Issyk-Kul Lake, Karakol

4.6
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. Put Issyk-Kul Lake into our Karakol trip itinerary maker and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Issyk-Kul Lake Reviews
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  • Who saw the Issyk-Kul from the height of bird flight? such beauty is nowhere to be found! Crystal clear water does not freeze even in severe frosts! There are activists who even in winter, swimming in the Lake and do not get sick.
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  • There are many villages from which you can visit this lake. I stayed in Tong (south shore) and this non touristy village had an amazing beach with crystal clear water. Water was fresh, with amazing vi...  more »
  • There's a place in nature and where the first snowflakes have surprised us. Gorgeous emeralds reflections in the water. It seems that c is a very popular resort place.
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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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