Horizon Travel, 118, Mahatma Gandhi street, Bishkek, 720014, Kyrgyz Republic.
By the Lakes of Sary-Chelek

The village of Kara-Suu is 600 km from Bishkek on the upper reaches of the Kara-Suu River, 1,300 m ASL. The village is 70 km from Kerben and 260 km from Jalal-Abad. A distinguishing feature of the area is the variety and multitude of flora and fauna. The Kara-Suu River flows from the southern part of the At-Oinok mountain range and joins the river Naryn at the town of Tash-Kömür. Because the Kara-Suu is the Sary-Chelek National Park’s buffer zone, many kinds of fauna and flora are found there. Sary-Chelek (“Yellow Jar” in Kyrgyz) is a gorgeous alpine lake in western Jalal-Abad oblast, surrounded by walnut and fruit forests and protected, at least nominally, as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The park and area comprises river valleys and settlements which flow along a winding course through almost all the territory of the reserve, in places between steep banks, strewn with boulders forming rapid cascades and waterfalls up to 3 meters high. Glaciers and permanent ice fields and high mountain lakes lie on the north facing slopes. It is possible to view all this while driving to the shore of the fascinating Sary-Chelek Lake. It is right at the foot of the Chatkal mountain range. The beauty of this lake can be compared with the best in the world; its waters often appear a greenish shade of blue and make excellent photographs.

Duration: 4 days horseback or 5 days trekking 

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Best season: May 15 – September 30

Requirements: trekking boots, weatherproof warm clothes, hat, sunscreen, torch, sleeping bag, tent, and sleeping pad.

Itinerary: Kara-Suu village – Kara-Suu Lake – Makmal Pass – Sary-Chelek North Lake – Ashuu Pass – Sary-Chelek Reserve – back to Kara-Suu village


Day 1: Breakfast. Setting off northwards from Kara-Suu to the Kara-Suu Gorge, along the banks of the Kara-Suu River, crossing by wooden bridges as necessary. The gorge becomes rather narrow and the slopes are covered with a beautiful silver fir forest. Further on the track passes below a waterfall and then climbs over a small pass to Kara-Suu Lake (1,800 m, 17 km, 4 hours).
Day 2: Breakfast, then continue the trek along the Kara-Suu river where the slopes of the mountains are covered with silver fir forests. The stony road winds through inhabited jailoos (mountain pastures) where you stop for lunch below the Makmal Pass. After lunch you cross the Makmal Pass (2700 m), and descend into the Kojo-Ata River valley and on to Sary-Chelek Lake where you will have dinner and camp overnight in tents.
Day 3: Breakfast, followed by crossing the Ashuu Pass (2600 m) where you are surrounded by fir forests and have a panoramic view of the infinite ridges of the Tien-Shan Mountains stretching to the far horizon and beyond. During the descent from the pass you will have lunch and then continue down through the Ashuu Gorge to the bottom part of Sary-Chelek Lake where you will have dinner and camp overnight in tents (25 km, 6 hours).
Day 4: Breakfast followed by a sort excursion to the 5 small lakes of Sary-Chelek (10 km, 2,5 hours) till noon. After this you will continue on through the fir forests enjoying the panoramic views on the way to Arkyt and descend to Kara-Suu or Arkyt village for dinner and overnight stay in a guesthouse (20 km, 4 hours).
Day 5: Breakfast. Morning departure

Possibility of change the combination of program.

We organize other horseback/trekking tours:

  • From Chatkal Range Towards Sary Chelek: 9 days horseback/11 days trekking
  • From Talas town over the Talas Range to Sary Chelek Lake: 6 days horseback/8 days trekking

For additional information please contact us.