With its abundant natural beauty, incredible architecture, fascinating history and epic journeys along ancient silk routes, Central Asia has something for everyone. Speaking of natural beauty, Central Asia has some of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The blue water reflecting the sky above and a sense of calmness are what these lakes will offer you. Here are some of the most beautiful lakes in Central Asia!
Kolsai Lakes, Kazakhstan
In the far corner of Kazakhstan near the border with Kyrgyzstan is the Kolsai Lakes National Park, home to the Upper, Middle, and Lower Kolsai Lakes. It is one of the most beautiful places for recreation, hiking, and horse riding in Kazakhstan. A very popular tourist destination amongst local Kazakhs, the region surrounding Kolsai Lake has lots of great campsites and homestays for you to stay at. Surrounded by forests, hills, and clean water, this place is a well-balanced combination of nature.
Kaindy Lake, Kazakhstan
Another beautiful lake hidden in Tien Shan Mountains! This magical lake with birch trees is the result of an earthquake in 1911 that flooded the forest. The natural calamity caused the occurrence of a natural dam in the gorge amidst spruce trees. With water that shifts from turquoise to emerald green depending on the light, it’s particularly scenic to walk here, either on a day trip from Almaty or on a longer trek.
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Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan
The town of Cholpon Ata sits on the northern shore of the world’s second-largest Salt Lake, Issyk-Kul, backed by the snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan mountain range. Estimated to be 25 million years old, Issyk kul Lake is one of the few ancient lakes in the world worth visiting. The lake is so big that you cannot see the opposite shore, and only the tall snow-capped mountains that surround it will remind you that it’s not a sea. Swimming, rafting, kayaking, and horse riding on the banks are some of the tourists’ favourite things to do.
Lake Song-Kul, Kyrgyzstan
The Song-Kul Lake, nestled at 3016m of altitude, offers a unique landscape of a vast pastoral valley surrounded by beautifully shaped mountains and inhabited by nomads, their herds and yurts. It is the second largest lake in the country and the largest freshwater lake. The place is perfect for checking out the nomadic lifestyle of the Kyrgyz people and enjoying excellent hiking and horseback riding.
Iskanderkul Lake is known as one of Tajikistan’s signature sights. The lake’s name ‘Iskanderkul’ means “Lake of Alexander”, after the infamous Alexander the Great. This scenic lake, claimed to be one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the former Soviet Union, lies at an altitude of 2195 meters on the northern slopes of the Gissar Range in the Fann Mountains. It is surrounded by beautifully-shaped rocky peaks and on a sunny day, the crystal-clear turquoise water contrasts with the red rocks of the mountain slopes. It’s an absolute stunner!
Lake Charvak, Uzbekistan
Confluence of mountain rivers Pskem, Kok-Su and Chatkal created the beautiful lake – Charvak Reservoir. The deep blue colour, the green mountains and the snow-capped peaks in the distance make this a very scenic spot. This artificial lake was created during the Soviet Union to provide cheap energy to Tashkent. It’s very popular among locals in the country and is easy to understand why. They come here to relax and unwind on summer weekends. Perfect for hiking and also a great paragliding spot.
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