Kyrgyzstan — Untouched Beauty & Wildlife with Tristan Bogaard & Belén Castelló

Starting From

$1,920/person

Number of days

9

Start Location

Bishkek Airport

End Location

Bishkek Airport

Group Size

4-10

Difficulty

3/5

Operated by

Moment Travel

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This undiscovered paradise lies deep within Central Asia, it's landscape often compared to a combination of Switzerland, Jurassic Park, and the moon. With it's high mountain ranges, untouched nature, and nomadic villages scattered with traditional yurts, prepare to feel like you've been transported to an alternate planet — in the best way.

Operated by:

Moment Travel

Unforgettable adventures with photographers whose feeds you follow (or should be following). Discover their hidden spots, capture insane photos, and sharpen your photograph...

Additional Information

Meet Your Guides: Tristan Bogaard & Belén Castelló

Hi! We're Tristan & Belén, photographers and avid travelers. For the past two years, we’ve cycled different bicycle tours around the world, capturing the landscapes we’ve seen and reflecting on the memories by curating our photos and videos on social media. Our love of photography, adventure, and teaching has led us to this point — we want to take you on this trip in order to show you what true beauty looks like, in the form of both epic landscapes and the friendliest people you'll ever meet.

Day 1: An Ancient City, Colorful Bazaars, & a Sacred Mountain

Summary:
Fly in to Bishkek, and take an flight as a group to Osh. Upon arrival in Osh, we'll head to our hotel and take some time for introductions. Next up is a city walk to explore the city streets and enjoy the bustling bazaar, filled with colorful foods and goods.

Photo Spots:
Osh Bazaar and city streets, Mount Sulayman

Activities:
Exploring Osh, enjoying the curious city life with a chance for portraits and photography.

Morning:
Flights arrive in Bishkek, and the group will make a quick flight into Osh. After an airport pickup, it's off to the hotel for a meet & greet and workshop introduction over a welcome breakfast.

Afternoon:
We'll take a walk to the colorful and unique Osh Bazaar, stopping to eat lunch and explore.

Evening:
After seeing the city, we'll head up to Mount Sulayman — the only World Heritage Site located in the country of Kyrgyzstan — for sunset shooting with a panoramic view of the city.

Lodging:
Hotel in Osh (hot shower and sitting toilets available)

Food:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner in Osh — our first taste of traditional Kyrgyz cuisine!

Day 2: Scenic Drives, Lush Valleys, & Endless Turquoise Lakes

Summary:
Our destination today is the Chong-Alay Valley. It'll be a beautiful and comfortable drive in our 4x4's, ending at our first yurt camp nestled in between lakes and a lush, hilly landscape. Once there, it's time for some rafting!

Photo Spots:
Taldyk Pass, the colourful mountains in Kezel-Alay, Tulpar-kul lake

Activities:
Scenic drive to the Chong-Alay Valley, sunset at Tulpar-kul lake

Morning:
Early wake-up call to begin the beautiful drive towards the Chong-Alay Valley.

Afternoon:
After stopping on the way for many photos on this scenic road, we'll reach the guesthouse. After settling in, we'll head out for an epic raft ride on the lake!

Evening:
Rest up from the first day out — after travel and experiencing a new culture, we'll have some time to sit back, relax and enjoy a gorgeous sunset over the mountains out back.

Lodging:
Shamurat Guesthouse (hot shower and sitting toilets available, as well as wifi and electricity)

Food:
Stop for breakfast and lunch on the road, with a home-cooked Kyrgyz dinner at the guesthouse.

Day 3: Jagged Peaks, Red Canyons & Milky Way Photography

Summary:
Today, we explore the Chong-Alay region in detail: We’ll enjoy sunrise over the little lakes, hike towards the epic Peak Lenin, and be back for another sunset in our yurt camp. We'll also enjoy some evening free time for resting, socializing or night sky photography. We will have the chance to ride towards Tulpar-Kul (3500m) on Kyrgyz horses along green velvet hills as we ascend about 400m towards the hidden lakes of the Alay range.

Photo Spots:
Tulpar-Kul lake, Peak Lenin Base Camp

Activities:
Horse ride from Sary-Mogul to Tulpar-Kul yurt camp, charming walk in the area among green hills, rivers, canyons and many lakes as we get closer to the Pamir Range and the mighty Lenin Peak.

Morning:
Early start for a beautiful drive towards Sary-Mogol. We will visit the town and have the chance to go horseback riding towards Tulpar-Kul. This area hides 70+ little lakes between its hills and a beautiful gorge with views on Peak Lenin.

Afternoon:
Plenty of time to explore as we walk towards Peak Lenin, along a beautiful canyon lined with red mountains. Keep your eyes open for marmots, yaks, and edelweiss flowers!

Evening:
Rest our legs in the common yurt as we enjoy a typical Kyrgyz meal together. If the night is clear, we'll get out for some night photography! Prepare for the most stars you've ever seen.

Lodging:
CBT Yurt Camp (cold shower and toilets available, coal stoves in the yurts to stay warm).

Food:
Breakfast in the guesthouse, lunch on the hike and a traditional Kyrgyz dinner at the yurt camp

Day 4: Off-Road Drives, Hidden Villages, & Kyrgyzstan Culture

Summary:
Our second day waking up in the Tulpar-kul lake area, and the sunrise will still blow your mind. After shooting, we'll drive back to Osh, stopping off at some great photo spots in Kezel-Alay. We'll finish the day off in Osh with a nice dinner and a session on editing tips.

Photo Spots:
Kezel-Alay, Murdash Canyon, Tulpar-Kul lake

Activities:
Sunrise shoot in Chong-Alay, stop at a typical Kyrgyz town to interact with the locals, driving through the red and green hills of Kezel-Alay

Morning:
Take your second chance for sunrise shooting in the Tulpar-kul area, then we'll take an off-road drive to Sary-Mogul, an authentic Kyrgyz village with the breathtaking Pamir mountain range in the background.

Afternoon:
Drive back to Osh, stopping at photogenic spots around Kezel-Alay and Murdash village.

Evening:
Finish the day with a relaxing evening at our hotel and an editing session.

Lodging:
Hotel in Osh (hot shower and toilets available)

Food:
Breakfast at the yurt camp, lunch on the road and dinner in Osh

Day 5: Wild Horses, Untouched Scenery, & The Colorful Landscapes of Kazarman

Summary:
This morning we'll leave Osh early, driving north to a 3000 meter-high pass towards Kazarman, where we’ll witness some untouched natural scenery in Central Asia.

Photo Spots:
The road to Kazarman

Activities:
Scenic drive through Kazarman area, loads of stops on the way!

Morning:
Early wake-up call for our drive. We'll begin along the Fergana Valley, very close to the Uzbekistan border. After passing the town of Jalal-Abad we head towards the mountains, out of civilization and paved roads.

Afternoon:
Slow drive on the narrow roads toward Kalderman pass as we ascend to 3000 meters. Here, the scenery opens up on a wild open landscape of hills and mountains with herds of horses running wild in the open pastures.

Evening:
In the evening, we'll wander around the village of Kazarman, encountering people and practicing portrait and culture photography.

Lodging:
Baktegul Guesthouse (hot shower and toilets available)

Food:
Breakfast and lunch on the road, home-cooked dinner at our guesthouse

Day 6: Roaming Wildlife, Winding Mountain Roads, & Golden Hour at Baetov Yurt Camp

Summary:
We continue our journey from Kazarman to Baetov, entering deeper into central Kyrgyzstan. This winding road offers endless opportunities for landscape photography and portrait photography.

Photo Spots:
Route to Baetov, Baetov guesthouse and yurts

Activities:
Landscape photography, adventurous drive

Morning:
We’ll start driving towards Baetov, watching the beauty unfold along the winding road.

Afternoon:
Continuing our scenic drive, it'll feel like we've gone back in time to distant lands, with untouched mountain landscapes and roaming wildlife.

Evening:
Arrival in Baetov yurt camp, catching golden hour over the distinct yellow and white hills.

Lodging:
Guesthouse and yurt (shower, public bath, and drop toilets available)

Food:
Home-cooked breakfast and dinner, lunch on the road

Day 7: Panoramic Hikes, Local Shepherds, & Bathhouse Relaxation

Summary:
Today we stay in and around Baetov, taking time to explore the details of this incredibly rural location. The beauty and culture of this remote part of Kyrgyzstan is endless: from stunning landscapes and multi-colored mountains, to yurt camps and encounters with shepherds and locals.

Photo Spots:
Baetov area, rural yurt camp

Activities:
Sunrise photography and hiking around what's called the ‘wild east’. We'll also take some time to meet the local shepherds!

Morning:
Early wake-up call for sunrise shooting and breakfast.

Afternoon:
We'll go for a half-day hike nearby — there are so many options to choose from!

Evening:
Refuel, relax, and shoot the starry skies of Baetov. We'll also make a visit the public baths.

Lodging:
Guesthouse and yurt (shower, public bath, and drop toilets available)

Food:
Home-cooked breakfast and dinner at our guesthouse, packed lunches for the hike

Day 8: Iconic Mountains, Ethnic Graveyards, & Salt Deposits

Summary:
We start our journey to Naryn, one of Kyrgyzstan’s scenic cities. The Naryn province is one of Kyrgyzstan’s largest and most mountainous, which will allow us to take great pictures of these daring gorges and peaceful giants.

Photo Spots:
The road to Naryn, Kyrgyz ethnic cemeteries , characteristic red and black mountains of the area

Activities:
Adventurous drive towards Naryn with many chances to stop on the way for outstanding scenery.

Morning:
Early wake up call to catch sunrise in and around the guesthouse before hitting the road.

Afternoon:
Stop off along the drive to explore the iconic red and black mountains, salt deposits, old ethnic graveyards, and catch some photos of horses running wild through the hills. We will catch sunset on the way, before arriving to our accommodation in Naryn.

Evening:
Refuel, relax, and exchange stories and photos.

Lodging:
Kahn Tengri hotel in Naryn (hot shower and toilets available)

Food:
Breakfast at Baetov guesthouse, lunch on the road, dinner at the Kahn Tengri hotel.

Day 9: Historic Fergana Valley, Traditional Village Life, & The Ancient Uzgen Minaret

Summary:
En route to Bishkek! Today we drive over a comfortable asphalt road, takin in eastern Kyrgyzstan’s scenery. Stops on the way include the city of Kochkor, the scenic road of Orto-Tokoy and peeking over into Kazakhstan as we drive along the border.

Photo Spots:
Kyrgyzstan’s landscape playground, Kochkor, Orto-Tokoy lake

Activities:
The long drive to Bishkek, landscape gazing on the way. In Bishkek we'll have an editing session + picture exchange. It will be great to see everyone’s results!

Morning:
Early departure. We'll cross the long road from Naryn to Bishkek for the best morning light, taking in the landscapes around us.

Afternoon:
If time allows, we may be able to visit the Orto-Tokoy lake up close. The mountains surrounding this lake are unbelievably beautiful.

Evening:
Time to relax, pack up and share everyone’s favorite pictures from the trip!

Lodging:
Hotel in Bishkek (hot shower and toilets available)

Food:
Breakfast in Naryn, lunch on the road, dinner in Bishkek at a nice restaurant.

Day 10: Catch Flights Home

Summary:
Time to take a taxi to the Bishkek airport to catch early flights back home. For those who decide to extend their trip in Kyrgyzstan, we can enjoy breakfast together at our hotel before saying goodbye.

Photo Spots:
Last chance to capture the busy city life in Bishkek for those who are not flying early this day.

Activities:
Say your goodbyes, and head back home from the Bishkek airport.

Morning:
Early transfer for those flying this morning. Breakfast together for those who extend their stay.

Food:
Breakfast at the hotel


WHERE WE'RE GOING
Kyrgyzstan
Osh
Tchong-Alay Valley
Tulpar-kul lake
Kezel-Alay
Sary-Tash
Sary-Mogol
Kazarman
Baetov
Kyrgyzstan


WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
We've been where you are — in our time out in the field we’ve made so many friends with similar passions; resulting in photo trips to explore their favorite places, see their different styles, and learn from their photography expertise. This process has been so rewarding that we can’t wait to provide you with the same experience! Here are some things you'll learn: 

How to use your camera, phone camera, and/or Moment gear to the fullest
Framing and composition
Post production and editing in Lightroom and mobile apps
How to edit without presets
How to integrate into a new culture
How to approach people for portraits
How to travel more sustainably


WHAT'S INCLUDED
3 nights in a hotel (prices based on double occupancy)
6 nights in guesthouses/yurts (prices based on double occupancy)
Entrance to all activities
Transportation to/from airport
Transportation around Kyrgyzstan
Photography and editing lessons
Discounts on Moment gear
20% off listed price for first 4 travelers
3 great meals per day

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to and from Kyrgyzstan
Alcoholic Beverages
Guide gratuities
Insurance of any kind

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