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Beneath the Stars at Son-Kul Lake
Price per person:
940 - 2000 USD
Over many years the horses help shepherds to move their houses (Yurts) over the passes to the alpine pastures. A horse is considered to be an integral part of the life of the nomadic people. Throughout these days you will experience different climatic zones – from semi-desert to tundra. During the tour, you will have a chance to spend a night in the real dwelling of these ancient nomads (yurts) and experience their life and culture.
Level of difficulty: This tour is recommended for beginners with small riding experience (riding time approximately 3-5 hours per day).
Day 1 – Bishkek – Kochkor
Arrival in Bishkek early in the morning. Transfer to the hotel. Rest till noon. Short city tour in the center of Bishkek with visiting the central square, Osh bazaar (oriental market). Transfer to Kochkor village (260 km). Lunch on the way. Optionally visit felt carpet workshop, where you can not only buy souvenirs but make them yourself. Dinner with Kyrgyz family.
Family run accommodation.
Day 2 – Kochkor – Kilemche
Early breakfast transfer to Jumgal valley to starting point of the horse ride below the Kyzart pass. Meeting with the guide and horsemen. Within sight of the road, cross Kyzyl-Kiya jailoo, an enormous, relatively flat sea of grass. Continue over the Chaar-Archa Pass (3 061 m) into the Chaar-Archa Valley and eat a tasty lunch at Kilemche jailoo, with views of holy 4400 m Baba-Ata Mountain. The name means “like a carpet,” and this swathe of grass covers whole mountain ranges, with shadings as subtle as any shyrdak (shyrdak is a Kyrgyz felt carpet).
Riding time about 3-4 hours.
Dinner and accommodation in the yurt camp .
Day 3 – Kilemche– Jaman Echki
After breakfast riding to Jalgyz Karagai pass (3400 m), over the Son-Kol Mountains and into the lake’s basin. The afternoon ride affords wonderful views of Kilemche jailoo, and the pass itself is rocky and exciting. From the pass, Son-Kol is still distant, but as you ride down the slopes, it gets larger and larger; the mountains on the other side get higher and higher, until finally the lake fills most of your field of view and the southern mountains tower above it.
Riding time about 3-4 hours.
Dinner and accommodation in the yurt camp.
Day 4 – Jaman-Echki – Tulpar-Tash – Jaman-Echki
Breakfast. Horse riding about 3-5 hours along the northern shore of Son-Kul lake. Local people live and graze their livestock on the meadows (jailoo) around the lake, from June till September. You will taste the wilderness and freedom of nomadic life here. It will be possible to taste the Kyrgyz traditional drink kymyz (fermented mare’s milk)
Riding time about 3-5 hours
Dinner and overnight in yurt camp.
Day 5 – Son-Kul lake – Bishkek
After breakfast Transfer to Bishkek (350 km). On the way a visit to visit Burana Tower, a place on the Great Silk Road, the remaining of ancient town Balasagun (11 century). Arrival in Bishkek.
Accommodation in the Asia Mountains Hotel or similar.
Day 6 – Bishkek
Transfer to Airport early in the morning. Flight home.
The price is given on the basis of 3 star’s hotel accommodation in Bishkek. We can change it for hotels with higher level upon request for additional payment.
People in Kyrgyzstan are very friendly and like to take pictures. But please do ask for permission if you take a picture of old people, mosques, churches, funerals etc or in countryside as people may be offended.
Horse and luggage – You will ride the shepherds Kyrgyz horses. They are not big but very strong and able to make long distances on the high mountain trails.
For the horse ride we use the traditional Kyrgyz saddles, it is similar to American Cowboys saddles. Each saddle equipped with bags where you can store your personal belongings.
For the three days of the horse ride you can take the part of your total luggage which you will use during that days. This luggage will be packed on your horse on the saddle bags. The rest of the luggage you can store in the car and get it after 2 days at the last Yurt camp.
Luggage horse – if you want the luggage being packed on the separate horse it will be possible for additional payment.
Supplement for luggage horse in 30 USD per day.
Down jacket, warm sweater, silk sleeping bag liner, rain gear (waterproof trousers should have an opening on the outside at the bottom of the leg in order to put on and take off without removing your trekking boots), 2-3 pairs of warm socks, waterproof trekking boots, gloves, sunglasses, sun cream with high UV-protection, lip balm with UV-protection, horse chaps and safety horse riding helmets.
If you have some specific sicknesses you need to bring own first aid kit with necessary medicaments.
Responsibilities of clients:
Your clients should recognize and accept the risk that circumstances may arise which would cause some activities to be shortened or eliminated altogether without reimbursement or refund. Such circumstance includes weather conditions, earthquakes and other acts of nature, injuries or other medical problems, which they may experience. However, you recognize and accept that none of the eventualities described above will give you a right to a refund or other forms of reimbursement.
• Double/Twin room accommodation in Bishkek, Kochkor
• Four-people accommodation in the yurt
• Meal as indicated each day
• Mineral water before horse riding and after horse riding (1 L per person a day)
• Boiled water during horse riding days
• English speaking tour guide
• Personal for trek (stableman)
• Horses for the clients
• Transport for all transfers according the program (minibus with 13 seats)