Accommodation in the hotels / double-twin room sharing (7 nights)
A/C comfortable transport with professional guide-driver per itinerary
International and domestic air tickets
Photo and video charges
Tips and gratuities
WHAT TO EXPECT
History of the Great Silk Road
Day 1: Arrival Bishkek
Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel
Day 2: Bishkek – Chon Kemin (180 km)
Breakfast, and first half of the day we will have guided City Tour in Bishkek. Visit Pobeda Square (Victory Square), Duboviy Park (Oak Park), Сentral Ala-Too Square, the History Museum, National Philharmonic and many others places of interest. After traditional lunch you transfer to Chon Kemin gorge. On route to the gorge you will visit Burana Tower (an 11th century minaret) and an open air museum of Balbans (stone warriors). After an interesting excursion and climbing on the top of the tower is transfer to Chon Kemin gorge. Dinner with Kyrgyz family. Home stay.
Day 3: Chon Kemin – Issyk Kul – Karakol (300 km)
Breakfast and transfer to Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake in the world. The lake is called “the pearl of Central Asia”. For more than 1 500 years local people considered the lake to be a sacred one. You can come up to the lake and to see mountains all around it. We will have a break in Bokonbaeva village, where we will visit a local eagle-hunter. He hunts hares and foxes with the help of eagles (traditional way of nomads hunting). Then is transfer to famous gorge of Jeti Oguz, Red Rocks. It’s famous for its red rocks formations that have a name Seven Bulls – Jeti Oguz. Also you will see there the Broken Heart Mountain. We will make many photos there and if you want it is possible to go on a top of a mountain (20 minutes) to see a panorama view of the gorge! Then we continue our way to Karakol town. You will visit the Dungan mosque. One of its highlights is the fact that It was built in Chinese style without using a single metal nail. This will be followed by the visit of an old wooden Orthodox Church. Overnight at the hotel
Day 4: Karakol – Kol Say (260 km)
In the morning transfer to Kazakhstan. Border formalities. Arrival to Kolsai Lakes at approx. 12:00. Lunch. Transfer to Kaindy Lake. Sightseeing. Kaindy Lake (birch lake) is situated among magnificent pine forest at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level and is famous for its origin. It was formed in 1911 due to the powerful earthquake that triggered the landslide blocked the alley by the natural dam, and the water has flooded the valley. The water of the lake is very cold, that is why the needles of the flooded trees are well preserved and clearly visible through the transparent surface of the water, and dry stems of fir trees overlook the water surface, like the masts of the submarine squadron. It is impossible to describe in words all this mystical splendor of the lake – it is necessary to go there and see everything with own eyes.
Transfer to Saty settlement, accommodation in the guest house. Overnight in guest house.
Day 5: Kol Say – Altyn Emel (350 km)
Transfer to Altyn Emel nature park. Sightseeing at Charyn Canyon on the way.
Charyn Canyon is a natural complex, unique in its kind not only in Kazakhstan but also worldwide. It was formed during Paleogene and reminds the Grand Canyon of Colorado River in North America, although inferior to it in size. The height of the steep slopes of the canyon is up to 150-300 meters. Extraordinary dissection of the terrain is striking: the numerous ravines form a dense, chaotic network. Wind and water have created the beautiful “Valley of Castles”, where you are always surrounded by the fancy towers composed of sedimentary rocks. The length of the valley – more than 2 km, width – 20-80 meters. For millions of years the nature has been creating a unique architecture, erecting magnificent castles carefully and slowly. You can spend hours walking among the strange towers and columns, being surprised by the wild imagination of the nature. Dinner and overnignt in Altyn Emel guesthouse.
Day 6: Altyn Emel – Almaty (340 km)
Visit Singing Sands, 220 km north-east of Almaty, on the right bank of the Ili River. In dry weather this sand-dune emits а sound like an organ playing. The Singing Sands make an impression. The dune does not “sing” in wet weather (we do not guarantee it will sing). There are two sandstone hills, Big and Littel Kalkan, which hare over 120 m high and 4 km long. Despite the looseness of the sand and the strong winds, the singing dune does not move around the plain but has remained in the same place for millennia. 13:00-14:00 Lunch. Then – transfer to Tamgaly Tas.
Tamgaly Tas is a famous monument of ancient rock carvings – petroglyphs. They are likely to be carved more than two thousand years ago, approximately in XVI-XIV centuries BC. Among the depicted images there are mysterious Gods and Buddhistic inscriptions, widely known among experts of Indian culture. Archaeologists suggest that there used to be a sacred Buddhist temple, used for prayer and meditation by local people. In addition, Tamgaly Tas has preserved ancient Turkic runic inscriptions of VIII-IX centuries, which might be left by Kipchaks. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Almaty (city tour)
Breakfast at the hotel, full day city tour in Almaty. The tour starts with sightseeing in central part of Almaty. You will know more about history and development of the Southern capital of Kazakhstan and see its major attractions. You will visit a popular place for townpeople – the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is the great chance to experience an atmosphere of the real eastern market, its colors, smells and crowds. Then the tour will continue in one of the oldest Almaty parks – Panfilov Park, where one of the most beautiful wooden building in the world – Zenkov Cathedral is located. You will also visit the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, dedicated to the memory of the fighters who died for freedom and independence of the country. Afternoon: After exploration of sport, cultural and business areas of the city you will get to the Medeo Gorge, well known due to the highest mountain skating rink in the world and the dam, protecting the city from dangerous mudflow. Next destination is the Kok-Tobe hill where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will get by the picturesque winding mountain road. In Kok-Tobe Park you can stroll along the winding paths of the park, admire the magnificent panorama of the city from the special observation deck and visit the shop of national souvenirs. The tour ends with the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway. Overnight at the hotel.