1 Jyrgalan is the most eastern village of this size in Kyrgyzstan. Formerly a mining town, with the mine still being operated, it is now also considered by tourist for its backcountry skiing and hiking opportunities.
Thrice-daily marshrutkas depart from Ak Tilek (Main) Bazaar in Karakol at 08:30, 13:30 & 17:30. The marshrutka fare is 80 som (Aug 2017).
Shared/private taxis are also available from Karakol and charge 1,300 som per car.
It is a village, enjoy it on foot. Otherwise, close-by destinations can be arranged with local drivers or your guesthouse.
- Tulpar Tash. This rock sits at the base of the Chunkur Tor mountain range (2,450 m). Legend holds that Manas' horse climbed up this rock and leapt from the top, leaving footprints on the rock. Local villagers have also identified other pictures on the rock face, including wolf face and smiling man.
- Eki-Chat (approximately 1½ hr away from Jyrgalan village). This jailoo sits at the crossroads of several valleys and serves as a preferred summer pasture for herders and grazing cows and horses.
- Turnaluu-Kol Lake. This lake hosts several resident cranes and ducks during the summer months.
- Chaar-Jon Panorma. The Chaar-Jon is a mountain range that provides gorgeous panoramic views into the Jyrgalan valley and neighbouring Kazakhstan
- Day hikes and/or horse treks can be organised to the above places. Enquire at Destination Jyrgalan Valley, the de-facto Tourist Information Centre in the village.
- Keskenkiya Loop Trek (blue). In 2017, this new hiking trail was marked and tested. The 4-day trek covers 64 km and is marked with red paint and arrows. The trek passes through amazing valleys, rivers and several passes, including Goatasaurus Pass (3,380 m), 1 Keskenkiya pass (3,375 m), and 2 Dzhergalan pass (Jyrgalan, 3,340 m). Along the trek, nomadic family could just invite you in for a cup of chai and maybe some lunch or dinner. Alternatively, this trek can be done on horseback. Download coordinates: GPX, KML.
- Boz Uchuk Trek (green). This trek starts from Jyrgalan village, goes over the mountains (3,515 m) and finishes up in 3 Boz Uchuk (Боз-Учук) 3 days later. 4 Terim Tor Bulak pass (3,467 m), 5 Tiorgei Ak-Suu River (Turgenaksu/Тургенаксу), 6 Boz Uchuk pass (3,362 m) and multiple lakes make up the highlights of the trek. Download coordinates: GPX, KML.
There is only 1 mini-shop in Jyrgalan village. Their inventory is very limited in quantity and variety. It is recommended that food for any planned treks be bought from Karakol before heading over. Alcohol is not sold.
There are no cafes or restaurants in the village. Breakfast is typically included with a stay in the Guesthouse. Lunch and dinner can usually be requested from them.
There are 5 guesthouses in the village. A night's stay averages 1,000 som per person per night.
- Alakol-Jyrgalan Guesthouse pioneered the tourism industry and is the biggest guesthouse in the village with 10 rooms and 20 beds. It is on Asanbaev Street, with Baitor Guesthouse and Salamat Guesthouse a few houses down.
- Jyrgalan Yurt Lodge hostel is the only yurt hostel in the village. Full board meals provided.
- Rahmat Guesthouse is across the road from Alakol-Jyrgaln Guesthouse.
- Ulan Guesthouse is 10 min down the road from the marshrutka/bus stop. Look out for small metal plagues on the front walls of the houses that will mark them as guesthouses.
Marshrutkas back to Karakol from Jyrgalan go at 07:30, 11:30 and 16:30.