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Buddha carving, ancient burial mounds and wilderness of Southern and Eastern Kazakhstan. T-5
Tours to Kazakhstan

Duration: 14 days
Accommodation: 4 nights in hotels, 11 nights in tents
Category of difficulty: A
Season: 1 June - September 10
Group size: no more than 12

Travel itinerary: Almaty - Kapchagai town - Ili river - Kapchagai reservoir - Altyn-Emel - White mountains - Aidarly village - Chundja village - Temerlik river - Charyn canyon - Almaty

Day 1. Arrival in Almaty. Meeting in airport, transfer to hotel "Otrar"**** , accommodation. Rest. Breakfast. City sightseeing: visit to Panfilov park and war memorial, Cathedral, Museum of national musical instruments, National museum, Medeo gorge, Republic square (4 hrs.) Lunch. Dinner.

Day 2. Breakfast. Transfer: Almaty - Kapchagai - Ili river (101 km). Rafting on Ili River (21 km) Beneath the Kapchagai water reservoir, the Ili flows in a deep rocky canyon, up to 200 meters wide. The river in this part is full-flowing with a rapid current and clear water. The canyon is about 100 meters deep. There are small islands in the riverbed. Lunch along the way. In 1.5 - 2 hours other rocks are seen to the right - this is Tamgaly-Tas gorge, where on one of the rocks the image of Buddha is engraved. Transfer Tamgaly-Tas - Kapchagai reservoir (90 km). Dinner. Overnight in tents on the bank of Kapchagai reservoir.

Day 3. Breakfast. Transfer: Kapchagai reservoir - Altyn-Emel nature reserve (Besshatyr Burial mounds - Singing sand dunes - White Mountains (124 km). Lunch along the way. Visit to Besshatyr Saks burial mounds. They belong to the 7th - 4th c. B.C. There are 31 burial mounds there, from 45 to 105 m in diameter. Transfer to the "Singing" dunes (45 km). On the hot sand we hike up to the top of the sandy hill, which is 200 m high and 500 m long. Two more dunes stretch to the south. Transfer: "Singing" dunes - White Mountains. Short round-trip trek. Dinner. Night in tents.

Day 4. Breakfast. Visit to the White Mountains. On the territory of the National Park, from our car, we can see the wild local deer, mountain goats, foxes, hares, and birds. Transfer: White Mountains - Aidarly Village - Chundja Village - Temerlik River - Charyn Canyon (150 km) Lunch along the way. Dinner. Night in tents near the bridge over the Charyn River.

Day 5. Breakfast. Visit to the canyon. Transfer: Charyn canyon - Almaty (200 km). Lunch along the way. Transfer to Ust-Kamenogorsk (Zhangiztobe railway station) by train. Night on the train.

Day 6. Arrival in Zhangiztobe station in the morning. Breakfast. Transfer to Ust-Kamenogorsk - Ridder town (Leninogorsk), Gemma guest house (170 km). Accommodation in guest house. Russian bath and tea with altai honey. Overnight in guest house.

Day 7. Breakfast. Start of trekking in Altay Mountains. Hiking: Gemma guest house - Kedrovoye Lake (8 km). The route runs along the Palevaya Razlivanka River among Altay taiga at a high altitude. Flora changes. We can see alpine tundra. Box lunch. Further trek runs along a mountain ridge among Alpine flowered lowlands. Panorama of Belaya and Chernaya Uba. In a good weather it is possible to see the Insky Belok glacier. Camping in tents on the shore of Lake Kedrovoye (E - 2200) Dinner. Overnight in tents.

Day 8. Breakfast. Round-trip hike to the "Stone town" area - high granite rocks with bizarre forms. Visit to the sources of the Belaya and Chernaya rivers of Eastern Kazakhstan. These rivers form the Uba River upon their confluence. Lunch. Dinner. Overnight in tents.

Day 9. Breakfast. Hiking: Kedrovoye Lake - to the place called "Black Knob" (8 km). Ascent of a ridge, to the source of the Turgusun River. The whole way we can take in a panorama of the Turgusun River and Visheivanovsky Glacier (E - 2,778 m). Along the way - lunch in a mountain hut. Hike to Mezhozerny pass. Trail runs among cascades of lakes. Accommodation in tents at the place "Black node". Dinner. Overnight in tents.

Day 10. Breakfast. Hiking: "Black node" - Ozerny pass (9 km). The route goes beside beautiful Palevoye Lake and then along the gorge of the Pravaya Gromotuha River. On the way: lunch in a mountain hut. Further along the way lies a long cascade of lakes and forests. Near Ozerny pass is a mountain lake. We will camp on the shore of this lake. Dinner. Fishing (grayling). Overnight in tents.

Day 11. Breakfast. Hiking: Ozerny pass - Podbelkovoye Lake (6 km). Descent; in 1 hour we will see a beautiful waterfall. Next, descent via Ust-Kamenogortsev pass to Podbelkovoye Lake. Lunch. Accommodation in tents on the shore of the lake. Rest. Dinner. Overnight in tents.

Day 12. Breakfast. Hiking and descent to the valley of Palevaya Pazlivanka. Transfer by car to guesthouse. Lunch. Transfer to Ust-Kamenogorsk. Accommodation in hotel "Ust-Kamenogorsk" . Dinner. Overnight in hotel.

Day 13. Flight to Almaty. Arrival in Almaty. Accommodation in hotel "Otrar"**** . Free time. Lunch and dinner at a local cafe. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14. Departure from Almaty.

Please note that the prices and timetable are subject to change without notice.

Additional information

1. The price of a train ticket from Almaty to station Zhangiz-Tobe: 4 berth compartment - US$ 55 p/p.
2. The price of ticket for the flight from Ust-Kamenogorsk to Almaty is 191 US$ p/p (economy class).
3. The company provides necessary equipment for rafting, including life jackets, but excluding wetsuits.
4. We recommend bringing a shirt with long sleeves, hat, sun glasses, and sunscreen, because the temperature will be about +30oC and very hot on the Ili river.
1. Guests carry their personal things themselves on day-hikes. Hikes start from camp in the morning with a return to the camp in the evening.
2. "Silk Road Adventures" supplies tents for living and mattresses, but doesn't supply personal equipment. We recommend bringing: sleeping bags and warm and waterproof clothing. Also we recommend bringing insect repellent.
3. Clients must provide their own health insurance which covers all expenses in case of accidents, i.e. rescue, transportation to the hospital and stay in hospital.
4. For visa support it is necessary to send all personal details of clients no later than 20 days before the program starts.
5. In the itinerary we specify driving times. This duration does not include different stops: for photos, toilet, customs formalities, etc.
6. The horses can carry 15 kg of personal luggage for each client.
7. The road from Ust-Kamenogorsk to Leninogorsk is paved (140 km) with a further, 30 km dirt road to Gemma guesthouse. Necessarily we must use 4WD cars without a/c.
8. Gemma guesthouse is a small peasant farm. This farm is located 30 km from Leninogorsk, at the foot of the Ivanovsky range among a picturesque environment, high mountains with coniferous and mixed forests, mountain lakes and rivers, and alpine meadows. The farm consists of 2 wooden houses (each house for 3 guests) and 1 house (2 floors) for 6 guests.There is a stove in each house, and there are 2 Russian saunas. There is an old derrick in the yard of the guesthouse. There is daily communication with the city by portable radio transmitter.There are 15 horses. You may use these horses for riding when you wish.

  • All rates for tours are valid until December 31, 2011;
  • The above rates can be changed without prior notification.

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