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Six days journey to Aflatun Sary-Chelek and Kara-Suu

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Sary-chelek tours

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Sary-Chelek reserve 

The Western Tien-Shan Mountains are fraught with the real treasure of spectacular lakes including the grandiose lake Sary-Chelek. This adventure trekking tour takes you through the picturesque mountain passes, and deep gorges, along the torrents of mountain rivers. In addition to the lake Sary-Chelek, you will encounter many other smaller lakes that look like a chain of crystal-clear diamonds scattered among the rocky mountain peaks.

Lake Sary-Chelek and its surroundings are full of enchantment. Located at the altitude of 1873m the lake is cupped in the basin among mountain ridges. With a length of 7,500m and a width of 2280m, the lake is 234m deep. It was formed as a result of the tectonism of the area about 2000 years ago. On a fair day, the extreme transparency of the water makes underwater inhabitants and deep-water landscapes visible. The lake is located on the territory of the Sary-Chelek biosphere reserve and is surrounded by rocky cliffs, and thick juniper and spruce forests reflecting in its water surface.

Join a trekking group and enjoy the great outdoors and beauty of the Tien-Shan Mountains!


Category: Trekking 

Duration: 6 days trekking

Level of difficulty: Medium 

Best season: end of June to September 

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

Itinerary: Bishkek – Osh - Aflatun settlement – Sary-Chelek North Part of Lake – Ashuu Pass – Sary-Chelek Reserve – back to Kara-Suu village – Osh - Bishkek

Day 1: Day 1:   Arrival in Osh Osh – Aflatun (350 km, 7 h).
Early arrival in Osh. Meeting at the airport of Osh. Breakfast.
Transfer from Osh to Aflatun River Valley, which is located in the eastern part of the southern slope of the largest range in the Western Tien Shan – Chatkal Range. We set up a tent camp in a picturesque place, right at the confluence of the Aflatun and Utur rivers, in the shade of walnut trees.
Travel time: 7 hrs; altitude difference: +340 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Welcome to your guesthouse in Kara-Suu. Dinner.

Day 2:  South Aflatun – Uyalma (18 km).
Start of the trekking route. Trekking up along the South Aflatun river valley to its confluence with the Uyalma tract. A rather good dirt road runs along the canyon of the river among the picturesque spruce forests, it perfect fits for the first day of the route.
Lunch in the birch forest by the river. Then we continue the trekking up along the gorge to the confluence of the rivers, which forms a wide valley covered with green lawns and spruce forest.
Travel time: 7 hrs; altitude difference: +600 m.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

Trekking Sary-Chelek

Day 3: Uyalma River – Kuldambes Pass (2750 m) – Lake Sary-Chelek.
Trekking over Kuldambes Pass (2750 m) and then descent to Lake Sary-Chelek via Ashuu Pass (2551 m).
Easy trekking over Kuldambes pass is done in the background of picturesque landscapes of Uyalma Valley and the Chatkal Ridge. After crossing Kuldambes Pass we continue the way to Ashuu Pass – the viewpoint with stunning views of Lake Sary-Chelek and the valley. 
Descent from Ashuu passes to the Lake Sary-Chelek valley. Lake Sary-Chelek is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes and the third deepest lake in Central Asia. Sary-Chelek resulted from an enormous landslide blocking the eponymous river, which happened about 10000 years ago.
Travel time: 8 hrs; altitude difference: +850 m; -850 m.


Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

On the mountain sary-chelek tours

Day 4: Lake Sary-Chelek – Makmal Pass (2654 m) – Kara-Suu River Valley.
We leave Lake Sary-Chelek shores and trek upstream the Sary-Chelek river to its confluence with the Makmal river. A path along the river will lead us first to alpine meadows, and then to the wide saddle point of Makmal pass (2654 m). From the saddle of the pass, it is possible to make a simple ascent to the nearby summit. Lunch at the pass.
Descent along the Kurumdu River to the Kara-Suu river valley.
Travel time: 7–8 hrs; altitude difference: +755 m; -755 m.


Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1900 m).

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Day 5: Kara-Suu River Valley – Lake Kara-Suu.
After two intense previous days, the descent along the river valley to the lake Kara-Suu (Karakamysh) is very light and slow. The lake is incredibly beautiful and is located in a very picturesque gorge. The main highlight is the stunning view from the shores of the lake to the Min-Teke mountain range.
After lunch, horseback riding, acquaintance with the life of nomads.
Travel time: 4–5 hrs; altitude difference: -100 m.


Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (1800 m).

Kara-Kamysh lake Camping

Day 6: Kara-Suu River Valley – Kuturma pass (2446 m) – Lake Iri-Kol.
After trekking along Lake Kara-Suu we start an easy ascent to Kuturma Pass (2446 m). A picturesque path runs between juniper trees and rocks. From the pass, there opens a stunning panorama of the southern part of Lake Sary-Chelek. Descent from the pass is quite steep, but not too long, and soon we pass through the flowering fields and reach the banks of the lake Iri-Kol.
Travel time: 6 hrs; altitude difference: +646 m; -446 m.


Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight in a tent (2000 m).

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Day 7: Lake Iri-Kol – Lake Sary-Chelek. Transfer to Osh.
Trekking from the lake Iri-Kol to the southern part of the lake Sary-Chelek. The route runs through apple orchards along numerous turquoise lakes. Along the way, magical landscapes of the most beautiful mountains of Kyrgyzstan continue to open at each new turn.
Transfer to Osh. Time for walking around the city.
Travel time: 9 hrs; altitude difference: -940 m.


Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at a hotel.

Day 10:Breakfast. Transfer to Bishkek or Osh.

Attention: The above description is given for an 6-day trekking tour! 

Tour map

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