To famous lakes of western Tien-Shan by horses

 

Country: Kyrgyzstan, Western Tien-Shan mountains. View the route map »»
Tour duration: 14 days  / 13 nights.
Active part duration: 12 days / 11 nights.
Itinerary: Osh - Aflatun settlement - Lake Sary-Chelek - Arkyt settlement - Osh.

 

This trekking is designed for the fans of horse riding who are keen to visit picturesque, intact corners of nature. The trek takes place in the mountains of Western Tien Shan and comprises a vast area, including the Kirghiz natural sanctuary “Sarichelek”.
We start from the garden-clad Fergana valley, a pearl of Central Asia, through which the Great Silk Road passed. The mountainous area of Western Tien Shan is regarded as very attractive in the region, owing to its immense valleys and peaks exceeding 5000 metres. We make our way in picturesque valleys, cross several passes that lead to great canyons, cloudless alpine lakes and foamy mountain rivers. We’ll visit the large valley of the Chatkal river with a pristine nature. Twice we’ll cross the Chatkal ridge by simple passes in the vicinity of the highest peak with the same name - Chatkal (4503m). Also during the trek we shall be meeting with warm - hearted locals, so that we can learn of their simple nomadic life and taste their local round bread and yogurt with aroma tea.

  • ITINERARY,
    SERVICES & COST
  • ITINERARY IN DETAIL,
    ROUTE MAP
  • FAQ,
    Visa, permits
  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION,
    EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
  • OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS
    & LEISURE ACTIVITIES

 

Itinerary
Day 1. Early arrival to Osh. Meet and greet in the airport. Transfer from Osh to Aflatun settlement. Accommodation in Camp 1 (1300m; 350km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 2. Trekking up along the Yushniy Aflatun river. Accommodation in Camp 2 (1700m; 18km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 3. Passage up along the Ashuu-Ter river valley to Ashuu-Ter pass and descent to the North. Accommodation in Camp 3 (2100m; 11km; approx. 5hrs).
Day 4. Ride down by the North. Aphlatun river canyon to the Chatcal river valley. Accommodation in Camp 4 (2700m; 11km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 5. Ride from Tegerek-Say river to Kara-Tokoy river. Accommodation in Camp 5 (2900m; 18km; approx. 7hrs).
Day 6. Radial walk to Kara-Tokoy lake and ride across Kokuy-Bel pass. Accommodation in Camp 6 (2600m; 8km; approx. 3hrs).
Day 7. Ride up along Ak-Suu river and further by the South. Kara-Kuldja river valley. Retrace to Camp 6 (6km; approx. 2hrs).
Day 8. Ride across Kara-Kuldja pass and descent to the North. Accommodation in Camp 7 (2400m; 31km; approx. 7hrs).
Day 9. Ride up along Okun river across not hard Okum pass and ride down to the valley of Kara-Suu river. Accommodation in Camp 8 (2300m; 25km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 10. Accommodation in Camp 9 (1750m; 24km; approx. 7hrs).
Day 11. Trekking up to and over Kuturma pass and then descent to lake Iri-Kol. Accommodation in Camp 10 (1300m; 28km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 12. Ride up along Chacha-Kyol, Kile-Kyol, Sary-Chelek and Bokaly lakes. Accommodation in Camp 11 (850m; 26km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 13. Transfer Arkit village - Osh. Accommodation at hotel (320km; approx. 6hrs).
Day 14. Departure.
Cost of the tour in USD/person:
The cost of the tour for 1 person 1930 USD/person
*Group: from 6 persons.
*Please contact our operators for all individual requests: adventure@centralasia-travel.com
The cost tour includes: The cost tour doesn’t include:
Meeting and seeing off in airport;
All transfers on comfortable air-conditioned transport according program;
Hotel accommodation 3* in Osh in twins / double rooms, with breakfast;
Full service during trekking part:
  - Full board (three hot meals a day);
  - Accommodation in double tents;
  - Cost for the rent of saddle horses;
  - Mountain guide, cook, service staff;
  - Team and horse packing services;
  - Individual equipment (camping mat, personal crockery: bowls, mugs, spoons);
  - Bivouac equipment (dining-tent, tables, chairs, kitchenware, dining sets, toilet-tent, gas stoves etc.);
First aid kit;
Preparation of necessary documents:
  - Permit for staying at territory of National Park;
  - Рermit to zone of border control;
  - Ecological fees.
International air flights;
Individual equipment (shoes, clothes, sleeping bag);
Medical insurance;
Alcohol drinks.

 

ITINERARY IN DETAIL

Day 1. Early arrival to Osh. Meet and greet in the airport. Transfer from Osh to Aflatun settlement. Accommodation in Camp 1 (1300m).
Distance: 350km; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: +300m.

We are to spend first night in mountains at the confluence of two rivers in picturesque place. The main thing before having enthralling and quite long-continued adventure is to have a good sleep and have a good rest.

Day 2. Preparation to the route. Start of the active part of the route. Riding up along South. Aphlatun river. Accommodation in Camp 2 (1700m).
Distance: 18km; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: +400m.
Meeting with horses. Trial riding. Riding up along the gorge of South. Aphlatun river to the place of its confluence with Uialma river. First day is always difficult with its novelty of feelings. Good ground road leads by South. Aphlatun river canyon among spectacular forest of the Tien-Shan firs. Motley green grasses of the Alpine meadows clear contrasts with severe beauty of mountains. Camp is on a bank of Ashuu-Ter river.

Day 3. Passage up along the Ashuu-Ter river valley to Ashuu-Ter pass (3368m) and descent to the North. Aphlatun river valley. Accommodation in Camp 3 (2100m).
Distance: 11km; approx. 5hrs. Altitude difference: +600m.

Long-continued ride to Ashuu-Ter (Middle Aphlatun) pass will reward us with beauty of grand wall of the Chatkal Ushba (4346m) - one of the most famous summits of Chatkal ridge. Soon we ride down by good path to the up Alpine zone of the North. Aphlatun river valley where we settle for overnight at comfortable grassy glades.

Day 4. Ride down by the North. Aphlatun river canyon to the Chatcal river valley. Ride to Tegerek-Say river. Accommodation in Camp 4 (2700m).
Distance: 11km; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: +1200m / -500m.

Valley before the canyon of the North. Aphlatun river is wide. By way we can make not long-continued excursion to Aphlatun lake, which was founded by one of tributary. Canyon of North. Aphlatun river amazes with huge size of its vertical walls. Good path leads us to wide valley of Chatcal river, where some time later we going to turn to Tegerek-Say river. Camp is set at grassy hills of its bank.

Day 5. Ride from Tegerek-Say river to Kara-Tokoy river. Accommodation in Camp 5 (2900m).
Distance: 18km; approx. 7hrs. Altitude difference: +200m.

During short day passage from Tegerek-Say river to Kara-Tokoy river we can see greatness of nature and unbelievable beauty of the Chatkal river valley with one"s own eyes.

Day 6. Excursion to Kara-Tokoy lake and ride across Kokuy-Bel pass (3037m).  Accommodation in Camp 6 (2600m).
Distance: 8km; approx. 3hrs. Altitude difference: -300m.

Today we are to not hard riding excursion up along Kara-Tokoy river to the wonderful secluded lake called Kara-Tokoy. At the second part of the day we are to not difficult ride across kokuy-Bel pass (3037m) to the Ak-Suu river valley.

Day 7. Ride up along Ak-Suu river and further by the South. Kara-Kuldja river valley. Retrace to Camp 6.
Distance: 6km; approx. 2hrs.

We ride up by Alpine high grasses of the South. Kara-Kuldja river valley to the foot of the pass of the same name. Our way is lying in immediate closeness to Talass Alatau ridge with summits of more then 4000m altitudes. One of these summits is Kara-Kuldja (4115m). Camp is on a bank.

Day 8. Ride across Kara-Kuldja pass (3161m) and descent to the North. Kara-Kuldja river valley. Accommodation in Camp 7 (2400m).
Distance: 31km; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: -200m.

We overcome Kara-Kuldja pass and make descent by path to the valley of North. Kara-Kuldja river. Good path leads us to this pass very gently, the pass is situated at the junction place of Chatkal ridge and Talass Alatau ridge. From the saddle the path goes down gently to North. Kara-Kuldja river passing a few its tributaries. Luxury landscapes accompany us from both sides of our way. Camp is at comfortable place on a bank of the river.

Day 9. Ride up along Okun river across not hard Okum pass (2649m) and ride down to the valley of Kara-Suu river. Accommodation in Camp 8 (2300m).
Distance: 25km; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: +700m / -800m.

Grand view at vast Talass Alatau ridge appears from the line of the ascent to the pass. We can see all its peaks and precipices of rocks. Okun river is falling around southern-eastern extremity of Atoinak ridge and divides two tracts - Karagay-Tumshuk and May-Litor. The uppers of Okun river (called May-Litor river) round Shukoletau summit (3054m) from South-North, and the saddle of Okum pass is not far away from this place. Descent to Kara-Suu river is not hard, and very soon we are going to come to the place of pitching our camp.

Day 10. Accommodation in Camp 9 (2300m).
Distance: 24km; approx. 7hrs. Altitude difference: +1100m / -1450m.
This day is the day of the rest with having not exhausting excursion to Kara-Suu (Karakamish) lake and to the waterfall where the water leaves the lake spouting with impetuous stream and rushes down by huge boulders of a swell. Compact mountain massif called Min-Teke appears from banks to the South-East of the lake, and mountain ridge dividing us from several lakes (there are Kely-Kel, Iry-Kel, Chacha-Kel, Bockaly etc. lakes which are situated in close neighborhood with huge Sary-Chelek lake) is rising above western side of Kara-Kamish lake. At will not hard ascent to the saddle of Kuturma pass (2446m) is possible, where incredible view at all cavity with scattering of lakes appears from.

Day 11. Trekking up to and over Kuturma pass (2446m) and then descent to lake Iri-Kol. Accommodation in Camp 10 (1300m).
Distance: 28кm; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: +700m / -550m.

This is interesting in its impressions day. We ride up along valley of Kara-Suu and Kyzyl-Suu (the uppers of Kara-Suu river) rivers and then having overcome Makmal pass (2654m) we get to Kara-Tokoy tract. Having descended along Sary-Chelek river to the valley we turn out at the shore of majestic lake - Sary-Chelek lake - which is considered as a pearl of beauty in area of Chatkal ridge. It’s going to be difficult, long-continued and most memorable day with great impressions. This day is going to end with overnight on the Sary-Chelek lake shore.

Day 12. Ride up along Chacha-Kyol, Kile-Kyol, Sary-Chelek and Bokaly lakes. Accommodation in Camp 11 (850m).
Distance: 26кm; approx. 6hrs. Altitude difference: -450m.

Today we are to say Goodbye to stunning Sary-Chelek lake. It’s going to be not long ascent to Ashuu pass and descent to Kechkil river valley (Arkit-Say river). Easy pass connects valleys of Sary-Chelek river and Arkit-Say river. Emerald-blue water of the lake and its shores having become overgrown with Tien-Shan firs appear from the saddle of the pass. Camp is on a bank of the river.

Day 13. Transfer Arkit village - Osh. Accommodation at hotel (320km; approx. 6hrs).

Day 14. Transfer to airport. Departure.

Route Map

Route Map

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who can attempt this trek? Should the participants of the tour have prior trekking experience or prepare themselves physically?
  2. Can people with health problems participate in this programme?
  3. Is travel insurance compulsory for this tour?
  4. What is the weather like in the mountains?
  5. Is it possible to swim in the lakes?
  6. What are the probabilities of encountering some dangerous creatures (besides relatively harmless mosquitoes) such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, mites etc.?
  7. Is it allowed to pick up mountain herbs and flowers? Which plants should be avoided?
  8. What should and what shouldn’t I take with me?
  9. How are meals organized during the trek programme?
  10. How about communication facilities during trek travel?
  11. How good is Internet access?
  12. Visa, permits.
1.

Who can attempt this trek? Should the participants of the tour have prior trekking experience or prepare themselves physically?
This trekking is rather easy and is suitable for anyone with good physical condition. Tourist above 16 and under 65 years of age can join this tour provided they have no serious health problems and their doctor does not object to participation in such kind of tourist activities. Children above 14 can also join this trekking tour provided they are accompanied by their parents.

The offered trekking tour can be graded as simple-average, which means no special skills in mountaineering are required. The escort team consists of an experienced high altitude guide able to choose the right path and advise you on the precautions to be taken in each section of the route. During the tour you will have to trek on foot long distances. Therefore the only condition for those willing to participate in this trekking programme is absence of medical contraindications to such activities.
 

2. Can people with health problems participate in this programme?
Please note, that the route of the tour runs through mountains with considerable altitude differences (the maximum altitude is 4140 m above sea level). The participants can experience some symptoms of altitude sickness which disappear when the descent from the mountains starts. Therefore the tour may not be suitable for persons suffering from heart or respiratory problems (hypertension, asthma). We recommend you to consult your doctor before planning this tour.
 
3. Is travel insurance compulsory for this tour?
Yes, it is. The medical insurance of up to $ 10,000- 15,000 should be obtained before leaving your homeland.
 
4. What is the weather like in the mountains?
In the summer the weather is fair and sunny with daytime temperature reaching +28°С. At night, however, and on rainy days the temperature drops to +8 or + 10ºС which makes the availability of warm jacket rather useful.
 
5. Is it possible to swim in the lakes?
Most definitely it is. In summertime the temperature in the lakes is about 17-19°С. No wonder many travelers like to experience some bracing bathing. So don’t forget your swimsuit.
 
6. What are the probabilities of encountering some dangerous creatures (besides relatively harmless mosquitoes) such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, mites etc.?
Though such a probability exists, it is too small as proved by our long experience of organizing trekking tours.
 
7. Is it allowed to pick up mountain herbs and flowers? Which plants should be avoided?
It is advisable not to touch the plants you are not familiar with as some of them can be rather toxic (for example giant fennel can sting you when you touch its leaves). It is forbidden to pick up Red Book plants. The mountain slopes are home to many medicinal herbs including mint, origan, thyme, which you can pick up and brew a delicious ‘mountain tea’. The banks of the rivers are covered with bushes of dog rose and sea-buckthorn.
 
8. What should and what shouldn’t I take with me?

We provide spacious two person tents and big mess tent to be used in inclement weather, as well as foodstuff, tableware, tables, chairs, portable WC, first aid kit, gas burner and gas cylinders (or primus stove and gasoline) in case it is raining and the wood is wet and does not burn.

List of personal gear:

rucksack
sleeping bag
trekking sticks
trekking boots with proper protectors
track shoes or trainers
warm and windproof clothes
a rain cloak
stock of clothes
headwear (a warm hat and a cap to protect from sun)
sunglasses
sun protection cream
personal first aid kit
electric flashlight with spare supply of batteries
other personal belongings you may find necessary during the trekking trip

You should also have on you any special medicine you usually take in case of health problems. Should you need any detailed information regarding personal gear you can contact our tour operators.
 

9.

How are meals organized during the trek programme?

You will be escorted by a cook and other service staff responsible for arranging regular and tasty meals. You don’t need to bother about tableware, kitchen utensils and equipment as we provide all these as well as tables, chairs, and tents throughout the whole trek programme.

Drinking water is provided from crystal-clear mountain springs. However, it is recommended to drink only boiled water. In cities and during long transfers it is advisable to use bottled water.

Below you can find the menu of one of the trekking days:

Breakfast:
First dish: cereal porridge (semolina, oats, rice).
Second dish: cooked eggs with sausages, omelette, pancakes, thick pancakes, toasted bread, cottage cheese pancake, etc.
Buffet table: cheese, sausage, assorted bread, butter, ketchup, marmalade, chocolate paste, sweets, cookies, wafers, dried cream, honey, sugar, halavah.
Drinks: selection of hot drinks, such as tea (black and green), coffee, cocoa.

Lunch:
Buffet lunch: assorted bread, fresh salads, canned fish, cheese, sheep cheese, assorted meat appetizers, tea (black and green) sweets, cookies, wafers, fruits (apples, pears), dried fruits (apricot, raisin, figs, etc.), assorted nuts.
*In case of camp lunch first course is added.

Dinner:
First course - soup (European or local cuisine).
Second course - various dishes of European cuisine with assorted garnish, as well as a choice of local dishes.
Buffet table: assorted bread, cheese, sausage, ketchup, spices (mustard, various dressings), sweets, cookies, wafers, sugar.
Drinks: selection of hot drinks, such as tea (black and green), coffee, cocoa, thin jelly.
Dessert: watermelon, melon, fruits.
 

10. How about communication facilities during trek travel?
Cellular telecommunication is available in Osh and on the way to Aflatun settlement. In the mountainous areas, especially in mountain valleys, there are difficulties with signal receipt. Tour manager is equipped with portable satellite terminal to provide uninterrupted external link. Moreover, the group is provided with walkie-talkie to ensure trouble-free connection between trekkers.
 
11. How good is Internet access?
Internet access is available only in Osh. There are many internet-cafes there.
 
12. Visa, permits.
Kyrgyzstan has considerably simplified its visa policy and today citizens of 70 countries of the world enjoy visa-free access to this Central Asian state.
Visa-free entry to the territory of Kyrgyzstan is granted for the nationals of the Russia, the CIS countries and a number of citizens of European and other foreign countries.
The details on Kyrgyz visa, rules of entry and stay on the territory of Kyrgyzstan you can find here.
To enter the territory of Kyrgyzstan the foreign national must have a foreign passport valid for not less than 6 months following the termination date of the tour.
It is also important that before their trip to Kyrgyzstan foreign nationals arrange travel medical insurance with coverage of up to $10,000-15,000.

In case you can’t find the answer to your question on our site, please call our tour operators team for assistance.

ICQ: 411758424 - touroperators of mountain programs and adventure types of tourism.
E-mail: adventure@centralasia-travel.com

 

Itinerary brief description

This trekking is rather easy and is suitable for anyone with good physical condition. Tourist above 16 and under 65 years of age can join this tour provided they have no serious health problems and their doctor does not object to participation in such kind of tourist activities. Children above 14 can also join this trekking tour provided they are accompanied by their parents.

Trekking to high altitude lake Sary-Chelek and other lakes of the Western Tien-Shan.

Trekking on foot covers from 10km to 18 km a day with altitude difference up to 1500m. The route runs at the maximum altitude of 3368m above sea level (Ashuu-Ter pass).

Each participant carries his own rucksack with personal belongings, supply of drinking water and first-aid kit. The rest of the gear (the weight of the gear should not exceed 15kg per person), as well as group camping equipment and supply of provisions is transported by pack-horses. Typically the region enjoys rather stable weather: it’s warm and sunny, though some rain is possible, which relieves the monotony of the trip. The daytime temperatures range between +15° to +30°С, whereas at night the temperature can drop as low as +8 or +10°С.

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Service staff

Throughout the trekking travel you will be escorted by high altitude guide, who is the tour manager and our authorized representative. He is responsible for the safety and security of the group as well as decision making, including any changes in the route due to unforeseen circumstances that could threaten the health and well-being of the participants.

The tour is serviced by a team whose responsibility is to pitch and take down tents, lay the table for meals, wash up, pack the loads on horses, make fire and the like.

The team also includes a dedicated professional cook and a horse handler who is responsible for proper packing of the loads on horses and porterage.

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Equipment on route

- Tents are used for accommodation of two persons. The tents are wind-resisting and water-proof and are suitable for any weather conditions. For your comfort the tents are equipped with firm air-beds as well as comfortable sleeping bags with individual lining.
- Tent camp also has a big hangar-like mess tent with tables and camp chairs.
- Throughout the trek we provide quality tableware.
- To cook dishes during the trek we provide gas burner with gas cylinders or a supply of firewood.
- The tent camp is equipped with portable WC.

Any trekking group is provided with portable radio transmitters and GPS navigator.

We also offer the travelers small a flashlight for forehead with extra batteries.

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List of personal gear

rucksack
sleeping bag
trekking sticks
trekking boots with proper protectors
track shoes or trainers
warm and windproof clothes
a rain cloak
stock of clothes
headwear (a warm hat and a cap to protect from sun)
sunglasses
sun protection cream
personal first aid kit
electric flashlight with spare supply of batteries
other personal belongings you may find necessary during the trekking trip

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Meals

Throughout the trek programme you will be served hot meals three times a day. (Please note that in cities we provide only breakfast, whereas lunch and dinner, or any additional food extravagance and alcoholic beverages can be arranged extra.) Below you can find the menu of one of the trekking days:

Breakfast:
First dish: cereal porridge (semolina, oats, rice).
Second dish: cooked eggs with sausages, omelette, pancakes, thick pancakes, toasted bread, cottage cheese pancake, etc.
Buffet table: cheese, sausage, assorted bread, butter, ketchup, marmalade, chocolate paste, sweets, cookies, wafers, dried cream, honey, sugar, halavah.
Drinks: selection of hot drinks, such as tea (black and green), coffee, cocoa.

Lunch:
Buffet lunch: assorted bread, fresh salads, canned fish, cheese, sheep cheese, assorted meat appetizers, tea (black and green) sweets, cookies, wafers, fruits (apples, pears), dried fruits (apricot, raisin, figs, etc.), assorted nuts.
*In case of camp lunch first course is added.

Dinner:
First course - soup (European or local cuisine).
Second course - various dishes of European cuisine with assorted garnish, as well as a choice of local dishes.
Buffet table: assorted bread, cheese, sausage, ketchup, spices (mustard, various dressings), sweets, cookies, wafers, sugar.
Drinks: selection of hot drinks, such as tea (black and green), coffee, cocoa, thin jelly.
Dessert: watermelon, melon, fruits.

Starting point

Tourists should arrive to Osh - the starting point of the tour on the date the tour begins. All expenses connected with early arrival or late departure on completion of the tour should be covered by tourists themselves. In this case our company can arrange transfers to and from the airport as well as book the hotel.

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Optional Excursions & Leisure Activities


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Heritage tour of Uzbekistan.
Tour duration: 6 days.

View the route map »»

The Orient is a delicate thing: fine pattern, delicate silk, fine arts, graceful and charming dances… The tour across Uzbekistan called “The Casket of Oriental Adventures” will guide you through the most interesting places of this wonderful country. We understand that you wish to manage seeing the most impressive, eye-catching, important and unique things during your short vacation in order to be able to estimate true worth of magnificent monuments of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, in order to be able to enjoy surrounding nature and its generous gifts!

 
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Photo of the tour:

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Copying and using all presented information and material is possible ONLY by authority of the originator.

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