With its unique, striking mountains, Kyrgyzstan is slowly becoming a pretty popular trekking destination.
However, the mountains of Kyrgyzstan are, definitely, not the only reason why you should come here.
From a well-developed public transportation system to a wide range of budget accommodation, hospitable people and just an amazing, undiscovered culture, Kyrgyzstan is an easy place to travel and the perfect spot for travelers seeking a unique and off-beat destination
After spending two months exploring this Central Asian country, my conclusion is that Kyrgyzstan is an exciting destination which will, definitely, leave you fascinated.
Honestly, I can’t recommend Kyrgyzstan enough.
For all the practical information, read: 75 Things you need to know before traveling to Kyrgyzstan
Capital – Bishkek
Population – 6 million (110th)
Language – Kyrgyz (a Turkic language) but Russian is widely spoken.
When to go – Kyrgyzstan is a trekking destination, so it is recommended to come from June to September. The rest of the year the mountains are covered by snow.
Travel insurance – Most Kyrgyzstan is in high altitude areas, so traveling with proper travel insurance is a must. I recommend World Nomads for the following reasons:
- It is the only company that covers with an unlimited budget
- It provides coverage for a very big bunch of adventure activities, including trekking in high altitudes
- You can hire it while on the road
Trekking in Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyzstan is the ultimate trekking destination and, for this very same reason, I have compiled this Beginner’s Guide to Trekking in Kyrgyzstan.
5 Top things to do in Kyrgyzstan – These are just some of my favorites:
- Trekking in the Tien Shan range – The main reason you come to Kyrgyzstan for. Read: Trekking in Karakol
- Staying with real nomads in a yurt camp – Kyrgyzstan is home to the most accessible nomadic culture ever.
- Trekking on the back of a horse – This is the land of horses and going over a mountain pass on a horse is a must. Read: Horse trekking in Tash Rabat
- Hanging out in Bishkek – The capital of Kyrgyzstan is surprisingly Westernized.
- Going the Alay Valley and Lenin Peak base camp – My most favorite natural site in the country
For more information, don’t forget to read my 4-week itinerary to Kyrgyzstan
Typical costs – It is a very cheap destination. You can easily find homestays or yurts for 10USD a day, including dinner and breakfast. Meals cost around 1-2USD in local eateries and between 2-4USD in mid-range places. Public transportation within cities costs 15c and buses between nearby towns, less than 1USD. You can easily travel for less than 20USD a day.
Transportation – Most Kyrgyzstan is easily accessible by public transportation. Locals travel in both marshrutkas (mini-vans) and shared taxis.
Accommodation – Kyrgyzstan has the peculiarity that, no matter where you go, locals offer their houses to foreigners for home stays. Whether it is a remote village or a touristic destination, as soon as you arrive, women will approach you, asking if you want to stay at their house. You can also book them in advance through booking.com.