A traditional Kyrgyz saddle
Asia

Trail riding in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a majestic riding holiday destination - largely mountainous with snow-capped peaks encircling vast plateaus, crystal clear lakes and rivers. During the summer months the pastures are dotted with nomadic herders and their yurts and flocks of sheep. The warmth and friendliness of the people, who will welcome you into their home and offer you a glass of koumiss, is worth the trip alone... the chance to canter for miles across endless pasture is simply the icing on the cake. A riding holiday in the Celestial mountains is a slice of heaven.
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From the horse’s mouth

  • Celestial Mountain Trail
    July 2018 Ai Li aged 44
    The trip was good; I really enjoyed it even though I was surprised it rained this often and this hard. We had rain almost every night and there were days when we rode in the rain. And twice, we rode in hail. All that said, it was a great getaway trip; the scenery was amazing, and I loved waking up and seeing the... Read all
    More about this trip
  • Horseback trail in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan
    Dramatic scenery surrounds you on this trail ride
  • Horseback trail Kyrgyzstan mountains
    Riding out from a yurt camp in Kyrgyzstan
  • Riding on the celestial mountain trail of Kyrgyzstan
    Stay in yurts and discover the local traditions
  • Horseback trail in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan
    Traditional Kyrgyz riders in the vast plains of Kyrgyzstan
  • Horseback riding trail in Kyrgyzstan
    A typical yurt camp at the foot of the mountains

Visa & Health

Formalities

To enter Kyrgyzstan, a passport valid for six months beyond the intended departure date, with one blank page, is required by all nationals of the UK, USA, Australia and other EU countries.

Visas are not required by nationals referred to above for stays of up to 60 days except:
1. Nationals of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, who do require a visa.
Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Kyrgyzstan.

For up to date advice please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kyrgyzstan/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in the UK
    Ascot House, 119 Crawford Street
    W1U 6BJ London
    Tél. : (020) 7935 1462
    Fax :
    mail@kyrgyz-embassy.org.uk
  • British Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
    21 Erkindik Boulevard
    Office 404
    720040 Bishkek
    Tél. : +996 (312) 303637
    Fax :
    ukin.kyrgyzrepublic@fco.gov.uk
  • Ambassade de France au Kirghizstan
    32, rue Orozbékova apt. 2
    720040 Bichkek
    Tél. : +(996) 312 97 97 14
    Fax :
    cad.bichkek-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr
  • AMBASSADE DU KIRGHIZSTAN
    47, Rue de l'Abbaye / Abdjistraat
    B-1050 BRUXELLES
    Tél. : 00322 640 18 68
    Fax : 00322 640 01 31
    kyrgyz.embassy@skynet.be

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Kyrgyzstan. It's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Kyrgyzstan. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended and when travelling longer than 2 weeks also typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk (travelling by bike, handling of animals and visits to caves) you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as hepatitis B is also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months. It is also recommended to have a vaccination against tick borne encephalitis when you go hiking and/or camping for several days or more in the period of March to November.
Malaria does, but only at lower elevations in the south and in Bishkek from June to October. Pills are not necessary; buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net.
Finally, other possible health issues include diarrhea and other general travellers' diseases like motion sickness. Watch what you eat and drink and in case you get it, drink plenty of fluids (to prevent dehydration) and bring ORS.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Our recommendation:
Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin continental plugs are standard.

Budget and money

Kyrgyz Som (KGS; symbol лв) = 100 tyin. Notes are in denominations of лв1, 000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1, and 50, 10 and 1 tyin. Coins exist in denominations of 1, 3, 5 and 10 som, and 10 and 50 tyin.
Credit cards:
Credit cards are accepted in some of the larger hotels and restaurants in Bishkek and can also be used at banks to withdraw cash from the counter. They are of little value outside the main cities. ATMs exist but are hardly commonplace in Bishkek or Osh and even less so elsewhere.
ATM:
ATMs are easy enough to find in Bishkek, although smaller cities like Jalal-Abad and Osh have far fewer. Some ATMs issue US dollars as well as Kyrgyz Som.

Telephone and jetlag

Standard time +06.00 UTC
Kyrgyzstan Country Code 996

Choosing the right riding holiday

Choosing the right riding holiday

The Kyrgyz people come from a proud tradition of nomadic horsemen and warriors of the Central Asian steppe. Even though they were once the rulers of a vast empire in the middle of Central Asia,  the people from Kyrgysztan have been under the rule of foreigners for many centuries, ever since the time of Genghis Khan.

One of the most celebrated warriors of the country is Manas. This warrior is known as the leader who unified the country and therefore became the most important figure in the Kyrgyz culture. Statues of Manas can be found across the country, in Bishkek you will be able to find a statue of this warrior on his magical horse, slaying a dragon in front of the Phillharmonia.

A trail riding in Kyrgyzstan is the opportunity to explore intoxicating landscapes on horseback, but also to discover a unique culture, steeped in equestrian traditions.