|Legend has it that when God had created the world he called all the people together and gave each people a piece of land to live. The Kyrgyz, however, did not appear as they had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they were shocked to discover that all the land had been given away and that nothing was left. They went to God and beseeched Him to give them a piece of land also. So God looked around, over the whole world, but could not find a piece of land which He had not already given away. Finally He said “All the land has already been allocated, except for one small piece. That piece is so beautiful however that I wanted to keep it for Myself, but I will give it to you.” And that piece of land now is called Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is a most beautiful gift from nature and yet still remains relatively unknown (click here).
Come and discover the secret with us – nobody knows it better.
Let us show you our country - on horseback, bicycle or foot through a variety of tours. Each of our tours is of a specific nature and yet, except for one or two exclusions, has the flexibility to be adapted to our customer’s individual requirements.
Back in 1998 we, Elmira and Samira (two Kyrgyz sisters), conceived and created Ecotour. When we created Ecotour there were three over-riding principles that we adopted, and these principles are still paramount today.
Firstly we are proud of our country and heritage, and we wish for people everywhere to get to know our country and our people. Secondly we also feel that it is important to follow good ecological principles, for our benefit and the world as a whole. Finally we want to see many people benefitting from our efforts and so community-based tourism prevails in all our activities.
Our tours are many and varied (see 2018 schedule) and each year we develop some new tours and programmes.
New programmes and changes for 2018:
• In July (26/07 - 09/08) we offer a new nomadic cultural program in which you will visit a festival and learn more about traditional Kyrgyz women's clothing.
• Although in general we are happy with the new and better roads in the countryside, for our cycling tours this could mean more cycling on asphalt. Therefore we have changed a couple of itineraries. For both the mountain bike tour and the expedition tour we have included a new, not easy, but beautiful itinerary in Tong. In the 17 days cycling tour we have also made some changes.
• There is also a new cycling programme especially for families with children between 8 and 14 years of age. Dates by request.
• As well as the better-known places such as Jeti-Ogus and Son-Kul, in different programmes we now offer day trips to still unknown and undiscovered mountain valleys, some with a hot spa.
If you only have a limited time in Kyrgyzstan then we can, upon request, offer a variety of daytrips and two and three day programmes with a variety of starting and finishing points.
Our tours can be organized for individuals or groups of up to 10 people (and sometimes more), and each one can be tailor-made to suit your specific requirements. In addition we have family friendly tours with discounts for children. For the majority of our tours you can specify the start date and length of the tour.
Many of our programmes are for people looking for active holidays, who enjoy physical effort and are not afraid of exerting themselves. However for those who wish to have more relaxed holidays we also offer summer tours where the culture and way of life of the Kyrgyz are the central themes.
We start our organized tours in spring (07/05) with our “Active Cultural Tour”. On request we can offer a “Tulip Expedition” to search for the origins of the tulip. Kyrgyzstan has a greater variety of flora than the whole of Europe, and some species can only be found here. Also much liked are our bird watching tours, mainly in early summer. We have several species of birds not seen in Europe.
In addition to our regular, active and more adventurous programmes, we organize tours more suitable for those travelers who desire more comfort. On these tours we sleep in hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses where you will enjoy more comfort and privacy than when staying in a yurt. These tours are especially suitable for guests who are not fond of camping or are elderly, and their emphasis is on getting to know the Kyrgyz way of life, music and culture. Guests who have specific dietary requirements (i.e. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), can take part in most of our programmes.
In central Bishkek we have our own hotel, UMAI. Here we offer warm, friendly and comfortable accommodation, rooms with a/c, satellite TV, free Wifi and private toilet facilities along with good meals. The Umai is located within walking distance of the centre of the capital. Although we try to accommodate all our guests at the Umai, sometimes this is not possible. In such circumstances our guests will be accommodated in nearby hotels of a similar standard.
If you would like to meet us and talk about your holiday we will be at the Fiets en Wandelbeurs in Ghent, Belgium on February 10 and 11 and in Utrecht, the Netherlands on March 2,3 and 4, 2018.
Our ambition is to awaken within you an interest in Kyrgyzstan and the tours organized by the Ecotour team, and we hope that one day we will meet each other in our country. We are looking forward to seeing you.
Discover Kyrgyzstan with Ecotour, on foot, on horseback, or on a bicycle. Discover the hospitality of the Kyrgyz people and enjoy the natural beauty of our nature.
In an oasis of Central Asia...
Deserts and steppes are characteristic for the nature of Central Asia. The mountain chains of the Tien-Shan with Issyk-Kul lake at its heart is an oasis in the middle of this arid region. Issyk-Kul lake (180 km long and 60 km wide, max. depth 668 m) is the second largest high mountain lake in the world. The lake is 1,600 m above sea level and is surrounded by mountain ranges with altitudes up to 7,439 m. A combination of extreme depth, thermal activity and mild salinity means the lake never freezes. Within a 4 hour car journey of the lakeshore you can see many different landscapes; semi-deserts, steppes, mountain meadows and forests, sub alpine and alpine meadows, snowdrifts and glaciers. They are inhabited by many species, some of which are threatened by extinction the snow leopard, the Marco Polo sheep and the Ibisbill being the best known.
...an old nomadic culture has survived
The traditional culture of the Kyrgyz people has survived throughout time. In summer some of them go into the mountains with their yurts and their livestock in order to take advantage of the lush summer pastures, and where they live in harmony with nature - secluded from “civilization” - as they did thousands of years ago. The Kyrgyz are very hospitable people to whom time is not important.