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| CENTRAL ASIA TOURS

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Central Asia Tours | Ecology

Activity Level: Advanced

Age Group: 18-35

LAND OF HEAVENLY HORSES

21 Days in Bishkek, Cholpan Ata, & Karakol
Departure Dates in September

  • Reserve now with a deposit, pay the remainder after we confirm the tour

  • Secure payment options available

  • Lodging Options: Hotel Rooms: & Hotel Rooms

Days 1-5: Bishkek

After arriving in Kyrgyzstan, we'll spend our first full day in Bishkek learning about the historical context of the country's landscape with a visit to the Kyrgyz State Historical Museum before exploring the massive Dordoi Bazaar.

We'll then spend our second full day on a day hike on the Ala-Archa River trail to get a look into Kyrgyzstan's incredibly beautiful nature.

For our third day, we'll learn about the country's zoology and geology with visits to the Zoological Museum and the Geological Museum.

We'll then spend our final day in Bishkek on a day trip to the nearby Alamedin Gorge to hike around the incredible hills and visit the hot springs there.

Days 6-9: Cholpan Ata

After taking a bus to Cholpon-Ata, we'll learn about the ancient geological art with a visit to the Museum of Petroglyphs.

Participants will then get a day off to freely explore the Cholpon-Ata's culture and history and enjoy its incredible beaches along Issyk-Kul.

We'll then spend our second full day learning more about Kyrgyzstan's history and culture with visits to the Historical Museum and the Cholpon-Ata Market.

Days 9-14: Karakol

After taking a bus to Karakol, we'll spend the afternoon, we'll get a final lesson in Kygyz history with a visit to the Karakol Historical Museum.

We'll then spend our first full day in Eastern Kyrgyzstan with a day hike on the Bekin Baiserkeev trail- home to the Sevel Bulls geological formation and folktales of local unicorns.

For our second full day in Karakol, we'll see how the nature of Kyrgyzstan has inspired local religious architecture with visits to the Dungan Mosque and the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal.

For our third full day in Karakol, we'll spend the morning on a hike in the Ak-Suu Arboretum before spending the afternoon exploring the petrogylphs of the Saimaluu-Tash Reserve Museum.

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For our fourth full day in the east of the country, we'll spend the day hiking nearby Przewalski Peak- a mountain named for the last species of wild horse in existence.

Participants will then get a day off to freely explore Karakol and the surrounding countryside's history and culture.

Days 15-17: Cholpon-Ata

After taking a bus back to Cholpon-Ata, we'll spend the afternoon relaxing on the beautiful Cholpon-Ata Beach.

We'll then spend our first full day back in Cholpon-Ata visiting the Oluya Cholpon Ata Mausoleum and the Ruh Ordo Cultural Center to learn about Kyrgyzstan's embrace of the cultures it has served as a crossroads for for centuries.

For our second full day back in Cholpon-Ata, we'll go for a day trip to nearby Kel-Kogur Lake for a final look at the nature and wildlife of Northern Kyrgyzstan.

Days 18-21: Bishkek

After taking a bus back to Bishkek, we'll spend the afternoon exploring how Kyrgyzstan's nature has inspired its art with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts.

We'll then spend our first full day back in Bishkek on a day hike on the Ak-Sai Waterfall trail in the Ala-Archa National Park.

We'll then spend our final day in Kyrgyzstan learning about the ancient art of eagle hunters on a day trip to nearby Bokanbaevo village.

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

1 September 2025

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Between the Ears: Transhumance

Central Asia Tours | Culture

Activity Level: Advanced

Age Group: 18-65

12 Days in Rural Kyrgyzstan
Departure Dates in September

  • Reserve now with a deposit, pay the remainder after we confirm the tour

  • Secure payment options available

  • Lodging Options: Guest Houses, Yurts, & Tents

Day 1: Bishkek

Pick-up from Manas Airport and transfer to guesthouse in Bishkek. Lunch at a local restaurant to sample some of the best of Central Asian cuisine. After lunch, tour the city with stops along the way at the Ash bazaar, the Ala Too Square, and several parks throughout the city. Dinner served at the local guesthouse where we spend the night.

Day 2:Naryn City

After breakfast, depart Bishkek and drive to Burana Tower — an 11th century minaret standing on the ruins of Balasagyn, the capital of the former Karakhanid Empire. After the tower, we’ll go for a 3 hour hike in the Konorchek Canyon, cutting through the narrow canyon and alongside spectacular sedimentary rock structures. Continue driving to Naryn City. Accommodation in shared rooms in a family-run guesthouse.

Day 3: Tash Rabat

After breakfast, we drive to the valley of Tash Rabat where a 15th century caravanserai stands in the heart of the mountain. The caravanserai historically served as a shelter for caravans along the Silk Road during their trip through the Tien Shan Mountains. At over 10,300 ft, Tash Rabat is one of the highest caravanserais in the world. Spend the night in the yurts of Nazira, who lives next to caravanserai and breeds livestock in this isolated valley. There is time in the afternoon to explore the area on your own.

Days 4-5: Ak Say Valley

Leaving Tash Rabat, drive towards the Chinese border following the ancient Silk Road. The dusty road leads through the Ak Say valley and beyond to the dry pasturelands of Kok Kyia near Kel Suu Lake. Arrive at the yurts of Meder, a yak breeder, who lives there with his family. Meet his family and explore the area before spending the night in a shared yurt.

Meet the horses for a briefing that includes Kyrgyz-specific protocol for how to take care of them, how to behave with them, how to tack up and how to ride them. This is led by Meder and a guide specializing in the region. Ride to Kel Suu Lake to become acquainted with your horse. Return to the yurts and finish loading things into the truck. Eat a home-cooked meal and spend the night in a common yurt.

Day 6:Kok Kyia

In the early morning, break down the yurt, tack up, and head out across the dramatic landscape to the Kok Kyia pasturelands with several head of cattle — a taste of what is to come. Arrive late afternoon at the yurt of Artyk and Jenishgul, whose livestock we will help to bring back to the village. Share dinner and spend the night in a common yurt.

Days 7-9: Transhumance

Time for the main event! After dismantling the yurt and loading it into the truck, we begin to move the sheep, cows, and horses (approximately 600 animals) down through arid pasturelands. Each evening, we build a camp, share dinner together, and sleep in tents. The pace is slow as we move livestock, but we ride past diverse and breathtaking scenery — vast valleys, high mountain passes, pine-covered slopes, snowcapped peaks, river gorges, and small villages. There’s time for pictures and to chat to learn more about the local culture and each other. We ride around 60 miles over three days. On the final day of the transhumance, we finish at a farm near the village and end the day with a party!

Day 10: Son Kul Lake​

Say goodbye to our hosts and drive to Son Kul Lake, the gem of Kyrgyzstan. Situated around 9,800 ft, the lake is a wellknown stopover for many birds during their migration between Siberia and India. Many of the shepherds who summer near the lake have left by this point in the season. A few wait until the first snow before moving. We stay with one of these families inside their warm yurt and have time to explore the area on foot. Night in a common yurt.

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Days 11-12: Bishkek

After breakfast, we leave Son Kul lake and drive back to Bishkek city. Lunch is on the way in Kochkor at a women’s felt cooperative. The women demonstrate how they handcraft “Shyrdaks”, the famous traditional Kyrgyz felt carpets. Arrive in Bishkek in the afternoon. Farewell dinner downtown and spend the night in a cozy guesthouse.

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

27 September 2024

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SILK ROAD ADVENTURE

Central Asia Tours | History

Activity Level: Moderate

Age Group: 18-65

8 Days in Tashkent
Departure Dates in May, September, & October

  • Reserve now with a deposit, pay the remainder after we confirm the tour

  • Secure payment options available

  • Lodging Options: Hotel Rooms & Private Hotel Rooms

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Days 1-8: Tashkent

After arriving in Tashkent, we'll spend the first day learning about the history of the country with visits to the State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan and the old neighborhood of Old Tashkent.

We'll then spend our second full day in Tashkentlearning more about the Timurid Empire with visits to the Amir Timur Museum and Amit Timur Square.

For our third full day in Tashkent, we'll learn about the cultural history of the Silk Road by learning about Silk Road cuisine from the Central Asia Plov Center and the country's largest market of Abu Sahiy.

For our next day in Tashkent, we'll go for a day hike on the Gulkamsay River trail to see the wilderness Silk Road merchants trekked across.

For our fifth full day in Uzbekistan, we'll learn about the application of religious art into Uzbek architecture with visits to the Teleshayakh Mosque and the Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art.

Participants will then get a day to freely explore the history and culture of Tashkent and its surrounding areas.

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

14 October 2024

19 May 2025

15 September 2025

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