Tour Department

The Celestial Mountains Tour Company and our sister company, the Celestial Mountains Guesthouse in Naryn were established in 1997 by three British investors to offer tours and other services to travelers.  The tours would cover the regions of Kyrgyzstan and, in co-operation with our partners in other countries, throughout Central Asia and along the Great Silk Road.

Originally attracted to Kyrgyzstan by the outstanding landscapes and pristine environment; a sense of history invoked by names such Genghiz Khan, Tamerlane and Babur; the cultural mix of the population and the traditional nomadic hospitality and lifestyle of the Kyrgyz shepherds and herders, we wanted to share with others the discovery of this relatively unknown corner of the former Soviet Union.

We saw as our potential clients people who, like the investors, were experienced travelers.  Perhaps they had spent their long vacations when they were students visiting interesting parts of the world and were willing to accept the rigours and hardships of travel. They had time available to simply wander and explore but had little money to spare. Now, however, they have jobs and responsibilities that meant that, although they have money, they have limited time available and “had to be back behind the desk on Monday week.”  They still wanted to visit remote and interesting places but needed to make the most of their “two weeks” annual leave and didn’t want either the hassle or discomforts that they were prepared to accept as students.

Although many of our clients do fit this description, it is by no means typical of the people who undertake tours with us.  Our clients represent many different nationalities, ages and backgrounds.  Some, like our investors, have become entranced with the charms of Central Asia, returning several times to explore different parts of the country.

At first we specialized in “motor tours”, but over the years we have extended the itineraries to include activities which take advantage of all that Kyrgyzstan has to offer, such as: trekking and waking tours; cycling and horse riding; a variety of cultural activities; city tours and simply relaxing and sunbathing on lakeside beaches.

Although we offer a number of set itineraries, much of our work involves customizing tours to meet the individual requirements of clients.  This individual and responsive approach is reflected throughout our work from the initial communications before the tour to feedback following it.

As a tour company, we are mindful of our responsibilities towards the natural environment, wildlife and the culture and traditions of the local communities – all of which we rely upon for our “tour product”.

I have now made my home in Bishkek and as well as running the company and two hotels, the guesthouse in Naryn and the Silk Road Lodge in Bishkek, have become an established member of the local community serving on the Management Board of the International Business Council and as President of the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators.

I am the only foreigner working in the company and heads an enthusiastic and energetic team in the Tour Department, who are responsible for communications and logistics.  During the season we draw upon a wide pool of experienced local drivers, guides and others to accompany tours.

Our services include:

  • Formalities:
    • Visa Support
    • OVIR registration
    • Permits
  • Accommodation:
    • Hotels
    • Sanatoria
    • Guesthouses
    • Homestays
    • Camping
    • Yurts
  • Transport
    • Saloon cars
    • 4WD
    • Minibus
    • Bus
  • Guides / Interpreters
  • Meals en route
  • Excursions – City tours, day trips,
  • Special activities:
    • museum visits
    • horse riding
    • boat trips on Lake Issyk Kul
    • demonstrations and master classes of various national crafts, (such as how to make Shyrdaks and Ala kiyiz,)
    • concerts of traditional Kyrgyz music,
    • traditional Kyrgyz Horse Games
    • demonstrations of hunting with eagles
    • rafting
  • Logistics
    • Making Bookings – purchasing tickets
    • Arranging meetings – conferences etc.
  • Liaison in Central Asia, (Kyrgyzstan – China – Pakistan – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Kazakhstan …)
  • Planning – Advice and Information

You can find more information on our websites: www.celestial.com.kg and www.tours.kg.