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Kel-Suu Lake

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Introduction

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a remote and untouched paradise? Look no further than Kel-Suu Lake in Kyrgyzstan. Tucked away in the Tian Shan Mountains, this hidden gem offers breathtaking natural beauty and a tranquil escape from the chaos of modern life. In this article, we will delve into the wonders of Kel-Suu Lake, exploring its unique features, activities, and the best ways to make the most of your visit. So pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to discover the mesmerizing beauty of Kel-Suu Lake!

 

Kol Suu lake 1

The Enchanting Beauty of Kel-Suu Lake

Kel-Suu Lake, nestled amidst the majestic Tian Shan Mountains, is a sight to behold. Its crystal-clear turquoise waters reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks, creating a picture-perfect panorama. The lake stretches over 11 kilometers in length and reaches depths of up to 180 meters, making it one of the largest and deepest lakes in Kyrgyzstan. As you take in the breathtaking scenery, you’ll be mesmerized by the tranquil ambiance and untouched wilderness that surround you.

Getting to Kel-Suu Lake: The Adventure Begins

To get around Kel-Suu Lake and its surrounding areas, it’s important to be prepared for the remote and challenging terrain. Here’s a guide on how to navigate the region:

  1. Accessing Kel-Suu Lake: Kel-Suu Lake is located on the Kokshaal-Too ridge, and reaching it involves passing through the Ak-Sai valley. The journey is difficult and requires specialized vehicles and experienced drivers. It’s recommended to hire off-road vehicles for this trip. The route typically starts from Bishkek and goes through Naryn, Ak-Muz, Bosogo, Kynda, Ak-Sai, and finally to Kok-Kyya.

  2. Choosing the Right Vehicle: While it’s possible to travel to Kel-Suu Lake in passenger cars, it’s highly advisable to use off-road vehicles. These vehicles are better equipped to handle the unpaved roads and river fording that are necessary to reach the lake. It’s also recommended to travel in a group of 2-3 cars for safety and assistance in case of any difficulties along the way.

  3. Timing and Road Conditions: The journey from Bishkek to the Kok-Kiya valley takes approximately 13-14 hours of driving. The road conditions can be challenging, especially in the second part of the route, which is unpaved. It’s important to be prepared for river fording and potentially difficult weather conditions. Note that the route through the Kunda Pass from the east is only accessible for 6 months of the year, as it is closed in winter due to snow and frost.

  4. Border Checkpoints: The responsibility zone of the Kynda frontier post starts at the Kunda Pass. It’s crucial to have the necessary documents and permits when traveling in this area. Make sure to obtain the required permits at least two weeks prior to your visit. These permits can be obtained from the Border Guard Service in Bishkek and typically require a photo, a copy of your passport, and a completed application form.

  5. Traveling with a Guide: Considering the challenging terrain and remote location of Kel-Suu Lake, it’s recommended to travel with an experienced guide. A local guide will be familiar with the area, road conditions, and necessary permits. They can also provide valuable insights, ensure your safety, and enhance your overall experience. Here is a 2 day tour from Naryn

Accommodation Options: Where to Stay Near Kel-Suu Lake

When visiting Lake Kel-Suu, there are primarily three options for accommodation, each offering a unique experience:

  1. Yurt Camps with Shepherds: Staying with the shepherds at yurt camps is the easiest and most popular option for visitors. Local businesspersons organize these camps specifically for tourists. You can immerse yourself in the nomadic lifestyle by spending the night in traditional yurts, which are portable, felt-covered dwellings. This allows you to experience the authentic Kyrgyz culture and hospitality firsthand. Additionally, some shepherds offer horse rental services, allowing you to explore the surrounding area on horseback.

  2. Tent Camps with Organized Tours: Another option is to book with an organized tour company that provides tent camps. These tours offer convenience and a range of packages to suit different preferences and budgets. You can join a guided tour that includes transportation, meals, and accommodation in tent camps. This option is ideal for those who prefer a structured itinerary and the expertise of experienced guides.

  3. Camping Independently: For adventurous travelers, the option of bringing your own tents and camping independently is available. However, it’s important to note that camping in the area can be challenging and potentially risky. The water levels of the lake can fluctuate, leading to flooded roads and marshy areas. If you encounter difficulties or get stuck, you may need to seek assistance from tour companies or local shepherds. Independent camping offers a more secluded experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural surroundings, but it requires careful planning and preparation.

It’s important to mention that there are no hotels or resorts in the immediate vicinity of Lake Kel-Suu. The area is known for its untouched natural beauty and nomadic culture, making yurt camps and tent camps the primary accommodation options.

When considering your accommodation choice, think about the level of comfort, immersion in local culture, and adventure that you seek. Regardless of which option you choose, the enchanting landscape of Lake Kel-Suu will provide a memorable and awe-inspiring experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, camping is allowed near Kel-Suu Lake. There are designated camping areas where you can pitch your tent and enjoy the natural surroundings. However, it's important to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment.

Swimming in Kel-Suu Lake is possible, but it can be challenging due to the lake's depth and low temperatures. If you choose to swim, exercise caution and be aware of your swimming abilities.

Yes, there are several hiking trails near Kel-Suu Lake that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.

In Conclusion

Kel-Suu Lake is a hidden gem nestled amidst the majestic mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Its enchanting beauty, diverse activities, and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you choose to hike, camp, fish, or simply immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings, Kel-Suu Lake promises an unforgettable experience.

Embark on a journey to this pristine oasis, capture breathtaking photographs, savor traditional cuisine, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Discover the magic of Kel-Suu Lake and let its natural wonders leave you in awe.

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