Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Almaty (KZ) to Karakol (KG) via Kegen

Postby Todd_P » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:22 pm

Below recent experience crossing the border at Kegen border crossing when travelling from Almaty to Karakol.

Travel time: end of Aug-2018
Note: please take a note that I do speak Russian, hence some of mine experience might be simplified

    Got a taxi to the Saykhat station from hotel in city center location. Possible price 300 tenge, but because there were two of us and large bags we were told 500 tenge is a reasonable price.
      Large area and we were dropped off at the junction. Had to ask for the cars to Kegen and walked another block to the actual location.
        8.30am at the station. Discussed with few drivers where we are going and found the one who is collecting people to go there already. Price 4.000 tenge per seat or 20.000 tenge for the whole car.
          Left station with full car 9.30am (5 adults + 2 children). Very comfortable.
            Arrived in KEGEN town @12.30 (3 hr journey). No stops.
              Few shops and a local cafe/ bar. Had some lunch.
                Were looking to get to the border. Our driver was still at the bus stop. Looking for 6.000, 5.000 tenge. Told that only have 4.000 tenge left - take it or leave it. Agreed to take us to the border. Left town @13.06
                  13.57 we were at the other side of the border - Kyrgyzstan side. Border opening hours 08:00-18:00. No issues with stamps or passports and very simple and straight forward crossing.
                    We had arranged car pick up from Kyrgyzstan side for EUR50 from EcoTrek. I WhatsApped the driver on the way from Almaty so he knew when we are du to be at the border. He was waiting for us.
                      Arrived in KARAKOL @15:40
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                      Re: Almaty (KZ) to Karakol (KG) via Kegen

                      Postby alala » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:23 pm

                      I crossed the border yesterday, also very positive experience. I was hitchhiking and happily got a ride to Tup (crossroads to Karakol and Cholpon Ata).
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby gold » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:03 pm

                      I crossed the border today (7.9.2018) from Cholpon-Ata to Almaty only by hitchhiking (without paying).

                      If anyone of you hesitates to cross the border - do it! It was one of the most beautiful days of my time in Kyrgyzstan! I never waited more than 5 minutes (there is little traffic, but if a car comes, it usually picks you up and takes you some kilometers), I saw sheep herds and talked to beautifully friendly people all along the way. I can only recommend it. I started at 7:30 in Cholpon-Ata and arrived at 16:30 in Almaty.
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby AreWeThereYet? » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:43 pm

                      Easy border, friendly guards on both sides (as it normally is in Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan in my little experience). The only downside is that I failed to convince any of them that Torino FC is better than Juventus (I'm Italian and supporting the former over the latter). The scenery is also quite nice, especially on the Kyrgyz side!
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                      Stories from the road.

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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby Tonini » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:58 am

                      Hello, i went to the informations center in karakol and they told me border is open until the 6th october. Just to informe travellers
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby Bigbidule » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:52 am

                      I have an answer from the Office of Karakol, the border closes on October 31 officially
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby Super-Q » Fri May 03, 2019 3:00 am

                      We are in Kazakhstan right now, heading to the border and had our hotel owner call the number on the caravanistan website.

                      They say it is open already, between 8am and 6pm every day. We will give it a shot and post an update once we have crossed. Wish us luck :-D
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby Super-Q » Mon May 06, 2019 3:34 pm


                      Crossed the border successfully today, 06.05.2019.
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby Kit.law.70 » Mon May 27, 2019 7:59 pm

                      One little note for this border crossing:
                      It is NOT an e-visa border listed in the 12 international borders in Kyrgyzstan e-visa website.

                      If you are holding e-visa, do not enter/ exit from this border. I missed that piece of info and got deported back into Kazakhstan.
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                      Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

                      Postby brucewallace22 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:57 pm

                      Hello! Just double-checking on this: two of us traveling on U.S. passports are planning to self-drive across the border here in middle-to-late August, going from Kazakhstan into Kyrgyzstan. Will we need any particular authorizations?
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