From Celestial mountains to the Red desert
Nature and culture, mountain and ancient cities: discover beauties of Central Asia, visiting Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Departure from Bishkek in the morning, (option visit of Burana's tower), walk and picnic in the Konorchek red's rocks canyon (2-3 hours walk), then in the afternoon, drive to Chong Kemin, visit of the Chabdan Batyr park. Drive to Yashil Koel lake, short walk in the surrounding area, then drive to Karol Doeboe village. Installation in Lira's homestay. Traditional dinner with the local family. Animated evening to discover kyrgyz games and songs. Overnight at local ecotourism association. (option : rafting in the Chuy or Chong Kemin river, handicraft lesson or show, cuisine lesson or show, horse games show)
In the morning, after a short transfer by vehicle along the river canyon Chong Kemin, you will hike to lake Kongur at 2500m. alt. Slopes of this area are covered by fir forests. This mountainous lake has a unique trapezoidal shape. On the shore of the lake, we set up the camp and enjoy the wonderful sceneries around us. Dinner and overnight stay in a tent. (part of a minimum 2 days trekking program to Issyk Kul lake)
In the morning, we pass the pass at 3350m. alt. and we go down with a magnificent view of Lake Issyk Kul and the chain of Terskey Alatoo rising to over 5200 meters. By late afternoon, we reach our vehicle and we go along the north shore of Issyk Koel, "warm lake", the second largest alpine lake after Titicaca is the pearl of Kyrgyzstan. We stop in Tamchy, to spend the night. Free time for swimming. Overnight in guesthouse or homestay.
In the morning, transfer to lake Song-Kul. At noon we will arrive in the valley of Kilemche, we continue towards the lake through the pass of Tuz Ashuu. Night in yurt. (option: horseride or hiking from Kilemche to the yurt camp of Tuz Ashuu.)
After breakfast riding to Tulpar Tash on the our beautiful lake Son Kul, situated at 3016m above sea level. End of the afternoon, we arrive to yurt camp and spend the night and dinner in yurt.
Late waking up, we still enjoy the quiet of the nomadic life, then we drive to the village of Kyzyl Oy, located in the canyon of the river Kekemeren. We descend through the pass of Chilbili. Night in guesthouse.
In the morning we continue to drive to the main road connecting the two major cities of Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek-Osh. The scenery is stunning and varied. On the way stop at the village of Kojomkul, hero of the 20th century. After crossing the Ala-Bel pass, we drive into the Chychkan canyon. Dinner and overnight in a local family.
We continue our journey in the arid and colorful landscape of the canyon of the river Naryn, then we get down into the lush valley of Fergana. Visit Jalal Abad, Uzgen minaret (XI c.) And arrive in Osh. Evening walk on Mount Suleiman and Central Park. Night in guest house.
Breakfast and visit of the central market. Transfer to Kyrgyz / Uzbek border. Custom's formalities. Meeting on the border between Uzbekistan Andijan and Osh around 9am with the guide and Uzbek driver. Transfer to Fergana city (105 km). On the way, visit of the market and the Juma mosque and madrasa of the Hujra. Following the road and visit the silk factory in Margilan and the local market. Lunch. After lunch road to Rishtan town where you'll find the workshop of traditional potters. In Kokand you will visit the palace of Khoudayarkhan dating the nineteenth century. Juma Mosque, the tombs of rulers Dahma-i- Chakhon and Modari Khon. Night in Kokand.
Early breakfast. Transfer to Tashkent - capital of Uzbekistan via Kamchik Pass (2110 m). Arrival in Tashkent. Discovery of Tashkent - the large cultural, scientific capital of Uzbekistan. Visit the great place Khast Imam including Barak Khan Madrasah (XVI century), the Jami Mosque (Friday) opened for worship and the mausoleum of Kaffal Chachi (XVI century); Madrasa Abul Kassim (nineteenth century), craft center; Chorsou market and Tashkent metro with its beautiful resorts.
Transfer to the airport for domestic flights. Arrival in Urgench at 08h.30 Transfer to Khiva city (30 km) - an area full museum city and it's a part of UNESCO heritage.
Meeting with the local guide at 10 am. Discovery of Khiva: city museum in the middle area, visiting Ichan-Kala begins with the discovery of the walls and the main gate of the inner city "Ota Darwaza", then the madrasa of Mohammed Amin Khan and the minaret " Kalta Minor" (19th century), the central square of the old city, Kunya Ark (17th century), the madrasa of Muhammad Rakhim Khan, the Joumma Mosque (10th-18th century), the Allakoulikhan Harem - Tach Haoulie madrasa (18th century -XIX). The Islam Khodja madrasa and its minaret (1908), the Pakhlavan Mahmud complex (XIV-XIX century) - a place of worship for the inhabitants of the region. After the visits you will have free time to stroll through the ancient streets of the inner and outer city of Khiva. Hotel accommodation.
Breakfast at the hotel. Road to Bukhara through the Kizil Kum desert (red sand). With a couple of stops for photos and food. Arrival at the end of the afternoon. Accomodation at the hotel. Bukhara is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia, the numerous monuments among which stand out the madrasa Ulugh Begh, built by the grandson of Tamerlane in 1417, set Liab-i-Hauz, gathering the madrasas Koukeldash (1568) and Nadir Divanbegi (1622). Walk through the old city. Dinner. Accommodation at the hotel.
Bukhara, one of the oldest cities of Central Asia, made famous by its former carpet market, city museum in the middle of the sands. Bukhara will delight you with the atmosphere of its old streets and its remarkable monuments that take us back to the medieval period and well before: mausoleum Ismail Samani (ninth-tenth centuries), Chashma Ayub mausoleum (XII-XIV century), the famous bazaar of Bukhara, together Bola Hauz (eighteenth century), Citadel Ark (I. -IVème centuries.). Lunch at a local restaurant in the modern city. Following the discovery; all Poi-Kalian (XV-XVI centuries) which consists of the Kalon mosque, Kalon minaret and madrasah Miri Arab.
In the morning you will go outskirt of Bukhara and visit:
Residence of the last emir of Bukhara - Sitorai Mokhi Khosa. Emir Mohammed Alim Khan studied in St. Petersburg and he was close to Nicholai II and was opened to a new trends. His palace is a mixture of Eastern and European styles, technical innovations of that time, a collection of suzane and a beautiful park with peacocks.
Complex of Bakhoutdin Naqshbandi - a famous religious figure. The complex is located 12 km from Bukhara and consists of a beautiful garden, a water source, a mosque, a madrasah and the resting place of Bakhoutdin Naqshbandi. Here you will learn about his life, how he became world famous and why he is called a saint. You will definitely feel peace in your heart at this place. Return to Bukhara. After lunch transfer to Samarkand by bullet train “Afrosiab”. Train departs at 15:50 and arrives to Samarkand at 17:20. Upon arrival accommodation and rest.
Breakfast at the hotel. Discovery of Gur Emir mausoleum - the tomb of the ruler and the famous square "Registan" with 3 medarsas, monuments; medarsa of Ulugbek (XV c); medarsas of Cher Dor and Tilla Kori (XVII c).
After, the excursion of the city. Visit the necropolis Shakhi Zinda, the mosque of Bibi Khanum, the largest mosque in Central Asia, with its huge blue dome, the bazaar of Samarkand allows everyone to find something among the colorful stalls. Afternoon the discovery of the remains of the observatory of Ulugbek, Museum of Afrosiab. Train "Talgo" Uzbek to 17h 30. Arrival in Tashkent at 19: 40. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Depending on your flight schedule, the guide will accompany you to the airport and help you check in for your flight. We hope you enjoyed your trip and invite you back to explore other Central Asian countries with us.
Dear Nomad's Land - especially Alex Johnson. You have helped us during preparation of our trip, arranging border zone permits, transportation to mountains, advise in arranging maps and also being a contact person in case of emergency. We had arranged most stuff over internet beforehand. It was generally very helpful and I would recommend to our friends Nomad's Land for tracking in Kyrgistan. And there is so much to see in that country yet. It would be great to visit Kyrgistan again. Thank you.
We spent this summer three weeks with family (parents and adult children) in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, with a trip to the city of Kashgar in Sinkiang (China) .Nomads' Land organized all the Kyrgyzstan and China part as well as the trips to Uzbekistan. You can work with them with your eyes closed: impeccable organization, enthusiastic and passionate guide (also speaking perfectly French), good choice of accommodation and activities. Very pleasant preparation with Fabien, who is attentive and has concocted a trip to us. All for good value for money. Allow at least 10 days for Kyrgyzstan to really enjoy it. The change of scenery is total and the way of life is authentic. Expect "average" comfort but the superb landscapes and the amazing welcome of the Kyrgyz people will give you unforgettable memories. To fully enjoy it, nothing like walking: you will go on beautiful hikes: Altyn Arashan, Song Kul, Lenin peak ... They are all doable but still require good condition, especially that of Lenin peak (base camp to camp 1), which is quite long and demanding (allow 10-12 hours round trip), but it is the most impressive. To reach the south of Kyrgyzstan, you have the choice between a few hundred km of tiring tracks or to make a detour through China and the city of Kashgar. The road is excellent and the city itself is worth the effort (with the added bonus of "Western-style" comfort which feels good). However, it was necessary to endure two days of painful police checks between Kashgar and the border, with an occupying army (Han Chinese, from the east) omnipresent. So it's up to you to decide (knowing that this "detour" is quite expensive considering the short season and the few tourists). After Kyrgyzstan, we visited the cities of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan: Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Impressive and superb monuments, a very rich history, few tourists and a very pleasant atmosphere. The historic centers are not very extensive and can easily be visited on foot. Do not forget Khiva: it is the smallest of the three but the atmosphere is peaceful and timeless, you sometimes have the impression of going back 100 years. This trip was really exceptional, thank you again to Fabien, Murat and the whole team.
On your way
Chong Kemin National Park KG
This park encompasses the entire Chong Kemin Valley. There are many trails still virgin or almost. Several passes between Issyk Kul Lake or Kitchi Kemin Valley.
The total area is 126,514 hectares. Here in the park the river Chon Kemin flows. More than 780 species of plants grow and rare mammals such as snow leopard, brown bear, maral, Eurasian lynx, golden eagle, himalayan griffon vulture (Gyps himalayensis), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), saker falcon and sablefly are found.
Issyk Kul lake KG
The Issyk-Kul lake has a length of 182 km, a maximum width of 60 km and covers an area of 6,236 km². This makes it the second largest mountain lake in the world behind Lake Titicaca. Located at an altitude of 1,606 m, it reaches 668 m deep. About 118 rivers and streams flow into the lake. The largest are the Djyrgalan (Jergalan) and Tyup. It is fed by springs, including many hot springs and snowmelt, and it has no outlet. Its south side is dominated by the Tian Shan mountain range of wild beauty. The lake water is slightly saline and level down about 5 cm per year.
The Issyk-Kul lake is an important step on the Silk Road, a dirt road for travelers from the Far East to Europe. Many historians believe that the lake was the point of origin of the plague that hit Europe and Asia in the early and mid 14th. The status of the lake as a place of passage for travelers allowed the plague spread across the continents through the medieval merchants who unknowingly took away the vermin infested with them. Armenian monastery from the 14th century was found on the northeast coast of Lake retracing the steps of a medieval map used by Venetian merchants on the Silk Road.
Song Kul lake KG
The scenary Song Kul (or Song Kul) lake is the main pasture of nomads. Hundreds yurts are built during summer. The beautiful lake large of about 25-35 km is a natural reserve. Many species of birds are stopping during their long migration. Some tombs from Sakh times and petroglyphs are most ancient traces of live. Different trekking or horseback riding roads are joining the place.
Kekemeren river KG
The Kekemeren is the biggest river tributary of the Naryn river. The Suusamyr and the West Karakol river flow into the Kekemeren at the altitude of 2030 meters, near the village of Kojomkul and 3 kilomètres before the Kekemeren's canyon. The river is situated between the Suusamyr and the Djumgal ranges is about 130 km long till the Naryn confluence.
The whole river is passing through a colorfull canyon with interesting whitewater for good rafter, classe I to V. Our rafting programs purpose two section, the first fo 45 km from Kojomkul village till Aral village (1 to 3 days), the second of 90 km from Aral to the Naryn confluence (2-5 days). Of course, the during time depend on the level of participants, but good experienced rafters.
The Amudarya trout (Slmo trutta oxianus Kessler), the Schizothorax intermedius McLelland, locally known as "marinka" lives in upstream waters of Kekemeren river
Diptychus maculatus Berg (osman) can be encountered only in the upper part of the river in the Suusamyr bassin.
Suusamyr valley KG
The high valley of Suusamyr is situated between the Kyrgyz range and the Suusamyr Too range, on the way (M41) between Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital and Osh city of the Ferghana valley. In summer, Suusamyr become a wide pasture for numerous Kyrgyz nomad coming during the hot season with their cattle. In winter, this is one of the Kyrgyz paradise for ski or snowboard lovers.
Toktogul water reservoir KG
The Toktogul hydroelectric power station, built in 1975, is the largest and most important power station in the country, producing up to 40% of its electricity. In addition, the dam of its dam produces a volume of 19 billion cubic meters of water that flows through the largest Toktogul reservoir in Central Asia and governs the irrigation and energy regimes. Visits are prohibited to the public, and entrances are monitored by the military. Access to the dam is from the small town of Kara-Kël (or Karakul, Kara-Kul, Kara-Kol).
The Toktogul hydropower plant is rightly regarded as the flagship of Kyrgyzstan's hydropower industry. The station project was developed by the Central Asian branch of the "Hydroproject" Institute. S. Ya Zhuk with the participation of Soyuzgidroproekt, Gidrostalproekt, etc. The dam is a complex construction intended to regulate the flow of the Naryn River and the production of energy in the long term.
The location of the station was chosen in the mountains of the central Tien Shan, at the entrance of the Naryn river, in the Ketmen-Tyube valley, in a narrow gorge reaching a depth of 1500 m. The slope is 65 - 70 °. The configuration of the station facilities was determined by the topographical and geological characteristics of the construction site, mainly by the seismicity, which is 9-10 points.
The hydroelectric complex includes a reservoir, a dam, two deep weirs, a surface weir, 4 turbine water pipes.
The station's reservoir is the largest in Central Asia, located in the Ketmen-Tyube valley and has the following dimensions: 65 km long, 284.3 km2 in area, maximum depth of 120 m, for a total capacity of 195 billion m3, useful - 14 billion m3.
The Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Plant Dam design parameters are a unique concrete structure designed to operate under exceptionally high seismic conditions. Its height is 215 m, its length along the ridge is 292.5 m, and the total concrete volume of the dam is 3.2 million m3.
The construction of a hydroelectric power station with a two-row arrangement of four hydraulic units is directly adjacent to the dam from downstream. PO-170/505-B-535 radial-axial turbines with a power of 307 MW each were installed in the building of the hydroelectric power station.
The turbines are supplied with water by four pressure pipes 7.5 m in diameter located in the central part of the dam.
Technical and economic indicators of the station:
* installed capacity - 1200 MkW;
* guaranteed power - 260,000 kW;
* average annual electricity production - 4,400 million kW / h;
* water flow through the turbine - 245m3 / s;
* number of hydraulic units - 4.
Uzgen is a large village on the main road between Jalal Abad and Osh. The modern city of Uzgen is located on the territory of ancient site. Ancient settlement of Uzgen is rich of monuments of settled and nomadic people, dated in a wide chronological range. It belongs to a zone of early contacts on the Silk Road, being the most eastern city centre of Davan, as the city of Ju-chen known on Chinese sources is traditionally localised here in a context of military expeditions of 104-99 BC. Citadel and Shakhristans have been preserved relatively. Officially the complex is a part of "Sulaiman-Too" museum complex with a representative in Uzgen responsible for its protection and management. Uzgen Architectural Complex is on the State list of monuments of national importance.
Osh, the second largest city of the Kyrgyz republic, is one of the oldest settlements of Central Asia. It is located in southwestern Kyrgyzstan near the Uzbekistan border in the eastern section of the Fergana Valley. This one of the Central Asia's most interesting cities because of its long history, dating back as least to the 5th century BC - its position as an important crossroads for Silk Road trade and its huge market. For centuries it was a major silk-production center, strategically situated on a trade route to India.
Sights are: the huge bazaar, Sulaimans Throne (a 200 m hill called Takht-i-Suleyman (Solomon's Throne), where the Prophet Muhammad is thought to have prayed and where Muslim pilgrims began visiting in the tenth century), Baburs House (at the top of Sulaimans Throne), several monuments (especially the one of Kurmanjan Datka – Kyrgyz feminine ruler and engaged warrior against the Russian invasion), the Russian-orthodox church, the biggest mosque of the country (situated right beside the bazaar) and the Rabat Abdul Khan Mosque (16 th century).
The population of Osh is mostly Uzbek. Osh has two universities, a sanatorium, and an airport. Economic activity has been aided by beneficial reforms and consists of the Jayma bazaar; silk trade; mining of zinc, lead, and coal; food processing; and the production of silk, cotton, and wool.
Samarkand is famous for its surprisingly long history - it is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded 8 centuries BC. In the old days, this city was the most important point connecting East and West, and the Silk Road passed through Samarkand. Therefore, here, as nowhere else, a huge number of cultural and historical monuments have been preserved - such as mausoleums, museums, mosques, the ruins of ancient settlements and much more.
Samarkand was proclaimed in 2001 by UNESCO crossroads of cultures and world heritage site.
Another city on the Silk Road is ancient Khorezm, or Khiva as it is now called. Khiva can be considered an open-air museum - it is not for nothing that it is included in the UNESCO list, because every building here is a monument of antiquity. In the old part of the city of Ichan-Kala, founded around the 5th century AD, about 60 historical monuments have been preserved, including the citadel, palaces, mosques, minarets and mausoleums. In addition to the old city-fortress, there is another old part Dishan-Kala, where residential buildings and shopping arcades were located.
Registan Square UZ
Place Registan, which has existed for more than 6 centuries. Some of the buildings that are in the square have been kept here in their original form from the time they were built. Special attention deserves a complex of three medersas - schools built in the Middle Ages, lined with mosaics in the traditional national style. The square itself was paved with baked bricks at the end of the 19th century.
Ulugbek Observatory Museum UZ
The observatory of Samarkand was built in the 1420s by the Timurid astronomer Ulugh Beg, it is considered by scholars to have been one of the finest observatories in the Islamic world.
The remains of the observatory were found and studied by archaeologist V.L. Vyatkin in 1908. A study of one of the 17th century documents yielded a precise description of the location of the observatory.
Here in 1437, the "Gurgan Zij" was compiled - a catalog of the starry sky, in which 1018 stars were described. The duration of the sidereal year was also determined there: 365 days, 6 hours, 10 minutes, 8 seconds (with an error of + 58 seconds).
Djuma mosque UZ
This mosque is the oldest of the 157 mosques in modern Tashkent and the third largest mosque in Uzbekistan after the Bibi-Khanum Mosque in Samarkand and Poi-Kalyan in Bukhara. From the 15th century to the present, the mosque bears the name of one of the Sufi leaders of the Eastern Middle Ages - Khoja Akhrar Vali, who presented the city with a building built on the foundations of the former Djuma Mosque (Djuma Mosque - Friday Mosque) in 1451.
Ulugbek Madrasah UZ
The Ulugbek Madrasah is a muslim spiritual, educational and religious building of the XV century in Samarkand. The oldest madrasa is a part of architectural ensemble of The Registan Square.
Madrasah of Khan Mukhammad Amin UZ
Madrasah of Khan Mukhammad Amin was built in 1851-1854 years by order of the ruler of Khiva and got its name.
Khast Imam complex UZ
Kokand is a city in the Ferghana Province of Uzbekistan. Kokand had a population of about 220,000 in 2010. Little-known city, but very rich historically. Its existence is described by Chinese ambassadors a century before our era. Crockery has been found, dating from the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. Like other great conquerors, the Ferhana Valley was an oasis in the middle of deserts and mountains. Genghis Khan had made it one of his main residences. From the beginning of the 18th century to the end of the 19th century. Kokand had become the capital of a kingdom larger than France.
In the shade of mulberry trees, the city of Bukhara was an important stop on the Silk Road. A museum city that testifies to the rich past of Central Asia.
Bukhara- Buqaraq of the sogdienwhich would mean "fortunate place" and Vihara in Sanskrit which means a Buddhist monastery.
It is a city in Uzbekistan, located in the south-central part of the country. It is located on the lower reaches of the Zarafshan River, in the middle of an oasis, on the eastern edge of the Kyzyl Kum desert. It was connected by caravan routes to Mervet to the valleys of the rivers Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya (Naryn)
In the ninth century, the city becomes the capital of the Persian Samanid dynasty (875-999) and the appearance of the city is changed again: eleven access gates are observed, the "rabad" (suburb) extends around the inner part ("chakhristan"), the population increases significantly, professions determine the place of residence, many mausoleums and mosques are built (including the mausoleum of the Samanids)
In 999, the city was invaded by the Qarakhanids. At that time, monuments, still visible today, were built: the minaret of Arslan-Khana (Kalian minaret), the mosque of Magoki-Attari, the mosque of Namezgokh, the mausoleum of Chashma-Ayub (the source of Job)
Bukhara gave its name to the bougran, a strong canvas used in the lining of clothes, spelled boquerant by Marco Polo.
Bukhara is also the generic name given to Turkmen carpets, the main trading center of which is the Ashgabat Bazaar. These carpets are subdivided into teke andyomouth, the names of the two main Turkmen tribal families. Their very typical style can be easily recognized because the decoration of the field consists of the repetition of the same decorative motif, the goul, emblem of the weaver tribe.
The 140 monuments protected by UNESCO testify to the historical and cultural richness of this city.
The Ark Citadel
The Bolo Hauz Mosque
The Magok-i-Attari Mosque
The Po-i-Kalon complex
The Koch madrasas etc
What is included
All transportation in a private vehicle
All airport transfers
Accommodation as described in the program
Meals (3 per day)
Bottled water & tea
All the activities listed in the program
Entry fees at national parks and/or border zones listed in the program
Entry fees at museums and historical sites listed in the program
Domestic flights mentioned in the program
A contribution to our sustainable development projects
Organisation of the trip & local taxes
What is not included
International banking fees (PayPal, ...)
Travel & repatriation insurance
Visas / LOI (if applicable)
Alcoholic and soft drinks
Additional costs due to unexpected personal events (health, loss of luggage, ...)
Tips for guide & driver (always optional, always appreciated)
Through various ecotourism projects and initiatives, Nomad's Land aims to increase awareness of ecotourism and responsible travel, for a sustainable development of the tourism sector.
Rural development in Nepal
The Nepalko Sathi association leads its actions in favor of the Sherpas of Khembalung in the Arun valley (Province of Koshi). Nepalko Sathi
From Tumlingtar airport we reach by jeep the small town of Kahandbari where we are greeted by Kibutie and his family. From there, we climb to the small village of Gontala, in the heart of the actions of Nepalko Sathi (three days of walking), then we go up to Saissima, where Tendi Sherpa is rehabilitating the hamlet of his childhood. From Saissima it is possible to continue and make a loop towards Makalu and the impressive surrounding peaks (under tent).
Beyond the Glacier, a short film over the water in Central Asia
Conflicts over water in Central Asia are at the heart of the short film Beyond the Glacier, directed by David Rodríguez Muñiz in 2019. An interesting documentary that takes the form of a journey, from the glaciers of Kyrgyzstan to the sea of Kyrgyzstan. Aral.
Silk Road Yurt Camp
Another yurt camp that Nomad's Land is supporting so that shepherds of Song Kul Lake can get extra income from tourists. With the family of Sagyn and Jumabek, we have prepared this camp in order to keep all the nomadic authenticity. You can participate in the daily activities of nomads. Not far from the camp, you can access the shores of the lake but also the petroglyphs hidden in the nearby mountains.