This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Karakol. To help you make friends with Karakol before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Karakol is a touristic, lakeside city in the east of Kyrgyzstan, next to Lake Issyk Kul and the Tian Shan Mountains. Karakol is a beautiful place to spend a few days, experiencing the Kyrgyz culture, exploring bazaars, church, mosques, canyons, waterfalls, hot springs, and -- of course -- the lake. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking in the area, these can either be self-guided or organised hikes, and vary from day hikes to multiway eco adventures.
There are various types of accommodation options here, including guesthouses, yurts, hotels, campsites, and a few hostels in Karakol (or guesthouses with dorm rooms). The most popular accommodation is of course the yurts. All accommodation in Karakol tends to include breakfast, showers, laundry, and Wi-Fi. It’s worth noting that some accommodation only operates during the high season, which is December to March. If you are planning to travel outside of these months, then it’s worth booking in advance. Staff at most accommodation will speak either English or Russian, however it's worth learning a couple of phrases before visiting the area. Some cheaper accommodation, especially cheaper guesthouses, will only have squat toilets and no Western toilets -- most Western toilets, even in hotels, will ask you not to flush your toilet paper down the toilet. All accommodation will be able to help with arranging activities in the area and onward transport.
Karakol is a beautiful spot to explore the country, nature, the lake, and to escape the big smoke of the country's capital, Bishkek. It's definitely worth spending a few days of your trip in this city.
Written by local enthusiast for Karakol hostelsKelly Sheldrick