Issyk-Kul is the world’s second largest alpine lake, lying at 1609 m (5,279 feet) above sea level. Even though it is surrounded by mountains, Issyk-Kul never freezes, thus its name means “hot lake” in Kyrgyz. The lake itself is surrounded by protected marshlands, two mountain ranges, and many popular resorts and destinations, including Karakol and Cholpon-Ata.
There are many archaeological remains around Issyk-Kul, from the petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata to remains of buildings and cities that lie under the waters (the depth and shape of the lake has changed over history because of earthquakes). The shores of Issyk-Kul were well populated, and were famous among travelers and merchants.
Dear ladies and gentlemen — Issyk-Kul Lake — the pearl of Central Asia is waiting for you.