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For the tourists Kyrgyzstan is one of the most interesting Republic of the Central Asia. Unfortunately, just few people know about all its values. Some people associate it with the unique mountainous lake Issyk-Kul, others have heard about beautiful gorges and unique canyons and somebody was told about fabulous and mysterious caves. But to see all these sights you should travel yourself and then this marvelous land would generously reveal its richness to you.

Kyrgyzstan has area of 198 500 square meters and takes the 7th place among CIS countries. Its territory could cover Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands all together. The country stretches for 900 km from the west to the east and for 400 km from the south to the north. The north point of the Kyrgyzstan has the same latitude with Rome and the south point is at the same latitude as Sicily Island. Kyrgyzstan borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China go mainly along the mountains and rivers.

The mountains cover more then 70% of the whole territory and the altitude of the valleys is not lower then 500 m above sea level. The nature of mountains is remarkable for its primeval beauty that is hard to find at the valleys. 88 mighty mountain chains of the mountain Tien-Shan system stretches from the west to the east. Tien-Shan is translated as celestial mountains and this name is justified as most its summits are over the snow-line. The world wide known summits include Pobeda (Victory) Peak (7439 m), pyramid of the legend Khan-Tengri (6995), Lenin Peak (7134) and many others. Mountains with snow and glaciers covered summits in summer are called Ala-Too that means "motley mountains". Depending on the precipitation, snow starts at the altitude of 3600 or 4600 m asl.

Kyrgyzstan inland position, its remoteness from the seas and its vicinity to the deserts of the Central Asia, the significant elevation above sea level as well as various landscapes stipulate unique diversity and mixed characters of the natural complexes. Here you could find hot desert and green steppes, zones of deciduous and coniferous forests as well as tundra and "arctic" areas. Kyrgyzstan represents the whole diversity of the climate zones of the CIS countries.

Unique primeval and majestic mountainous nature beauty, different during various periods of the day and year seasons, valuable by its emotional and physical influence on the human-being is the main wealth of the tourist resources of the republic.

The Central Tien-Shan

More favourable zones for the tourists and recreation are the east and south-east shores of the Issyk-Kul Lake with their mountain landscapes at the suburbs of Karakol town, central part of the north shore (Cholpon-Ata) and South part with semi desolate landscapes (Tamga-Ton).

Especially during summer time mountain massifs surrounded the lake attract tourists by its steppes, forest and alpine landscapes. Mountain slopes and gorges of Issyl-Kul region are good for hiking, mountaineering, speleological and skiing tourism as well as other types of recreation during the whole year.

Green pastures represented by plateau valleys at the altitude of 3200-3700 m in the upper streams of the Naryn and Sary-Jaz rivers that alternate with mountains ranges of Sary-Jaz, Ak-Shirak, Inylchek, Kaindy, etc. stretch for dozens of kilometers from watershed of Terskey Ala-Too to the south and south east. These mountain ranges going together in the east part of the region form mighty mountain junction Muztag with 2 seven-thousand peaks, Pobeda peak (7439 m) and Khan-Tengry peak (6995 m). Here also there are the great glaciers with area of 1517 cubic kilometers. The biggest ones include Inylchek, Reznichenko and Kaiyndy. Here everybody can observe boundless chains of snow ranges, giant mountains, the mouths of violent rivers, beauty of mountain landscape, great glaciers, mineral springs, wild life and majestic giant birds in the nature you also can witness rainbow shine near waterfalls, bride plateaus of alpine meadows with bright carpet of various grasses and flowers, the country of the real celestial mountains of Muztag (Arctic in Kyrgyzstan) and beautiful sights of the Issyk-Kul Lake.

Tourist zone Muztag (ice mountain) is located in the Central Tien-Shan and takes the most utmost and highest area of the east regions of the republic. You can come here from the valley of the river Sary-Jaz. Here there are innumerable challenges for those who prefer extreme tourism, including one of the greatest glacier in the world and the second in CIS countries the glacier Inylchek, discovered in 1886 by the engineer Ignatiev. Its length is about 60 km and width is up to 450 m while its ice area is 583 km2.

The place of the great interest for mountain tourists is the lake of Mertsbaher named in honour of famous German traveler who discovered it in 1903. It is about 4 km of length and 1 km of width with depth approximately from 40 to 80 m. The lake is located at the mouth of the glacier Inylchek, along its toe. Here everybody can observe very unique event common only for the arctic regions of the world ocean - ice-floes of green color, broken away, form icebergs of freak shape. Filling up the lake raises icebergs and ices what closed the entrance to the ice caves at the bottom. The water with terrific crash comes out of the lake and getting the ices back to the gaps thereby closing them again. The water should cover about 30 km before it escapes to the surface and flows into the Inylchek River, where flood roars during next 5-6 days. Above the lake there is the east edge point of Khan-Tengry range that is the summit of Bronenosetcs that splits Inylchek glacier into 2 parts, the Southern and the Northern. The meridian range has the length of 80 km and there are 5 ranges that come from it almost under the right angle to the south-east, they are Sary-Jaz (length of 113 km), Tengry-Tag (38 km), Inylchek-Too (60 km), Kaiyndy (66 km), Kakshal-Too (582 km) that form together the heart of the Central Tien-Shan.

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