Karakol is a big city in the Issyk-Kul region, which is surrounded by the Tian Shan Mountains. Travelers pass through Karakol to visit famous treks to Altyn Arashan hot springs and Ala-Kul Lake. Here the horseback riding and trekking opportunities are limitless. Still, lots of places are untouched by tourist groups and we will soon be sharing them. Let’s have a look at the things to do in Karakol.
Enjoy a free walking trip
Karakol offers a free walking tour to show the main landmarks of the city. If you are planning to visit Karakol, then must join a walking tour to explore the city. Your local guide will also suggest some great things to do in Karakol. The famous stops on the tour include:
- Karakol Historical Museum
- Dungan Mosque
- Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church
Explore the traditional food
Here in Karakol, you will find a mixture of different cultures that creates a variety of flavors. You can have wonderful food experience in this city by visiting the famous restaurants. Visit the Dungan village and enjoy a Dungan feast. Minimum 8 dishes are served in Dungan feast that has incredible flavor. Laghman is a traditional dish of Uyghur that contains wheat noodles, which are either served stir-fried or in a soup. Ashlyan-fu is another Dungan dish that is made from starch noodles and wheat. This dish is provided with a chilled vinegar-based broth and chopped veggies, fresh cilantro, chili, and garlic. Tourists can easily find this spicy and refreshing dish in local restaurants and markets.
Visit Barskoon waterfall
Take a half-day tour from Karakol to Barskoon valley, which is a popular tourist spot in the Jeti-Oguz district. There are 2 beautiful waterfalls above the mountain and a mesmerizing Barskoon river along the mountain. Yurts are built during summers where travelers can enjoy a traditional Kyrgyz drink. The nearest waterfall is only a few minutes away from the main road, whereas the other is about 1.5 hours trek through forest.
Hiking from Karakol
If you are a hiking lover, then we suggest you have a short hike from Karakol before you opt for a longer trek. You can take a half-day hike to the valley to view its wonderful sights, snowy peaks, and forests. Here the forests are full of greenery and you can find lots of shades to take short breaks.
Enjoy boating for a sunset cruise
Karakol is situated on the eastern coasts of Issyk-Kul region, which is the 2nd largest mountainous lake around the world. This lake doesn’t get frozen in winters because of the salinity, but you can have a lot more fun during summers. You will love watching this beautiful lake while boating for a sunset cruise. Here you can enjoy both swimming and boating.
Other things to do in Karakol:
Here in Karakol, travelers can also enjoy other activities such as visiting the banyas, soaking in the warm springs, skiing in winters, shopping at the Antique shop, and visiting parks and museums.
Having grown up in Bishkek, before moving to London for University, I now find myself back in Bishkek – and I want to share how amazing this city, and all of Kyrgyzstan is with the world.