Issyk-Kul and Son Kul Lakes
Horse Riding Tour


Kyrgyzstan Horse Riding Tour information

Issyk Kul and Son Kul are the two major lakes of Kyrgyzstan and best seen from horseback. During this six-day horse riding tour through Kyrgyzstan, starting from the Kyzart village, you’ll make your way on horse to Son Kol Lake and further to Issyk Kul Lake. Accommodation during the tour will be in yurts or guesthouses. 

Issyk-Kul and Son-Kul 6 days horse riding tour
Issyk-Kul and Son-Kul horse riding tour

Horse trek Itinerary

During the first morning you will drive to Kyzart village. The drive time is five hours, so you will arrive in the village by the lunchtime. Before you will get on your horse, you have lunch in a local guesthouse.

After a brief demonstration of horse riding from your guide, you will set off on journey on horse towards to Kilemche pasture. As you will leave the village behind, follow the trail as it gradually climbs up the west bank of the stream of Chaar-Archa river. Then you will break off to the right towards the valley of Kilemche which is a summer pasture of the local nomads.

After your arrival and cup of tea, get ready to enjoy the smooth atmosphere of the valley with sweeping views. Keep your camera near to catch the beautiful sunset over the mountains. Release the horses for overnight with your guide and go for the dinner at boz-ui (yurt) a traditional dwelling of the nomad Kyrgyz people.

Fast facts: 280 km transfer (4-5 h) 18 km of horse riding – (4-5) Accommodation in a yurt

After breakfast in Kilemche, you will continue the journey on horseback towards to Jalgyz-Karagai pass (3400 m) on the way to Son-Kol Lake. The pass provides a great panoramic view to both – Song-Kol lake and Kilemche valley on the other side. After enjoying the view and giving a break for the horses, the ride continues across grassy hills that are a summer home to grazing herds of sheep, goats, horses and cattle. 

During the warm summer months, nomad families are busy with daily chores including milking cows and horses. You will arrive in yurt camp by the lake for lunch and be fueled up by a hearty lunch before hitting the road again. You will have about two hours more of horse riding on the trail by the lake until you reach the Tuz-Ashuu pasture, where the local shepherd’s family will cordially welcome you with a bowl of kymyz – a national Kyrgyz drink made from horse milk

The remainder of the day you will spend with the family watching their daily life. For hiking lovers, the valley is a great place to have a stroll in the mountains around.

Fast facts: 23 km of horse riding – 6-7 hours. Accomodation in yurt

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at yurt and start your second day dedicated to horse riding. Get on your horse and begin your journey to the eastern part of the lake, following the path by the shore. The ride is smooth and easy, offering an opportunity to enjoy both the lake and mountain landscapes. Once you make it to the the half way, you will linger for lunch at a shepherds’ yurt.

On the second half of the day, as we get more confident on horse, we will try to do a gallop as the Son Kul lakeshore offers a great opportunity to run fast with the horses. In the evening, we will arrive at the camp on the western side of the lake where a dinner will be waiting for us. Before going to bed, we will watch the stars. The stars are especially bright over Song-Kol Lake where there is no light pollution.

Take some extra time to enjoy the scenery of Song-Kol lake before you start the journey. With mountains in the background, the lake looks even more beautiful in the morning sunlight. 

Once you get on your horse again, choose the upper trail for better views of the lake and make your way towards Kara-Kiya pass. From here, the ride is fairly moderately strenuous as you will descend towards the village, then spend the last hours of smooth riding until you will reach the village. 

On the arrival back to our car, you will have a lunch at guesthouse and continue your journey east driving to Bokonbayevo village at the Issyk Kul. During the drive you will enjoy great mountain views of the enormous mountains of Terskey-Ala-Too. In the village of Bokonbaev, you’ll meet eagle hunter for eagle hunting show.

The last stop of the day is at the Skazka (Fairy-Tale canyons). The red and yellow cliffs here, towering above a lunar-like landscape, are immense and the area is perfect for some easy hiking. Afterwards you will check-in at the guesthouse and can rest until dinner.

Fast facts: 20 km of horse riding – 4-5 hours. 250 km transfer – 5 h. Accommodation at guesthouse.

After a 40 minute drive to Tuura-Suu village in the morning, it’s time to hit the trails again on horseback. We start with a ride along a river with a quiet, crystal clear water and a stony bottom and a backdrop of rolling mountain peaks. From there, follow the trail up to Karaly-Archa (2900m) pass with a majestic view of Ysyk-Kol Lake and snow-capped Teskei-Ala-Too mountains on the other side. 

After picnic and rest, we continue the trek to Boz-Salkyn pasture where yurts sit on calm valley surrounded by the forest. Here, you’ll overnight at a yurt. Boz-Salkyn is another great place to see the Kyrgyz sunset over Ysyk-Kol Lake.

Fast facts: 21 km of horse riding – 5-6 hours. Accommodation at yurt

Following your trip itinerary, grab your whip and start your last horse riding day. Today’s trail takes you to Shatyly viewpoint with a majestic view of Ysyk-Kol Lake surrounded by the canyons, villages and snow-capped mountains on the horizon. Afterward, you’ll drive back to the village for lunch in a guesthouse.

We finish your Kyrgyzstan horse riding experience with a drive day back to Bishkek. The last stop on your travel map is an archaeological and architectural complex “Burana Tower“, registered on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Founded in the 11th century, the Burana tower was the minaret of a mosque in the city of Balasagun, the capital of the once largest empire in the area, called the Khara-Khanid Khanate of local Turkic-speaking tribes in Central Asia. 

Only the tower remains intact (restored) from the once great walled city above the ground today. There is a museum onsite that explains the history of this important site and showcases some of the archaeological discoveries. Take a tour of the ruins and then visit the top of the tower for a view of Chui Valley.

After arriving to Bishkek late evening, your guide will take you for farewell dinner.

Fast facts: 10 km of horse riding – 3-4 hours. 270 km – 4-5 h.

Tour Information


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