5-Day Adventure Tour from Bishkek to Arashan Gorge via South Shore

5 Days


Embark on a captivating 3-day journey from Bishkek to the enchanting Arashan Gorge, nestled in the heart of Kyrgyzstan’s majestic mountains. This adventure is designed for nature lovers and those seeking the tranquility of the great outdoors. Arashan Gorge, renowned for its thermal springs, rugged landscapes, and breathtaking natural beauty, offers an unforgettable experience. From the serene waters of Lake Ala-Kol to the towering Aksu Wall, this trip promises an array of spectacular sights and activities.

  • Thermal Springs: Relax in the natural hot springs of Arashan, known for their therapeutic properties.
  • Lake Ala-Kol: Hike to the stunning alpine lake, a highlight for many trekkers, offering breathtaking views.
  • Waterfalls and Peaks: Explore the numerous waterfalls and the majestic peaks of Aksu Wall.
  • Cultural Insights: Experience the rich culture of the region, from ancient petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata to the unique and historic architecture of Karakol.


Morning: Depart from Bishkek, driving along the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake towards Skazka Canyon, known for its colorful and unusual rock formations.
Afternoon: Explore Skazka Canyon's lunar landscapes and enjoy a picnic lunch with breathtaking views of the lake. Continue the journey to Tamga, check into a guesthouse, and enjoy some leisure time by the lake.
Evening: Dinner at the guesthouse, followed by a briefing on the upcoming days' activities.

Morning: After breakfast, head to Barskoon Valley for a short hike to see the Barskoon Waterfall and the monument to Yuri Gagarin.
Afternoon: Travel to Jeti-Oguz, famous for its red sandstone formations known as the Seven Bulls. Explore the area and enjoy a light hike to the Valley of Flowers.
Evening: Return to Tamga for dinner and overnight stay.

Morning: Depart Tamga for Karakol. Visit the Dungan Mosque and the Holy Trinity Cathedral upon arrival.
Afternoon: After lunch, explore the local bazaar and the Przhevalsky Museum. Check into a guesthouse in Karakol.
Evening: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, experiencing traditional Kyrgyz cuisine.

Morning: Early breakfast before setting off for the trek to Arashan Gorge. The hike takes you through beautiful landscapes, with opportunities to see local wildlife.
Afternoon: Arrive at Arashan Resort. After lunch, take the time to relax in the hot springs and explore the surrounding area.
Evening: Camp near the resort or stay in a guesthouse. Dinner surrounded by the majestic mountains.

Morning: Enjoy breakfast in the gorge. For those up for it, a morning hike to nearby attractions or simply relax in the hot springs.
Afternoon: Begin the journey back to Bishkek, with a stop for lunch en route. Reflect on the adventure and the beauty of Kyrgyzstan's landscapes.
Evening: Arrival in Bishkek. The tour concludes.



  • Transportation: Round-trip transportation from Bishkek to Arashan Gorge, including all transfers as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation: 2 nights of accommodation. The first night in a guesthouse in Karakol and the second night either in a guesthouse or camping near Arashan Gorge, depending on the package selected.
  • Meals: All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners). Vegetarian and special dietary options available upon request.
  • Guided Tours: Professional English-speaking guide service for the duration of the tour.
  • Entrance Fees: All entrance fees to national parks, museums, and other attractions as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Hiking Permits: Necessary permits for hiking in protected areas.
  • Camping Equipment: Tents, sleeping bags, and mats if the camping option is selected. (Does not include personal gear like backpacks, clothing, etc.)
  • Hot Springs Access: Entry to the thermal springs in Arashan Gorge.


  • Airfare: International airfare to/from Bishkek and domestic flights.
  • Visa Fees: Visa fees, if applicable, depending on the traveler's nationality.
  • Personal Expenses: Expenses of a personal nature like souvenirs, laundry, drinks outside of meals, etc.
  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance, which is highly recommended for all participants.
  • Optional Activities: Any optional tours or activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Tips and Gratuities: Tips for guides and drivers, which are not mandatory but highly appreciated.
  • Extra Nights: Additional accommodation before or after the tour dates.
  • Emergency Evacuation: Costs associated with a medical emergency evacuation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to take this tour?

The best time to visit Arashan Gorge is from late May to early September when the weather is most favorable for hiking and outdoor activities. During these months, the temperatures are comfortable, and the risk of rain is lower, providing clearer views of the landscapes and easier access to high-altitude areas like Lake Ala-Kol.

How physically demanding is the tour?

This tour is considered moderate to challenging, primarily due to the altitude and length of the hikes. Participants should be in good physical condition, able to hike for several hours over uneven terrain. Prior hiking or trekking experience, while beneficial, is not mandatory.

What should I pack?

Packing essentials include:

  • Warm and waterproof clothing for variable weather conditions
  • Good quality hiking boots
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
  • Personal medication and a basic first aid kit
  • Hydration bottles or bladders
  • Daypack for carrying personal items during hikes
  • Camera or smartphone for photos
  • If camping, personal hygiene items and a headlamp

Do I need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan?

Visa requirements for Kyrgyzstan vary by country. Many nationalities can enter Kyrgyzstan visa-free for periods ranging from 30 to 90 days. Always check the latest visa requirements with the Kyrgyz embassy or consulate in your country before traveling.

Can dietary restrictions be accommodated?

Yes, dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice. Please inform us of any specific dietary needs or allergies when booking the tour, so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Is travel insurance required?

While travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in the tour, it is highly recommended. Ensure your policy covers medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and activities at high altitudes. Check the terms and coverage carefully before purchasing.

What is the group size for this tour?

The tour typically operates with small groups to ensure a more personalized experience. Group sizes can vary but are usually limited to a maximum of 12-15 participants. This allows for better interaction with the guide and fellow travelers, as well as more flexibility during hikes and activities.

Map: Bishkek to Arashan Gorge

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