Picturesque mountain routes between the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan, inaccessible to tourists for a long time, will be opened. Pilot crossing from Almaty to Issyk-Kul through the Sary-Bulak pass started today. A large group of Kazakh and Kyrgyz officials, businessmen, deputies, and public figures will be the first to go along the mountain path. In three days they will have to climb to a height of 3270 meters above sea level and cover almost thirty kilometers on foot. The hike ended in the Kyrgyz village of Balbay on the evening of August 28.
The route for another group, already consisting of experienced athletes, was laid through the Ozerny Pass. They will travel 80 kilometers through two passes and cross four mountain rivers.
Travelers will update information about the state of the trails and possible natural threats, as well as work out the procedure for crossing the border.
Mountain crossings can be equally interesting for lovers of trekking, horse riding or extreme cycling tours. They were once very popular. And now, according to analysts, they can attract thousands of tourists not only from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, but also from far abroad countries.
Negotiations on the revival of routes have been going on for the past six years. But it was not possible to reach an agreement, since the agreement proposed by the Kazakh side infringed on the rights of tour operators in Kyrgyzstan, restricting the work of our guides and the movement of vehicles for tourists in the neighboring country. And only in 2022, thanks to the Tourism Development Support Fund in the Kyrgyz Republic, the parties managed to reach an agreement.
On April 21, 2022, the Kazakh NGO "Kaz Alpine Club" and OJSC "KATO" (Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, thereby expressing their readiness to resolve all problematic issues and work out the revival of cross-border routes.
On May 26, 2022, pilot crossings to Issyk-Kul through the Ozerny and Sary-Bulak passes were included in the text of the joint statement of the Presidents of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov and Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
A lot of work on preparing for the opening of mountain routes was carried out by the parliamentarians of the two countries, who initiated the current round of negotiations. The platform for resolving the issue from the side of the Kyrgyz Republic was prepared by the deputy of the Jogorku Kenesh Nurlan Azygaliev, from the side of Kazakhstan - the deputy of the Majilis Yerlan Smailov.
And in the near future, the authorized bodies for tourism should sign a special intergovernmental agreement, taking into account the interests and wishes of the tourism communities of the two countries. After that, the trails will open for mass tourists.