Tour 7: Kolsai lakes and Charyn canyons tour
Duration: 6 days
In short: Almaty – Kaindy Lake – Saty – Kolsai Lakes – Saty – Charyn Canyon – Almaty – Issyk lake – Almaty
Day 1: Almaty – Kaindy Lake – Saty
After arrival your guide will meet you at the airport. You will start the travel to Kolsai Lakes on a comfortable minivan. Along the way you will stop at the village and visit a local market. In the afternoon you will board on AWD vehicle such as "UAZ" or "PAZ", and start a 12 km ride through the mountain road leading to Kaindy Lake. The lake was formed after an earthquake in 1911, which caused a major landslide, effectively creating a natural dam. The rainwater filled the valley and created the lake which you will see during the tour in Kazakhstan. The lake is famous for the number of spruce trees that stick out of the water that were flooded when the lake was formed. The trees, together with the improbable turquoise water of the lake, make an incredibly scenic sight. Underwater, the imagery is even more stunning, as the trees have not decomposed and create the surreal vision of an underwater forest. You will spend the night in a guesthouse.
Day 2: Saty – Kolsai Lakes – Saty
Today you will continue your tour to KolSai Lakes. These Lakes are located at heights 1800, 2250 and 2700 meters above sea level. They are distinguished by the unique mountain watershed consisting of three natural zones and amazing variety of rare plants and animals. The Kolsay River originates from glaciers, located in the Kungei Alatau mountain ridges, and falls, in turn, to each of the three lakes. You can reach the lowest lake by car. But you need to hike up along the mountain trails to reach the other two lakes. Upon arrival to the third lake you will start hiking towards the second lake during your travel. The distance between the lakes is about 7km. The route lies on the bank of the lake and continues with the path through the pine forest, alpine meadows along pure mountain river flowing all the way down from the upper lake in Kazakhstan. After 3 hours of hiking you will turn back to the third lake and drive to Saty Settlement. Night is in a guesthouse.
Day 3: Saty – Charyn Canyon – Almaty
In the morning you will drive to Charyn Canyons. The canyon stretches 154 km shaped by Charyn river flowing from Tien Shan Mountains and its several tributaries. It lies in the middle of Kazakh steppes, and it will take about 3 hours driving to reach it. On the way you will stop by the local museum of traditional decorative and applied arts and crafts. The canyon consist of 5 different parts. Today you will visit one of the most beautiful routs across the Valley of Castles. After 2 hours of hiking in the foot of the canyon you will reach a large campsite with few yurts and a small open air café, lying at the shore of the Charyn River, at the end of Valley of Castles. Then you will walk the same route to get back. You will drive to a viewpoint which will give you different impression of the canyon. You will get the better view of other inaccessible canyons from a distance during your tour. Night is in a hotel.
Day 4: Almaty – Issyk lake – Almaty
Today is dedicated to Issyk Lake. The lake is located at an altitude of 1760 meters above sea level, in the Issyk gorge of the Zailiysky Alatau, about 70 km east of Almaty. Its’ turquoise-blue-green waters contrasted against the shades of the surrounding flowers and trees. The lake was originally formed around 8,000 years ago when a rockslide clogged up the gorge. But first you will visit State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “ISSYK”. The museum is dedicated to the history and culture of Saka period. The main exhibit of the museum is burial of Golden Man - a skeleton, warrior's equipment, and assorted funerary goods, including 4,000 gold ornaments, reflecting the sacred meaning of Saks mythology in Kazakhstan. At the end of day travel you will return to Almaty. Overnight is in a hotel.
Day 5: Almaty
Today is devoted to sightseeing of the southern capital of Kazakhstan. You will visit the most important city highlights including Almaty museum, Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre and Museum of Musical Instruments. Then you will wal in the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, where the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame are found. The gem of the park is Zenkov Cathedral, one of the most beautiful wooden buildings in the world. You will also take a look at Green Bazaar – the large, two-level market with a true flavour of Central Asia. The second part of the day will be in Medeo Gorge. There is a high-altitude dam protecting the city from dangerous mudflow. From the top of the dam you can see the view of highest mountain skating rink in the world. In the upper par of the valley there is a Shymbulak ski resort. You will take a ride on the ski lifts up to the 2260 meters. Further you will visit Kok-Tobe hill. It is the highest point of Almaty and is also accessible via cableway. The Almaty television tower on the hill offers a breathtaking view of the whole city and the snowy peaks of the Zailiysky Alatau ridge. Night is in a hotel.
Day 6: Flight
In the morning you will be provided a transfer to the airport.
02 pax – Sedan
04 pax – Minivan
06-10 pax – Mercedes Sprinter
Price per person:
02 pax – 980 $
04 pax – 715 $
06 pax – 530 $
08 pax – 445 $
10 pax – 410 $
Single – 130 $
Early check-in – 40 $
Single early check-in – 65 $
Half board – 130 $
Full board – 230 $
English speaking guide – 675 $ per group
- Driver with a car
- Hotels and home stays:
Saty village – Home stays
Almaty – “Kazakhstan” Hotel 3*
- Entrance fees to all museums
- Bottled water during the tour
Service does not include:
- Full pension
- Single rooms
- Early check-in
- Travel insurance
- Visa and visa support
- Guide with a competence of English language