Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan By Bike


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A true adventure for those that want a unique biking experience with helicopter drops in spectacular high mountain scenery


Join in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel in Almaty. Once the capital of this vast country, it remains the nation's largest city, with a population of 1.5 million. In the late afternoon we'll meet up to assemble the bikes, hold a trip briefing and gather for a welcome dinner. Overnight: Hotel Kazzhol Almaty or similar

Turgen and Assy Rivers

Our day will commence with a drive to the Turgen River Gorge, the starting point of our ride. We cycle on a rough jeep track that follows the Turgen River to the end of the valley. Here we start to climb to the top of Assy Pass (2,650m). The sky is big, the grass is a vibrant green and the panorama is endless. We also have views here of snow-capped peaks in the distance. We descend for 35km following the Assy River down to our campsite nestled in amongst pine trees. Driving: 70km/ 2hrsCycling: 47km, +765m/ -1103mOvernight Tented camp

Ashyk Dala Plateau to Sary Baluk River

We have a long day ahead of us as we have another pass to conquer today. We have a short but tough climb to reach the lofty summit of Zhambas Pass at 3,150m. Once we've reached the top the riding is undulating as we cross the Ashyk Dala Plateau where we'll not likely to see another person unless they are on horseback. It's a long and exhilarating descent for 23km along the Zheniska River to reach our camp beside the Sary Bulak River (1600m). All the riding is off road. Cycling: 65km, +1,123m/ -201mOvernight Tented camp

Kungey Alatau Mountains to Chilik River

Today starts with a climb up but the switchbacks make the gradient easy. We traverse across the Kungey Alatau Mountains and ride through grasslands and fields of wildflowers, including edelweiss. A tough and rocky road leads us through a steep hillside that will test even the strongest of cyclists. We gradually make our way down to the Chilik River where we share our camp with horses and cows grazing nearby. Cycling: 50km, +1288m/ -1954mOvernight Tented camp

Kegen River Ride

Today we hit some tarmac as we follow the asphalt road from Saty village for 28km to Zhalanash village (1,700 m). We'll ride through the quaint villages with their white and blue picket fences and have time to pop into a local store where abacuses are still used. The riding will be mostly flat today with a few undulations and though we are on roads, they will be in poor condition, and we will see very little traffic. We camp near to the Kegen River. Cycling: 45km, +1057m/ 592mOvernight Tented camp

Karkara Base Camp

Today we enter into Kyrgyzstan riding through rolling grasslands on a good road to reach the beautiful Karkara Valley. This section was once part of the Silk Road, traversed by Kazakh, Kirgyz and Chinese traders. We spend the next two nights at Karkara Base Camp (2,200 m), staying in "walk-in" tents, and have use of hot showers, a traditional sauna and bar. Cycling: 80km, +101m/ -1270mOvernight: Karkara base camp

Heli-Biking Karkara

Base Camp Karkara is literally the jumping off point for expeditions to summit Pobedy Peak (7,439 m) and Khan Tengri (7,010 m). We'll be using the same helicopters the climbers use for our next two days of heli-biking. With our bikes on board, we fly up to 3,500 metres and then make a unforgettable 1300m descent on grasslands, switchback trails and forest dirt roads back to our base at Karkara. We maybe able to stop on the way to meet the nomads who have brought their flocks up to this fertile valley. Stopping inside a yurt we'll see how they live and have a taste of their local tea. The route back to camp takes us along a roaring river that is fed by the mountains above. Cycling: 30km, +1300m (helicopter)/ -1300mOvernight: Karkara base camp

Turuk River Ride

Today we enjoy a 20km scenic ride along the Karkara River to the junction of the Kokzhar, Dzhalanach and Turuk mountain rivers. Once reaching the junction, we follow along the Turuk river until we arrive at our next camp seeing Kirgiz nomads along the way. Perched at 3000m, we will camp in tents among these friendly nomads.Cycling: 40km, +494m/ -479mOvernight: Tented camp

Aktog Pass

Today we are cycling off road through grasslands surrounded by snow capped peaks. You will enjoy some of the best views of the trip. We follow along the Turuk River to the Aktog Pass (3480m) where you will view the Central Tien Shan Snow range and black pyramid of Khan Tengri. Make sure you bring your camera. After a stop for pictures, we have a long descent down to the Kyrgyzstan Zhaz River Valley where we camp at 2700m.Cycling: 52km, +1163m/ -326mOvernight: Tented camp

Chon Ashu Pass

We follow the Sary Zhaz River on an undulating road until we see the switchbacks of our climb up to the top of Chon Ashu Pass (3,820 m). Our legs are strong now, so we'll have no problem with this climb. Once we reach the top, we take a well-earned break to admire the view before we have a long and fast descent. We freewheel down to our riverside camp in the upper part of the valley that feeds into Lake Issyk Kul, the second largest mountain lake in the world. Camp near Ak Bulak village on the river banks.Cycling: 70km, +739m/ -772mOvernight: Tented camp

Karakol Town

For 40 km we follow a rough tarmac road to Kyrgyzstan’s famous Karakol town, a Russian military outpost from 1869. Karakol is one of Kyrgyzstan's major tourist destinations, known for excellent hiking, trekking, and skiing. We ride for 2 hours and arrive to our yurt camp in the center of Karakol. Here we eat lunch and have a hot shower. Now that the bicycle touring part of the trip is over, we’ll transfer to Issyk Kul Lake to enjoy a half day of swimming and barbecuing. In the evening we return to Kakakol for a sightseeing tour and finish out our day by staying overnight in a yurt camp.Cycling: 40km, +1557m/ -2606mOvernight: Yurt camp

Return to Almaty

We start the day early with a transfer back to Almaty where we will cross the border back into Kazakhstan. On the way we stop for lunch at Charyn Canyon where you can relax and enjoy the view. This stunning gorge has the look of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Once in Almaty we check into our hotel and meet for a farewell dinner.Driving: 360km/ 5½hrsOvernight: Hotel Kazzhol Almaty or similar

In Almaty, trip concludes

After a last look around Almaty, it’s time to box up bikes before our group transfer to the airport for the flight home. Those looking to extend their stay can spend some time exploring Kazakhstan’s newly named capital city Nur Sultan or take a day trip to the picturesque Altyn Emel National Park. Please discuss arrangements with your World Expeditions Adventure Travel Consultant.

Additional Information

Cycling with horses across the grasslands of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, 1300m descents after being dropped off by a helicopter, rocky roads running alongside roaring rivers; this is mountain biking at its best! From Almaty we take you into the heart of the Tian Shan mountains. Snow capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop for our mountain biking adventure through valleys with lush pastures, and up to passes and plateaus that are teeming with grasslands and wildflowers. The only traffic will be the occasional horseman and we'll meet nomadic Kazakhs that have moved their flocks of sheep to high pastures. From the cosmopolitan city of Almaty, we walk around this leafy city before heading to the mountains and rivers. We start biking again from the Turgen River Gorge, and the landscape quickly changes from pine trees to open rolling grasslands. Everyday we'll ascend up dirt roads to the top of passes, have adrenalin-inducing downhills and camp next to rushing rivers as we weave our way to the Karkara Valley. The highlight of our tour is two days heli-biking. We are flown to the lofty height of 3500m for an exhilarating descent on single track and jeep dirt roads back to our camp. The adventure continues as we climb to the top of the Mingtur Pass (3900m) and the Chon Ashy Pass (3820m) and descend into Kyrgyzstan.

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13 Days



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