13 days in Kyrgyzstan Itinerary

13 days in Kyrgyzstan Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Kyrgyzstan Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + Drive:  25​h
— 1 day
Drive:  4​h 45​min
— 4 nights
bus:  2​h
Cholpon Ata
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
— 5 nights
Fly:  24​h
End: San Francisco


Tokmok ©
Tokmok is a city in the Chuy Valley, northern Kyrgyzstan, east of the country's capital of Bishkek. On the 22nd (Sun), enjoy breathtaking views from Burana Tower and then look for all kinds of wild species at Ratsek Cabin.

For where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Tokmok trip planner .

San Francisco, USA to Tokmok is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and car. Traveling from San Francisco to Tokmok, you'll lose 14 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can go by car to Karakol.

Things to do in Tokmok

Wildlife Nature Parks

Side Trip

Ratsek Cabin
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
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Burana Tower ©
Burana Tower


Karakol ©
Set in the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains, Karakol reigns as Kyrgyzstan's trekking and climbing hot spot, surrounded by snowy peaks and scenic natural attractions, including canyons, waterfalls, lakes, and hot spring resorts.
Step out of Karakol with an excursion to Canyon Fairy Tale in Tosor--about 1h 35 min away. There's still lots to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Altyn Arashan, contemplate the waterfront views at Issyk-Kul Lake, stop by Issyk Kul Brand Shop, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal.

To see where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Karakol trip itinerary planning site .

Getting from Tokmok to Karakol by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to catcht the bus to Cholpon Ata.

Things to do in Karakol

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Canyon Fairy Tale, Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks)
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Altyn Arashan ©
Altyn Arashan
Issyk-Kul Lake ©
Issyk-Kul Lake
Ala Kul Lake ©
Ala Kul Lake

Cholpon Ata

Cholpon Ata ©
A well-established resort town, Cholpon Ata lies on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul, backed by the alpine peaks of the Tian Shan range.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): get outside with Ruh Ordo Cultural Center, examine the collection at Museum of Petroglyphs, see the interesting displays at Historical Museum, then take an unorthodox tour of Abandoned Airport Cholpon Ata, and finally have fun at The Equestrian Hippodrome.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Cholpon Ata road trip tool .

Getting from Karakol to Cholpon Ata by bus takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can go by car to Bishkek.

Things to do in Cholpon Ata

Museums Outdoors Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
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Museum of Petroglyphs ©
Museum of Petroglyphs
Ruh Ordo Cultural Center ©
Ruh Ordo Cultural Center
Historical Museum ©
Historical Museum


Bishkek ©
Wandering the grid-like, tree-lined streets of Bishkek, you'll discover the friendly atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and Soviet-era architecture of the country's political center.
Bishkek is known for parks, shopping, museums, historic sites, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Ala-Archa Gorge, get engrossed in the history at State History Museum, browse the eclectic array of goods at Osh Bazaar, and admire the masterpieces at Museum of Fine Arts.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Bishkek day trip planning website .

Getting from Cholpon Ata to Bishkek by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Bishkek are 39°F, while nighttime lows are 19°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Bishkek

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 1:
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Ala-Archa Gorge ©
Ala-Archa Gorge
Kashka-Suu Ski Resort ©
Kashka-Suu Ski Resort
Ski resort Too-Ashuu ©
Ski resort Too-Ashuu