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.
Tours to Issyk-Kul Lake
2 Days Best of Kyrgyz Canyons BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $168
Duration: 2 days
Chuy valley-Issyk-kyl-Bishkek travell BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $850
Duration: 4 days
Issyk-Kul Lake Reviews
We were driven around this lake over the course of a few days and were taken by the stunning scenery along the way. The northern shore is quite commercialised and caters for families and swimmers etc ... more »
Pristine view of large Alpine lake in northern Kyrgyzstan. We went to the south shore to get the view of the lake, and it was beautiful. The water was cold (about 60 degrees C), so come prepared. Some... more »
Largest lake of Kyrgyzstan! The view is definitely stunning as there are many mountains nearby. The water is fresh in the lake and as far as I know, not a lot of people get to visit here
Nice but definitely overhyped and mostly overpriced. While beautiful, locals tend to through their rubbish everywhere leading to pollution, bottles and plastic on the beaches and in the water. Much is being done to educate people to not throw their plastic everywhere. Stunning views, clean water, but generally lacking good service, comfortable beds and friendly people.
Places to stay near Issyk-Kul Lake
Plan your trip to Karakol
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Side trips from Karakol
Museums in Karakol
Hidden gems in Karakol
Nature in Karakol
Plans to Issyk-Kul Lake by other users
23 days in Asia BY A USER FROM TURKEY January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Central Asia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Kyrgyzstan BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 30 days in Central Asia BY A USER FROM MALDIVES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Kyrgyzstan BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 31 days in Central Asia BY A USER FROM EGYPT January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium