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Kyrgyzstan Summer Horse Riding Holiday

This equestrian tour runs from the beautiful Son-Kul lake through the Sary-Bel valley, Jon-Bulak pass, Zangi, and Backchetin canyons to the village of Ottuk. Mountain Lake Son-Kul is a favorite place for summer pastures for local residents and Kyrgyz nomads. Endless green plains and small hills surround this amazing mountain lake!

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 220 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse height range: 13.7 hands
  • Tack type: Saddle with multipartite compound tree and saddle with a compound tree and a figured pommel
  • Horse breed: Kyrgyz Horses

Highlights

  • 4 days with horse riding
  • The tour starts and ends in Bishkek
  • Stay in yurts or houses of local people
  • Ride well-trained, tough, and sure-footed horses
  • Professional English-speaking horse guide
  • Daily full board meals are included
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


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

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

  • In Bishkek it's Asia Mountains Hotel
  • In Karakol it's Green Yard Hotel
  • In Naryn it's Khan-Tengri Hotel

Internet and mobile network

There are Megacom, О!, Beeline operators. Internet is not expensive. You can buy a sim card at the airport or in the city.

Program

Only in summer you can fully enjoy the blue lake, get acquainted with the life of modern nomads, live in Kyrgyz yurts, and taste the national dishes of these hospitable people.

Only for the summer, they get to the Son-Kul jailoo, paying tribute to their ancestors, the nomadic Kyrgyz, who spent their whole lives in transitions from one place to another, going up to the mountains with their flocks in the summer and going down into the valleys for the winter.

An equestrian tour near Son-Kul Lake will be able to reveal to you the real life of nomads, their culture and traditions, their hospitality and simplicity, their hard work, and despite this, the ability to enjoy every day, simple little things that you perceive completely differently and which are common for you.

Beautiful mountain plains, snowy peaks, cold, turbulent rivers, and deserted expanses. Immerse yourself in the kingdom of nature, not enslaved by people with all its grace and beauty.

The high-mountainous Son-Kul Lake will meet you with a reflection of the blue sky, high passes will open for you magnificent views, deep canyons, real Kyrgyz villages without embellishment, and the opportunity to get acquainted with the locals, staying in yurts, shepherds, and ordinary houses.

You will learn about Kyrgyz everyday life and Kyrgyz traditions, you will see yurts and their interior, kids and their national games, huge flocks of sheep, horses, cows, perhaps you will meet camels and yaks. Immerse yourself in the usual habitat of the nomadic people, who have not lost their uniqueness for dozens of centuries.

Day 1

Arriving at the airport Manas. Transfer to Bishkek. Accommodation at the hotel and rest. City tour with visiting colorful Osh bazaar where you may buy fresh and dry fruit, berries, and nuts. You will visit the main Ala-Too square with the change of guards, the old square with the Lenin statue, the Manas complex with Philharmonic hall, and the Victory square with the central mall, ZUM.

Day 2

Move to the southern shore of Lake Son-Kul. On the way, visit the historical complex Burana Tower (X - XII in). On the way, you will visit the historical-architectural complex of Burana Tower. Burana tower (minaret) is located on the territory of an ancient settlement 90 kilometers from Bishkek.

The historians and archeologists proved that the settlement was once the capital of Karakhanid Khanate and was called "Balasagun", founded in 10th century AC. Burana tower is the central monument of this complex. Arriving at the lake, stop for the night in a yurt camp.

Day 3

Start of the horse trek. First, go to the serpentine called "33 parrots". Have lunch on the way. Further going down the serpentine, approach the waterfall. Stop near the yurts at a place called "Sary-Bel", where the forester lives, a small group of people can stay here for the night. In another case, go further for about five kilometers and spend the night in the house of the forester on the river.

Day 4

From the valley of Sary-Bel to the stay of shepherds, Teshik. From Sary-Bel, along the valley of the same name, climb the Jon-Bulak pass. Here, organize lunch and then go down to the place of "Teshik". Overnight in the house of local residents or in a yurt.

Day 5

Today, you are going to see two beautiful canyons: Zangi and Bakchetin. On the way, you will come across the shepherds, you will be able to see their life, have a cup of tea, and listen to hunter stories. The canyons' height varies from 150 to 300 meters. You may want to spend the extra day exploring the area.

People say that standing on one edge of the canyon, you can watch Capricorns safely walk on the other side of it and easily take photos of them. After lunch, climb to the ridge called "Kyr-Jol", which means "the road running along the ridge" and ride to the village of "Jerge-Tal".

Dinner and accommodation in the guest house. Here in the village, it's possible to organize an extra day and get acquainted with the life of the local population. Locals will be happy to show you how they make felt products, toys, you can taste kumys, the national drink made from mare's milk, and just feel like a guest met by the Kyrgyz traditions.

Day 6

From the guest house, go riding in the gorge called "Baydyluu" and make a circular move along the slopes of the beautiful Kyrgyz mountains back to the main road. Here, say goodbye to your guides and go through Dolon pass by car. Descending from the pass, you will stop for the night in the home of local elders.

Day 7

This morning will be free. You will be able to stroll through the village; you will see how people make home things for yurts. After lunch, return to Bishkek. Accommodation at the hotel. Farewell dinner. Transfer to the airport for the flight home. End of the program.

Horses

In Kyrgyzstan, people ride ordinary Kyrgyz horses. They are small but quite strong to cover long distances in the highlands. You will use 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 typical Kyrgyz horses, well-trained, tough, and sure-footed 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 which are handmade:

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

Of course, 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.

Equipment

  • Clothes and boots: Boots for horse riding

Boots with thick or heavy treads, like hiking boots or snow boots are unsuitable for riding. These boots tend to be wide with a big boxy toe, which means they may get caught on the sides of the stirrup. They also have a lot of grip which is good while you're hiking but will make it harder to slide your foot in and out of the stirrup.

When you’re choosing any type of gear, including footwear, always think "safety first". There are English and Western-style boots and it’s up to you which one to choose. The difference is Western boots traditionally tend to have a slightly higher heel than English. You may have something in your closet that will work just fine, without the expense of buying boots made specifically for riding.

As long as the tread and heel are appropriate, they aren't too big for the stirrup, they fit well, and support your foot, they should be fine. Additional information on what is provided and what you need to take with,r you can ask the program manager.

Trip intensity (Level 2 Medium: Beginners)

It will require physical abilities and endurance, special clothes, and shoes. You also need the necessary gear: 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. Active programs, full of physically active days.

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.

Wildlife

It will be possible to see mountain goats, marmots, birds, predator birds, rodents, yaks, and hares.

Included excursions

It is planned to visit local bazaars, craft workshops, and souvenirs stands where you can easily find small souvenirs and presents for your friends and relatives, in each tour.

Location

The country is quite safe. Locals are friendly and hospitable. Hotel Asia Mountains still recommends sticking to general safety rules: carry a copy of your passport with you, do not carry large sums of money with you, be careful in crowded places (bazaars, shops), watch your pockets and bags.

If the police stops you, you must show your ID. Also the representative of the authorities at your request must show his certificate. A police officer may detain any person to verify his identity, even if he does not commit an administrative offense. However, an official does not have the right to detain a person without any reason, if he presented an identity document.

The best season in Kyrgyzstan is 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.

Language

Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet Union Republic. That’s why practically the whole local population speaks Russian. Thus, you won’t experience communication problems.

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 the 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, broth. The main national dishes, that the locals like a lot, are manty, lagman (fried or with broth), pilaf, beshbarmak, samsa, and national drinks: kumys, maksym, tan, etc.

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.

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

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

What's included

  • 4 horse riding days
  • Use of horses and saddles
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily full board meals
  • All transport needed throughout the program
  • Services of an English-speaking and professional horse guide

What's not included

  • Any changes in the program
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Excursions not included in the program
  • Tips for driver, guides, and hotel personnel
  • Any personal expenses in the hotel (International calls, bar, etc.)
  • Single supplement (60 USD)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Manas International Airport (FRU). 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.

For groups of 2 to 4 pax, the Mitsubishi Delica is used (7 seats). For groups of 5 to 12 pax, the Mercedes Sprinter bus is used (18 seats). For groups consisting of more than 12 pax, either 2 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.

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.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Trip information

Hotel Asia Mountains recommends booking a tour in advance. Then, they will have the opportunity to choose the best guides and other staff, book the most comfortable hotels and guesthouses for you. Program bookings are carried out on a prepaid basis. For more information, please send an inquiry.

Pricing information

The prices below are valid when at least four to six people are coming for the tour. The prices fluctuate as more people book, kindly see the list for the pricing guide. Please send an inquiry to get the most accurate price on your chosen date.

  • 1,170 USD per person: More than 10 people in the group
  • 1,270 USD per person: More than 8 people in the group
  • 1,375 USD per person: More than 6 people in the group
  • 1,565 USD per person: More than 4 people in the group
Saturday July 9, 2022
(7 days / 6 nights)

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