Eki Chat Yurt Camp
Spend the night in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt in the mountains.
Kyrgyz nomads are as much a part of modern Kyrgyzstan as they are its ancient past. For millennia nomadic shepherds have grazed cattle on the high summer pastures, called the jailoo, throughout the warm summer months. These herders have their own unique traditions, foods, and way of life. Sleeping on the jailoo and feeling the warm welcome of a nomadic family is something everyone should experience, and there's no better place than at the Eki Chat Yurt Camp.
Eki Chat Yurt Camp allows travelers to spend the night in the mountains in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt, with the sounds of a gurgling river to lull you to sleep. Your local hosts, Danik and Yryskul, will feed you well and take good care of you.
About the Yurt Camp:
Located in the scenic Eki Chat Valley, which is about 9km from Jyrgalan village, the Yurt Camp offers views over the green pastures from the door of your yurt. A small river adjacent to the yurt offers clean, cool running water — ideal for wading in, rinsing your face, and more. Includes bedroll and basic amenities.
- Enjoy the solitude of the mountains while feasting on traditional Kyrgyz cuisine prepared by Yryskul
- Experience the famous hospitality of Kyrgyz nomads
- Easily hike to a nearby lakes and valleys
You can book a single night's stay, rent the yurt with friends for an evening, or create a complete experience by booking a trekking or horse trekking tour that can include an overnight stay at Eki Chat.
You must book in advance at Alakol-Jyrgalan Guesthouse.
Eki Chat Yurt Camp Features and Contact Details
Photos from Eki Chat Yurt Camp
Following a Krygyz tradition dating back three millennia, once the snows recede and the weather warms, Danik and Yryskul move their herds to the jailoo, a term for the temporary, high-altitude summer pasturelands used by nomadic shepherds across Kyrgyzstan. The family lives in Akchiy during the winter, but in the summer, they tend their flocks in the lush, verdant Eki Chat Valley above the village of Jyrgalan.
Danik and his wife live a quiet life on the jailoo, a life filled with ample access to flowing rivers, soaring mountains, and turquoise-colored lakes. The youngest of their four children, Nazim, still lives with them and he helps his family herd cattle (cows, sheep, and horses) during the summers, and attends school throughout the colder months. In recent years, the influx of tourists trekking through the region has given the entire family a window into a world they previously never knew existed.
In the summer of 2017, Danik and Yryskul hosted the first wave of tourists in a newly built yurt affiliated with the Alakol-Jyrgalan Guesthouse. Situated on the banks of a rushing river, and just a stone's throw from their own yurt, Danik and Yryskul have now hosted travelers from all over the world. And it changed their entire worldview. For the first time in their lives, their family is a part of the world community. They have learned about the lives of their visitors and shared stories over kuurdak, a traditional meal of fried lamb, potatoes, and onions (this is Danik’s favorite dish that Yryskul prepares!).
Tourism has enriched the family’s world outlook. Danik and Yryskul see opportunities where they never before existed. Their second son, Khamurat, will now attend university in Bishkek to study music (he has a passion for the guitar). Nazim hopes to guide tourists through the pastures and mountains, sharing their favorite spots (Alampa Lake is a family favorite). And Danik plans to expand his tourism offerings in the coming years. He knows that nomadic life on the jailoo is an important part of Kyrgyz cultural heritage, and through their yurt camp, he and his wife welcome visitors to witness and participate in their way of life. They see their role as hosts, there to facilitate meaningful cultural exchange that leaves everyone with a more enriched understanding of their place in the world community.