Enclosed on all sides by the snowy peaks of the
Tien Shan Mountains, lake Issyk-Kul literally meaning hot lake is
said to be the worlds second-largest alpine lake or second highest navigable
lake in the world after lake Titicaca in South America, the lake never freezes
even in the depths of winter due to some thermal activity, strong winds, physics
of deep water and unique microclimate over the lake.
Measuring 180 km long by 70 km across the lake
presently is about 700 metres deep at its deepest and sits 1600 metres
above sea level. In lake flows 180 large and small rivers, but there is no streams
flowing out of the lake. That is why the water is slightly salty. The lake's
water consist of 10 billion tonns of different salts, but there is 5 times less
salt then in Oceanic water what is right enough for keeping the lake clean and
very comfortable for swimming.
Called "The Pearl of Central Asia" the lake changes colour
depending on day time and sun position, from pale green to turquoise blue. The
crystal clear water has so exceptional blue color, 3-4 times more saturated
by color then Geneva lake in Switzerland. The one would be astonished with it's
size and scenary of huge celestial snowcaped mountan peaks shining from across
- in fact one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The area around
the lake is well known for its beautiful sandy shores among locals and people
from Kazakhstan and Russia, most of the resorts and hotels are on the north
shore of the lake; the area between here and Almaty in Kazakhstan is excellent
trekking territory. Also there are many great valleys with number of trekking/climbing/walking
possibilities on the southeast part of Issyk-Kul area.