11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour
11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour
11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour
11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour
11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour
11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour
11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

Discover Kyrgyzstan, a little-travelled destination in central Asia which encompasses some of the world’s most breathtaking and dramatic scenery. Surrounded by the spectacular snow capped Tien Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan has unique potential for landscape photography, with its wonderful combination of rugged, natural beauty, hospitality and authentic cultural traditions. Witness the charm of alpine lakes set amidst the open wilderness of remote and mountainous terrain as we embark upon an exclusive photography workshop to this one-of-a-kind destination. From photographing endangered wildlife to immersing yourself in the nomadic lifestyle of the local shepherds as they tend to their livestock across the undulating plains, this incredible adventure in Kyrgyzstan has it all. 

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: July
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Activities: Hiking, Sight Seeing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Photo Tours, Photo Workshop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Languages: English
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 09:00.

  • All transport, including airport transfers and transit in all-terrain vehicles

  • Accommodation in hotels, yurt camps and homestays. Twin share or double.

  • Photography tutoring as well as landscape photography and postprocessing workshops from experienced English-speaking guides

  • Meals

  • Permits to natural parks and museums

  • Personal necessities, medicines, local SIM card and Internet, souvenirs

  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages

  • Medical and travel insurance

  • Flights into and out of Bishkek

  • VISA fees

What to bring:
  • After you sign-up, we'll send you a detailed camera gear recommendation and clothing packing list.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

You’ll arrive on your flight to Bishkek, where you’ll be transported to your hotel in the capital city of Kyrgyzstan. Situated in the Chu River Valley, this relatively new and modern city is the gateway to the Kyrgyz mountains where we’ll be heading in the next few days. There will be some time during which you’ll be able to freshen up, rest or explore the city at your own pace during the day. Colourful bazaars, stunning Soviet architecture, open-air markets, lush green parks and a craft beer brewery are but a few of the fascinating things to do in Bishkek.

In the evening, we’ll meet together as a group for a welcome dinner, during which you’ll get to know your fellow travellers who will be joining you on this trip. Your photography guides will go over the plan for the next few days and you’ll have an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.

You’ll retire for the night at the 4* Ambassador Hotel.

Day 2 - Issyk-Kul Lake

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

We’ll have breakfast at the hotel before boarding our minibus at 8am to begin the journey towards Issyk-Kul Lake – the seventh deepest lake in the world and the biggest lake in all of Kyrgyzstan. Its name means “hot lake” in the Kyrgyz language and despite being surrounded by a mountainous landscape, the lake itself never freezes over in winter due to its salt content. Spread over 6000 square kilometres, this lake with its spectacularly clear water and sandy beaches is an astonishing sight, with the sprawling Ala-Too mountains in the background.

The drive to the lake will take us about 4 hours. Along the way, we’ll stop by at the Kyzyl-Tuu Village, where we’ll have the chance to meet a local family and to experience their daily routine as they set about making wooden structures that are used for constructing yurts. Thereafter, we’ll continue on towards the village of Tosor, where we’ll stay for our first night in a fascinating yurt camp by the shores of Issyk-Kul lake.

There will be a chance to rest and have lunch, before we explore the camp itself. The area is made all the more interesting by land art and other objects dotting the landscape, put there by artists from all over the world. The atmosphere is artistic and unique, with this yurt being a favourite place to visit amongst movie directors, yoga trainers and photographers alike.

In the evening, we’ll make our way to the fairytale Skazka canyon, famous for its sandstone shapes and unusual colours that mark the rocky landscape. We’ll spend our time exploring different compositions, capturing the spectacular scenery during the sunset whilst scouting for points from where we’ll be able to photograph the sunrise on the next day.

Once the sun has set, we’ll make our way back to the yurt camp for dinner.

Day 3 - Skazka Canyon, Jety-Oguz Gorge

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

On day three, we’ll rise early and head back to the Skazka canyon for sunrise. We’ll then return to the yurt camp for breakfast before packing our belongings and continuing on our journey across the mountainous landscape.

It will take us 3 hours to reach our next destination – the Jety-Oguz gorge. This picturesque ridge of red sandstone rocks is famous amongst locals for resembling seven large bulls. It makes for an incredible sunset location and we’ll spend the afternoon exploring it in detail.

We’ll stay in another yurt camp tonight, where we’ll have dinner and experience the local way of life of the shepherds and their horses.

Day 4 - Jety-Oguz Gorge, Karakol

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

On day four, we’ll return to the Jety-Oguz gorge for a sunrise shoot. Thereafter, there will be some time to explore the surrounding highlands before we leave the yurt camp and head towards the Rheina Kench eco farm. The farm is well-known in the area for its special horse breeding traditions, as well as the fantastic cuisine produced from its plantations. We’ll spend our time photographing the horses set against the backdrop of the Tien Shan mountains, before sampling some of the delicious local fare for lunch.

Once we’ve had our fill, we’ll travel for 20 kilometres to Karakol – the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan. Our accommodation for the night will be the Green House Hotel. We’ll settle in for the afternoon over a post-processing masterclass, before heading out as a group for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 5 - Barskoon Gorge, Tosor Village

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

On day five, we’ll rise early and make our way to the maal bazaar. This local cattle market is a great place for practicing reportage photography, as the local herdsmen go about their business.

We’ll then return to the hotel for breakfast before packing our belongings and travelling towards the Barskoon gorge. This hidden beauty on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul is famous for its high waterfalls and spectacular mountain scenery. We’ll stop by at a waterfall for a brief shoot before having lunch at a local cafe.

From there, we’ll travel another 2 hours to the Arabel plateau – a highland valley which provides stunning views of the surrounds. This amazing place features winding rivers amidst mountainous landscapes and beautiful marshes. It’s the perfect place for both landscape and aerial photography. We’ll spend our time exploring for compositions until sunset, when we’ll make our way down to the familiar yurt camp in Tosor village for dinner.

We’ll stay overnight in the Tosor yurt camp.

Day 6 - Song Kul Alpine Lake, Kochkor Village

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

There will be another chance to photograph the Skazka canyon at sunrise, before we return to the yurt camp for breakfast. We’ll then pack our belongings and make our way to the Song Kul alpine lake.

We’ll stop for lunch along the way at the large but sleepy Kochkor village, whose inhabitants are mainly farmers and shepherds. It is famous for its traditional felt carpets, shyrdak, which are crafted by the local women. There will be the chance to purchase a carpet, as well as other souvenirs.

From there, we’ll continue our journey to Song Kul, reaching the lake by sunset. There will be an amazing vantage point from which we will shoot the rolling green pastures surrounded by the Tien Shan mountains, before we reach our main sunset location at the shore of the lake.

Once the sun has set, we’ll head to our yurt camp for dinner before retiring for the night.

Day 7 - Kok Boru

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

Day seven begins early with a sunrise shoot, though there will be the opportunity to rest after breakfast. You’ll then have some time to spend at your leisure until lunch, when we will meet as a group for post-processing classes and a critique session.

After lunch, we will bear witness to the horse game of Kok Boru – a traditional Kyrgyz horseback competition. During this game, men on horseback play what is essentially polo with the head of a goat. Though not for the faint of heart, this spectacle provides an intense insight into the local culture, as well as presenting an amazing opportunity for photography.

Towards sunset, we’ll trek by foot to a spectacular vantage point where we’ll capture the last rays of the sun over the landscape. After that, we’ll return to the yurt camp for dinner and a much-needed rest.

Day 8 - Kara-Koyun Valley, At-Tash Ridges

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

On day eight, we’ll have breakfast before continuing our journey towards our next yurt camp at the Kara-Koyun valley. There will be time to explore the local area and the At-Tash ridges around the yurt camp at your leisure, before we meet as a group for lunch.

For those who are willing, there is the option of taking a short hike towards a viewpoint from which we’ll be able to capture the sunset.

We’ll then return to the yurt camp for dinner in the evening.

Day 9 - Tash Rabat, Naryn

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

On the morning of day nine, we’ll travel further into Kara-Koyun gorge for a sunrise shoot over the ancient Tash Rabat. This 15th century stone fortress is set upon a spectacular mountainous backdrop and provides many compositions for photography, both inside and out. We’ll explore the area before returning to our yurt camp and travelling to the town of Naryn. Once we arrive, we’ll check into the Khan-Tengri hotel before meeting as a group for lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we’ll drive to the Naryn River Valley, where the Naryn and Eki-Naryn rivers meet. It’s a pretty prairie filled with herbs and wildflowers, making for stunning photography.

Once the sun has set, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 10 - Bishkek

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

This will be our final day of photography. In the morning, we’ll pack our belongings and make the 320 kilometre journey back to Bishkek. The drive will be long, though we’ll break it up with a stop at Kochkor village for lunch.

Once we arrive at Bishkek, we’ll check in to the Ambassador hotel. There will be a chance for you to freshen up and to rest before we meet as a group for our final farewell dinner.

Day 11 - Departure

11 Day Kyrgyzstan Photography Tour

This day marks the end of your spectacular adventure capturing the remote and unique landscape of Kyrgyzstan. When it is time, you will take your transfer to the airport for your flight home or onwards to your next destination.

Dates & Guides

8-18 July 2020 – Guided by Albert Dros & Anton Agarkov

Cancellation and Refund Policy

If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 60 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 fee.
45 days or more: 75% refund
30 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 30 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made. Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.


We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.

The tour is always dependent on weather, as the weather can indeed be highly unpredictable.


Photo Guides

Albert Dros

Albert is a Dutch photographer with an extreme passion for landscape photography. He aims to capture places and certain moments in the best way possible by using his own vision and unique style. His style consists of strong vibrant,...

Anton Agarkov

Anton Agarkov is a travelling photographer and journalist with more than ten years of shooting experience. Anton shoots mostly landscape and travel stories and organises photography workshops and expeditions in Russia and Central Asia...

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