Summer is a perfect time to visit Kyrgyzstan, as the possibilities to hike and engage in outdoor sports are countless. Around 80 percent of Kyrgyzstan's territory is covered by mountains. There are many stunning natural resorts, lakes, valleys, canyons, rivers and other treasures of nature within a distance reachable in one day by a car. Chon-Ak-Suu Gorge (Grigoriev Gorge) is one of these beautiful places. It is a perfect getaway that could be best enjoyed in warm weather. The road to the gorge can be dangerous during rainy, snowy weathers, but in summers, the pastures in the gorge grow green, inviting local pastors to start jailoos. Besides, being fascinated by the pastors' nomadic life, you should also be prepared for the breathtaking views of the gorge, that will blow your mind.
The only way to get to the Chon-Ak-Suu Gorge is by an SUV car. As I mentioned before, the roads can be tricky not only during winters but even during summers. So, it is recommended to go there with an experienced driver who knows the road well. Fortunately, in summers (the holiday season), there are plenty of taxi drivers and tourist shuttles that can take you there. In order to take a taxi, you need to go to the cities in the north part of Issyk-kul Lake, e.g. Cholpon-Ata, Bosteri. The transportation will cost you around 10 euro, which usually includes both ways and a guide. The trip usually starts at 9 am.
Chon-Ak-Suu Gorge is a national nature reserve located on the north of Tian-Shian Mountains. Green mountains covered by fir-trees, сrystal clear waters of gurgling rivers, three alpine lakes, herds of wild horses and yurta camps attract city-people hungry for nature. Once you arrive there, you can explore the gorge, hike, rent a horse, see hunting eagles, buy lunch from locals. I recommend tasting the local fish - river trout. Since locals most probably won't speak English, you can ask for "forel", and they can prepare it. If you decide to stay longer in the gorge, you can rent the yurta, but be prepared that there will be no modern toilet or bathroom available.
A trip to Chon-Ak-Suu Gorge can perfectly sum up what Kyrgyzstan is rich and known for: beautiful mountainous landscapes, encountering the nomadic way of life, and nature adventures. It is a perfect place to start a summer vacation or a couple of days getaway trip from a noisy city. Majestic mountains and pristine lakes are spiritual food needed to reset one's burn-out system, and remind us of what truly is important - we are part of something great - the nature.
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