Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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steven
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby steven » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:18 am

Please read and post reports on the Karkara border crossing between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan below.

We summarize all info on the Kazakhstan border crossings and Kyrgyzstan border crossings pages.

If you want to find people to share a ride across the border, see our rideshare topics:

Almaty to Karakol

Karakol to Almaty
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julistan
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Re: Karakara valley border crossing

Postby julistan » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:31 am

Hi Stevens,

I will try to cross that border this next tuesday hoping the kazakhs guards have heard something about the free visa pilot programme. I printed a newspaper page in case of.
As well, i was wondering what would happen if the kazakhs dont let me come in. Would the kirghizs give me a new stamp, cancel my exit stamp or the beginning of the problems?
Thanks
Julien
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bertil
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Re: Karakara valley border crossing

Postby bertil » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:26 am

Hi Julistan,

I am eager to here if you crossed the Karkara border. The[https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-central-asia/Kazakhstan/kegen-to-karakol-any-guest-house?page=1#post_21416365] latest information] I have found about this crossing is two months old and suggest that it was closed.

I plan on crossing that border on Wednesday (from Kazakhstan) so I would love to hear if it is feasible!

Thanks
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bertil
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Re: Karakara valley border crossing

Postby bertil » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:51 am

Hi there,

I crossed this border a few weeks ago. It all went very smooth. It was easy to get a shared taxi from Almaty to Kegen (2,000 KZT pp). Our taxi driver drove us to the border but asked us to suggest a price - we suggested 4,000 KZT for the entire car which he was very very happy about! In total we had cleared all paper work and entered Kyrgyzstan four hours after we started driving from Almaty. On the Kyrgyz side we were picked up by CBT. But cars passed every 30-60 minutes, so I reckon it would have been possible to hitch-hike!
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CyclingHome
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Re: Karakara valley border crossing

Postby CyclingHome » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:29 am

we d like to cross the border arround the 9th of may 2015 from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan. our schedule is a bit restricted because we have to leave chiana on the 1st of may as well as the 15 day visa free stay in Kazakhstan. maybe we are a bit early for "mid" may but not hopeless too soon ;-) it would be great to cycle that route. Any one know when this krgystan/ Kazakhstan border will be open?

cheers
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cyclingthe6
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Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby cyclingthe6 » Fri May 15, 2015 6:31 am

Just called an adventure company in Almaty who tell me this border is now open for this year (and opened a few days ago). I can't be 100% sure but I'm my way there now - sounds very likely to be open.
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Dedida
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Re: Karakara valley border crossing

Postby Dedida » Thu May 28, 2015 6:39 am

I crossed in my own car on 21st May 2015. The border post seems to be open 9am - 6pm, though I'm not sure what days of the week. It was very quick, even though the border guards searched the whole car. They gladly accepted a few cigarettes as 'tokens of friendship'. The Karkara Valley is truly beautiful - not to be missed if you are in the region. I would suggest getting there early so you can take your time in the valley and maybe picnic. There is about 10km of bumpy track on the Kazakh side, and about 40km on the Kyrgyz side before you get back onto 'regular' roads.
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Alex Dra
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby Alex Dra » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:11 pm

Information about crossing the border backpacking:

Coming from Karakol you might be told that there is only a Marshrutka (once, maybe twice daily) going to San-Tash about 25 km from the border on the Kyrgyz side. Look for this Marshrutka somewhere outside Ak-Tilek bazaar in Karakol. Marshrutka and driver were already there at 10am giving us the chance to leave our backpacks in the Marshrutka until its departure at 13.30pm. Be ready for a very, very full Marshrutka even for Kyrgyz standards.
It turned out that the Marshrutka went well beyond San-Tash, dropping us off about 5km from the border (tell the driver you want to go to Kazakhstan, he will then drop you right where a side street leads towards the border post). The drive takes somewhere around 3 hours and costs 150 som.
Hitchhiking the last 5km to the border was easy enough but this might not always be the case, especially if the Marshrutka arrives later than ours did. Bring a tent and food. The border closes at 6pm.
Hitchhiking from the border to Kegen is probably straightforward, again it depends on what time you are there. We got a ride with, literally, the last car going into Kegen (an old Lada which had gotten stuck at the border as well). Kazakh border guards are friendly and you should have no problem pitching your tent at the border if you arrive late (or maybe even sleeping inside the building, as a young border guard indicated).
We do not know about accomodation in Kegen since we were invited by the family that drove us into town, but again it could be useful to have a tent.
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby bwv812 » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:25 pm

Thanks for the info, Alex.
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WorldWideWebster
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby WorldWideWebster » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:46 pm

Four of us used this crossing today. We read there was a bus to Kegen from Almaty but upon arrival at the station were told there was no bus. Got a ride to the border for 11000 T for 4 people.

We crossed really quickly but then the taxi we'd arranged through CBT Karakol was 2+hrs late. He got a flat. Spoke English though, he was a school teacher. 6000som for the car (newish minivan). Very smooth and scenic crossing overall.
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