Song-Kul Lake is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an altitude of 3013 m. above sea level. Surrounded by dramatic snow-covered mountain peaks, it is hidden in a flat, plate-like valley. It appears to lie under the sky itself and it feels as if you can touch the stars themselves. In a matter of weeks here it is possible to experience the rotation of the four seasons. Edelweiss, a mountain flower, grows in abundance here.
Itinerary (Subject to changes)
Day 1: Arrival in Bishkek 1855. Transfer to the hotel. Rest
Day 2: 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 3: 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 enor mous, 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 Moun tain. 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).
After lunch riding to Jalgyz Karagai pass (3400 m), over the Song-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, Song-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. .
Day 4: Breakfast. Horse riding about 4-6 hours along the lake. Local people live and graze their livestock on the meadows (jailoo) around the lake, from June till September. You will taste the wilder ness and freedom of nomadic life here. It will be possible to taste the Kyrgyz traditional drink kymyz (fermented mare’s milk) .
Day 5: Breakfast. Horse riding about 4-6 hours. Stone circles on the southern shore of Son-Kul lake. “Tash-Tulga” or “Tulga-Tash” means hearth, built of stones (trivet). In the archaeological literature they are called “eight-stone memorial fences”. These eight-stone memorials date to I century BC, which have analogies on the territories of Altai, Tuva and western Mongolia. In the Central Tien- Shan, they are rare and “not in all cemeteries of the Saks era”, which means that it must
be assumed that the custom of construction of memorials from eight stones was not typical to the whole population of the Saks in Tien-Shan time. Tash-Tulga consists of altars – eight-stone ones, and is not tied to the mounds, which in turn distinguishes them from the same Altai monuments. Each altar presents a laid out eight stones, arranged in a circle, with an average diameter of 1-1.3 meters. Nine such eight-stone memorials are lined up in a single line facing north-south for 200 m. Thus, Tash-Tulga has a planned structure with a numerical symbolism. Tash-Tulga, according to many researchers, from ancient times served as a ritual centre and a gathering place for the nomadic herdsmen. With the onset of warm season pastoralists dub their flocks on juicy, abundant with grass and water High Mountain pastures. North of the stone circles, closer to the lake, is where the burials are located on top of which broken up rubble is spread
Day 6: 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. .
Day 7: Day is free and easy before transfer to Airport in the late afternoon for Flight home.
Level of difficulty: This tour is recommended for beginners with small riding experience (riding time approximately 4-6 hours per day).
Size of the group: Minimum 4 pax Maximum 10 pax
Accommodation – During this tour you will have accommodation for 4-5 people in a Yurt.
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 the three 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 to be packed on the separate horse it will be possible for additional payment. Supplement for luggage horse is SGD 150 for the 3 days.
Equipment: 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 are provided (to return after used during the ride)
Health: If you have some specific sicknesses you need to bring own first aid kit with necessary medications.
– 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.
– Please keep in mind that people in the countryside do not stick to time and can be late for 20-30 minutes. So it may not always be on time according to the itinerary, especially when local people cook and serve food or organize horses for riding.
– 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.
The same tour program can be organised for another date upon request or for individual groups with the same conditions and same price.
LAND Cost per person in SGD: $ 1480
Single supplement: $ 1610 (only in the hotel and family run accommodation)
Land cost includes:
- Double room accommodation in Bishkek, Kochkor
- Four-people accommodation in the yurt
- Meal based on full board from breakfast in Day 1 to lunch in Day 5
- 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
- Stableman for trek
- Horses for the clients
- Transport for all transfers according the program
Cost does not include:
- Alcohol and soft drinks, deserts
- Horses for luggage
- Dinner in day 5
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
By Air Astana ~ Cost from $1100 including taxes