Nomads, Eagle Hunters, and a Silk Road Heritage

Kyrgyzstan: Hiking in the Celestial Mountains

Kyrgyzstan

14 Days

From $6,995

Level 3

Moderate

Overview

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    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    The snow-capped Celestial Mountains of Central Asia dominate the spectacular landscape of Kyrgyzstan, and the alpine scenery is truly breathtaking, but it's the cultural encounters with the Kyrgyz that make this trip unforgettable. We'll hike to high lakes, meet a hunter with his trained golden eagles, mingle with shepherds, and witness one of the country's wild horseback games—it's a spectacle to behold. Overnights are in lodges as well as tent and yurt camps that give us access to remote regions. We also celebrate Kyrgyz culture through its cuisine, savoring wonderfully fresh, authentic meals, and enjoying warm welcomes in family homes.

    Arrive: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    Depart: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    Highlights

    • Hike in the stunning landscape of the Tien Shan—the Celestial Mountains
    • Witness the amazing Kyrgyz horseback game of ulak-tartysh, a precursor to polo
    • Meet a traditional eagle hunter, dine in family homes, learn about nomadic culture
    • Visit Bishkek's huge open-air market, the Osh Bazaar
    • Experience the rich cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan, a Silk Road jewel

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      In Bishkek, the capital, we roam the open-air Osh Bazaar, with its wealth of colors and scents, and head out for a hike in Ala-Archa Canyon.
      Driving along azure Lake Issyk-Kul, we visit the petroglyph site at Cholpon-Ata on our way to Karakol, an ancient Silk Road crossroads. One evening, we dine with a Chinese-Dungan family—and join them to make delicious hand-pulled noodles.
      In Kyrgyzstan's Tien Shan (“Celestial Mountains”), one of our hikes brings us to red-rock towers where we can watch Kyrgyz horsemen compete in a game of ulak-tartysh—a thrilling sight! Our tent camping is comfortable, with walk-in tents with cots, a fully staffed kitchen, a dining tent, and even a delightful mobile sauna. Our camp will move between two beautifully remote mountain valleys, giving us access to truly stunning trails below dramatic peaks ringed with lush forests, alpine lakes, and herds of grazing horses.
      At our special yurt camp above the wild southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, we'll savor a lunch of Kyrgyz dishes and meet an eagle hunter to learn about the fascinating tradition of training eagles—these enormous birds are magnificent! From our next yurt camp at remote Lake Song Kol, at nearly 10,000 feet, one of our hikes brings us up to airy Jalgyz-Karagay Pass (11,276') for panoramic views of the highest peaks in the Celestial Mountains. Depart on Day 14 via Bishkek.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in comfortable hotels, guesthouses, tent and yurt camps
      • All meals
      • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
      • All land and boat transportation and baggage handling from arrival until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Visa fees

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Solutel Hotel

      Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

      Days 1-2 (2 nights)

      A five-minute walk from Ala-Too, Bishkek's central square, the Solutel Hotel is a comfortable base for exploring the city. Guest rooms feature orthopedic mattress options, a tea table, a pillow menu, and private bathrooms with slippers and bathrobes. You can enjoy breakfast on the pleasant outdoor terrace overlooking a quiet...

      Green Yard Hotel

      Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

      Days 3-4 (2 nights)

      Tucked away on the outskirts of town, The Green Yard Hotel features modern guest rooms with a homey atmosphere. You can enjoy tea and coffee on the garden patio surrounded by fruit trees, or have a drink at the small indoor bar and lounge. Continental breakfast is served in the...

      Kyrgyzstan Tented Camp

      Tien Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan

      Days 5-8 (4 nights)

      Our private base camp will be set up in a green valley surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Spacious mountaineering tents are equipped with cots and sleeping bags, along with an entryway vestibule for storing your gear. The camp has a full-size dining tent outfitted with tables and camping chairs with backs....

      Kyrgyzstan Yurt Camps

      Kyzyl Suu and Lake Song Kol, Kyrgyzstan

      Days 9-12 (4 nights)

      Yurts are still used by nomadic shepherds in the summer months when they travel into mountain pastures, and we get an authentic taste of the traditions and cultures of the Kyrgyz people while staying in these camps. We'll experience two different yurt camps, with two nights in each location. The...

      Solutel Hotel

      Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

      Day 13 (1 night)

      A five-minute walk from Ala-Too, Bishkek's central square, the Solutel Hotel is a comfortable base for exploring the city. Guest rooms feature orthopedic mattress options, a tea table, a pillow menu, and private bathrooms with slippers and bathrobes. You can enjoy breakfast on the pleasant outdoor terrace overlooking a quiet...

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Ernist Djumagulov

      View Profile

      Hashmat Singh

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      What the Trip is Like

      The trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. Day hikes and cultural exploration are our focus; many days we are hiking from 2-5 hours. We have four days with hikes of 2-4 miles, and two days with hikes from 7-9 miles. Much of the trip takes place at higher altitudes; the maximum for this trip is approximately 11,300 feet. Trails can be quite rough; be prepared for uneven ground.
      Review Trip Level Details
      Because of its many mountain ranges, Kyrgyzstan's temperatures vary depending on location. In Bishkek in the summer and early fall, we can generally expect daytime temperatures to be in the high 60s°F to low 80s°F (and sometimes hotter during the summer). In Cholpon Ata, temperature ranges will be fairly similar, with cooler evenings. Karakol and the Southeast shores of Lake Issyk-Kul both tend to be cooler with daytime temperatures in the 60s°F and 70s°F, and evening temperatures sometimes dropping to the low 40s°F. Along the southern shores, we'll experience lower temperatures and cooler breezes. In Song Kol, where the elevation is higher, temperatures will be colder, especially at night. No matter the time of year, snow is a possibility at the higher elevations, especially at our tented and yurt camps (in Kyzyl Suu and Song Kol). When it does snow, it is typically at night, and then melts by late morning. As always with hiking trips in mountainous regions, warm layers are your best friend, and good rain gear, especially a Gore-Tex jacket, should always be in your day pack.

      We stay in comfortable hotels in Bishkek and Karakol. Other days we're in more basic guesthouses, tent camps, or yurt camps. Tents and yurts are private, but there is a communal eating area and a communal toilet area (for 8 nights). Single rooms can be requested, but are not guaranteed. Wilderness Travel will do its best to secure single rooms for those who pay the single supplement, but even if this is confirmed in advance, arrangements may change during the trip.

      All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included, except breakfast on Day 1. Full breakfasts are included at hotels. When possible, we have arranged meals at local restaurants and in family homes. Village food tends to simpler than city food, but sampling it is an excellent opportunity to experience rural life. Please note that special diets may be difficult to accommodate on this trip. Bottled water is provided throughout the trip.

      Road conditions can be very basic, and trip members should be prepared for drives of 3-6 hours on some days. Our expedition travels to areas that have experienced very little tourism. While traveling in rural areas, we may have stretches without public bathroom facilities, and you may need to do what the locals do and opt for a "nature break." The most important requirements for this trip are a spirit of adventure and the understanding that you are visiting a remote and fascinating region.

      Client Testimonials

      "Our trip with Wilderness Travel to Kyrgyzstan was a fabulous success. The country was magnificently beautiful, the people we met were warm and friendly. Trekking among the snow-capped mountains and high valleys among roaming horses, cattle, and sheep was picturesque beyond the photographs. I so enjoyed the trip's cultural aspects of visits with the local Kyrgyz people: experiencing yurt building, felt making, the livestock market, eagle hunters, and interacting with the nomadic shepherds and their family up close."

      Arthur F.

      Brooklyn, NY

      "It was a great adventure and one that we thoroughly enjoyed!"

      Diana M.

      London, England

      "Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful country and each area we visited was a unique experience. I enjoyed the added cultural and historical additions to our hiking days. The felt demonstration, yurt building, home visit, eagle hunters, and boat ride added much to our adventure."

      Lynn T.

      Portland, OR

      "A great trip in a terrific new destination."

      Paul S.

      Epping, Australia

      "One of the most pleasurable and interesting trips I have been on. It is a part of the world that I have been interested in for a long time. The various opportunities to explore local culture through the food, felt making, yurt construction, and eagle hunting were exceptionally good. The walking allowed us all to enjoy the spectacular landscape at our own pace."

      Philip M.

      Cumbria, England

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Karakol (5,775&apos;).\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 7 hours\r\nBoating Details: Approximately 1 hour","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Loop Hike \/ Karakol \/ Dungan-Style Dinner","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"The town of Karakol, an ancient Silk Road crossroads lying at the foot of the Celestial Mountains, gives us access to some of the country&apos;s best hiking. We&apos;ll drive out of town to a mountain village for a loop hike and a packed lunch by a lake. Returning to Karakol, we&apos;ll tour the town, visiting the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, a gorgeous wooden structure built in 1869 when the town was founded, and the Chinese-style Dungan Mosque, built by Chinese Muslims who fled China at the turn of the century and settled in Kyrgyzstan. Tonight we have a special treat: we&apos;ll be welcomed by a Dungan family and share an elaborate home-cooked banquet&mdash;possibly trying our hand at making laghman, a dish made from hand-pulled noodles. It&apos;s great fun! Overnight at hotel.\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 2 hours\r\nHiking Details: Approximately 4-5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Dramatic Red-Rock Gorge \/ Kyrgyz Horseback Games","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We drive to a picturesque gorge for a hike to a panoramic viewpoint of the gorge&apos;s towering red sandstone bluffs. They make a dramatic site against the cobalt blue of the Kyrgyz sky. In this region we&apos;ll also witness breathtaking traditional horseback games that display the phenomenal skills of the Kyrgyz. We&apos;ll most likely see the event called ulak tartysh&mdash;a wild, no-holds-barred cross between rugby and polo played with a 60-pound goat carcass instead of a ball. We may also see a game called kurosh&mdash;it&apos;s wrestling on horseback! Afterwards, we&apos;ll drive up along the river, with a picnic lunch, and hike to our tented camp. The next day we enjoy a full day&apos;s hike from our tented camp. Meals and overnights at camp. each day\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 2 hours on Day 5\r\nHiking Details: Approximately 2.5-3 hours on Day 5, 4-5 hours on Day 6","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Pristine Mountain Streams and High Meadows \/ Comfy Camping&nbsp;","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Continuing our exploration of the Celestial Mountains, we move our camp to a stunning site in an enormous glacial valley along a crystal-clear stream. Our camp features spacious tents comfortably furnished with cots and warm bedding and we have a large dining tent. The camp is the perfect base for our hikes in this idyllic area. We&apos;re likely to see herds of grazing horses and yurts as we step into this nomadic world, with an afternoon hike up alongside the stream toward the snow-covered mountains. On Day 8, our trail leads up through the forest to high mountain meadows (expect a few stream crossings!) to the base of giant mountain peaks. Those who wish can continue higher to a dramatic waterfall that flows from a glacier-fed lake. And at each day&apos;s end, we can enjoy our camp&apos;s delightful mobile sauna. Overnights at tented camp... BLD\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 2.5 hours on Day 7\r\nHiking Details: Approximately 3 hours on Day 7, 6 hours on Day 8","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Hike to Pristine Kyzyl Suu \/ A Glacial Lake \/ Comfy Camping","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head up into the mountains, hiking the last stretch through the forest to our stunning campsite along a crystal-clear stream. Situated in a beautiful meadow, our camp at Kyzyl Suu features spacious tents comfortably furnished with cots and warm bedding and a large dining tent, making the perfect base for our hikes in this idyllic area. The traditional wooden house nearby was once used by the Soviets as a weather station. We&apos;re likely to see herds of grazing horses and traditional yurts as we step into this nomadic world, with an afternoon hike up alongside the stream toward the snow-covered mountains. On Day 8, our trail leads up through the forest to high mountain meadows (expect a few stream crossings!) to the base of giant mountain peaks. Those who wish can continue higher to a dramatic waterfall that flows from a glacier-fed lake where you'll enjoy a picnic lunch; others can head back to the camp for lunch. After lunch we can spend the afternoon enjoying our special mobile sauna or head out on another short hike in the main valley. Overnights at tented camp.\r\n\r\nHiking Details: Day 7: Approximately 3 hours; Day 8: Approximately 6 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Fairytale Canyon \/ Bokonbaevo \/ Lake Issyk-Kul \/ Yurt Camp","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"This morning we drive along the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul to explore the spectacular geological formations of Skazka Canyon, known as &ldquo;Fairytale Canyon&rdquo; for its endless red and yellow ridges in amazing shapes. The canyon&apos;s formations resemble everything from castles to slumbering dragons. In the village of Bokonbaevo (5,935'), we&apos;re treated to a lunch of traditional Kyrgyz dishes at a local family&apos;s home. Here we can also witness how felt and felt carpets are made by hand (both in the Ala-Kiyiz and Shyrdak styles), a skill still used extensively all over the country. Afterwards, we head to a panoramic spot for a hike above Lake Issyk-Kul with commanding views. Our welcoming yurt camp for tonight and tomorrow night is on the family farm of a man who started life as a shepherd and rose to become chairman of the Supreme Council of the Kyrgyz SSR. We&apos;ll learn about the days of the Soviet era, and more recent Kyrgyz history. Overnight in a comfortable yurt camp near Lake Issyk-Kul.\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 3-4 hours\r\nHiking Details: Approximately 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Eagle Hunting \/ Kara-Choku Hike","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Today we meet a hereditary eagle hunter (berkutchi) and the two golden eagles he has raised from chicks. He will tell us about this ancient tradition, which was especially important in the days before rifles were available for hunting game, and we&apos;ll learn about the art of training eagles. These powerful raptors can take down prey as large as a wolf or sheep, as well as smaller animals like hares and marmots. The relationship between hunters and their eagles is a profound one, and the communication between human and eagle is astonishing, as we&apos;ll see in the dramatic demonstration of their art&mdash;have your camera ready! And be sure to take advantage of the invitation to put on leather glove and actually hold one of these magnificent birds&mdash;it is quite an experience! Later we hike up towards the peak of Kara-Choku and back, with a picnic lunch along the way. If we have time, we'll explore the two small museums at our yurt camp. We'll also enjoy a traditional music performance at our yurt camp before dinner.\r\n\r\nHiking Details: Approximately 3.5-4 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":10,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Yurt-Making Village \/ Yurt Camp on a Jailoo \/ Lake Song Kol","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We drive to Kyzyl-Tuu, the &ldquo;Village of Yurt Makers,&rdquo; to visit a family where we&apos;ll all have a chance to join in the lively tradition of raising a boz ui, or yurt. We&apos;ll learn about the fascinating symbolism and structure of this essential element of Kyrgyz nomadic culture, with a design so perfectly suited to its function that it has barely changed over millennia (six people can assemble a snug dwelling in under 30 minutes!). We continue to Lake Song Kol (9,895'), the perfect place to experience life on a jailoo, or summer pasture, and hike down a ridge right to our yurt camp by the lakeshore. This spot is far from any villages and a place where nomadic shepherds have brought their horses and sheep since ancient times&mdash;we&apos;ll see their traces in mysterious &ldquo;standing stones.&rdquo; On Day 12, we hike to a high pass at 11,276 feet for breathtaking views of sapphire-blue Lake Song Kol, surrounded by lush pastures and snow-capped mountains. On our return hike, we visit shepherds and witness the activities of their everyday life: milking mares or making traditional Kyrgyz kymyz (fermented mare&apos;s milk), which is a key part of Kyrgyz culture, but definitely an acquired taste! Overnights at comfortable yurt camp on the shore of Lake Song Kol, where the remoteness and utter lack of light pollution makes for spectacular stargazing.\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 4.5-5.5 hours on Day 11\r\nHiking Details: Approximately 2 hours on Day 11, 5 hours on Day 12","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":11,"Headline":"Return to Bishkek","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A day&apos;s drive brings us back to Bishkek, with lunch en route in the town of Kochkor. Tonight we gather for our festive Farewell Dinner. Overnight at hotel.\r\n\r\nDriving Details: Approximately 5-6 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":12,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Transfer to the airport for departure.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Bishkek&apos;s Bazaar \/ Ala-Archa","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In Bishkek, the capital, we roam the open-air Osh Bazaar, with its wealth of colors and scents, and head out for a hike in Ala-Archa Canyon.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Lake Issyk-Kul \/ Karakol","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Driving along azure Lake Issyk-Kul, we visit the petroglyph site at Cholpon-Ata on our way to Karakol, an ancient Silk Road crossroads. One evening, we dine with a Chinese-Dungan family&mdash;and join them to make delicious hand-pulled noodles.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Hiking and Tent Camping in the Tien Shan Mountains","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In Kyrgyzstan&apos;s Tien Shan (&ldquo;Celestial Mountains&rdquo;), one of our hikes brings us to red-rock towers where we can watch Kyrgyz horsemen compete in a game of ulak-tartysh&mdash;a thrilling sight! Our tent camping is comfortable, with walk-in tents with cots, a fully staffed kitchen, a dining tent, and even a delightful mobile sauna. Our camp will move between two beautifully remote mountain valleys, giving us access to truly stunning trails below dramatic peaks ringed with lush forests, alpine lakes, and herds of grazing horses.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":14,"Headline":"Yurt Camping \/ Eagle Hunters \/ Lake Song Kol","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"At our special yurt camp above the wild southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, we&apos;ll savor a lunch of Kyrgyz dishes and meet an eagle hunter to learn about the fascinating tradition of training eagles&mdash;these enormous birds are magnificent! From our next yurt camp at remote Lake Song Kol, at nearly 10,000 feet, one of our hikes brings us up to airy Jalgyz-Karagay Pass (11,276') for panoramic views of the highest peaks in the Celestial Mountains. Depart on Day 14 via Bishkek.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true}],"itinpdf":[{"ItinYear":"2023","docType":"1","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/kyrgyzstan-hiking-in-the-celestial-mountains-itinerary-2023.pdf"},{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"1","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/kyrgyzstan-hiking-in-the-celestial-mountains-itinerary-2024.pdf"},{"ItinYear":"","docType":"2","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/kyrgyzstan-hiking-in-the-celestial-mountains-predeparture.pdf"}],"whattoexpect":[{}],"highlights":[{"DisplayOrder":1,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Hike in the stunning landscape of the Tien Shan&mdash;the Celestial 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As a child, he spent his summers swimming and fishing in the lake and later developed an interest in working in the travel industry. After stints with agencies in Cyprus and Turkey, he organized study tour programs for students at Manas University in Bishkek, but soon realized his vocation was as a guide in the outdoors. He received an open water PADI dive certificate, spent time rafting the Class IV-V rapids of Turkey&apos;s Dalaman River, and trained in ice climbing. (His dream? To climb Lenin Peak&mdash;23,405&apos;.) Ernist also enjoys mountain biking and snowboarding, and says his favorite thing is to experience the outdoors with his tour groups&mdash;&ldquo;it makes me happy when they enjoy their time here.&rdquo; Ernist is the Director of our local partner&apos;s office in Kyrgyzstan and has been the Coordinator of the Green Tourism Project since May 2020."},{"GuideID":850408,"First_Name":"Hashmat","Last_Name":"Singh","BioShort":"Hashmat Singh has led over 150 journeys on three continents for us since 1990. He holds a BA in History from Delhi University and is a noted photographer. His book, Trekking in the Himalaya (Roli Books), features photographic essays from Ladakh to Bhutan. Born an army brat, Hashmat traveled extensively as his father was posted in various remote regions of India. His first big Himalayan trek was at age 12, with his school group, and during college, he headed into the Himalaya to take mountaineering courses. A passionate traveler, Hashmat has been instrumental in designing new adventures for us throughout Asia. The profession of Trip Leader combines several of his interests&mdash;hiking, exploring the mountains, photography, and meeting new people. He&apos;s a favorite of WT travelers&mdash;as one of them put it, &ldquo;Hashmat is a longstanding member of the guiding hall of fame.&rdquo; He lives in Delhi with his wife and two children.","BioLong":"Hashmat Singh has led over 180 journeys on three continents for us since 1990. He holds a BA in History from Delhi University and is a noted photographer. His book, Trekking in the Himalaya (Roli Books), features photographic essays from Ladakh to Bhutan. Born an army brat, Hashmat traveled extensively as his father was posted in various remote regions of India. His first big Himalayan trek was at age 12, with his school group, and during college, he headed into the Himalaya to take mountaineering courses. &ldquo;Big mountains of the world, whether they are in the Himalaya, Alps, or the Andes, hold a special fascination for me, as do the people living amongst them, holding on to their ancient cultures in a world where everything is rapidly changing.&rdquo; A passionate traveler, Hashmat has been instrumental in designing and leading adventures for us throughout Asia, and in summer, he joins our team of Trip Leaders leading hikes in the Alps. The profession of Trip Leader combines several of his interests&mdash;hiking, exploring the mountains, photography, and meeting new people. He&apos;s a favorite of WT travelers&mdash;as one of them put it, &ldquo;Hashmat is a longstanding member of the guiding hall of fame.&rdquo; He lives in Delhi with his wife and two children."}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Arthur F.","GuestLocation":"Brooklyn, NY","GuestReview":"Our trip with Wilderness Travel to Kyrgyzstan was a fabulous success. The country was magnificently beautiful, the people we met were warm and friendly. Trekking among the snow-capped mountains and high valleys among roaming horses, cattle, and sheep was picturesque beyond the photographs. I so enjoyed the trip's cultural aspects of visits with the local Kyrgyz people: experiencing yurt building, felt making, the livestock market, eagle hunters, and interacting with the nomadic shepherds and their family up close."},{"GuestNames":"Diana M.","GuestLocation":"London, England","GuestReview":"It was a great adventure and one that we thoroughly enjoyed!"},{"GuestNames":"Lynn T.","GuestLocation":"Portland, OR","GuestReview":"Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful country and each area we visited was a unique experience. I enjoyed the added cultural and historical additions to our hiking days. The felt demonstration, yurt building, home visit, eagle hunters, and boat ride added much to our adventure."},{"GuestNames":"Paul S.","GuestLocation":"Epping, Australia","GuestReview":"A great trip in a terrific new destination."},{"GuestNames":"Philip M.","GuestLocation":"Cumbria, England","GuestReview":"One of the most pleasurable and interesting trips I have been on. It is a part of the world that I have been interested in for a long time. The various opportunities to explore local culture through the food, felt making, yurt construction, and eagle hunting were exceptionally good. The walking allowed us all to enjoy the spectacular landscape at our own pace."}],"Extensions":[{}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10465,"SimilarTripID":10297,"Trip_Code":"CENASIA","Trip_Name":"Central Asia Explorer"},{"TripID":10465,"SimilarTripID":10359,"Trip_Code":"HIKERSBH","Trip_Name":"Hiker's Journey to Bhutan"},{"TripID":10465,"SimilarTripID":10250,"Trip_Code":"GREATGAM","Trip_Name":"The Great Game"},{"TripID":10465,"SimilarTripID":10546,"Trip_Code":"ULTUZBEK","Trip_Name":"Ultimate Uzbekistan"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":72721,"ProductID":84606,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"Solutel Hotel","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Bishkek","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Solutel Hotel (DATES, 1 night)","Day":0,"Sequence":20,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>A five-minute walk from Ala-Too, Bishkek&#39;s central square, the Solutel Hotel is a comfortable base for exploring the city. 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Guest rooms are comfortable and spacious, some with mountain views and balconies. Unwind in the lounge or terrace in the evening and enjoy a pleasant breakfast buffet in the morning before venturing out into some of the country&#39;s most beautiful landscapes.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-karagat-hotel-karakol-lobby.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72759,"ProductID":82587,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Kyrgyzstan Tented Camp","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":5,"Sequence":10,"Duration":4,"PropertyDescription":"Our private base camp will be set up in a green valley surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Spacious mountaineering tents are equipped with cots and sleeping bags, along with an entryway vestibule for storing your gear. The camp has a full-size dining tent outfitted with tables and camping chairs with backs. Bathroom facilities are \"camping basic\" and consist of private toilet tents with long-drop pit toilets. Simple wash stations are located outside of the toilet tents and the dining tent, and hand sanitizer will be available as well. Enjoy flavorful meals prepared fresh by our camp crew including fruits, vegetables, and a variety of meat. There are no showers at our tent camp, but the spectacular views and star-studded skies are more than worth it!","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-kyrgyzstan-tented-camp-mountain-view.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72758,"ProductID":82586,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Kyrgyzstan Yurt Camps","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":9,"Sequence":10,"Duration":4,"PropertyDescription":"Yurts are still used by nomadic shepherds in the summer months when they travel into mountain pastures, and we get an authentic taste of the traditions and cultures of the Kyrgyz people while staying in these camps. We&#39;ll experience two different yurt camps, with two nights in each location. The simple, felt structures are equipped with basic cots along with either linens or sleeping bags. Bathroom facilities are in separate buildings and shared by all participants. They consist of very simple shower cabins and enclosed western-style toilets. Additional compost toilets may also be available. While we may have the use of hot water for showers, please understand that this is not always possible&mdash;be prepared for a brisk rinse if needed. You will also have access to wash stations with warm water as well as hand sanitizer. Communal meals are representative of traditional nomadic dishes and include a variety of fruits and vegetables, along with meats and heartier dishes. Meals are typically served indoors at a low table where we sit on cushions on the floor. 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If you want to decompress after a long flight or a day in the city, head to the sauna and fitness room, or indulge in a massage treatment at the spa.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-solutel-hotel-terrace_exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72760,"ProductID":84607,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"Hotel Ambassador","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Bishkek","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Ambassador Hotel (DATES, 1 night)","Day":15,"Sequence":20,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>From this centrally located, modern hotel, you can walk to Ala-Too square as well as nearby shops and restaurants. Spacious guest rooms have private bathrooms and city views. Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the restaurant, and in the evening head to the rooftop bar for a glass of wine or a cocktail. You can also use the gym and sauna, relax with a massage, or borrow a bike for spin around the city.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-hotel-ambassador-bishkek-room.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"Extra Service Request Form","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is our Travel Blog! This <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/reflections-from-a-family-trip-to-kyrgyzstan\/\">blog post<\/a> by one of our recent travelers and this <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/hiking-adventure-in-kyrgyzstan\/\">blog post<\/a> from our Trip Leader, Hashmat, are both complete with amazing photos that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>Another fun resource is our Travel Blog! This <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/reflections-from-a-family-trip-to-kyrgyzstan\/\">blog post<\/a> by one of our recent travelers and this <a href=\"http:\/\/photoblog.wildernesstravel.com\/hiking-adventure-in-kyrgyzstan\/\">blog post<\/a> from our Trip Leader, Hashmat, are both complete with amazing photos that I think will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead.<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Eastern Europe<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"","Custom_Carry-On":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:30:43 --><p><strong>CARRY-ON: <\/strong>Valuable or essential items, such as camera equipment, binoculars, and prescription medications, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage.<\/p>","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:30:04 --><p><strong>DAY PACK: <\/strong>Daypack, large enough for a jacket or rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail. Very few daypacks or fanny packs are waterproof and any items that you need to keep dry should be put in a waterproof stuff sack inside your pack.<\/p>","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"<body><p><strong>HEADLAMP &amp; WATER BOTTLES:<\/strong>\r<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n\n\r\n Please remember to pack a headlamp and\/or flashlight - they will be needed during your time at the yurt and tented camps. In addition, please remember to bring two sturdy reusable water bottles, 1 qt. capacity, capable of holding boiling water (Nalgene brand is preferable); Camelbak and other &quot;bladder-type&quot; water holders are not recommended, as they cannot be properly cleaned.<\/p><br \/><br \/><\/body>","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p><strong>NOTE ON ACCOMMODATIONS:<\/strong> In Bishkek and Karakol, we stay in comfortable hotels. On other nights, we will be in more basic guesthouses, tent camps, or yurt camps. Tents and yurts are private, but rustic, with a communal eating area and a communal toilet area (for 8 nights). Hot water is limited at the camps, so please be prepared for limited shower use. <\/p><\/body>","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p><strong>ARRIVING IN BISHKEK<\/strong><br>A Wilderness Travel representative will meet you upon your arrival in Bishkek. After passing through Customs and collecting your baggage, this representative will be waiting for you outside of the Customs Area with a \"Wilderness Travel\" sign and\/or a sign with your name on it. You will be transferred to the Solutel Hotel, our group hotel.<\/p><p> <\/p><p><strong>MEETING PLACE<\/strong><br>On Day 1, please meet Hashmat in the lobby of the Solutel Hotel at 12:00 pm in order to begin the trip (with an orientation and lunch).<br><\/p><\/body>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:32:01 --><p><strong>DEPARTING BISHKEK<\/strong><br \/>A transfer will be provided from the Solutel Hotel to the airport for all participants.<br \/><\/p>","Custom_Extra_Services":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:32:15 --><p><strong>HOTELS AND TRANSFERS<\/strong><br \/>If you are arriving or departing on a different day and have arranged extra hotel nights through Wilderness Travel, please look for an Extra Services Confirmation in this packet. <br \/><\/p>","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:32:26 --><p>If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to your Trip Leaders and Local Agent (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground.<\/p>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T15:32:52 --><p><strong>VISIT KYRGYZSTAN (24-HR EMERGENCY CONTACT)<\/strong><br \/>- Main Office: (+996) 770 891 791 or visitkgoffice@gmail.com<br \/>- Asylbek Rajiev (Co-Founder): (+996) 772 530 575 or ruraltourismkg@gmail.com<br \/>- Ernist Djumagulov (COO\/Co-Leader): (+996) 770 543 001 or visitkgtravel@gmail.com<br \/><\/p>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"kyrgyzstan-issyk-kul-celestial-hiking-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Hike in Kyrgyzstan's Kyzyl Suu Valley at the base of the Tien Shan&mdash;the Celestial Mountains, visit welcoming nomads and stay in authentic yurts.","Custom_List_Description":"Hike through hidden Kyrgyzstan, taking in spectacular mountain landscapes and meeting the welcoming nomads who live there, athletic horseback riders, and falconers who hunt with eagles.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Kyrgyzstan Hiking Tour | Lake Issyk-Kul & Celestial Mountains","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"","Custom_References":"","Custom_Visit_Our_Website":"","Custom_Helpful_Links":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-23T11:43:59 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Manas International Airport (FRU)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Day 1, early morning<br \/><br \/><strong>Meeting Place:<\/strong> A complimentary transfer is provided from the Manas International Airport to the group hotel for all trip members, no matter when you arrive. A Wilderness Travel representative will meet you outside the customs area and will be holding a Wilderness Travel sign and\/or a sign with your name on it. They will then transfer you to the group hotel. There will be a tour in the afternoon, followed by a Welcome Dinner and orientation in the evening of Day 1.<br \/><br \/><strong>Please Note: <\/strong>Since many flights arrive in Bishkek in the early morning hours, we have guaranteed early check-in for all trip members. Your room will be ready no matter when you arrive on Day 1.<\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-23T11:45:12 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Manas International Airport (FRU)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Day 14, anytime<br \/><br \/>A complimentary transfer will be provided from the Solutel Hotel to Manas International Airport, no matter when you depart. Please note that check-out time on Day 14 is 12:00 noon.<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-23T11:49:31 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from the trip. <br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it will be necessary for you to depart from the US one or two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. We recommend you arrive at least one night early so that you have a full day to recover from jet lag. Extra hotel nights can be arranged for you (at extra cost). The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US. <br \/><br \/>There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/><strong>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. <\/strong>Once your tickets have been purchased, please forward a copy of your email flight confirmation from the airline. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_About_Private_Journeys":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"kyrgyzstan-hiking-in-the-celestial-mountains","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Kyrgyzstan. We recommend your passport has at least one completely blank visa page for each country you will be visiting. It is very important that these blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate \"visa\" pages. <br><br>You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\/passport_1738.html\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> (the service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016) or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisaexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"A visa is not required for US citizens visiting Kyrgyzstan for less than 60 days. However, please remember to have adequate unused\/blank visa pages to allow for entry and exit stamps upon arrival and departure from Kyrgyzstan. <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, please check with a local consulate for entry requirements. <br><br>Please note that all visa requirements and regulations are subject to change.<br><br>","Custom_Money":"Kyrgyzstan's currency is the Kyrgyzstani <em>som<\/em>. <br><br>Upon arrival, please check with your Trip Leader for guidelines on where and how to exchange funds. It is difficult to exchange money in the more remote local villages, so it is best to do this in Bishkek. <br><br>In addition to cash for exchange, you can also bring along an ATM card to draw money from ATM machines in major cities (Bishkek and Karakol only). Please note that ATMs are not available in smaller cities. To use an ATM internationally, please make sure that you have a four-digit PIN. <br><br>If you plan to use your credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, and AMEX), please remember to inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card(s) abroad. Credit cards are usually accepted only at major hotels and in larger shops and restaurants, not in smaller cities or villages. Please note that hotels, shops, and restaurants may add a service charge of 3-4% when you use your credit card. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for extra gratuities, any meals listed as &#8220;on your own&#8221; in the trip itinerary, and for personal items such as alcoholic beverages, souvenirs, phone calls, laundry at hotels, etc.","Custom_Tipping":"During the trip, the Trip Leader will take care of tips for all waiters at restaurants, porters for luggage handling, and trip representatives who are with the group for only a short time, as well as all drivers and ger\/camp staff. <br><br>For the staff who have accompanied you throughout a significant portion of your adventure&mdash;our local guide(s)&mdash;excellent service can be rewarded through a process facilitated by your Trip Leader. Tipping for the Trip Leader himself is not formally organized. Should you wish to tip your Trip Leader, we suggest that you do so toward the end of the adventure. <br><br>Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward outstanding service. A range of reference would be $100-$120 per trip member for the local guide and $180-$220 for your Trip Leader. Tipping in US dollar is appreciated.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Kyrgyzstan is 996. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use, but do expect overall phone access to be very limited.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Internet access is available in the lobby of your hotels in Bishkek and Karakol (only in the hotel lobby), as well as in the guest house in Chong Kemin valley (in the dining room only), but it will be unreliable or completely unavailable during the rest of the trip, including a period of 6 consecutive nights when you are at the ger\/tented camps.<br>","Custom_Electricity":"Kyrgyzstan has 220-volt current and either C or F plug types. Bring a converter and plug adapter kit for appliance use.<br><strong><br>Important Note:<\/strong> while at the yurt\/tented camps, there will be very limited or no electricity available to charge electronics (including camera equipment), so please remember to bring extra batteries with you. In addition, having a headlamp and\/or flashlight is very important (also with extra batteries).","Custom_Laundry":"Laundry facilities are available at the hotels in Bishkek and Karakol (extra cost), but nowhere else on the trip.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"Entry requirements are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates. All shots should be entered on your International Health Card (yellow card), which is provided by the facility giving the shots. Keep it with your passport while traveling (however, the card is not required to enter India). This provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. <br><br>We recommend you discuss the following with your physician: <br><strong><br>Polio<\/strong><br>People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals).<br><strong><br>Hepatitis A<\/strong><br>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries. <br><br><strong>Tetanus Booster<\/strong><br>A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years). <br><br><strong>Typhoid<\/strong><br>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"Do not brush your teeth with tap water; always use bottled water. Don't ask for ice in your drinks unless you are sure it was made with treated water. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for guidelines.","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"You should be aware that medical services are not readily available in Kyrgyzstan. The availability of medical supplies or the adequacy of medical attention, once provided, cannot be guaranteed and cannot be expected to measure up to western standards. You should bring an ample supply of any prescription medicines you need and the items listed on the personal first aid list, in consultation with your physician.<br><br><br>There are risks involved in the event of illness requiring evacuation. Depending upon where you are in the itinerary, an evacuation may take several days. However, should any medical situations arise, your guide and crew will help organize the swiftest possible assistance available.<br><br><br>Any evacuation\/emergency payments must be made directly to our agents in Kyrgyzstan. Please note that personal checks are not readily acceptable. In choosing to use your credit card (if available), please be aware that a service charge of approximately 10% might be assessed in addition to the actual cost of the evacuation.","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"At higher altitudes, each individual reacts differently. You should be aware of the symptoms and effects of AMS. <br><br>It is not uncommon to experience unusual symptoms when you first arrive at high altitude. The best remedies are to walk more slowly, rest frequently, and drink plenty of fluids. A good night's sleep will often bring you back to normal. However, it is important to pay attention to the signals your body gives you. If symptoms persist, consult with the Trip Leader or trip doctor at once. <br><br>While acclimatizing, avoid pushing yourself too hard, however physically fit you may be or feel. Physical fitness does not prevent AMS. You may walk more slowly than you are used to, but this is perfectly normal. <br><br>AMS results primarily from insufficient oxygen in the blood (hypoxia). Mild symptoms are a signal that you must stay at that altitude until the symptoms have gone away. Never ascend with any symptoms of AMS. If you ignore alarm signals from your body, you risk serious or fatal illness. Be alert for symptoms in yourself and in your companions, and keep your trip leader informed of any changes in your health. <br><br>Proper hydration is essential. The thin, dry air of high altitude wicks away moisture as you breathe. Avoid caffeine, which is a diuretic. Sleeping pills and other sedatives should not be used at altitude as they tend to decrease breathing and may lead to AMS. Do not drink alcohol or smoke at high altitudes. Maintain good nutrition. Your appetite will probably decrease but it is important to eat well (especially foods high in carbohydrates), even if you're not feeling well. <br><br><br>Early Symptoms of AMS<br>Headaches, dizziness, extreme fatigue, malaise, persistent yawning, hyperventilation, loss of appetite, swelling in ankles or eyelids, breathlessness at rest, poor sleep, and Cheyne-Stokes breathing while sleeping (an irregular breathing pattern in which breathing accelerates, then slows down and seems to stop). If you experience any of these symptoms, rest and drink more fluids. Your body is capable of adapting to altitude if given time. Most likely, the symptoms will be gone in the morning. Should they persist, notify your Trip Leader and watch for more advanced symptoms. <br><br><br>Advanced Symptoms of AMS<br>Increasing tiredness, severe headache, vomiting, staggering walk, irrational behavior and loss of coordination (ataxia), and inability to perform simple motor functions. These worsening symptoms indicate High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Increasing shortness of breath, severe cough with watery or bloody sputum, noisy bubbling breath and tiredness are signs of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). <br><br><br>HACE and HAPE are both progressive, life-threatening conditions. Ignoring progressive symptoms may lead to unconsciousness and death within a matter of hours. The only treatment is to descend. A person suffering from AMS may not think clearly and may have to be forced to descend. Even if the diagnosis is unclear, you should descend whenever there is any possibility of AMS. You can always re-ascend when you feel better. <br><br><br><strong>Diamox (Acetazolamide)<\/strong><br>The prescription drug Diamox is now accepted as an effective prophylactic against the early symptoms of altitude sickness. Most people start taking it a day before going to altitude and continue until they feel they are comfortably acclimatized, although some decide to continue its use throughout their time at altitude. Consult with your physician for directions concerning proper usage and dosage. You can also read more about it at the Himalayan Rescue Association's website www.himalayanrescue.org\/hra\/altitude_sickness.php. <br><br>Please note: Diamox is not effective in dealing with more serious symptoms of altitude sickness and it is important you keep your Trip Leader informed of any symptoms you are feeling.","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-kyrgyzstan\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"There is an undeniable fragility to our planet, and tourism can have an impact either as a positive force for increased awareness and change, or as a contributor to cultural and environmental exploitation. At Wilderness Travel, we want to see the positive benefits of travel outweigh or even cancel out the negative impacts of tourism. We have instituted a number of policies designed to reduce the impact our groups have on the areas through which we trek. <br><br><br><strong>Bathing and Washing: <\/strong>When at the ger camps, please use biodegradable shampoo and soap. Dr. Bronner's Castille soap is a popular multi-purpose, biodegradable soap. <br><br><br><strong>Toilet Facilities: <\/strong>When hiking, please locate quiet spots for toilet purposes. Try to be at least 100 feet from any water source and bury or cover waste. <br><br><br><strong>Garbage: <\/strong>Please carry a small plastic bag in your daypack to store your garbage throughout the day. Bring all tissues, wrappers, and other garbage with you to the lodge where the staff can bury or burn them. We ask that you carry your own non-burnable garbage, especially used batteries and plastic products, back home for proper disposal since there are limited facilities in Kyrgyzstan. <br><br><br><strong>Be a Vocal Environmentalist: <\/strong>Do not hesitate to express your conservationist concerns and help explain these guidelines to other Westerners. Please let our Trip Leader know if you have any additional suggestions. <br><br>","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>Passport<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>Expense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li><strong>Soft-sided wheeled suitcase or duffel bag,<\/strong> with a small padlock. <strong>Please note that there is limited porter service on this trip, which means that trip members may have to carry their own bags into their rooms at the hotels, and\/or to their yurts and tents. For this reason, wheeled duffels may be easier to move and are recommended.<\/strong><\/li><li>Daypack, large enough for a fleece jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you during the day.<\/li><li>Small roll-up duffel to carry home purchases if you are an avid shopper, keeping in mind that you may have to pay excess baggage charges if you are over the weight limit.<\/li><\/ul><strong><br>IMPORTANT!<\/strong> Valuable or essential items such as camera equipment, prescription medications, or hiking boots should always be hand-carried on any flight to avoid loss or damage. Once you arrive in Kyrgyzstan, it may be impossible to replace these items if your luggage is delayed.<br>","Custom_Clothing":"Dress on the trip is very informal, although people in Kyrgyzstan do tend to dress conservatively and visitors should take care to also dress modestly. <br><br><strong>Women:<\/strong> Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim country where local women cover their heads and most of their body. Even though there are no official restrictions, visiting women should bring a headscarf that covers their head, just in case it is needed. Please note that tight, more revealing clothes are frowned upon, and shorts are not worn. More loose-fitting clothing, which completely covers your body, is recommended. <br><strong><br>Men:<\/strong> Shorts are also not to be worn in public, nor is it appropriate to hike shirtless.<br><strong><br>Fabrics<\/strong><br>An insulating base layer (top and bottom) beneath your hiking clothes will keep you warm and comfortable. Capilene, fleece, and other synthetic fabrics are excellent, as are lightweight wool insulating layers by Patagonia, Icebreakers, and SmartWool. Cotton is not a good insulator, especially as a first layer next to the skin. Once it gets wet from perspiration, it stays wet and keeps you cold. (Cotton is fine for city wear and touring.) <br><br><strong>Shell Clothing<\/strong><br>Shell clothing includes jackets and pants that protect from rain and wind. Gore-Tex and equivalent fabrics are waterproof and breathable, so they are the best choice. Shell clothing should be roomy enough to fit over other layers of clothing. <br><br><strong>Layers<\/strong><br>At our yurt\/tent camps, you must have several layers of good quality clothing for warmth and walking around camp in te cool evenings and early mornings. Even if you don't use extra layers while hiking, you'll appreciate them at night in camp. <br><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only; we encourage you to pack as lightly as possible.<br><ul><li>Gore-Tex rain\/wind shell jacket with hood<\/li><li>Gore-Tex rain\/wind pants (preferably with leg zippers so that they can be taken off without removing your boots)<\/li><li>Fleece sweater<\/li><li>Lightweight down jacket (for overnights at the tented camps and yurt camps)<\/li><li>Thermal underwear (for overnights at the tented camps and yurt camps)<\/li><li>Hiking pants. Synthetic hiking pants are a practical choice. Jeans are not suitable for trekking because they are made of dense cotton and take a very long time to dry if they get wet<\/li><li>Sturdy hiking shorts, knee-length<\/li><li>Long-sleeved shirts. Quick-drying &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics like nylon are ideal.<\/li><li>T-shirts. Synthetics are best for hiking; cotton will get soggy with perspiration.<\/li><li>Lightweight scarf or shawl for women (to cover head and shoulders if bare)<\/li><li>Shade hat with a wide brim<\/li><li>Fleece hat for warmth<\/li><li>Fleece mittens or gloves<\/li><li>Medium weight hiking boots designed for on- and off-trail hiking with multi-day hikes in mind<\/li><li>Comfortable shoes for city wear and at the guesthouses<\/li><li>Lightweight water shoes like Tevas or similar (for wearing in camps)<\/li><li>Hiking socks. Thorlo hiking socks (moisture-wicking synthetic with padded toes and heels) are excellent, as are SmartWool.<\/li><li>Casual city\/hotel attire<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Headlamp or flashlight, with spare batteries<strong> (very important!)<\/strong><\/li><li>Two sturdy reusable water bottles, 1 qt. capacity, capable of holding boiling water (Nalgene brand is preferable); Camelbak and other \"bladder-type\" water holders are not recommended, as they cannot be properly cleaned <strong>(very important!)<\/strong><\/li><li>Sleeping bag liner for extra warmth at the yurt and tent camps<\/li><li>Hiking pole\/walking stick<\/li><li>Good quality sunglasses with cases<\/li><li>Personal toiletries, biodegradable soap<\/li><li>Quick-drying towel and washcloth<\/li><li>Assorted plastic bags to keep items dry in your duffel; garbage bags to use as a duffel liner for rain protection<\/li><li>Bandannas; good for protecting your neck from the sun and for use as handkerchiefs<\/li><li>Toilet paper (one or two rolls). Tissue (Kleenex) pocket packs are handy.<\/li><li>Disposable dust mask for protection from dust<\/li><li>Personal toiletries, biodegradable soap<\/li><li>Assorted plastic bags to organize items in your luggage<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><ul><li>Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. Essential at high altitudes! We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Lip balm with sunscreen and\/or zinc oxide<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headache, Tylenol PM for sleep<\/li><li>Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>Insect repellent<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Moisturizing cream, Vaseline for nose\/lips (for dry air at altitude)<\/li><li>Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing<\/li><li>Antihistamine such as Benadryl<\/li><li>Decongestant (daytime and nighttime types) for colds, sinus headaches<\/li><li>Cough drops (for dry throat caused by altitude)<\/li><li>Pepto-Bismol tablets for diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion<\/li><li>Imodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled, enough to last the entire length of the trip<\/li><li>Contact lenses or prescription glasses; contact lens wearers should bring spare glasses (or extra disposable lenses) for dusty areas and at altitudes<\/li><li>Optional&mdash;Diamox for altitude acclimatization. See the Diamox section in the Medical Information section.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Camera, spare batteries, memory cards, etc.<\/li><li>Battery packs (for recharging electronics)<\/li><li>Converter\/plug adapter kit for appliance use in hotels<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Travel alarm clock, small mirror<\/li><li>Earplugs<\/li><li>Money belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Nomads, Eagle Hunters, and a Silk Road Heritage","Custom_Lodging":"5 nights in comfortable hotels, 8 nights of more basic accommodations in tent and yurt camps","Custom_Meals":"All meals included","Custom_Difficulty":"Varied hikes of 2-6 hours; maximum altitude of 11,276 feet","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Travel_Insurance":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"The trip is rated<strong> Level 3, Moderate<\/strong>. Day hikes and cultural exploration are our focus; many days we are hiking from 2-5 hours. We have four days with hikes of 2-4 miles, and two days with hikes from 7-9 miles. Much of the trip takes place at higher altitudes; the maximum for this trip is approximately 11,300 feet. Trails can be quite rough; be prepared for uneven ground.","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"Because of its many mountain ranges, Kyrgyzstan's temperatures vary depending on location. In Bishkek in the summer and early fall, we can generally expect daytime temperatures to be in the high 60s\u00b0F to low 80s\u00b0F (and sometimes hotter during the summer). In Cholpon Ata, temperature ranges will be fairly similar, with cooler evenings. Karakol and the Southeast shores of Lake Issyk-Kul both tend to be cooler with daytime temperatures in the 60s\u00b0F and 70s\u00b0F, and evening temperatures sometimes dropping to the low 40s\u00b0F. Along the southern shores, we'll experience lower temperatures and cooler breezes. In Song Kol, where the elevation is higher, temperatures will be colder, especially at night. No matter the time of year, snow is a possibility at the higher elevations, especially at our tented and yurt camps (in Kyzyl Suu and Song Kol). When it does snow, it is typically at night, and then melts by late morning. As always with hiking trips in mountainous regions, warm layers are your best friend, and good rain gear, especially a Gore-Tex jacket, should always be in your day pack.","Custom_Accommodations":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T17:44:23 --><p>We stay in comfortable hotels in Bishkek and Karakol. Other days we're in more basic guesthouses, tent camps, or yurt camps. Tents and yurts are private, but there is a communal eating area and a communal toilet area (for 8 nights). Single rooms can be requested, but are not guaranteed. Wilderness Travel will do its best to secure single rooms for those who pay the single supplement, but even if this is confirmed in advance, arrangements may change during the trip.<\/p>","Custom_Cuisine":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T17:44:15 --><p>All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included, except breakfast on Day 1. Full breakfasts are included at hotels. When possible, we have arranged meals at local restaurants and in family homes. Village food tends to simpler than city food, but sampling it is an excellent opportunity to experience rural life. Please note that special diets may be difficult to accommodate on this trip. Bottled water is provided throughout the trip.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T17:44:09 --><p>Road conditions can be very basic, and trip members should be prepared for drives of 3-6 hours on some days. Our expedition travels to areas that have experienced very little tourism. While traveling in rural areas, we may have stretches without public bathroom facilities, and you may need to do what the locals do and opt for a &quot;nature break.&quot; The most important requirements for this trip are a spirit of adventure and the understanding that you are visiting a remote and fascinating region.<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us on this trip.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">www.wildernesstravel.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p><\/body>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}