Despite its small size, Kyrgyzstan is full of amazing places. Book a best Kyrgyzstan tour to discover the mountains, lakes, and valleys that make this country a top destination. Whether you’re an adventurer looking for a thrill or interested in exploring the rich culture and history of this small country, a Kyrgyzstan tour is best for those looking for something unequaled anywhere else.
Many people come to Kyrgyzstan to visit the mountains, which makes sense, considering that 94% of Kyrgyzstan is covered in mountains. The massive Tian Shan range covers a lot of Kyrgyzstan, with its tallest peaks reaching over 7,000 m (22,965 ft). Nestled among the towering peaks are broad green valleys and crystal-clear lakes, with tumbling rivers that flow through fresh juniper forests. The broad green valleys are often used as summer pastures for herds of animals, and in the warmer months, are dotted with yurts and horses. Some of the lakes are too cold for swimming (like Son-Kul), but Issyk-Kul definitely isn’t. The sandy shores and alpine resorts around Issyk-Kul are must-visits on any best Kyrgyzstan tour, perfect for a moment of relaxation. Some people love adventure, and Kyrgyzstan offers plenty of horseback rides, rafting trips, ski resorts, and hikes, perfect for any adrenaline lover.
Though the nature can tend to dominate, the best Kyrgyzstan tours don’t ignore the culture and history of this country. Spend a night in a yurt, a traditional home made of wood and felt and designed to be both sturdy and transportable. Learn about all of the textiles Kyrgyzstan is famous for, and listen to the famous komuz (a three-stringed instrument) or The Epic of Manas, the epic poem that is a spiritual foundation in modern Kyrgyzstan. And make sure to try beshbarmak (ground meat boiled with noodles) and kumis (fermented mare’s milk) to get a real taste of nomadic life.
Arrival to Bishkek. Transfer to the hotel. Time for rest. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer from Bishkek to Cholpon-Ata (280 km). On the way stop to see Burana tower, which is left from ancient city Balasagyn (XI - XIII). Next stop is an open air museum of petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata. There will be an excursion in open-air art gallery of stone, said to date from 500 BC – 100 AD, they depict wolves, long-horned ibex, goats, horses, snow leopards, sacrifices and some hunting scenes. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to Karakol (150 km). City tour in Karakol: visiting Prjevalsky museum, Wooden Orthodox Church, Dungan mosque in Chinese style. Dinner in Uigur or Dungan family. Kyrgyzstan is a multiethnic country and during this tour you will have a chance to get acquainted with different nations and cultures. Today you will have a dinner in Uigur or Dungan family. These nations came to Kyrgyzstan from China and live in Karakol since 1869. Overnight in the guest house.
Transfer to Kochkor along the Southern Shore of Issyk-Kul lake. On the way visit to Jety-Oguz gorge. Your guide will tell you a legend about Jety-Oguz (seven bulls) and Broken Heart rock. After lunch transfer to Bokonbaevowhere you will see an eagle hunting show. Continue driving to Kochkor. One of the best views on the Issyk-Kul Lake is guaranteed. On arrival you will visit a felt carpet workshop in Kochkor. It’s a place where you can see the process of making Kyrgyz national felt carpets. There will be a Kyrgyz folkloric dinner show with Kyrgyz national music and songs. Family run accommodation.
Transfer to Chon-Kemin. After lunch you will have time to hike or walk in the gorge. Dinner in the guest house. Overnight in the guest house.
Transfer to Son-Kul (120 km). Son-Kul is one of the highest lakes in Kyrgyzstan (2030 m above sea level). It’s a place where you can experience a nomadic life. You will have a chance to ride a horse, see edelweiss flowers, camels, yaks, golden eagles, and to see how local women make Kyrgyz national drink – Kymyz (mare’s milk). This is a remote mountain lake situated on a treeless, high mountain plateau ( 3016 m ) where shepherds bring the livestock in the summertime, establish a camp where they will live – setting up their yurts. In this magnificent place you can see hundreds of herds and a lot of different yurts. Dinner. Overnight in the yurt camp.
Early in the morning transfer to Bishkek (320 km). Arrival in Bishkek. Afternoon sightseeing: visit Philarmonic hall, Statue of Manas, Oak Park, Ala-Too Square, Victory Square, Museum of Fine Arts. Farewell dinner. Overnight in the guest house. Transfer to the airport (30 km), departure. End of the tour.
Kyrgyzstan is the most open country in Central Asia for tourists. Citizens from many countries can enter Kyrgyzstan without a visa, for periods ranging from 10 days to unlimited stays. E-visas and visas on arrival are also available for visitors.
Citizens of the following countries can stay in Kyrgyzstan for an unlimited amount of time:
Citizens of the following countries can stay in Kyrgyzstan for up to 90 days:
Citizens of the following countries can stay in Kyrgyzstan for up to 60 days:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Citizens of the following countries can stay in Kyrgyzstan for 30 days or less:
Malaysia (30 days)
Electronic Visas for Kyrgyzstan
Citizens of all countries, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, can apply for an e-visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the www.evisa.e-gov.kg website. Processing takes 3 days, and the price will depend on the duration (from 30 to 90 days) and the number of entries. Payments can be made with VISA and MasterCard.
It is important to note that the electronic visa is valid only for arrivals and departures at Manas International Airport (Bishkek), Osh International Airport (Osh), and Ak-Jol (Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border).
Kyrgyzstan Visas in Embassies
If you haven’t found your nationality in the list above, you will need to obtain visa at the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic. In any case, you will need a Letter of Invitation (a.k.a Visa support) from Kyrgyz travel company, unless you are a holder of passport issued by the following countries.
Citizens of the following countries can obtain a visa to Kyrgyzstan without a letter of invitation (LOI):
- San Marino
- South Africa
For citizens of all other countries, visa support (including a LOI) will be necessary to receive a visa to Kyrgyzstan.
The following information is needed for Kyrgyzstan visa support:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Passport number
- Marital status
- Workplace (company name, address)
- Job title
- Embassy/consulate where you will be obtaining your visa (city, country)
- Duration of stay: date of arrival and exit
- Number of entries (single/multiple)
- Cities you plan to visit
- Purpose of visit
- Temporary address in Kyrgyzstan
- Copy of passport
- If you are applying for a Kyrgyz visa in a country other than your country of citizenship, we will need a copy of your visa to this country.
- Citizens of some countries must register at local police stations (OVIR/OVD) within 5 days of arrival, including weekends and the date of arrival. Registration can be provided as a separate service. As a general rule, citizens of countries that require visas to enter Kyrgyzstan will need to register within 5 days of entering the country. Uzbekistan is a notable exception, as citizens do not need a visa but need to register.
- Citizens of 92 countries are exempt from registration for a specified period of stay. Please check here if you are exempt from registering. Failure to register will result in a 10,000 som fine, and border guards will not let you leave the country until it has been paid. This may result in missing flights and extra expenses.
- There are some regions that require additional documentation in order to visit or pass through. Most of these regions are near the border with China, in Issyk-Kul and Naryn Provinces. Since Advantour cannot be liable for alpinism or adventure sports in these regions, the only way we will issue border permits is for light treks and guided tours in these regions. Be aware that attempting to travel to these regions without a permit can be dangerous, and may result in serious trouble with the Kyrgyz government. These regions include Karkyra, Inylchek, the areas around Pobeda Peak and Khan Tengri, Kel-Suu, At-Bashi, Ak-Sai, Peak Lenin, and near Torugart.