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Off-Road Tour: Altyn Emel Park and Charyn Canyon (4 days)

January 1, 2019

Off-Road Tours | All Tour Packages | If you enjoy to spend free time in nature, surprise to the new and unusual - join to this off-road tour in Altyn Emel Natural Park and Charyn Canyon!

Tour Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)

Season: January-December

Day 1. Almaty - Altyn Emel Park - Singing Dune
Departure from Almaty at 09:00. Arrival to Altyn Emel National Park at 12:00. Sightseeing at Singing Dune. Lunch at a spring nearby the dune.
Singing Dune, reaching a height of 120 meters and a length of about 3 km, located in one of the corners of the Altyn-Emel National Park, a few kilometers from the Ili river between the mountains of Big and Small Kalkan. This sandy hill consists of very fine pure sand, which starts to "sing" in windy weather and its sound reminds the organ music. Before a sandy storm the dune sounds like a drum. From the top of the Dune you can observe the grand panorama of the surroundings. In the south - thin strip of the Ili River is visible as well as purple mountains of Sogety and Boguty, looking out from the white peaks of the Ketmen ridge. On the west the horizon is obstructed by the steep slope of the Big Kalkan, and the Small Kalkan – from the east. In the north - violet-blue ridge of Jungarian Alatau mountains, Chulak mountain, Matai and Altyn-Emel are visible. If the weather is dry and windy, the sand-dune will "sing" you its song, which could be heard as far as several kilometers...  
Transfer to the bank of Ili river and setting a camp. Dinner and overnight in the tent camp.
Day 2. Katutau and Aktau Mountains
Breakfast at 10:00 and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to Katutau mountains. 
The name of Katutau mountains comes from Mongolian dialect and means "harsh mountains." The mountains really harsh, this is confirmed by geological surveys, the results of which indicate that these mountains are entirely of volcanic origin. In ancient times in these places were volcanoes, comparable in size with such volcanoes as Vesuvius and Etna in Europe, Avacha in Kamchatka. The confirmation of volcanic activity are findings of residues of mud volcanoes in the surrounding countryside. There was a huge prehistoric basin at the foot of the volcano. Manifestations of extinct by that time volcanic activity had been gradually covered with bottom sediments washed from the rocks of the mountains. And volcanoes were buried. Millions of years are passed, water has disappeared, the bottom of the reservoir gradually began to collapse under the influence of wind and water, exposing buried volcanic crater, lava flows, volcanic ash and bombs. From all this, nature has created bizarre surreal compositions and individual forms.  
Lunch (picnic) in Katutau mountains. Transfer to Aktau mountains.  
Chalky Aktau mountains are the world famous paleontological deposit. In the layers of the Paleogene lacustrine deposits are found well-preserved remains of ancient animals whose age is estimated at 25-30 million years. Among the findings are remains of giant rhinos, crocodiles, turtles, etc. Aktau mountains is an enchanting spectacle of the variety of shapes and colors. Red clay, bluish-gray calcareous sandstone, gravel and gypsum-bearing Tertiary sediments. Stone galleries are stretched for kilometers. Stone textures vary after each new turn of the winding gorges.  
Setting a camp at the mountains, dinner. Overnight in the tent camp. 
Day 3. Aktau Mountains - Charyn Canyon
Breakfast at 08:00. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to the Ash-tree grove at Temirlik river. Sightseeing and picnic at nature. 
In the lower reaches of Charyn river and its tributary Temirlik, there is a unique place, where relict species of Sogdian ash-tree grow. According to a legend, another 5 million years ago, a wind was brought a winged seed of Sogdian ash-tree in this so-called «Valley of Yurts.» Millions of years passed, mountains and climate changed, mammoths disappeared. But the ash-tree still remained... In 1964, the ash-tree grove was given the status of a monument of nature. The four trees of approximately the same age are fenced in the grove. It is some kind of open-air museum. Botanists believe that the age of these trees is over a thousand years. 
Transfer to Charyn Canyon, sightseeing in the Valley of Castles. 
Charyn Canyon - a natural complex, unique of its kind not only in Kazakhstan, but also throughout the world. It was formed in the epoch of the Paleogene and reminds Colorado Grand Canyon in North America, though inferior to him in size. The height of the steep canyon slopes is 150-300 meters. The extreme ruggedness of relief impresses: numerous gullies and ravines form a dense, disordered network. Wind and water have created the beautiful "Valley of Castles", where you all the time are surrounded by bizarre towers, built of sedimentary rocks. Valley length is more than 2 km, the width - 20-80 meters. Over millions of years the nature has been creating a unique architecture, carefully and deliberately erecting magnificent castles. You can spend hours wandering among the strange towers and poles, marveling at the lush imagination of nature. 
Setting a camp, dinner. Overnight in the tent camp. 
Day 4. Charyn Canyon - Almaty
Breakfast at 09:00. A walk in the canyon, disassembling of the camp and departure to Almaty. Lunch in a cafe on the way or a picnic in the valley of the royal burial mounds. Arrival to Almaty at approx. 19:00.


Private Tour Price: 735 USD Per Person, provided 2 persons traveling together


1. Transportation in comfortable off-road vehicles
2. Sightseeing according to the program
3. Environmental and entry fees
4. Meals: lunch and dinner in Day 1, full board in Days 2-3, breakfast and lunch in Day 4
5. Camping equipment for common use (camping tent, table, chairs, cooking utensils)
6. Personal camping outfit (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, personal utensils, etc.)
7. English-speaking guide service


1. Accommodation in Almaty before/after the tour, if required
2. Airport transfer, if required
3. Meals not indicated in the program and/or not included into the tour price
4. Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required
5. Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program

RECOMMENDATIONS on clothing and equipment:

Taking into account that in the evenings and at night can be quite cold, be sure to take with you:
1. Waterproof membrane Gore-Tex jacket and pants
2. Warm fleece jacket or Polartec jacket
3. Windproof jacket
4. Several sets of underwear, several pairs of socks and a pair of warm socks
5. Several T-shirts with short sleeves, shorts
6. Appropriate hiking boots, shoes for camp (lightweight sneakers)
7. Sunglasses and sunscreen
8. Head torch with adjustable brightness and beam distance, several sets of batteries
9. Thermos for 1-1.5 liters, or other water container
10. Personal hygiene items, personal first aid kit (for chronic diseases is obligatory)
11. Anti acarid remedy

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