Top 10 things to do & Places to see in Karakol and city area

Dear guests, here is Happy Nomad Village's own ranking of things to do (top attractions) in Karakol (Kyrgyzstan) and city area. We know where to go, when etc. We have partner taxi, jeep drivers. We know people who organize horsetreks, bike treks etc. 

#1. Issyk Kul Lake. 
Marko Polo Beach. We recommend our guests to swim, relax at Marko Polo Beach. 
It is 45 km far from Karakol, but it is the most beautiful, clean, safe, cozy beach that you can find close to Karakol. Taxi is needed. Entrance to Marko Polo Beach is 80 soms per person. You can spend half of the day, or the whole day by swimming, reading books etc. View directions on Google Maps

#2. Karakol Ski Base. 
At 3040 meters, this is the highest ski resort in Central Asia. It is located approximately 20 minutes from Karakol. Warm during winter. You can enjoy the finest powder snow in Issyk Kul. The ski season is crowded with skiers from neighboring countries. The season is November to the end of March. Lift operation time: 9.00 to 16.00, lift tickets: 950 som (for 1 day). Taxi is needed. View directions on Google Maps.  

#3. Karakol Valley. 
Recommended trekking, beautiful National Park with wetlands along Karakol river and is also home to many rare alpine plants like aconite in the season. Entry fee is 250 soms, tent sites 100 soms. You can go by #101 mini bus or take a taxi. About 5 hours on foot to Alpine camp. 

We recommend also horsetrekking at Karakol Valley. More info is here.

#4. Ala Kul Lake. 
The alpine lake, Ala Kul is located in the 3,530 m height and Ala Kul pass is 3,800 m. Snow and glacier melt from 4000 m high mountains around the lake feeds the lake. You can see waterfalls along the way, flowing from Ala Kul lake. In addition, alpine plants bloom in the summer. You can also see Edelweiss flowers after passing the Ala Kul pass. From Karakol valley to Ala Kul, you have to climb up steeply and from Ala Kul to Altyn Arashan, there are very steep ups and downs. It is cold even in August (about 5 degrees C) Travel season June to mid October. The popular tour is 2 nights, 3 days, starting from Karakol valley, Ala Kul to Altyn Arashan. View directions on Google Maps

#5. Altyn Arashan. Golden Spa (Hot Springs). 
Altyn means gold in the Kyrgyz language and arashan means spa, giving meaning of golden spa. The hot springs are located along the river valley at approximately 3,000  m height. The mountain Palatka, the large one you can see at the end of the vally, is 4,260 meters high, and is also known as "tent ridges", it is similar to the shape of a tent. This is the most popular destination from Karakol for trekking and visited by many tourists. Hot springs are located in maintained buildings along the river and are available year-round. 200 soms per person to take a bath, 4WD jeeps can take you there and drop back to Happy Nomads Village. View directions on Google Maps. 

#6. Jeti Oguz. Broken Heart and Kok Jaiyk waterfalls. 
Jeti Oguz is famous for its large, red sedimentary rocks, about 2,200 m above sea level. The rocks have been carved out by a river from the Teskei Ala Too Mountains. Years of weathering have split the rocks into seven parts. The forms of the rocks are similar to the head of seven bulls, the name of the place called "Jeti Oguz" - "Jeti" means seven and "Oguz" means bull in Kyrgyz. It is said the number of rocks changes if person who count the number of them changed. Go and try to count yourself! About 25 km west of Karakol. 30 min by mini bus. Or you can order a taxi. View Jeti Oguz resort on Google Maps. Directions.

Broken Heart Rock. This is a reddish rock that is shaped like a broken heart. For this rock, there are several legends: Long ago a king who was very rich and had many wives went hunting. One day he saw a beautiful girl with black long hair. He fall in love with her at first sight, and wanted to marry her. However, she was from poor family, and was already engaged. Her family ran away from the king when they learned that he wanted their daughter. However, the king caught them, killed her fiance and her family. Her heart was torn by sadness and the Broken Heart appeared in that place. 

There is a beautiful green field called "kok jaiyk" as you go to the mountain from Jeti Oguz. It is a very famous field where people bring their livestock in the summer. There is a nerby waterfall. During flower season Chong Kok Jaiyk will be full of colorful flowers. You can also enjoy horse riding and hiking.

#7. Dungan 
Mosque. Karakol's Dungan mosque is a very amazing wooden mosque. The Dungan people invited Chinese artisans from China in 1907. The mosque, built of wood, was completed in 1910. It was built entirely without metal nails. The traditional Chinese colors red, green and yellow catch the eyes. It has unique images of dragons, grape trees from wood. 30 min walk from Happy Nomads Village. Entrance is free. Taxi would cost $3 from HNV. 

#8. Russian Orthodox Church
The wooden Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1872. After several reconstructions, a new Holy Trinity Cathedral was completed in 1895.

#9. Karakol Livestock market. 
It is intersting to see the lives of the people of Kyrgyzstan. One of the biggest markets in the Central Asia. Combination of livestock, people and transport. It is open only on Sundays untill about 10 am. 


#10. Karkyra valley. Santash. Counting Stones of Tamerlane. 
A large pile of stones in the Karkara valley: in the far northeast of Kyrgyzstan, close to the Kazakhstan border, San-Tash is an enigma.It is said that Tamerlane once ordered each of his soldiers to place a stone in a pile as they passed. When they returned, each soldier was to remove a stone, the number of remaining stones being the number of soldiers that has died. There is a small hollow in the top of the pile, representing the comparatively very small number of people who returned. There are no other stones in the region for miles around.
2 hours drive from Karakol. Taxi is needed. View on Google Maps for directions. 

Happy Nomads Village will be happy to assist you during your stay at our place. Welcome to Karakol! Welcome to Kyrgyzstan!