Kyrgyzstan's Hidden Jewels: The Lakes You Can't Miss
Kyrgyzstan is home to many stunning lakes that captivate visitors and keep them coming back for more. We've put together a list of the top lakes to visit, but we encourage you to explore all that this country has to offer.
Start your lake exploration with Issyk-Kul, the second-largest saline lake in the world after the Caspian Sea. Located at an altitude of 1609 meters between the ridges of the Northern Tien Shan, the lake boasts a unique beauty with the mountains and the lake complementing each other. With 80 inflows and surrounded by waterfalls, canyons, and forests, there's so much to explore in this area.
This mountainous lake is the second-largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, located at an altitude of 3016 meters in a valley between the internal ridges of the Tien Shan. Covered by snow for 200 days a year, it's difficult to access in winter (December-February), so plan accordingly. It's a popular spot for shepherds who bring their cattle to the lake during the summer and live with their families in traditional Kyrgyz dwellings called yurts. With rare species of animals and birds and clear water, this lake is a must-visit.
Located in the Sary-Chelek Nature Reserve, this lake is a hidden gem that stretches for 7.5 kilometers in length and 350-1500 meters wide. With more than 1000 types of plants and 34 species of mammals, the area is heavily covered by forest, creating a magical and peaceful atmosphere for visitors.
This dead or glacial lake, located at an altitude of 2725 meters above sea level in the Kel-Tor valley, is one of the most beautiful lakes in Kyrgyzstan. The hike to the lake is as stunning as the lake itself, with beautiful mountains, forests, and meadows along the way. The peak of Sugar Loaf with a hanging glacier is also a highlight. If you're interested in medicinal herbs, bring a bag to fill with various herbs you'll find on the riverbank, and among the bushes on the mountain slopes, you'll find strawberries and blueberries.
Located at 3532 meters, Ala-Kul is a glacial lake hidden high in the mountains of Ala-too. The lake can only be accessed by walking or riding a horse as there are no roads. With the bright shining sun and rocky shores of the lake, visitors will feel like they've been transported to a realm of peace and pureness.
Lake Kel Suu is a hidden gem in Kyrgyzstan's remote Naryn region. This alpine lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and boasts crystal-clear turquoise water. Kel Suu stretches over 12 kilometers in length and is fed by the Karakol and Kurumduk Rivers. Hikers and nature lovers will appreciate the stunning views and variety of wildlife, including marmots, ibex, and even the elusive snow leopard. Even though you will need the border permit to visit lake Kel Suu, you should add it to your itinerary to experience the natural beauty and wildness of Kyrgyzstan. The level of water in the lake may change
If you're planning to visit Kyrgyzstan, these lakes should be on your must-visit list. Don't miss out on the chance to explore the natural beauty of this stunning country.