Trekking to Lake Sary-Chelek

Trekking in Western Tien-Shan mountains

 

 

Profile of the route using Google Earth. Yukhin peak (5,130 m) Profile of the route using Google Earth. Yukhin peak (5,130 m)
Country of destination: Kyrgyzstan, Western Tien-Shan Mountains View the route map »»
Tour duration: 8 days / 7 nights, 10 days / 9 nights
Itinerary: (Osh-Osh) Osh – Aflatun settlement – Lake Sary-Chelek – Kara-Suu River Valley – Lake Iri-Kol – Osh
Itinerary: (Bishkek-Bishkek) Bishkek – Osh – Aflatun settlement – Lake Sary-Chelek – Kara-Suu River Valley – Lake Iri-Kol – Osh - Bishkek

GUARANTEED DATES OF THE GROUP TOUR IN 2024

OSH – OSH

Group #01. 29.06–06.07.2024
Group #02. 20.07–27.07.2024
Group #03. 10.08–17.08.2024

BISHKEK – BISHKEK

Group #01. 28.06–07.07.2024
Group #02. 19.07–28.07.2024
Group #03. 09.08–18.08.2024

The Western Tien-Shan Mountains are fraught with the real treasure of spectacular lakes including the grandiose lake Sary-Chelek. This adventure trekking tour takes you through the picturesque mountain passes, deep gorges, along the torrents of mountain rivers. In addition to the lake Sary-Chelek, you will encounter a number of other smaller lakes which look like a chain of crystal-clear diamonds scattered among the rocky mountain peaks.

Lake Sary-Chelek and its surroundings are full of enchantment. Located at the altitude of 1873m the lake is cupped in the basin among mountain ridges. With the length of 7,500m and the width of 2280m, the lake is 234m deep. It was formed as a result of tectonism of the area about 2000 years ago. On a fair day the extreme transparency of the water makes underwater inhabitants and deep water landscapes clearly visible. The lake is located on the territory of Sary-Chelek biosphere reserve and is surrounded with rocky cliffs, thick juniper and spruce forests reflecting in its water surface.

Join a trekking group and enjoy the great outdoors and beauty of the Tien-Shan Mountains!
  • OSH – OSH
  • BISHKEK – BISHKEK

 

  • Itinerary,
    Services & Cost
  • Visa
  • Route description,
    Personal gear, Services
  • Useful Information,
    Visa, permits

 

Tour program (Osh–Osh):
Day 1 Arrival in Osh Osh – Aflatun (350 km, 7 h).
Early arrival in Osh. Meeting at the airport of Osh. Breakfast.
Transfer from Osh to Aflatun river valley, which is located in the eastern part of the southern slope of the largest range in the Western Tien Shan – Chatkal Range. We set up a tent camp in a picturesque place, right at the confluence of the Aflatun and Utur rivers, in the shade of walnut trees.
Travel time: 7 hrs; altitude difference: +340 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 South Aflatun – Uyalma (18 km).
Start of the trekking route. Trekking up along the South Aflatun river valley to its confluence with the Uyalma tract. A rather good dirt road runs along the canyon of the river among the picturesque spruce forests, it perfect fits for the first day of the route.
Lunch in the birch forest by the river. Then we continue the trekking up along the gorge to the confluence of the rivers, which forms a wide valley covered with green lawns and spruce forest.
Travel time: 7 hrs; altitude difference: +600 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Day 3 Uyalma River – Kuldambes Pass (2750 m) – Lake Sary-Chelek.
Trekking over Kuldambes pass (2750 m) and then descent to Lake Sary-Chelek via Ashuu pass (2551 m).
Easy trekking over Kuldambes pass is done at the background of picturesque landscapes of Uyalma Valley and the Chatkal Ridge. After crossing Kuldambes pass we continue the way to Ashuu pass – the viewpoint with stunning views of lake Sary-Chelek and the valley. 
Descent from Ashuu pass to the lake Sary-Chelek valley. Lake Sary-Chelek is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes and the third deepest lake in Central Asia. Sary-Chelek resulted from an enormous landslide blocking the eponymous river, which happened about 10000 years ago.
Travel time: 8 hrs; altitude difference: +850 m; -850 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Day 4 Lake Sary-Chelek – Makmal Pass (2654 m) – Kara-Suu River Valley.
We leave lake Sary-Chelek shores and trek upstream the Sary-Chelek river to its confluence with the Makmal river. A path along the river will lead us first to alpine meadows, and then to the wide saddle-point of Makmal pass (2654 m). From the saddle of the pass it is possible to make a simple ascent to the nearby summit. Lunch at the pass.
Descent along the Kurumdu river to the Kara-Suu river valley.
Travel time: 7–8 hrs; altitude difference: +755 m; -755 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Ascent to Camp 1. Lenin peak
Day 5 Kara-Suu River Valley – Lake Kara-Suu.
After two intense previous days, the descent along the river valley to the lake Kara-Suu (Karakamysh) is very light and slow. The lake is incredibly beautiful and is located in a very picturesque gorge. The main highlight is the stunning view from the shores of the lake to the Min-Teke mountain range.
After lunch, horseback riding, acquaintance with the life of nomads.
Travel time: 4–5 hrs; altitude difference: -100 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1800 m).

Day 6 Kara-Suu River Valley – Kuturma pass (2446 m) – Lake Iri-Kol.
After trekking along lake Kara-Suu we start an easy ascent to Kuturma pass (2446 m). A picturesque path runs between juniper trees and rocks. From the pass there opens a stunning panorama of southern part of lake Sary-Chelek. Descent from the pass is quite steep, but not too long, and soon we pass through the flowering fields and reach the banks of the lake Iri-Kol.
Travel time: 6 hrs; altitude difference: +646 m; -446 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (2000 m).

Descent to Base Camp (3600 m). Lenin peak

Day 7 Lake Iri-Kol – Lake Sary-Chelek. Transfer to Osh.
Trekking from the lake Iri-Kol to the southern part of the lake Sary-Chelek. The route runs through apple orchards along numerous turquoise lakes. Along the way, magical landscapes of the most beautiful mountains of Kyrgyzstan continue to open at each new turn.
Transfer to Osh. Time for walking around the city.
Travel time: 9 hrs; altitude difference: -940 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at a hotel.

Day 8 Departure from Osh.
Transfer to the airport. The end of the program.

Meals: breakfast.

COST OF THE TOUR IN USD:

Cost of the tour for 1 person 990 USD
Single supplement +130 USD

This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.

The cost of the tour includes:

  • Meeting/seeing-off at airport according to tourist's flight arrival/departure time.
  • Comfortable transport for transfers according to the program.
  • Accommodation at a hotel 3* on twin/double sharing basis with breakfasts in Osh (1 night).
  • All needed documents arrangement:
    • permit for visiting the territory of Sary-Chelek Nature Reserve,
    • ecological fee.
  • Services during the trekking part of the trip:
    • full board (three hot meals a day),
    • accommodation in twin sharing tents,
    • services of an English-speaking mountain guide, cook and service staff,
    • horse packing services for personal and team baggage transportation.
  • Bivouac and kitchen equipment rental:
    • tents,
    • tables, chairs,
    • kitchenware,
    • WC.
  • Personal equipment rental (comes free):
    • sleeping bag,
    • telescopic ski sticks for trekking,
    • raincoat,
    • forehead flashlight,
    • camping sleeping pad,
    • metal thermos bottle,
    • tableware.
  • First-aid kit (group).
  • The cost of the tour does not include:

    • International flights.
    • Health insurance.
    • Meals in Osh (except breakfast at the hotels).

    Additional Services:

    • Supplement for additional night on arrival or departure in hotel 3*:
      • single room – 45 USD/per room /per night;
      • double room – 55 USD/per room /per night.

    Additional information::

    Throughout the trekking, all personal belongings and equipment are carried by horses.
    Since all your things are carried by horses, all you are to do is to enjoy the surrounding landscapes. Our guests travel light, carry only a camera, sunscreen and a bottle of water. The transportation of all equipment, both group and personal (including any personal belongings), is the duty of our staff.
    Equipment is provided free of charge for personal use:
    We provide our guests with trekking equipment for the entire duration of the tour for free:
    • sleeping bag,
    • telescopic ski sticks for trekking,
    • raincoat,
    • forehead flashlight,
    • camping sleeping pad,
    • metal thermos bottle,
    • tableware.
    Service staff.
    The escort team includes a guide, a cook, assistant chefs, waiters, dishwashers and handymen. The team sets up camping site, cooks food, sets the tables, washes dishes, controls the transportation of all equipment, both group and personal, and does all the invisible work in order to create comfort during the trekking.
    Meals
    Throughout the trekking tour, three times a day you will be provided with diverse hot meals, with attention to vegetarians. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared by our chef and his assistants, while guests enjoy the views and relax. Kitchenware for cooking and tableware are also provided in full.

    Accommodation:
    This tour comes with the following accommodation:

    Location Accommodation
    Osh Sunrise Osh hotel 3* or similar
    Tien-Shan Mountains Tent camp

    Transportation.
    Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:

    Group Transport
    Group 1–3 pax "Mitsubishi Delica"
    Group 4–15 pax "Mercedes-Benz Sprinter"

 

Visa to Kyrgyzstan

Under current rules visa-free stay within unlimited period on the territory of Kyrgyzstan is granted for the nationals of the following countries:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belorussia
  • Cuba
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Laos
  • Moldova
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Vietnam

List of states granted visa-free stay up to 90 days: Mongolia, Ukraine.

List of states granted visa-free stay up to 60 days

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Britain
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican

Visa-free access to Kyrgyzstan up to 30 days: Malaysia.

Read more about visa to Kyrgyzstan here »»

 

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 18km a day with altitude difference up to 850m. The route runs at the maximum altitude of 2750m above sea level (Kuldambes 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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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 provided by Central Asia Travel company

Sleeping bag.
Sleeping pad.
Raincoat.
Telescopic ski sticks for trekking.
Metallic vacuum flask 0.5 - 1.0 litres.
Forehead flashlight.

List of personal gear which tourist should bring himself

Trekking boots or hiking shoes and/or sandals (Teva, Keen or similar).
Assault jacket GORE-TEX (RedFox Vector GTX III or similar).
Suit POLARTEC (for instance, jacket BASK Kondor V3 + trousers BASK Vinson Pro V2)
Skin tight linen thermals POLARTEC thin thermals to wick moisture away from the skin (for instanceRedFox Dry Zone)
Thin Gloves, Fleece, Polartec, WindBloc and thick insulated gloves (for instance,RedFox Ice)
Peaked cap or panama hat + insulated winter hat.
Knitted T-shirts.
Thermal socks, like Boreal TREK Thermolite or similar + ordinary socks.
Backpack 40-60 l.
Lip balm.
Sun cream (SPF 25-40).
Sunglasses.
First-aid kit (personal).

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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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Meals

Throughout the trek programme you will be served hot meals three times a day.
Below you can find the menu of one of the trekking days:

Завтрак  

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.

Обед  

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.

Ужин  

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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Route Map

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

 

  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. How are meals organized during the trek programme?
  9. How about communication facilities during trek travel?
  10. How good is Internet access?
  11. 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 2750 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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. How good is Internet access?
    Internet access is available only in Osh. There are many internet-cafes there.
  11. 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.

 

  • Itinerary,
    Services & Cost
  • Visa
  • Route description,
    Personal gear, Services
  • Useful Information,
    Visa, permits

 

Tour program (Bishkek–Bishkek):
Day 1 Arrival in Bishkek. Domestic flight Bishkek – Osh.
Arrival in the international airport “Manas” (Bishkek).
Domestic flight to Osh. Meeting at the airport of Osh. Transfer and check in at the hotel after 14:00. Leisure time.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 Osh – Aflatun (350 km, 7 h).
Transfer from Osh to Aflatun river valley, which is located in the eastern part of the southern slope of the largest range in the Western Tien Shan – Chatkal Range. We set up a tent camp in a picturesque place, right at the confluence of the Aflatun and Utur rivers, in the shade of walnut trees.
Travel time: 7 hrs; altitude difference: +340 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1300 m).

Day 3 South Aflatun – Uyalma (18 km).
Start of the trekking route. Trekking up along the South Aflatun river valley to its confluence with the Uyalma tract. A rather good dirt road runs along the canyon of the river among the picturesque spruce forests, it perfect fits for the first day of the route.
Lunch in the birch forest by the river. Then we continue the trekking up along the gorge to the confluence of the rivers, which forms a wide valley covered with green lawns and spruce forest.
Travel time: 7 hrs; altitude difference: +600 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Day 4 Uyalma River – Kuldambes Pass (2750 m) – Lake Sary-Chelek.
Trekking over Kuldambes pass (2750 m) and then descent to Lake Sary-Chelek via Ashuu pass (2551 m).
Easy trekking over Kuldambes pass is done at the background of picturesque landscapes of Uyalma Valley and the Chatkal Ridge. After crossing Kuldambes pass we continue the way to Ashuu pass – the viewpoint with stunning views of lake Sary-Chelek and the valley. 
Descent from Ashuu pass to the lake Sary-Chelek valley. Lake Sary-Chelek is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes and the third deepest lake in Central Asia. Sary-Chelek resulted from an enormous landslide blocking the eponymous river, which happened about 10000 years ago.
Travel time: 8 hrs; altitude difference: +850 m; -850 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Day 5 Lake Sary-Chelek – Makmal Pass (2654 m) – Kara-Suu River Valley.
We leave lake Sary-Chelek shores and trek upstream the Sary-Chelek river to its confluence with the Makmal river. A path along the river will lead us first to alpine meadows, and then to the wide saddle-point of Makmal pass (2654 m). From the saddle of the pass it is possible to make a simple ascent to the nearby summit. Lunch at the pass.
Descent along the Kurumdu river to the Kara-Suu river valley.
Travel time: 7–8 hrs; altitude difference: +755 m; -755 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Ascent to Camp 1. Lenin peak
Day 6 Kara-Suu River Valley – Lake Kara-Suu.
After two intense previous days, the descent along the river valley to the lake Kara-Suu (Karakamysh) is very light and slow. The lake is incredibly beautiful and is located in a very picturesque gorge. The main highlight is the stunning view from the shores of the lake to the Min-Teke mountain range.
After lunch, horseback riding, acquaintance with the life of nomads.
Travel time: 4–5 hrs; altitude difference: -100 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1800 m).

Day 7 Kara-Suu River Valley – Kuturma pass (2446 m) – Lake Iri-Kol.
After trekking along lake Kara-Suu we start an easy ascent to Kuturma pass (2446 m). A picturesque path runs between juniper trees and rocks. From the pass there opens a stunning panorama of southern part of lake Sary-Chelek. Descent from the pass is quite steep, but not too long, and soon we pass through the flowering fields and reach the banks of the lake Iri-Kol.
Travel time: 6 hrs; altitude difference: +646 m; -446 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (2000 m).

Descent to Base Camp (3600 m). Lenin peak

Day 8 Lake Iri-Kol – Lake Sary-Chelek. Transfer to Osh.
Trekking from the lake Iri-Kol to the southern part of the lake Sary-Chelek. The route runs through apple orchards along numerous turquoise lakes. Along the way, magical landscapes of the most beautiful mountains of Kyrgyzstan continue to open at each new turn.
Transfer to Osh. Time for walking around the city.
Travel time: 9 hrs; altitude difference: -940 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at a hotel.

Day 9 Domestic flight Osh – Bishkek.
Transfer to the airport. Domestic flight to Bishkek. Meeting at the airport of Bishkek. Transfer and check-in at the hotel after 14:00. Leisure time.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Descent to Base Camp (3600 m). Lenin peak

Day 10 Departure from Bishkek.
Transfer to the airport. The end of the program.

Meals: breakfast.

COST OF THE TOUR IN USD:

Cost of the tour for 1 person 1250 USD
Single supplement +170 USD

This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.

The cost of the tour includes:

  • Meeting/seeing-off at airport according to tourist's flight arrival/departure time.
  • Comfortable transport for transfers according to the program.
  • Accommodation at a hotel 3* on twin/double sharing basis with breakfasts in Osh (2 nights) and Bishkek (1 night).
  • Domestic flight Bishkek – Osh – Bishkek (Economy class, weight limit for luggage is 15 kg).
  • All needed documents arrangement:
    • permit for visiting the territory of Sary-Chelek Nature Reserve,
    • ecological fee.
  • Services during the trekking part of the trip:
    • full board (three hot meals a day),
    • accommodation in twin sharing tents,
    • services of an English-speaking mountain guide, cook and service staff,
    • horse packing services for personal and team baggage transportation.
  • Bivouac and kitchen equipment rental:
    • tents,
    • tables, chairs,
    • kitchenware,
    • WC.
  • Personal equipment rental (comes free):
    • sleeping bag,
    • telescopic ski sticks for trekking,
    • raincoat,
    • forehead flashlight,
    • camping sleeping pad,
    • metal thermos bottle,
    • tableware.
  • First-aid kit (group).
  • The cost of the tour does not include:

    • International flights.
    • Health insurance.
    • Meals in Osh (except breakfast at the hotels).

    Additional Services:

    • Supplement for additional night on arrival or departure in hotel 3*:
      • single room – 50 USD/per room /per night;
      • double room – 60 USD/per room /per night.

    Additional information::

    Throughout the trekking, all personal belongings and equipment are carried by horses.
    Since all your things are carried by horses, all you are to do is to enjoy the surrounding landscapes. Our guests travel light, carry only a camera, sunscreen and a bottle of water. The transportation of all equipment, both group and personal (including any personal belongings), is the duty of our staff.
    Equipment is provided free of charge for personal use:
    We provide our guests with trekking equipment for the entire duration of the tour for free:
    • sleeping bag,
    • telescopic ski sticks for trekking,
    • raincoat,
    • forehead flashlight,
    • camping sleeping pad,
    • metal thermos bottle,
    • tableware.
    Service staff.
    The escort team includes a guide, a cook, assistant chefs, waiters, dishwashers and handymen. The team sets up camping site, cooks food, sets the tables, washes dishes, controls the transportation of all equipment, both group and personal, and does all the invisible work in order to create comfort during the trekking.
    Meals
    Throughout the trekking tour, three times a day you will be provided with diverse hot meals, with attention to vegetarians. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared by our chef and his assistants, while guests enjoy the views and relax. Kitchenware for cooking and tableware are also provided in full.

    Accommodation:
    This tour comes with the following accommodation:

    Location Accommodation
    Osh Sunrise Osh hotel 3* or similar
    Tien-Shan Mountains Tent camp
    Bishkek Olive Bishkek Hotel 3* or similar

    Transportation.
    Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:

    Group Transport
    Group 1–3 pax "Mitsubishi Delica"
    Group 4–15 pax "Mercedes-Benz Sprinter"

 

Visa to Kyrgyzstan

Under current rules visa-free stay within unlimited period on the territory of Kyrgyzstan is granted for the nationals of the following countries:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belorussia
  • Cuba
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Laos
  • Moldova
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Vietnam

List of states granted visa-free stay up to 90 days: Mongolia, Ukraine.

List of states granted visa-free stay up to 60 days

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Britain
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican

Visa-free access to Kyrgyzstan up to 30 days: Malaysia.

Read more about visa to Kyrgyzstan here »»

 

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 18km a day with altitude difference up to 850m. The route runs at the maximum altitude of 2750m above sea level (Kuldambes 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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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 provided by Central Asia Travel company

Sleeping bag.
Sleeping pad.
Raincoat.
Telescopic ski sticks for trekking.
Metallic vacuum flask 0.5 - 1.0 litres.
Forehead flashlight.

List of personal gear which tourist should bring himself

Trekking boots or hiking shoes and/or sandals (Teva, Keen or similar).
Assault jacket GORE-TEX (RedFox Vector GTX III or similar).
Suit POLARTEC (for instance, jacket BASK Kondor V3 + trousers BASK Vinson Pro V2)
Skin tight linen thermals POLARTEC thin thermals to wick moisture away from the skin (for instanceRedFox Dry Zone)
Thin Gloves, Fleece, Polartec, WindBloc and thick insulated gloves (for instance,RedFox Ice)
Peaked cap or panama hat + insulated winter hat.
Knitted T-shirts.
Thermal socks, like Boreal TREK Thermolite or similar + ordinary socks.
Backpack 40-60 l.
Lip balm.
Sun cream (SPF 25-40).
Sunglasses.
First-aid kit (personal).

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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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Meals

Throughout the trek programme you will be served hot meals three times a day.
Below you can find the menu of one of the trekking days:

Завтрак  

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.

Обед  

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.

Ужин  

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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Route Map

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

 

  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. How are meals organized during the trek programme?
  9. How about communication facilities during trek travel?
  10. How good is Internet access?
  11. 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 2750 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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. How good is Internet access?
    Internet access is available only in Osh. There are many internet-cafes there.
  11. 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.

Photo of the tour:

Trekking to lake Sary-Chelek Trekking to lake Sary-Chelek Trekking to lake Sary-Chelek Trekking to lake Sary-Chelek

View all photos »»

Video of tours to Kyrgyzstan:

Сharms of Kyrgyzstan’s nature
Сharms of Kyrgyzstan’s
nature
Riding motorbikes through KyrgyzstanRiding motorbikes
through Kyrgyzstan
RideThePlanet: Kyrgyzstan WhitewaterRideThePlanet:
Kyrgyzstan Whitewater
In an off-road vehicle across Kyrgyzstan
In an off-road vehicle across Kyrgyzstan

View all videos »»

Video: Travel in the mountains. Trekking to Lake Sary Chelek
(Western Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan), June 2015

 

Our company organised a hike (informative walking tour) to high-altitude Lake Sary Chelek for 11 representatives of different tourism agencies from Brazil, Spain, Great Britain, Chile and Russia, who, together with our united team, had a nice time of it in the country of turquoise lakes, deep gorges and picturesque mountain passes, away from the civilization, in the very heart of the Sary Chelek Nature Reserve.

The expedition participants enjoyed the beauty of primeval nature, admired the simplicity of the local people’s life, participated in various master classes and partook of oriental food prepared by our professional cooks, while our team ensured a stable functioning of the camps.

Simple but filled with fairytale landscapes and bright impressions, a mountain tour like this is the best version of a team building event! Activities in the mountains tend to reveal a person’s potential completely, while difficulties and joys that people experience together make them naturally closer!

 

© Material presented by «Central Asia Travel».
Copying and using all presented information and material is possible ONLY by authority of the originator.

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