouses with Western style bathrooms whilst in the towns. Elsewhere we will stay in yurts and a fixed camp with cot beds and long-drop toilet facilities. Please note that there can be up to 6 people sharing each yurt. There are also a number of nights of wild camping with no facilities.
Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.
On this tour we will use minibuses, helicopters, various 4WD vehicles, mountain bikes, horses and rafts.
The weather conditions can be extremely varied during this tour. In the mountains you will often be travelling at heights in excess of 3000 metres, and even in the middle of summer it can turn bitter with snow falling; at the same time mercury in the thermometers of Almaty and Bishkek can be nudging 40 degrees.
Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for, but the selection and variety may be limited.
Anyone who is fit and active should be able to participate in this trip. The walk on Day 8 can be challenging and the Tour Leader will have the final decision over who can walk and who may have to relocate with the vehicles.
Neither bike helmets nor horse-riding hard hats are available for local hire and so should be brought out with you. Please note that we strongly recommend that you wear a hard hat when riding as accidents can happen to anyone at any time, particularly while both horse and rider are getting used to each other.
During this trip you will be camping and staying in yurts, so you should be prepared for long-drop toilet facilities and no showers for part of the trip. But don’t panic too much… this is genuine adventure travel and your overall experience will easily make up for the lack of mod cons!
7th August 2016 (14 days)
6th August 2017 (14 days)
Prices: from 2,245 GBP
- Full services of a Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
- Meal plan with drinking water as required with the majority of meals being taken in local restaurants where viable
- All transport as outlined in the itinerary
- All accommodation
- 2-man dome tents while camping
- Foam mats & sleeping bags while camping
- All entrance fees, as per itinerary
- Visas (if applicable)
- Local airport taxes
- Tips (always optional, but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information pack you’ll receive after booking)
- Beverages other than drinking water & any costs of a personal nature
- International flights to/from the start/finish of the trip
- Airport transfers (unless booking suggested flights through the tour operator office)
This operator is a multi-award winning adventure travel company specialising in small group tours and tailor made holidays to some of the most extraordinary destinations across the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and Europe. We love their unique, original itineraries – whether they are for small group travel or individually created for tailor made clients – allowing you to take journeys that venture beneath the surface of the region.
This operator concentrates on the locations they know and love. They don’t source itineraries from other agents, nor do they run the same tour over and over (thus creating a ‘tourist circuit’, spoiling an untouched region). Instead, they rarely run any group tour more than a couple of times a year and take routes they have discovered for themselves, to give a truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience.
- Trip Code: AWA313
- Dates: 7 August 2016 / 7 August 2017
- Price: 2,245 GBP
- Depart: Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Arrive: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
- Length: 14 days
- Adventure: A multi-activity trip in Kyrgyzstan including a helicopter ride over glaciers, white-water rafting, cycling and horse riding through the Celestial Mountains.