Kyrgyzstan is an untouched land of mountains, stunning views, fresh air, rivers, beautiful people, and my favourite, waterfalls. There are over 30 waterfalls but four of them are a definite must see, not only because they themselves are stunning but because their canyons and valleys also have so much to offer.
This waterfall resides in the south of Kyrgyzstan, 690 km from Bishkek and it’s highly recommended to rent a car or taxi to take full advantage of the breathtaking view. Arslanbob is a famous valley, well known for its gorgeous walnut forests which occupy 700 thousand hectares, containing more than 130 types of plants and trees, including pistachio, almond, plum, pear, apple and others. Walnut trees can reach 30 metres and are up to 1000 years old. The valley has two waterfalls that are simply called “Big waterfall” (80 metres) and “Small waterfall” (35 metres). To get to the “Big Waterfall” you might want to rent a horse and have a nice horse back riding trip, while enjoying the view and fresh air, occasionally picking a pear from a tree. The trip can be a bit adventurous as you will have to cross mountain rivers and let your horse climb the mountain, so for those who are not ready for this, you can enjoy renting a small jeep or simply walk the couple of kilometres to the waterfall (there are small bridges you can cross on foot).
The waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls in Barskon canyon, which is near lake Issyk-Kul, the second largest saline lake in the world after the Caspian Sea. The height of the waterfall is around 100 metres, so prepare to be stunned by the sound of the water, which fills the area making it hard to hear anything else. During the winter the waterfall freezes and turns into a magical ice palace between rocks. The legend says:
“One day a Snow Leopard went hunting so she left three of her offspring inside the cave at the top of the rock. They tried to go out to look for their mother and fell to their deaths. When the mother came back and saw her dead cubs, she cried and her tears turned into a waterfall with three terraces”.
On the way into the canyon you will pass a statute of Y.Gagarin (the first human to journey into outer space), who loved this place and used to come to the nearby military sanatorium Tamga. You will also discover 3 more waterfalls within the canyon.
The waterfall is only 45km away from the capital of Kyrgyzstan. It is located in ChunKurchak canyon, smaller but definitely one of the most beautiful places in the country. You will find a National Preserve, the purpose of which is to preserve rare species of tulips. This canyon attracts rock climbers, especially beginners who are just learning and discovering the art of rock climbing. ChunKurchak canyon leads smoothly into a bigger canyon which is famous for its 100- 200 meters rocks, a haven for more advanced rock climbers, and the location of various climbing competitions. The waterfall itself is easy for outsiders to miss and there is only a small path from the main road that leads you there, so we recommend you travel there with a guide. There are two ways to get there and one involves a bit of amateur climbing, definitely for adventurers, and the other one is for those who prefer a lazy walk. The waterfall is 40 metres high but its power and beauty will take your breath away. And yes, there are many pigeons around there, that’s why people call it Pigeon Waterfall.
This 60 metre high waterfall is located at an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level with three smaller waterfalls nearby. It will take you less than an hour to walk there from the main road (there are no other options but walk), and you will enjoy a smooth path, full of delicious wild raspberries and other berries, along with beautiful flowers. For those who seek adventure, you can also check out some caves (which you need to climb to) and after visit a valley full of stunning views and the small nearby village “Tash bulak”.