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Kyrgyzstan Horse Riding Holiday

Winter in Kyrgyzstan is magical; everything is covered with white snow which sparkles in the sun, flickers as if someone had scattered diamonds over the entire surface of the earth. The frozen crystal of waterfalls, the sound of turbulent mountain rivers under the ice, and endless white expanses. Snow like a tablecloth covers the mountain ranges and nature is cleared of the dust of roads, from the dullness of cities restoring its virgin purity and beauty. Get out from under warm blankets and as the residents of Kyrgyzstan say "Alga (Let's go)!"

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 220 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 13.78 hands
  • Tack Type: Hand-made Kyrgyz national saddles
  • Horse Breed: Kyrgyz Horses

Highlights

  • Horse rides according to the program
  • Approximate daily riding time: 1.5 - 7 hours
  • Get to enjoy a Shyrdak show in Bokonbaevo
  • Visit the eagle hunter's house in Bokonbaevo
  • Enjoy various excursions according to the program
  • 1-liter water per day per person will be provided
  • Daily full board meals are included
  • 9 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


9 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Manas International Airport
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Accommodation

In the cities, you will be accommodated in three-star hotels

  • Bishkek: Asia Mountains three-star hotel
  • Tokmok town: Burana five-star hotel
  • Kilemche: Homestay
  • Son-Kul: Yurts
  • Bokonbaevo: Guesthouse
  • Djety-Oguz: Yurts
  • Karakol: Green Yard three-start hotel

Program

This tour has been created for those who do not want to sit at home in winter, who crave adventure, and are ready to go to the high mountains of the Tien Shan for active rest, fresh air, and amazingly beautiful landscapes. An active, adventurous winter tour will open up Kyrgyzstan for you from the other side: there will be no flower carpets and colorful fluttering butterflies, but there will be a unique blue sky, bright sun, and incredibly white sparkling snow.

Horses for nomads are of particular value because these animals are unpretentious, surprisingly resistant to cold weather, very docile, and can carry large loads. You will get to know their character, learn how to ride them, and you will spend with them your unforgettable journey. This will be a kind of hippo-therapy that will help you disconnect from your problems, forget about business, and get closer to nature, to beauty and grace, to become slower, calmer.

Day 1: Bishkek and its suburbs

Arrival to Bishkek, meeting at the “Manas” Airport. Transfer to “Asia Mountains” Hotel. Today, you will have a city tour of the capital. Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan and the biggest city in the country. It’s a distinctive administrative unit and is a town of the "Republican Submission".

The very first name of it was Pishpek, then it was called Frunze, and only in 1991 it finally got the name it has now "Bishkek". Its population is about one million people. The town is located on the north of Kyrgyzstan in Chu valley at the foot of the Tian-Shan Mountains, about 40 kilometers from the Kyrgyz ridge and about 25 kilometers from the Kazakh border.

You will have a small city tour and can go to the Ala-Too ridge hills for a two-hour horse ride for acclimatization and acquaintance with Kyrgyz horses and the way of riding, as well as to see winter mountains full of snow. Get back to the hotel closer to the evening. Rest, dinner, overnight.

Day 2: Bishkek - Shamsy Gorge - Tokmok town (110 kilometers)

This day after breakfast, drive to Shamsy gorge where you will have a horse ride in the mountains. The ride usually takes about four hours. Enjoy the nature and air's freshness. Picnic on the way and going back to the car which will take you to the Hawaii center with Burana hotel. On the way, you will also see the Burana tower historical monument which is dated back to the 11th century.

Day 3: Tokmok Town - Kyzart - Kilemche Jailoo (200 kilometers - 4 hours)

This morning, drive to Kyzart village where the horses will be waiting for you to take you to Kilemche Jailoo. Lunch in the village of Kyzart. After lunch, ride to Kilemche on horseback. On the way, you can see the beautiful landscape of the beautiful inner Kyrgyz mountains.

Kilemche is located at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level. After three hours on horseback, arrive at the shepherd’s house where you can get acquainted with the real life of the shepherds. Dinner and overnight at the homestay.

Day 4: Kilemche Jailoo - Son-Kul Lakeshore

This day will be even more exciting because you have to go a hard way through the Tuz-Ashuu pass, its height is 3400 meters and here, you can admire beautiful panoramic views of Son Kol Lake (3016 meters). Arriving for lunch at the yurt camp. After lunch, you will have free time which you can enjoy in the beautiful view of the mountains, ride a sleigh, play different national, entertaining games and in the evening, a beautiful view of the starry sky. Dinner and overnight in yurts.

Day 5: Son-Kul Lakeshore - Kyzart - Bokonbaevo village (150 kilometers - 3 hours)

After breakfast, rise to the Tuz-Ashuu pass where you can watch the beautiful winter landscape. Arriving at the destination in three hours on horseback, where a car will be waiting for you to take you to the village of Kyzart. Lunch at the guest house. After lunch, drive to Bokonbaevo village.

On the way, you will be able to see the pearl of Kyrgyzstan, Issyk-Kul lake. Issyk-Kul Lake is the second biggest mountain lake after Titicaca in South America, it is one of the 25 biggest and seven deepest lakes in the world. Issyk-Kul Lake ranks second in the transparency of water after Lake Baikal.

The climate here is very soft, the average temperature of the summer is more than 17 degrees Celsius, it seems that at such a low temperature of summer, the winters should be severe but vice versa, the winters are quite warm, on the average, the temperature in January is -3 degrees Celsius.

Local people call this lake the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan”. As a small bead put on the chain of mountain ridges, it definitely justifies this name. The “Pearl” is located at the height of 1609 meters above sea level and enclosed from two sides by the ranges with the poetic names Terskey-Ala-Too (turned from the sun) and Kungey-Ala-Too (turned to the sun).

Upon arrival to the village of Bokonbaevo, you will visit the house of an eagle hunter, hold the birds in your hands and hear the stories about these precious birds. Overnight in a guest house.

Day 6: Bokonbaevo village - Djety-Oguz gorge (80 kilometers - 1.5 hours)

In the morning, enjoy the view of Terskey-Ala-Too ridge and after breakfast, continue your way. Visit the felt factory with a small souvenir shop where you will be able to see the Shyrdak show, the process of making Kyrgyz national felt rugs for yurts. You will see the amazing change of landscapes like in a kaleidoscope when you start driving towards your next place of stay.

You will get to the Skazka (fairy tale) gorge where you may walk like in the museum of fairy tale sculptures made by the sand and wind. After that, you will get to the Djety-Oguz gorge and stay there for the night in yurts.

Day 7: Djety-Oguz gorge

This will be a whole day riding for those who want to through the fir forest and to the panorama spot. Those who are tired can stay in the camp and rest.

Day 8: Djety-Oguz gorge - Karakol city

This day, you will have a horse riding tour in the Djety-Oguz gorge. You will see the beauty of huge red rock formations and the gorge itself which has fir trees all around. Here, you will have a horse ride to the waterfall which is called Girl’s braids. In the evening, you will move to the city of Karakol and further to the hot springs, Ak-Suu Kench, where you can swim and warm up. Rest, dinner, and overnight in the hotel.

Day 9: Karakol - Bishkek (400 kilometers - 7 hours)

In the morning, you will have a little city tour by visiting the local bazaar, an ancient Dungan Mosque, Holy Trinity wooden church which was built without a single nail and a Prjevalsky museum. After that, drive to Cholpon-Ata city. Here, you will visit the open-air petroglyph gallery, historical museum, and cultural center of Rukh-Ordo. Drive further to Bishkek city where you stay in a hotel.

Day 10: Transfer to the airport - Flight home

This morning, the car will take you to the airport for your flight home. End of the program.

Trip details

  • Season: Winter
  • Begins and ends in: Bishkek
  • Wildlife: Mountain goats, birds, predator birds, yaks, hares, boars, wolves, foxes

Trip intensity evaluation - Level 2 Medium: Beginners

It will require physical abilities and endurance, special clothes, and shoes. You also need the necessary gear like a small backpack, warm clothes according to weather, snack, and water. Physical activity takes several hours a day with rest breaks. You must have skills of being in the mountains, horse riding, or cycling, the ability to use special equipment like trekking poles; the ability to move along more complex mountainous terrain, to cross small rivers, etc. These are active programs full of physically active days.

Horses and saddles

In Kyrgyzstan, people ride ordinary Kyrgyz horses. They are small but quite strong to cover long distances in the highlands. The saddles are handmade Kyrgyz national saddles. They carry out a large number of horse tours. All horses are well-circled animals with a calm temper and stable character but you also have to understand that any inaccurate handling of them may entail any unpredictable consequences.

The horses are well-trained, tough, and foot sure, they are small (140 centimeters) but muscular, strong, and have a flat back. Kyrgyz horses have four basic gaits: walking, ambling, trotting, and galloping. It moves at great ease on harsh terrain and at high altitudes. The weight limit for the riders is 100 kilograms but if there is a person of a bigger weight or a very high person, just let them know in advance so they could find the right horse for him/her.

As for the tack, there are two types of horse saddles that are handmade:

  • Saddle with a multipartite compound tree
  • Saddle with a compound tree and a figured pommel

Important information

There will be a briefing before the start of the horse tour; the guide-groom will tell you about your horse and the needed approach to it. He will instruct on the riding rules and procedures. Additional information on what is provided by Asia Mountains and what you need to take with you can be found in the information section or you can ask the program manager.

In the majority of horse tours, there is a river crossing on horseback. It is done sitting on a horse under the close attention of the guide or with his help. There will be places where horseback riding is impossible. Mostly these are steep ascents and descents on passes. In some places, you will need to walk and lead the horse by the bridle.

Location

Chuy region

Chuy region is located in the north of Kyrgyzstan. It borders Kazakhstan in the north and west, in the southwest with Talas and Jalal Abad regions, in the southeast with the Issyk-Kul region. Chuy region consists of several parts: Chon-Kemin, Kichi-Kemin, Suusamyr valley, Slopes of Kyrgyz Ata-Too, and Kungey Ala-Too.

The lowest point of the valley is considered to be 550 meters above sea level, the highest point is 4895 meters. Bishkek city (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) is located in the Chuy region. Other big cities also located here are Kant, Tokmok, and Kara-Balta. More than one million people live here with a total population of five million.

  • Terrain features: Rivers, waterfalls, mountains, snow peaks, glaciers, alpine meadows, forest, and panoramic view
  • Wildlife: Mountain goats, marmots, birds, predator birds, rodents, yaks, flamingo, hares, snakes, bears, wolves, and foxes

Issyk-Kul region

Issyk-Kul region is located in the northeast of the country. It borders Kazakhstan in the northeast, with China on the southeast, with the Naryn region on the southwest, and with the Chuy region on the northwest. Within the borders of the Chuy region, there is the famous Issyk-Kul lake (one of the largest mountain lakes in the world), which does not freeze even in the most severe winters.

On both sides, the lake is surrounded by mountain ranges: Terskey Ala-Too on the south side and Kungey Ala-Too on the north. The ridge Terskey Ala-Too is popular among tourists and is famous for its trekking routes.

  • Terrain features: Canyons, rivers, waterfalls, mountains snow peaks, glaciers, alpine meadows, lakes, endemic plants, forest, panoramic view, and nature reserve
  • Wildlife: Mountain goats, marmots birds, predator birds, rodents, yaks, flamingo, hares, swans, snakes, boars, brown bears, wolves, and foxes

Naryn region

Naryn region is located in the central part of the country on the slopes of inner Tien-Shan. Naryn-Region is the highest part of the country. Only about 5% of the total population of the country lives here. The lowest temperature was recorded here. The main activities of local people are farming and cattle breeding. Naryn region attracts tourists with its untouched nature, the life of nomads who leave the village and go to high mountain pastures in the summer.

  • Terrain features: Rivers, waterfalls, mountains, snow peaks, alpine meadows, lakes, and nature reserve
  • Wildlife: Mountain goats, marmots, birds, predator birds, rodents, yaks, hares, snakes, boars, wolves, and foxes

Transportation

For groups of two to four pax, the Mitsubishi Delica is used (seven seats). For groups of five to 12 pax, the Mercedes Sprinter bus is used (18 seats). For groups consisting of more than 12 pax, either two Sprinter buses or a large bus are used depending on the route, since in a mountainous area a large bus cannot always pass. It is forbidden to drive large buses along the Bishkek-Osh Highway.

The best season to travel to Kyrgyzstan is from May to the end of September. There are not many tourists at the beginning and end of the season. In spring, you can see flowers in the mountains, rare Red Book tulips. It is hot in summer and you can bathe in Lake Issyk-Kul. Autumn is the velvet season; heat is over and it’s not so cold in the mountains.

Food

Travelers are often concerned with what will be served for meals during a tour. The cuisine in Kyrgyzstan is very diverse and they offer national, European, vegetarian cuisines, as well as special meals, for example, gluten-free, on tours. It is better to warn about the peculiarities and preferences in nutrition in advance.

The Asia Mountains Company has been working in the tourist market for 20 years already and has vast experience in cooking even in the most severe conditions and expeditions. They cooperate with the best cooks who have done not one trekking route and know all the nuances of cooking in the mountains above 2000 meters.

The cuisine in Kyrgyzstan is rich in calories and nourishing. Main dishes consist of meat, pasta, and broth. The main national dishes, that the locals like a lot, are manty, lagman (fried or with broth), pilaf, beshbarmak, and samsa; national drinks are kumys, maksym, tan, etc.

Food

The Kyrgyz food used to be seasonal. In the summer, it was vegetables, berries, and fruits, and in winter, the diet was mainly of dairy food and meat. Kyrgyz people eat mutton, horse meat, beef, camel meat, goat meat, and yak meat. Mutton and horse meat are especially appreciated.

At the moment, many tourists come to Kyrgyzstan and the local population, adjusting to it, cooks more lenten dishes. You can easily find vegetarian food, but you should definitely try national dishes such as Besh-Barmak, Manti, Shorpo, Dymlama, Kazy, Pilov, Ashlyam-Fu, Samsa, and Kuurdak.

Drink

Nowadays, there is no problem with finding drinks. You can easily find all you want in shops, from water to Coca-Cola Lite, but usually, people drink tea in families. In such destinations as Son-Kul, Tash-Rabat, high in the mountains, you will be offered kumys (traditional drink from horse milk) or shoro (grains drink).

There is no problem with alcohol. You can easily find beer or more strong drinks in shops. The only thing is that alcohol drinking in public places is forbidden.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Chuy region

Interesting places to visit:

  • Burana tower (historical complex)
  • Mountain gorges: Ala-Archa, Kegety, Alamedin, Chun-Kurchak, Chon-Kemin, Shamsi, Issyk-Ata, Belogorke
  • Bishkek city
  • National Park of Chon-Kemin
  • Komorchek canyons
  • Suusamyr valley

Actvities

  • Mountaineering, trekking, horse riding, overland 4x4 excursions, cultural tours, skiing tours, silk road tours, trekking

Issyk-Kul region

Interesting places to visit:

  • The center of Issyk-Kul region - The city of Cholpon-Ata which is a popular holiday destination with high-rated hotels and restaurants
  • Grigoriev Gorge
  • Karakol city
  • Base camp at Pobeda Peak (7439 meters) and Khan Tengri Peak (7010 meters)
  • Altyn-Arashan Hot Springs
  • Lake Ala- Kol
  • Jeti-Oguz gorge
  • Tamga village
  • Barskoon gorge
  • Skazka (Fairy Tale) canyon
  • Bokonbaevo village

Activities

  • Mountaineering, trekking, horse riding, overland 4x4, skiing tours, cultural tours, silk road tours, and excursions

Naryn region

Interesting places to visit:

  • Son-Kul lake
  • Tash-Rabat caravan-saray
  • Naryn national reserve
  • Chatyr-Kul lake
  • Kol-Suu lake
  • Kochkor and At-Bashi village
  • Kichi Naryn gorge
  • Shar waterfall
  • Ak-Sai valley

Activities: Trekking, overland 4x4

What's included

  • Horseback rides according the program
  • Services of an English-speaking guide
  • Excursions according to the program
  • Visit of the eagle hunter's house in Bokonbaevo
  • Shyrdak show in Bokonbaevo
  • Entrance fees to all of the sights
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All transport according to the program
  • Daily full board meals
  • 1-liter water per day per person

What's not included

  • Any changes in the program
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Excursions not included in the program
  • Tips for the guide, driver, and personnel
  • Any personal expenses in the hotel (international calls, bar, etc.)
  • Single supplement

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Your program starts in Bishkek. You can get to the international airport in Bishkek city by various airlines: Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, S7, and others from Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, China, Kazakhstan, and other countries. Hotel Asia Mountains does not sell international air tickets, but they can recommend where to buy them.

You will be met by the representative at the airport and taken to the hotel. On the way, you can attend an exchange office and exchange money or do it during the day. If you need a visa to Kyrgyzstan, consult with the tour manager on how to get it.

Airport: Manas International Airport Airport transfer included: Manas International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 45% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
10 days / 9 nights
from --
Availability information

Individual dates are also available. For more information, please send an inquiry,

Pricing information

The prices decrease based on how many people are joining the tour. Please find the following prices per person for more information:

  • More than 10 people in the group: 1,100 USD per person
  • More than 8 people in the group: 1,200 USD per person
  • More than 6 people in the group: 1,280 USD per person
  • More than 4 people in the group: 1,350 USD per person
Sunday January 23, 2022
(10 days / 9 nights)

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