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 world’s 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 60 km across the lake presently is about 700 metres deep at it’s deepest and sits 1600 metres above sea level. In lake flows 118 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.