As my guide and porter prepared lunch I sat and watched the sunlight dance and sparkle across the surface of the brilliant turquoise that is Lake Ala-Kol. It made me think of an extraordinary turquoise gem. The colour was stunning and the lake itself was huge with massive mountains surrounding it. At the far end a glacier sprawled down the sides of a mountain.
My four day trek to Lake Ala-Kol was the highlight of all my travels in Kyrgyzstan. Trekking doesn’t come naturally to me but despite this I love it. I love the sense of achievement I get after finishing a trek. More importantly I love how trekking takes you to some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Trekking to Ala-Kol took me through forests, past rushing streams and wild horses, over rocks and boulders and up to a high pass of 3,860m. The trek was challenging and stunning, and left me with a huge sense of achievement.
Join me on a photo journey to Ala-Kol, Kyrgyzstan.
The small town of Karakol near Lake Issy-Kol is the perfect base to plan your trek to Ala-Kol.
CBT (Community Based Tourism) in Karakol are an excellent source of information and can also assist with hiring guides, porters, sleeping bags, tents, etc for your trek. CBT Karakol can be found at Abdrakhmanov St 123/20, telephone: +996 (3922) 55000, email: email@example.com
CBT can also help organise home stays in Karakol. I stayed at Gulnara’s B&B which I highly recommend (for more info see my post ‘Homestays and Hospitality on the Shores of Lake Issyk-Kol’).
When organising your trek keep in mind it is high-altitude and the highest pass is 3,860m. Some people may suffer from altitude sickness and you should ensure you’re fully informed on how to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness and what you should do if you suffer from altitude sickness while trekking.
The high-altitude also means it’s very cold at night, even in summer, so be prepared with sufficiently warm clothes and sleeping bag, etc.
Travel to Karakol by minibus or shared taxi.