4 - 12
Even very few local Kyrgyz people know about this route, which we have created in response to the growing popularity of trekking in the Tian Shan; albeit still very small in comparison to a Nepal or Patagonia for example. Nevertheless, we prefer to have the mountains to ourselves, and this adventure provides you with the means of seeing one of the few areas of the world still unaltered by man.
The ride/trek ends in the well-known and unspeakably beautiful yurt camp of Altyn Arashan [‘Golden Spring’ in Kyrgyz], where you will experience spending the night in a cozy nomad’s yurt after bathing in the natural hot springs for which the valley is famous. Book today for this rare and completely unique adventure.
This adventure is the epitome of the road less travelled: Taking you into the very heart of nature, completely away from tourists, and with only a few local shepherds in yurts and their herds of free-roaming horses for company. We will hike across beautiful untouched valleys and high passes of the Tian Shan Mountains. There is also the great opportunity to ride horses through some of the beautiful valley pastures, to sleep in a yurt and bathe in the natural hot springs with a cold beer or two on our final night in the mountains.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Single tents are available during the camping sections of this adventure. 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 , guest house or camp (eg wifi, or hot showers!) may not be functional on our arrival.
This tends to occur in the smaller, more remote hotels. 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 hotel stays, wild and Yurt camping. 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 (2 nights): 3* Silk Road Lodge, Toktobolot Abdumomunov St, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel: +996 312 324 889 (Wifi & Small indoor Pool)
Karakol (1 night): Green Yard (3*), 14 Novostroika Street, Karakol, 722360, Kyrgyzstan. Tel: +996 555 451515
Camping (5 nights): We wild camp in the heart of the mountains on this adventure, under the canvas of YellowWood 2 man tents. We have horses to carry all our camp equipment, and our guides will assist with setting up, but please be aware that camping facilities are basic. There are no toilet facilities - you need to find a suitable spot away from the group and waterways, use a trowel, and carry your own toilet paper, burning it after use. Washing is done in the stunning mountain rivers, which is totally exhilarating!
Yurt Camping (Day 8): A yurt is a large felt tent made from sheep 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. Yurts house either 4 simple but comfortable beds with plenty of extra blankets to pile onto your sleeping bag (please bring a winter season 4 bag), should you feel chilly. YellowWood will arrange the rooming for solo travellers to share with others of the same gender but be prepared for random rooming!
Toilet facilities are in a separate ‘hut’. There are taps and running water for washing. Please note that there is no electricity in the camps, and limited mobile signals, if any. Facilities are basic.
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). Only 3 nights of this itinerary are based in hotels, where single rooms are possible. All other nights are in tents or yurts where you will be sharing with someone else of the same gender.
Supporting you on your holiday will be an experienced member of the YellowWood Guiding team. They will be joined by local city guides in Bishkek and a local hiking guide, for the duration of the trek.
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 Yellow Wood 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.
Your itinerary involves trekking over passes and through mountain valleys, both of which will include rough terrain, steep gradients and some scree and boulders at varying times. To get the most of out of this adventure, you need to be a regular walker and in good physical condition. The terrain requires that you are used to walking up and down hills for extended periods of time. You do not need to be experienced in trekking however. Any hiking is undertaken at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops. Walking boots are essential on this adventure.
You will be carrying just a day pack with camera, spare layers and a bottle of water. All other equipment is carried on horses.
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.
You 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 a
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!
Not sure which adventure is best for you? Dates or itinerary not quite fit?
+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 (£200/$250/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if <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