Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Kyrgyzstan  /  Issyk Kul Province  /  Karakol  /  Nature  /  Issyk-Kul Lake

Issyk-Kul Lake, Karakol

4.7
#1 of 30 in Things to do in Karakol
Water Body Nature / Park
In the northern part of the Tian Shan mountains lies Issyk-Kul Lake, offering plenty of recreational activities in a pleasant natural setting. The world's second-largest saline lake, it never freezes--even during the cool winters. At a height of 1,607 m (5,272 ft), the endorheic lake is fed by small rivers, springs, and melting snows and reaches a depth of 668 m (2,192 ft). A popular tourist zone since the Soviet era, the area boasts numerous sandy beaches surrounded by alpine meadows, thermal mineral springs, and lush forests. Go for a swim and relax under the sun, or explore the natural environment that shelters many migratory birds, such as cranes, swans, and ducks. Plan your Issyk-Kul Lake visit and explore what else you can see and do in Karakol using our Karakol vacation planner.
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374 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Giant lake (approx. 16 x Lake Constance) on 1600 m.a.s.l. Excellent beaches with cristal clear water. Kaji Say has quitegood beach.Excellent hiking and trekking in the valleys and mountains close to T...  more »
  • super clean Lake. The choice of accommodation is important. We were super lucky, therefore this trip to this beautiful place especially in memory remains with us. Kyrgyzstan is a country, a lover of mountains and nature should visit.
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  • Coming from a tropical country where my country is a peninsula, Issyk-Kul is just a lake. So we didn't experience the "Wow" factor that others might have experienced. Son Kol lake is more scenic becau...  more »

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Where to stay in Karakol

Karakol offers visitors a range of options for overnight stay, scattered all around the city's gridded layout. You can find several rustic guesthouses, some centrally located and some on the outskirts, often with scenic views and offering complimentary breakfast. Upscale, Western-style hotels and mid-range establishments provide more amenities, while the budget-conscious tourist can consider staying in one of the yurt campsites dotting the mountain foothills.
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