Close to Karakol is the stunning alpine Arashan gorge. This area offers some of the finest hiking in Kyrgyzstan.
For the less energetic a rocky road, navigable only by 4 or 6-wheel drive vehicles, leads to the scenic Altyn Arashan plateau at 2700m, home to a rickety hot spring resort with rustic guesthouse and the picturesque Yak Tours guesthouse and yurt.
As with the other countries in the region, spotting wildlife is a difficult prospect. Much of the wildlife there is notoriously elusive - snow leopards or bears.