Ai-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan

Ai-Kul (Ai-Kel) is a mountain lake located in the Leilek district of the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan. It is located at an altitude of 2915 meters above sea level.

Translated from Kyrgyz, "ai-kul" means "moon lake". Probably, this name was given to the reservoir because of its curved shape. Although if you look at the lake from above, it is very difficult to see the moon there.

The history of the reservoir is associated with an earthquake that occurred in the area of the northern slope of the Turkestan ridge. The lake area is small – only 0.82 kilometers. Two small tributaries flow into the Ai-Kul.

Due to the fact that Ai-Kul Lake is located in the mountains, it is covered with ice from October to March. There is little vegetation in this area, there are practically no trees.

It is not easy to get to Ai-Kul – in most places there are steep cliffs instead of shores. But if you come here from the south side, you will be rewarded with unforgettable views.

However, it should be borne in mind that you cannot go here without a guide. Firstly, the lake is located near the border with Tajikistan, and to get here, you need to get a special permit. And secondly, it's very easy to get lost here.