Talas is situated in the northwest of Kyrgyzstan. The main point of interest is the ancient monument of "Gumbez of Manas", the mausoleum of the great Kyrgyz national and epic hero. The monument is unique in the world. Nowadays, the "Gumbez of Manas" Complex also includes the State Museum of the "Manas" epos (the longest saga in the world).
Many of the country's greatest people have come from Talas. Among them, is the world-famous writer Chyngyz Aitmatov, the author of "Jamilya", "The White Boat", "Mother's Field" novels and many other classics.
Out of town, you may go to the jailoo and experience the shepherds' everyday life. In wintertime, Talas can be reached via the Kazakh border, in summertime - by the Ortok Pass.
76 Kasym Kayimov (Yuzhnaya) St., Talas town, Talas Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++996 3422 52919, ++ 996 772 643466 (mobile)
Mr. Turdubek Ayilchiev, coordinator
Kyzyl-Oi is quite different from the other mountain villages in Kyrgyzstan. It existed even before the Great Socialist Revolution, and has therefore kept its distinct Central Asian character with its reddish clay houses. Kyzyl-Oi is located in a narrow gorge on the riverside of the powerful Kökömeren River some 40km south of Suusamyr on the road to Kochkor Village and Son-Köl Lake (both in Naryn region), and about 200km from Bishkek. The elevation is 1,800 metres asl; here, a valley opens up somewhat to form a hollow ringed by the high red-coloured mountains, which gave the place its name. Kyzyl means red in Kyrgyz.
Spending a couple of days here is ideal for those wanting to relax in the very heart of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range. From here, you can choose from a variety of different hiking or horseback trekking routes in the mountains. The Sary-Kamysh Range south of the village has some gorgeous peaks up to 4,000 metres. In summertime, you can ask the villagers to take you up to the summer high-altitude pastures (jailoo) to watch the wildlife and pristine flora. Another attraction in late summer is rafting down the Kökömeren River, an activity offered by some tour operators in Bishkek. Tourists in wintertime can also help local people get the hay down from jailoo to the village using horses and sledges.
Kyzyl-Oi Village, Chui Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 555 417847 (mobile)
Mr. Artyk Kulubaev, coordinator
Karakol is a quiet and calm, provincial town located near the eastern extremity of Issyk-Kul Lake and at the foot of those high majestic mountains - Pobeda peak (7 439 m) and Khan Tengri (7 010 m). Karakol is famed for its Sunday cattle market, starting its brisk trade early in the morning, at dawn. Dashing thoroughbred horses, pedigree cows or well-fed sheep are awaiting their masters. It will be interesting for the town's guests to observe scenes from consumers and merchants' daily life. Two mosques, male and female, are open to visitors.
About 25 km west of Karakol lies the Gety Oguz Canyon. Composed of seven red sandstone cliffs, the canyon gets its name from the Kyrgyz words "gety", which means seven and "oguz" - "bull". It really does resemble the heads of seven bulls. Lakes, jailoos and alpine meadows ring the canyon. You may choose to stay in a yurta camp, health resort or a private house, close to nature. A variety of mountain treks and tours (on foot), are offered.
#20, 123 Abdrakhmanov St., Karakol town, Yssyk-Kol Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 3922 55000, ++ 996 555 150795 (mobile)
Mr. Asamat Asanov, coordinator
NGO "CBT Tamchy"
Kyrgyz people call Lake Issyk-Kul a pearl. It is situated in the northeast of the country. Issyk-Kul means "warm lake" in Kyrgyz. It is the 23rd largest and one of the deepest, lakes in the world. Issyk-Kul's picturesque surroundings, fresh air, bright sun and perfect beaches, attract numerous tourists.
Tamchy village is situated on the northern shore of the lake and you can get there by taxi or bus from the Western ("new") bus station in Bishkek (200 km, 180-300 soms per person with other passengers in the car).
Here you will have the chance to make your own, traditional-style, souvenirs, after having a look at the fabulous variety of Kyrgyz arts and crafts displayed in the local museum, to stay in a house, or in the traditional nomads' dwelling - a yurta, to taste home-made national cuisine, and to combine your rest on the lakeshore with various activities, from riding horseback to hiking in the mountains.
49 A, Manas St., Tamchy Village, Yssyk-Kol Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 3943 21272 , ++ 996 773 780655 (mobile)
Mr. Kanat Sulaimanov, coordinator
This much overlooked town on the south shore of Lake Yssyk-Köl offers various eco-treks into the nearby Terskei Ala-Too Mountains for 2-7 days. You will be able to visit various scenic spots including wild hot springs, a small salt lake, or Chasha Manasa, the longest waterfall in Kyrgyzstan. You can even trek all the way to Naryn from Bokonbaevo. Aside from trekking, CBT Bokonbaevo has four yurt camps situated from right on the lake up to the foot of the mountains. Whether you want to swim, fish, go horseback riding or just relax, here you can experience the traditional life of the Kyrgyz.
Bokonbaevo Village, Yssyk-Kol Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone:++ 996 779 45 50 45
Mrs. Kadyrkulova Saltanat, coordinator
NGO "Mountain Traveller"
The road to Naryn from Bishkek goes through Kochkor village. You may get there (200-300 soms per person) by taxi from the Western ("new") bus station in Bishkek. Naryn is a stopping off place for tourists on the Bishkek-Torugart road and invites its guests to visit a mosque, the art gallery or history museum, to stay in a yurta or a private house with all modern conveniences, or to go trekking or horseback riding. Among the local places of interest, there are also the legendary historical monument, the caravanserai of Tash Rabat, built in the 10th century and the ruins of the Koshoy-Korgon fortress - said to be the largest medieval buildings Central Asian architecture in the Central Tian-Shan. Tourists have an opportunity to buy souvenirs, to see national games or to visit a folk music performance. Visas available upon arrival at the Naryn region. Follow the road to Kazarman where you may view Saimaluu-Tash, famous for its rock paintings.
Apt. 8, #33 Lenin St., Naryn town, Naryn Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 3522 50865, ++ 996 779 56 76 85 (mobile)
fax: ++ 996 3522 50865
Mrs. Gulira Kenjekaraeva, coordinator
NGO "CBT Travel"
Kochkor Village can be reached from Bishkek (185km) by taxi from the Western ("new") bus station in Bishkek (150-200 soms per person with other passengers in the car). Kochkor is justifiably famed for its summer pastures - jailoo - near Son-Kol Lake, Sarala-Saz and Kol-Ukok, where it's so easy to share a real shepherds' way of life, to feel their spirit and to experience a stay in a felt tent - yurta - as a guest of a Kyrgyz family. Here every traveler may discover for himself a unique environment, with mountain lakes and impetuous rivers and jailoos and alpine forests, by riding horseback or just walking along the cliffs. A stay in Kochkor offers you excursions to the glaciers, ancient galleries of rock carvings - petroglyphs - or donkey, camel or even yak riding! Making your own felt souvenirs with the aid of the local craftswomen, listening to folkl music or watching an exciting performance of national games will leave nobody unmoved.
22A Pionerskaya St., Kochkor Village, Naryn Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 3535 51114 , ++ 996 777 265559 (mobile)
Mr. Bekbolot Builashev, coordinator
NGO "South Mountains"
Jalalabat is often called the heart of the South of Kyrgyzstan. The hospitable and affable people, multi-ethnic environment, mild climate and nature's fantastic beauty, make you totally absorbed by the Southern spirit. The town's numerous markets offer you a wide range of different fruit, vegetables, spices, nuts and berries. Just taste them - and you will not want to go away empty-handed!
You may choose a private house, or share it with Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian or Tartar families and enjoy their national dishes - "besh barmak", shi - a cabbage soup and many others. From here it's easy and fast to get to other southern CBT-groups, such as CBT Kara-Suu, CBT Arslanbob or CBT Naryn, including Kazarman. It's also possible to take a trip to Ortok and Kara-Alma. Jalalabat invites its guests to the museums and health resorts with mineral water baths and medicinal treatments. It can be reached by taxi (850-1000 soms per person) or by plane (air fare is about 1550-1650 soms).
#3, 20 Toktogul St., Jalalabat town, Jalalabat Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 3722 2 19 62 , ++ 996 772 376602 (mobile)
Ms. Ruhsora Abdullaeva, coordinator
NGO "Relict Forests"
Arslanbob is well known for its walnut forests, mountain caves and waterfalls, path to the lakes hidden in the hills and rivers flowing in the highlands. Arslanbob is situated in the Southern part of the country at 1600 m. The region's unique natural beauty, places of interests, ancient legends and traditions, will heal your heart and soul from the very beginning of your sojourn here. During your stay in Arslanbob, it is possible to take an excursion to the mosque, meet local citizens, and taste local honey, jam, nuts and national dishes. The quickest way to get here is by taxi or bus from Jalalabat (30-300 soms per person).
phone: ++ 996 773 342476 (mobile)
Mr. Hayat Tarikov, coordinator
NGO "Eco-tourism Sary-Chelek"
The village is located 600 km south of Bishkek and 250 km from Jalalabat. The diversity of flora and fauna is really amazing. The famous Sary-Chelek Lake lies in the surrounding highlands and can be reached from Kara-Suu by car, or on horseback. Over 30 species of trees, 80 species of bushes and 886 species of plants, with more than 300 species of herbs, grow here. Smaller lakes like Kara-Kamysh ring the main lake. The summer pastures - jailoo - seem to have been created especially for relaxing in yurtas, with their hospitable owners - local shepherds. The road to Kara-Suu is rather difficult, but Sary-Chelek is worth seeing. You can get there by taxi (8-9,5 soms/km) or bus (with transfers).
phone: ++ 996 770 16 91 64, +996 559 254959
Mr. Bazarkul Jooshbaev, coordinator
Osh city is the center of the Osh region and one of the most ancient cities of Central Asia. Rumours and legends ascribe its foundation to many mythical and historical personalities, such as Suleiman (Solomon), Alexander The Great and even the forefather of the human race Adam, among them.
Osh is mentioned in the greatest epic of the Kyrgyz people - “Manas” - where a wise old man Oshpur was a tutor of Manas. All these legends to some extent speak of the antique origin of the city. But nowadays Osh's antiquity has been proved by the latest archaeological research and findings in this region. On the Southern slope of the Grand Suleiman-Too, which hides many mysteries of remote antiquity in its bosom, a Bronze Age farmers' settlement has been excavated. At the end of the Ist millennium BC Osh, as well as the whole Fergana Valley was included in a transcontinental route historically known as the Great Silk Road.
Here you can enjoy the various city tours with experienced guides, visit the numerous historical, archaeological and religious monuments, many of which are considered as the country's culture heritage, and be absorbed by the real Southern spirit of this place.
The city's markets will offer you a wide range of different fruit, vegetables, spices, nuts and berries. The multi-ethnic environment gives an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with all the delicacies of the national cuisine.
Osh city, Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 772 574940 (mobile)
Mrs. Ainura Tajibaeva, coordinator
NGO "CBT Makmal"
Kazarman Village is located in Jalalabat Oblast, not far from the border with Naryn Oblast, near the famous Makmal gold mine. From here it's possible to take a trip to the world famous Saimaluu-Tash rock paintings gallery, listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and now under its protection. Visitors never forget the special atmosphere of this place full of the ancient artists' skills, surrounded by staggeringly beautiful scenery. The road to Saimaluu-Tash can only be used for one month a year – from approximately mid-July till mid-August. In September the first snow has already fallen here. Kazarman can be reached from Jalalabat (157km from Jalalabat town) or Naryn Oblast (220km from Naryn town) by bus or taxi (600 soms per person from Jalalabat, 400-450 soms from Naryn).
#36, Bekten St., Kazarman Village, Jalalabat Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++ 996 3738 41253, ++ 996 777 224063 (mobile)
Mrs. Bujamal Arykmoldoeva, coordinator
The visit on a jailoo might be the most exiting experience of a journey to Kyrgyzstan, in means seeing the real traditional Kyrgyz culture. Being the guest in the yurta of the shepherd family is sensitive way of tourism and exclusively offered by Shepherd's Life, a small private association of farmers offering jailoo tourism. This unique experience is not a service any demanding tourist can buy from his tourist agency. It is the shepherd host family, which invites guests to take part in its traditional daily life. Tourist may respect Kyrgyz “omin”, that is to thank after each meal.
“Shepherd's Life”, private families and shepherds in Kochkor, Naryn region, started in 1997 offering to tourists food and lodging in private houses and in yurtas on summer pastures. The initiative was supported by the rural advisory service of the Agricultural Project from Swiss Association for International Cooperation Helvetas (more at www.helvetas.kg).
Naryn Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
++996 312 540069, 443331
The wise regent of Alay, Kurmanjan Datka, loved her motherland. She lived about a century and was permanently delighted by the nature of the Great Alay : the wide and fertile Alay Valley, celestial mountains of Alay Range and healing thermal springs. If you would like to visit Alay, the group of CBT Alay would be more than glad to welcome you and offer you various tours and programs. Here you can see the geographical peculiarities of these places-combinations of high mounts, small hills - adyrs and submontane trough. The unique beauty of Alay Valley will be revealed when you will go up to the Chiyrchyk Pass on the back of the horse (80 km from Osh town). In the Jyluu Suu area hot mineral springs, famous with its curative properties are found. You can visit Jailoo – high altitude summer pastures – Kara-Bulak, Chyirchyk, Taldy-Suu. Nearly every family has members that are handicraft workers; they make “kurak” (patchworks), “terme” (wicker-work) and “saima” (embroidery). Silver works masters would show you their fine works. In Gulcho you can stay in cozy guesthouses along the way to Erkechtam (Chinese border). You will feel very comfortable in our guesthouses and the hosts will be looking forward your visit. They will certainly welcome you and your family with Kyrgyz hospitality.
280, Kurmanjan Datka St. ( 2nd floor, Room #19, "Alay" Hotel), Osh town, Kyrgyzstan
phone: +996 3222 2 02 76 + 996 555 07 76 21 (mobile)
Mr. Talant Toksonbaev, coordinator
”Sary-Mogol” does not say us something, but if you want to reach Lenin Peak, you should go first to Sary-Mogol Village, which is situated on the foot of Lenin Peak. Pamir-Alay mountain ranges constitute the basis of mountainous system of South Kyrgyzstan.The highest point, Lenin Peak, is situated in Alay Valley, and rise above Chon-Alay Range – 7134 meters above sea-level. These ranges have an alpine relief, thus the highest areas covered by snow and glaciers. In Osh oblast there are 1,5 thousand glaciers, with total volume of 1546,3 km3. The biggest glaciers are in Chon-Alay Range (total area of 693, 3 km2, and in number of 215). Amongst these glaciers are Korjenevsky, Lenin, Korumdu.These are ideal places for those who want to enjoy visiting of jailoo - high altitude summer pastures, ride on yaks, drink tasty kymyz (fermented mare’s milk) and see the high-mountainous lakes. Group of CBT Sary-Mogol can help you if you are interested in getting to know these attractions; they also can organize folklore show, national horse games with your participation. The nights would be pleasant in a yurt on the shore of Tulpar-Kol, on the foot of Lenin Peak and give you the impression that the world is at your feet, since Milky Way is the only thing above!
Sary-Mogol village, Alay Region, Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++996 312 540069, 443331
Mr. Abdilla Tashbekov, coordinator
Cliffy mountains of Boom Gorge conceal colorful shrubs and gorgeous fir tree forests. These forests grow densely and cover all mountain slopes as if covered by velvet. On the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range there are 582 glaciers, with the total area of 520 кm2. Most of them are situated at the central part of the range. The upper reaches of Chong-Kemin river is considered to be the biggest glaciations center. Mountains range on the eastern part forming the mountain junction known as Kemin-Chelek. At the eastern part of Chong-Kemin is situated Kok-Oirok jailoo. Kemin State has a Reserve aimed at preserving pheasants and hares, and also places of growing ephedra (Bot.: Ephedra intermedia). The nature in Kemin is unique by its own beauty, rich with thermal and mineral springs. Chong-Kemin gorges are also truly attractive by its beauties and conveniences. By the gorges of Kyrgyz Ala-Too there are lots of sparse growths of fir trees, juniper, birch, maple, rowan-tree etc. The friendly group of CBT Chong-Kemin would be glad to welcome you at the land of brave Shabdan Baatyr (Shabdan Hero). Experienced guides can show you track through passes to the azure coasts of Issyk-Kul. During the tour one can see rare species of flora and fauna of Central Tien-Shan, learn more about local inhabitant’s culture, visit Reserve and take part in many other interesting activities.
9, Bapakov St., Karool-Dobo village, Kemin Region, Chuy Oblast, Kyrgyzstan
phone: ++996 312 540069, 443331, ++ 996 772 832065 (mobile)
Mr. Janybek Sariev, coordinator