4 - 12
Experience three of Kyrgyzstan’s most beautiful alpine lakes: Stay in yurts with views of the majestic sea-like Issyk-Kul lake, watching the local eagle hunters; Earn a view of Chatyr-Kol after hiking/riding to a high pass deep in the Tian Shan Mountains along the ancient Silk Road; Ride horses alongside nomad herders in the tranquillity Son-Kol, situated in the heart of the country surrounded by a gentle crown of mountains and grazing livestock in the summer months.
Kyrgyzstan is famed for its hiking in the high Tian Shan but if you prefer a more relaxed adventure yet still with the ability to take in many of the mind-blowing views, then this is the trip for you. The nomadic way of life is still very much alive in this country – nestled deep within the Central Asian Steppe – and you will have plenty of chances to meet with the local people and learn about their timeless way of life.
Kyrgyz food is absolutely delicious and apart from gorging ourselves in the capital on the many traditional dishes, we will also experience the home-cooked meals of the family we are staying with in communal dining yurt – in Son Kol particularly – with maybe even a schnapps or two to wash it down after. Kyrgyzstan displays incredible natural beauty with horses in abundance; even if you have no previous horse riding experience the mounts are very well trained and used to having travellers ride them so this can be the perfect opportunity to try something new and get a feel for the nomad that lives in all of us.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis, however, due to the nature of some of the accommodation we are using on this adventure (staying in yurts), there are several nights where single rooms are not possible, so the supplement price reflects this. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is not available to book for part of the trip where it would have been possible.
We fully believe in, and practice, Responsible Tourism, using hotels run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip.
We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Some hotels will be basic, and in modern buildings and or in towns. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available.
An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things which is exciting and memorable, and reflects the countries we are visiting.
This is adventure travel and on occasion the advertised services at a hotel, guesthouse or camp (eg wifi, or hot showers!) may not be functional on our arrival. This tends to occur in the smaller, more remote places. Very rarely a hotel lets us down and we are required to find alternative suitable accommodation that might not be our first choice.
This accommodation on this adventure involves both hotel stays and camping in Yurts. The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure. Where hotels and refuges are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Bishkek (3 nights): 3* Navat Boutique Hotel, or similar
Yurt Camping (5 nights): A yurt is a large felt tent made from sheeps wool, which results in a warm, cosy and waterproof shelter. The centre of the yurt houses a metal wood burner with a chimney for all smoke to escape through the roof.
The yurts house either 2 or 4 simple but comfortable beds with plenty of extra blankets to pile onto your sleeping bag (please bring a winter season bag), should you feel chilly. If you are travelling with a group of friends then we are happy for friends to share a yurt (4 people), or YellowWood can arrange the rooming for solo travellers to share with others of the same gender.
Toilet facilities are shared and in a separate ‘hut’. There are taps and running water in the camp for washing. We use traditional nomadic yurt camps where electricity is available between 18:00 and 22:00 and there is no mobile signal. Please note that part of this adventure is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles.
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you on your holiday will be a minimum of 2 experienced, approachable and knowledgeable guides; one from the UK YellowWood team, and an in-country local guide who will be with us for the duration of the holiday.
This ensures you the perfect balance of information and support on your trip, with your Kyrgyz guides offering insight into local life and customs, as well as routes during hiking, whilst your YellowWood guide ensures the smooth running of your adventure.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures an optimal level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a larger group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it out for you. Our links with in-country travel experts often mean that we can assist you in developing a personalised itinerary.
You are visiting the Tian Shan mountains and your itinerary involves some walking over rough terrain and some optional trekking (see the Itinerary for Day 5 for further details).
To get the most of out of this adventure, you therefore need to be a regular walker and in good physical condition. You do not need to be experienced in trekking, however. Any hiking is undertaken at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops.
You will be carrying just a day pack and bottle of water.
As with all active holidays, the fitter you are, the more you can relax and enjoy the stunning route, and the better you can cope with challenges such as the outside elements.
Clients are advised to get into a regular walking pattern before the trip as convenient.
NB: If you have bought new hiking boots for this adventure, this is the right time to wear them in, not on the trip! itself.
Your YellowWood adventure starts at the airport in Bishkek. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be very daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible, to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool such as www.momondo.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net when searching for flights. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. We also receive notifications direct from the FCDO so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
Manas International Airport is the main international airport in Kyrgyzstan, located 25km NW of the capital, Bishkek. It is a small, though fully functioning, airport with 2 ‘terminals’ that you may arrive into, at different ends of the same building.
You will be met at the airport by your YellowWood guide and a local driver for transport to the Silk Road Lodge (approx 40mins)
It is not necessary to fill out any visa forms on the plane, but on disembarking, you have a couple of jobs to do.
Toilets can be found in the arrivals lounge.
On arrival at the Silk Road Lodge, you will be welcomed and have time to settle into your room.
Once the group have all arrived (they may be on a variety of different flights), you will be heading to a local restaurant for lunch and a trip briefing. This will be followed by a very interesting City Tour of Bishkek to kickstart your holiday!
Holiday insurance is essential for all Yellow Wood Adventures. Unfortunately anyone without insurance is not able to take part in the holiday, so please make sure you arrange cover. We recommend sorting your insurance when you book so that if you have problems during the run up to your holiday, and need to cancel, you are covered, particularly in the light of effects that the pandemic has had on travel.
Prior to the holiday, we will ask you to send us details of your insurer, policy number, 24 hr emergency assistance contact details and the name, address, and telephone numbers of your NOK or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
Your insurance needs to cover you for hiking /trekking (and horse riding if you are likely to do this) with the following fairly standard inclusions:
We would also recommend that you have cover for the following optional items:
For information on Kyrgyzstan, such as climate, weather, language, social norms, food & drink etc, please have a read of our Country specificinformation.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
We can also arrange private departures for you:
+44 207 846 0197
Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit (£300/$400/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if 56 or <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for
Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.
+44 207 846 0197