Follow the footsteps of Marco Polo along the most beautiful passes of the Silk Road. This new adventure will take you to a country located in the highlands of Tien Shan, forms the great barrier between China and the West.
With the agility of Kyrgyz horses, you will cross mountains and rivers to meet kyrgyz nomadic peoples with their two thousand years of culture. This adventure will take you on the footprints by the caravan trails.
The 12-day journey includes 9 days of horseback riding.
Day 1 Bishkek – Tamga: 330 km. 4, 47 hrs.
Arriving in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan your guide and driver will meet you at the airport and welcome you to Kyrgyzstan. Since 90% of all the flights arrive at 4am you will be able to have a rest at a guesthouse before your day starts. After breakfast, your guide will give you an overview of the tour and then you will be able to start your journey to the village of Tamga. You will be able to make a few stops along the way to get a good feeling for the country of Kyrgyzstan. Once you arrive in the village of Tamga your host will welcome you and dinner will be ready for everyone.
Accommodation in Tamga at a guesthouse
Day 2. Tamga – Juuku:
After breakfast, everyone will be transferred to the Juuku valley where you will start your horseback riding journey to one of the most remote places in Kyrgyzstan. Once you meet your horse and the horsemen you will have a short introduction on how to ride a Kyrgyz horse. The horses here in Kyrgyzstan are a bit smaller and calmer than in Europe or in the States. The goal for today is to reach the base of the Juuk Pass 3,800m and spend your first night in the wilderness of Kyrgyzstan.
Accommodation in Juuku in tents.
Day 3. Juuku Pass to Juuk Valley:
After breakfast, everyone will saddle up on their horse and head into the mountains. Today’s goal is to cross the Juuku Pass at 3,800 m. Your guide and horsemen will help you reach this goal today. Don’t forget to take countless pictures from the pass; the view is quite nice!
Once you cross the pass you will reach a flat place to build a camp for the night and everyone will be able to share dinner together. Accommodation in Juuku valley in tents
Day 4. Kumtor Gorge:
After breakfast, you will pack up all your gear on your horse and descend into the Kumtor Gorge. The Kumtor Gorge can be a bit of a dusty place because there is the world’s 2nd highest alpine Gold Mine working nearby. You will not be disturbed by this because you will be to the north of the mine. The goal for today is to reach the ridge of the Ak-Shyyrak range and build a camp on the north-west side of the Ak-Shyyrak range. Accommodation near Ak-Shyyrak Gorge in tents
Day 5. Ak-Bel Pass:
After breakfast, you will be able to follow in the foot steps of countless caravans from the days of the Silk Road. The goal for today is to pass the Ak Shyyrak ridge (white side) thigh the pass Ak-Bel (white black). It’s possible to see wild Ibex, Marco Polo sheep, and countless other wild animals in the valleys. Between the traces of hunters and seekers of gold, we find the way of the caravan. Night in tents. Accommodation under the Ak-Bel Pass in tents
Day 6. Pass Ishtik:
After breakfast, you will push forward to reach an old caravanserai Ishtik, it’s very small and falling apart, but you will be able to feel like a real traveller on the silk road. The goal for today is to cross the Ishtik pass to arrive at a camp where everyone can take a much-needed bath at camp. Accommodation near Ishtik pass in tents or a shepherd’s house
Day 7. Ishtik – Tez:
After the last tea, you will make your way towards the Chinese border to see a breathtaking view of the serpentine that leads to the border of China. Currently, both the Kyrgyz and the Chinese Military protect their border so it’ might be possible to see a jeep driving by in the distances. The goal for today is to reach the Tex canyon to share a tea with a local family at a small farm in one of the most remote places in Kyrgyzstan. Accommodation near Tex canyon in tents or a shepherd’s house
Day 8. Tez – Uch Koshkon:
After an early breakfast, your goal will be to pack up your things and make your way to the south side of the Ak-Shyyrak ridge to the very small settlement of Uch Koshkon. There is not much left of this settlement, but during the Soviet Union it was one of the only settlement in this whole valley region. Accommodation near Uch Koshkon in tents or a shepherd’s house
Day 9. Ouch Koshkon – Ak Shyyrak:
After the last tea is poured, everyone will be able to saddle up their horse for the last full day of riding.
The goal for today is to ride ~10-15 km to the tiny village that is lost among the Tian Shan mountain range. It’s possible to see Yaks, wild animals, and countless snow-covered mountain peaks. Make sure to have a talk with your host and ask them about the history of this region during the Soviet Union. This area is full of legends and tall tales that go back 100’s of years. Accommodation near Ak-Shyyrak in yurts / tents.
Day 10. Ak-Shyyrak – Karakol:
After breakfast, everyone will be able to ride for a bit until you reach the military checkpoint in Kara Sai. The goal for today is to reach the military checkpoint in Kara Sai where you will be able to say goodbye to your horses and share a late lunch with a local yak herder’s family. The next stop for today is the Suyak pass at 4,021 m which leads to the Barskoon pass at 3,754 m with the final dentation in Karakol. Once you arrive in Karakol you will be able to enjoy a hot banya and share dinner with a local family. Accommodation in Karakol at the Hutorok Guesthouse
Day 11. Karakol – Bishkek:
After breakfast in Karakol, you will make your way back to Bishkek. It’s possible to stop along the way to take pictures and stretch your legs. Once you arrive in Bishkek you will be able to buy a few souvenirs and have a walk through the city’s countless green parks. Tonight, you will have a farewell dinner at a local ethnic café in the heart of Bishkek. Accommodation in Bishkek in a guesthouse
Day 12. Bishkek Manas Airport
After an early breakfast, everyone will be transferred from your guesthouses in Bishkek to the Manas Airport. The ride takes around 40 mints and it’s always recommended to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight. It’s your responsibility to inform your guide about your flight details.
- 2 pax: 2190$
- 3 pax: 1958$
- 4 pax: 1655$
- 5 pax: 1789$
- 6 pax: 1619$
- 7 pax: 1552$
- 8 pax: 1449$
Sometimes we have open groups for horse riding, you can join the tour with other people. Please request.
- Organization of the stay
- All transfers in vehicle incl. from/ to airport
- Local guide (interpreter)
- The horses guide
- Accommodation described in the program
- Full board incl. drinking water and tea
- Rent of horses
- Special border zone permit
- All activities mentioned in the program
- Entrance fees for monuments and parks mentioned in the program
- Visas (if applicable) & any other administrative costs
- International flights, airfare and taxes
- Insurance repatriation and CR insurance
- Alcohol or sweetened beverages
- Any charged activity not mentioned in the program
- Rental of personal equipment (sleeping bag, water bottle, flashlight, etc.)
- Tips (always optional, but always appreciated)
- Personal expenses
- Additional costs due to personal problems (health, loss of luggage, etc.).
- This tour is for experienced horsemen.
- Average altitude during this tour will be 3600 m.
- Weather can change. We advise you to prepare all the necessary equipment for the case of snow, rain, wind. Nights can be very cold.
No visa is required for citizens of USA, EU, Japan and Canada citizenship. (total of 59 countries, up to 60 days, 6-month passport validity) www mfa kg
This program is approximate. It can be changed in case of changes in weather or in Airports.
Preparation before tour:
Why Kyrgyzstan barely visited by tourists, if it passed during more than 3000 years by caravans from four sides of Eurasia. The infrastructure of villages is not at very high level. Refusing hospitality is often becomes annoying. In order to avoid misunderstandings, read the following authors such as Ella Maillart, Rene Cagnat, Tchengiz Aitmatov (« Jamilia » was translated on French by Louis Aragon) before you get prepared to visit.
See you in Celestial Mountains!