Kyrgyzstan is a heaven for people who are fond of nature. It is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The most famous one among them is Issyk-Kul. It is the second-largest alpine lake in the world and the 7th deepest lake in the world. But this lake amazes not only with its size - there are also many things to see and to do around it.
Though Issyk-Kul is located at an altitude of 1607 meters and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains it never freezes. Maybe this fact influenced the appearance of its name - Issyk-Kul is translated as “warm lake”.
The area around the lake has been popular for its resorts and spa centres since Soviet times. During the Soviet era, the lake and the surrounding areas were popular vacation destinations with a number of hotels. Nowadays some of them doesn't operate any longer and the other are turned into simple B&Bs.
In summer hot days Issyk-Kul is a place to hide from the heat - it's way much cooler in this area. There are some sandy beaches that are overcrowded during summertime. Besides swimming some activities like trekking, climbing, rafting and kayaking, horse riding is also practised here. One can also watch eagle-hunting demonstrations.
The three main towns where you can have a stop are Karakol, Cholpon Ata, Bokonbayevo. Karakol is not just a hiking or skiing base, it is a big cultural town with its own attractions. Cholpon Ata is a resort town offering the best beach resorts and bars for holidays. Bokonbayevo is a smaller town on the southern shore. There are not many interesting things to do in the city. However, it’s a convenient base to stay for those who plan to visit the lake and nearby sights like the Fairytale or Skazka Canyon. Though Kyrgyzstan is the smallest country in Central Asia, you’ll be surprised by the variety of its landscapes. This Canyon will make you feel as if you are on Mars or on some other planet. There are also yurt camps in the nearby mountains, so if you’re ready for a nomadic adventure you can spend your time in this area.