'Issyk' means hot from Kyrgyz and 'kol' means lake making both a hot lake. The lake got its name for not freezing in winter time. It is also the world's second-largest alpine lake after Lake Titicaca in South America, the tenth largest lake in the world by volume, and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea.
The lake is located at an altitude of 1,607 m and is 182 km long, up to 60 km wide, and has an area of 6,236 sq. km. Lake Issyk-Kol is less than 200 km drive from Bishkek, capital.