Nomadic Traditions and Village Culture

On this journey through the Kyrgyz outback, spend a night with a village family, visit with an eagle hunter and admire dramatic sandstone formations. Visit high-altitude Lake Issyk-Kul and spend the night at a guesthouse in the traditional village of Chon-Kemin, getting to know the locals before returning to the capital for a performance of the Epic of Manas.

8 Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    Minimum of 2 Travelers
  • Travels to:
    Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Flexible Essential:
    From Bishkek around Lake Issyk-Kul and back

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Witness exhilarating horse games
    Witness the spirit of Kyrgyzstan at exhilarating horse games, such as oodarysh, a kind of wrestling match on horseback....
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  • Learn how the Kyrgyz make felt
    Observe the traditional way of making felt, a craft that has survived the centuries....
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  • Meet Kyrgyz eagle hunters
    Meet with Kyrgyz eagle hunters to learn about their traditional hunting method and the magnificent raptors they use....
    Read More
  • Experience a performance of the Epic of Manas
    Attend a performance of selections from the traditional Kyrgyz poem, The Epic of Manas....
    Read More
Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central Asia travel experience
  • The first American travel company to open an accredited office in Central Asia
  • Travel programs such as Vassar, Dartmouth and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Central Asia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Bishkek

Begin in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, visiting the Osh Bazaar, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Statue of Manas, Kyrgyzstan’s mythical hero.


  • Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, with local crafts, dried fruit, nuts, prepared food and brilliant Kyrgyz textiles
  • Ethnographic Museum, showing Kyrgyz people's history and traditions through tools, clothing and artifacts
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Days 3-5: Kochkor, Lake Issyk-Kul, Karakol, day trip to Jeti Oguz

Drive to out-of-the-way Kochkor to overnight with a Kyrgyz family. Enjoy lunch and a demonstration with an eagle hunter. Continue along the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul to Karakol, dine with a Uighur family and visit a yurt settlement near the red cliffs of Jeti Oguz.


  • Traditional craft of felt-making in Kochkor
  • Visit with eagle hunters and a demonstration of the birds' prowess
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Day 6: Chon-Kemin

On the way to Chon-Kemin, stop to admire the thousands of ancient petroglyphs thought to have been created by tribes of the Neolithic period. Spend the night at a guesthouse in the traditional village of Chon-Kemin, getting to know the locals.


  • Issyk-Kul, second-largest high-altitude lake in the world

Days 7-8: Bishkek

Return to Bishkek with a stop at Burana Tower, one of the only existing Silk Road watchtowers in Kyrgyzstan. Attend a performance of the Epic of Manas, passed down by word of mouth for centuries.


  • Kyrgyz horse games, including kurosh, wrestling on horseback
  • Burana Tower, one of few remaining Silk Road watchtowers in Kyrgyzstan
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 8 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $2,695
  • Single Supplement $350

2020 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Friday

Recommended months of travel:

  • April,  
  • May,  
  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • FROM
  • $2,695
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations varying from superior tourist class hotels to simple and basic bed and breakfast style small private hotels. Call for hotel upgrade prices.
  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 4 dinners, per the itinerary. Some lunches and dinners are left free so you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by car or van (size of vehicle depends on number of travelers in your party).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (if applicable to your itinerary; please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info


Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

Perhaps you would like to experience the South Caucasus countries, Iran, Western Russia, or Eastern Europe. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel. Please call us for suggested packages and further information.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

The accommodations vary from superior tourist class to more basic guesthouses and a homestay, where you sleep in a yurt and use shared outdoor facilities. It is important to keep in mind that the country of Kyrgyzstan may not be up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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