3 or 4 day horseback ride to Song Kul Lake

My friend Aigul is passionate about horses and travelling, and she runs a travel agency in Kyrgyzstan. She understands that many travellers want to go horseback riding in Kyrgyzstan, in complete safety, but have a limited budget.

Since 2015, I have been regularly referring blog readers to her.

To discover Song Kul, she has created a programme that respects nature, animals and the local people, with experienced and competent Kyrgyz guides.

This is a ride for everyone, 90% of the people who do it are beginners, the horses and the route are accessible to all.

Major advantage: The direct bus from Bishkek to Kyzart saves you a lot of time and money, as it saves you shopping around agencies in Kochkor.

Readers of the blog tell you about their horseback trek to Lake Song Kul:

In July 2019, I had the chance to share this adventure with several readers of the blog, here you can discover their testimonies:

What is the program of my 3 or 4 day horseback trek to Song Kul Lake?

In addition to the classic 3-day programme, Aigul offers a new 4-day programme.

Compared to the classic 3-day trek, the 4-day trek allows you to spend an extra day at the lake and is more relaxing. It is the ideal programme for families with children and beginners.

The 4-day programme is my favourite. It allows you to immerse yourself even more in the nomadic life, to enjoy the shores of the lake and to see the different landscapes.

Your 4-day programme is as follows:

  • Day 1: Transfer by bus from Bishkek to Kyzart. Lunch in Kyzart before horseback riding. 3 hours horse riding to Kilemche. Dinner and overnight with the shepherds in a yurt.
  • Day 2: 3 hours hike to Song Kul lake. Lunch, free afternoon around the lake, dinner and overnight in a yurt camp.
  • Day 3: 3 hour hike from Tuz Ashuu camp on the lake shore to Kyrjol camp, also on Song Kul lake - Lunch, free afternoon, dinner and overnight in the yurt
  • Day 4: Return to Kyzart after a 3 hour horse ride. Lunch in Kyzart.

    Kilemenche in July 2019

Duration: 4 days and 3 nights

Best period: June to September

Accommodation and meals: 3 nights in yurts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners and breakfasts.

Your 3-day programme is as follows:

  • Day 1: Transfer by bus from Bishkek to Kyzart. Lunch in Kyzart before horseback riding. 3 hours horse riding. Dinner and overnight with nomads in a yurt.
  • Day 2: 3 hours hike to Song Kul lake. Lunch, free afternoon around the lake, dinner and overnight in a yurt camp.
  • Day 3Return to Kyzart after a 6-hour ride on horseback. Lunch in Kyzart.
    traveller-son-kul

    Song Kul in July 2019

Duration: 3 days and 2 nights

Best period: June to September

Accommodation and meals: 2 nights in yurts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners and breakfasts.

This includes:

  • Horse rental
  • Guide with limited English
  • 1 guide for up to 3 people
  • 2 guides from 4 people
  • Meals
  • Accommodation

This does not include:

  • Transport (about 300 som one way by bus) / private transfer from Bishkek to Kyzart costs 50$ per car.You can easily spend the night before departure at the Apple Hostel next to the western bus station, which is ideally placed.

Readers of the blog, get a 10% discount on their stay at the Apple Hostel, you can require it via the form below.

Answers to the most frequently asked questions:

What means of transfer are available to and from Kyzart?

What is the bus number to Kyzart?

You can take bus 514 from Bishkek to Kyzart leaving at 6am for 400 soms. To make sure there are enough seats, you need to be at the western bus station before 5.30am.

How to get to Kochkor after the trek?

The last Marshrutka from Kyzart leaves at 2pm. If you start at 7 or 8 am on day 3, you should be able to arrive on time. If you need a taxi, you can ask Aigul. It will cost you 2000 soms from Kyzart to Kochkor but it must be booked in advance.

Can I go to Karakol after the trek?

Yes, but you must first take a Marshrutka or taxi to Kochkor and from Kochkor take another taxi to Balykchy; then take another taxi from Balykchy to Karakol. A private transfer from Kyzart to Karakol costs 6000 soms - ask at Aigul.

Do you have any other practical information?

Can I have a vegetarian menu?

Yes, you just have to warn Aigul in advance.

Are the yurt sheets washed daily?

No, this is a tour in the real life conditions of the nomads. The living conditions are rustic. If necessary, you can bring your sleeping bag.

What clothes should I take?

At night it can be 0°, so you must have warm clothes for the evening. Even in summer, you can expect four seasons. So you need warm clothes as well as rain trousers and a rain jacket.

Can I leave luggage in Kyzart?

Yes, you can leave your extra luggage on day 1 in a guesthouse as you will return to the same guesthouse on day 3.

Can I charge my electronic devices?

Yes, if you have an external battery.

The yurt camps have no electricity or a small solar battery that nomads use to run a light bulb or a satellite phone. You won't be able to plug in your electronic devices. You will have to learn to manage your batteries and use your devices wisely.

 

What is the rate for my group?

Prices are in Soms:

The price of your 4-day tour is as follows:

  • 1 person = 22,500 KGS
  • 2 persons= 31,900 KGS
  • 3 people = 41,300 KGS
  • 4 people= 63,800 KGS
  • 5 people= 73,200 KGS
  • 6 people = 82,600 KGS

The price of your 3-day tour is as follows:

  • 1 person = 16,350 KGS
  • 2 people = 23,100 KGS
  • 3 people= 29,750 KGS
  • 4 people= 46,100 KGS
  • 5 people= 52,800 KGS
  • 6 people= 59,500 KGS

These rates apply from June to mid-September. Off period, hiking is still possible, but due to the climate and snow conditions, more logistics are required. The prices are therefore different. Aïgul will give you the price according to your travel dates.

family-son-kul

 

The Kyrgyz people are very concerned about the horses' health, but if you are offered a horse with an injury, especially to the girth. I invite you to refuse to take this horse and ask for another one. It is also our responsibility as travellers to look after animal's wellbeing.

You can form groups with other people to get a better price. (Make use of the group travel to Kyrgyzstan to look for travel companions).

Book with Aïgul :

To contact her you can use the form below, or write to her at aigulkyrgyzstan@gmail.com

    When do you want to leave?

    Would you like to go for 3 or 4 days?

    How many people are in your group?

    Terms and conditions

    See the other walks that Aigul can organise for you:

    20 Responses to 3 or 4 days horseback riding in Song Kul Lake

    • Charly

      Just back from Song Kul, it's like paradise. Thanks Aigul for your amazing guide

      • Georges-Michel

        Wow, thanks

    • Bresson justine

      We chose the 3 day trek to Song Kul from 5 to 7 August by booking through Aigul. We left Bishkek and went by local bus to kyzart (400 soms per person for about 3h30 journey). We then met our guide in the village and after a lunch in a yurt we left for the 3 days horse riding. It was a unique and wonderful experience! Everything went very well, we slept in a yurt every night. Magical moments with the locals. The landscapes are incredible! We even dared to take a dip in the lake but it was really cold (11°c!)
      Thanks to Aigul for the organisation of this trek and to Georges Michel for your great blog which allowed us to find all this information!

      • Georges-Michel

        Hi Justine, what can I say except thank you for this comment! I'm glad you liked it, your story makes me really want to go. I look forward to seeing you again!

    • Ben

      Thank you very much for the contact of Aigul! We just came back from 10 fabulous days in KG, she was an excellent guide and above all organised incredible and authentic activities for us. Big surprise this country, my friends and I have all taken a big slap. The variety of landscapes (we went from the Swiss Alps to the Death Valley on 100 km), the Soviet heritage, the hospitality and the authenticity of the inhabitants make it a very beautiful destination.

      • Georges-Michel

        Thanks, glad you enjoyed it Aigul. It's good to see that travellers are coming back. See you on the road or on the internet

    • Marie

      We were 2 and booked a 3 day horse riding tour to Song-Kul lake.
      Aigul organised everything for us.
      I had never ridden before. The guide gave us the right instructions and advice to make sure everything went smoothly. The horses were also well chosen and docile.
      Throughout the 3 days, the organisation was impeccable. We travelled through beautiful landscapes. We shared meals in yurts with the locals and learned more about this nomadic people. A real immersion!

      I recommend this tour 100%!

    • Nina

      I did this hike with a friend in July. 3 days/2 nights. We paid 90e each. Everything went very well. I had never been on a horse before, no worries, the guide handles everything. Our guide was fantastic. Despite not speaking a word of French and hardly any English, he was just great with us. The families in the yurts who hosted us were great and so were the meals. I should mention that I am a vegetarian, I indicated this and they made me special meals.
      A wonderful memory of my trip! On the other hand, it is necessary to assume the 3 days with horse because in the end that hurts quickly.

      • Georges-Michel

        Ahahah thank you for the buttocks it's better to have riding trousers for the next time. See you soon

    • NOGUE

      We did this trek in mid September and had an unforgettable 3 days. Our guide Ascar was adorable and full of attention. Despite his limited English (as expected at the time of booking) he was always talking. Apart from being a very good rider, he is also a very nice person who taught us a lot about the nomadic life of the Kyrgyz. During our 2 nights in yurts, we were the only 2 people, which made the meeting with our hosts even more intense. What a pleasure to be outside the full yurts of the CBT (some tourists we met explained to us that they were in full yurts of the CBT...).
      Of course we can only advise you to go through Aigul to do this trek, don't hesitate! Moreover, the booking is very easy via the blog.

      • Georges-Michel

        Thank you for your feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed the experience so much.

    • Small

      A big thank you GTLA for your blog and your precious advice.
      We have just returned from 18 extraordinary days in Kyrgyzstan. Among the many trips we have made, this country is surely one of our favourite.
      Your friend Aigul was our entry point and we organised our treks on horseback and on foot with her, exactly as we wanted.
      She is available, lovely and very efficient. She took my requests into account with attention and often had ingenious ideas.
      I can only recommend her with my eyes closed to all the readers of your blog.
      We have only one desire: to continue to discover Central Asia.
      Thank you again and we hope that our travel routes will cross one day.

      • Georges-Michel

        Hi Anne, thanks a lot for your feedback, it's very nice and pleasant to read comments like yours. I'm glad you liked the country, my blog and Aigul. I look forward to seeing you on the road

      • Georges-Michel

        Hi Anne
        Thank you for your comment, I'm so glad you enjoyed Kyrgyzstan so much and I'm also glad that my friends there helped you make your trip a great one. Thank you for Aigul. I look forward to seeing you on the road

    • graffiti

      We did this hike over 4 days with our 3 children (16, 7 and 3 years old). One of our best memories of our trip. The children loved it. The smallest was on a horse with a guide and the 2nd was alone on his horse but it was held by another guide. Our guides were amazing and looked after our children as if they were their own! Very good welcome in the yurt camps...around beautiful landscapes...No worries, I recommend this trek! And I really want to do another one...and the kids too!

      • Georges-Michel

        Thanks, so when is the next hike?

    • Loïc

      3 day hike with 2 friends and the guide,
      really superb and magnificent. Splendid landscapes all along and warm welcomes in the evenings in the yurts by the Kirghiz families! Certainly one of the most beautiful memories of this trip!

      • Georges-Michel

        It's nice to hear, thanks for the feedback

    • Céline

      I did this 3-day hike with my partner in June 2019. We have really great memories of it. Our guide spoke little English (no surprise as it was indicated at the time of booking!) but what a rider! We felt very confident with him during these three days. Each of our hosts warmly offered us room and board.

      I highly recommend this hike, which I will not forget!

      • Georges-Michel

        Thank you Céline, always a pleasure to read feedback like yours

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