Journey to Kyrgyzstan
The Journey to Kyrgyzstan explores the glorious mountains, nomadic cultures, and sublime beauty of Kyrgyzstan.
Journey to Kyrgyzstan
Historical Overview of Kyrgyzstan
Landlocked by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east, Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country with ancient history covering a diverse variety of cultures and empires.
Locked in my beautiful mountains, Kyrgyzstan’s ancient culture is well preserved. Today, the majority of the population is ethnic Kyrgyz, a Turkic people, but Kyrgyz culture bears elements of Persian, Mongolian, and Russian influence as well.
Just like neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan’s earliest settlers were Scythians and many important arteries of the great Silk Road passes through modern day Kyrgyzstan. The huge lake of Issykkul was an important stopover for caravans.
The phenomenal mountain landscapes and steppes of Kyrgyzstan lend themselves really well for nature focused travel in supremely beautiful areas. Kyrgyz hospitality, like its neighbors, is famed. Nomadic and semi-nomadic communities can be found throughout the summer in high pastures, tending herds of sheep and flocks of goats on horseback. They live in traditional felt yurts in the high meadows.
Guests can explore parts of the Great Silk Road, embark on horse-treks in the high steppe, stay with nomads, meet with traditional eagle hunters who use trained golden eagles, and experience an amazing way of life on a journey to Kyrgyzstan. Read on to see what an itinerary may look like.
Exceptional Guiding on Journeys to Uzbekistan
A Journey to Kyrgyzstan was for long only possible by the most adventurous and independent travelers. Difficult bureaucracy, impossible logistics, and true off-the-beaten-path travel meant that only the most intrepid explorers visited.
Voygr’s Journeys to Kyrgyzstan are bespoke departures built around your exploration interests. Many guests choose to combine another Central Asian country on a two week trip, or even three countries on a 16 or 20 day trip.
With so much to see and a finite amount of time to see it in, it’s critical to plan the trip around your interests. Voygr’s tours combine history, cultural connections with locals, and the great outdoors. Read on for what a possible itinerary may look like.
The Journey to Kyrgyzstan often starts in the capital Bishkek. Guests spend a few days exploring this beautiful town and taking in the Soviet influences in its broad avenues, parks, statues, and architecture. Then we head east towards lake Issykul, the 10th largest lake by volume in the world, and the 2nd largest saline lake after the Caspian sea. The enormous lake has dozens of beautiful villages around it’s 2,400 square mile area. The lake is essentially a huge depression ringed by mountains and unique geology. Making a two day stop in one of the scenic villages is a wonderful opportunity to get a taste for rural Kyrgyz life, staying in a small home-stay or B&B and doing a hike, horse-ride, or relaxing by the lake.
Guests then move further south, deeper into the mountains to stay with nomads in the high pasture lands. This is a unique opportunity to experience and understand a disappearing way of life. Central Asian nomads were a defining force on Asian and European history and to get to participate in their way of life while being accompanied by a Voygr expedition leader will give perspective to a lot of history while doing some fun exploration. Lots of opportunity to get the 4×4 muddy and ride horses. Help corral some sheep and goats and live the good life.
After the nomads, guests head to the town of Karakol for a beautiful night by the lake and to explore this frontier town where the great Russian explorer Prezwalsky is buried and later transfer to the city of Osh in the south. From here guests either continue overland into Tajikistan to explore the legendary Pamir Highway, continue into Uzbekistan to explore the magnificent Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, or stay in Kyrgyzstan and head northwest to explore the Chatkal mountains and explore glorious nature before returning to Bishkek.
Cultural Exploration on the Journey to Kyrgyzstan
A Voygr Expedition leader will accompany you on your entire trip, local guides will be brought on for translation, adding cultural nuance to your journey, and bringing fresh local perspective along different points of your journey. Across Central Asia, people are incredible hospitable, friendly, and kind. You will be amazed time and again at how generous and welcoming small communities are to travelers. Engaging with locals is always an integral part of traveling with Voygr. People to people connections make the strongest memories and make the world a better place.
History & Architecture on the Journey to Kyrgyzstan
Depending on your interests, Journeys to Kyrgyzstan can incorporate a lot of history and absolutely spectacular architecture. The region is dotted with World Heritage Sites and teeming with stories of empire, the great game, and the Silk Road.
Photographers on the Journey to Kyrgyzstan
All our itineraries can be designed around photography. The cultural exploration and architectural variety of the region combined with the incredible landscapes make this a dream photography trip.
Why Book With Voygr?
Read more about Voygr Expeditions to learn about our ethics, how giving back to the communities we travel to is part of our DNA, and what steps we take to actively preserve our planet.
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