Pearl of Tian Shan
In the north-east of the country, in the Issyk-Kul basin, framed by the majestic mountain ranges Kungei Ala-Too and Terskey Ala-Too is located Issyk-Kul region. This is a real jewel of the Tien-Shan mountains, because there is located the huge clear lake of indescribable beauty. Issyk-Kul is a favorite vacation spot not only of the residents of Kyrgyzstan, but also of tourists from many foreign countries. Mountain, but at the same time maritime climate which was formed here, is especially favorable to your health. It allows you to find yourself in the atmosphere of quiet joy, peace and tranquility.
The largest settlements of the region are the towns Karakol, Cholpon-Ata and Balykchi. The population of the region does not exceed 450,000 people. Issyk-Kul borders with Kazakhstan and China, but there are no border crossing points in the region.
Fans of diving can find much interesting here. Diving trips are not just entertainment, but also a great research. Lake Issyk-Kul keeps a mystery of a number of submerged ancient cities, and every rearcher has the opportunity to solve it.
The mountains surrounding the lake are also of great interest for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking on one of the picturesque gorges (Chon-Ak-Suu, Semenov gorge, Jeti-Oguz and others), ride on horseback or live in a tent amidist green meadows, make a trip to geothermal springs, mountain lakes, waterfalls and syrts. The falconers called berkutchi (village Bokonbaevo) and craftsmen (Kyzyl-Tuu) will help you to get acquainted with nomadic culture.
Fans of mountaineering often come to Issyk-Kul region to climb the famous seventhousand-meter peaks such as Khan-Tengri and Pobeda Peak, to enjoy the power and majesty of the glacier Inilchek, to see the mysterious "disappearing" Merzbacher lake.
Some places can tell a lot about the history of past generations and the people living here (Museum of Przewalski, Dungan mosque, Holy Trinity Church). Some destinations will help you to learn the culture of ancient people (Ornok and Cholpon-Ata galleris of petroglyphs) and get the power of nature and cosmic energy.
In the town of Karakol a wonderful ski resort is located. It is one of the best ski bases in the whole country, so in winter here come hundreds of skiers and snowboarders. The mountains and lots of snow, that's all fans of extreme sports need to evaluate sports as backcountry skiing, freeriding and heliskiing.
Hiking is also possible in Issyk Kul region in the winter. You can make a trip to the frozen waterfalls (Barskoon), take a snowshoe hike or ski along the snow-covered woods and gorges.