Language: English  


Off-Road Tour: Canyons of Zhetisu (4 days)

January 1, 2019

Off-Road Tours | All Tour Packages | This tour will enable you to see the most beautiful canyons of the south-eastern part of Zhetysu: Kyzylzhar, Temirlik, Bestamak and Valley of Castles.

Tour Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)

Season: January-December

Day 1. Almaty - Kyzylzhar Canyon
Departure from Almaty at 06:00. Arrival to Kyzylzhar Canyon (Red Canyon) in Boguty mountains. Setting a camp, luncha and a walk in the canyon.
Fantastic and unusually red Boguty mountains represent itself the two arrays - Ulken Boguty and Bala Boguty. These mountains are the foothills of Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range and are stretched between the two rivers - Charyn and Chilik. The singularity of these mountains is that to reach them you do not need to go up, but on the contrary, you have to go down the road. And only after going down in the desert, you can be in the mountains. If you are in the mountains after a rain, when the moisture from the clay becomes more red, you cannot not to recall the Mars landscape. The relief of these mountains was deformed under the influence of rain and wind and canyons were formed. In the past, an active volcano was in these places. This is indicated by numerous lumps of fossilized volcanic ash. Among the rocks are visible solidified lava flows, for which the time has stopped in the era of dinosaurs. And among the rocks, you can find a real basalt, which is volcanic products. The landscape of this place is amazing!  
Return to the camp, dinner. Overnight in the tent camp.
Day 2. Kyzylzhar Canyon - Valley of Castles
Breakfast at 08:00 and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to the Valley of Castles of Charyn canyon. On arrival, lunch and a walk in the canyon.
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 on the bank of Charyn river, dinner.
Day 3. Valley of Castles - Bestamak Canyon - Temirlik Canyon
Breakfast at 08:00. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Bestamak canyon. Sightseeing and picnic at nature. 
Bestamak canyon is called "Moon Valley" by local people. It is a canyon, consisting of yellow clay. It is distinguished by the unique roundness of landscape and the lack of a single acute angle, that is why it is incredibly similar to the lunar surface, characterized by an exceptional streamlined forms. There is almost no rainfall in this area, but when the snow melts in the spring, the water appears for some time in sufficient amounts to soften the clay. As a result, the valley bottom is white and flat and the edges are formed by diffuse array of white color. When you go to the bottom of the "lunar" crater, you feel yourself the first astronaut to set foot on the Moon and your insignificance in comparison with the large space object. Only Haloxylon indicates terrestrial origin of this place.  
A walk in the canyon, lunch (picnic). Transfer to Temirlik canyon.  
Temirlik Canyon got its name from a small Temirlik river flowing along its bottom and originating in the valleys of Ketmen ridge. At the shady bottom of the canyon grows Semenov maple, Barberry, Karagan, Halimodendron, Tamarisk, Haloxylon, and rare representative of the Earth flora - the relict Sogdian ash-tree. This unique tree has survived the relict period. In 1964 Ash-tree Groves were declared monuments of nature. Such compact Sogdian ash-tree growth were noted in Kazakhstan and in North America only. Here was noticed a rare representative of the avian world - the black stork. There are also numerous nightingales, turtledoves, cave swallows.  
Setting a camp on the bank of Temirlik river, dinner around the campfire, rest. Overnight in the tent camp.
Day 4. Temirlik Canyon - Almaty
Breakfast at 09:00. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to an overlooking point of the Valley of Castles. Then, departure to Almaty. Lunch in a cafe on the way. Arrival to Almaty at approx. 20:00.


Private Tour Price: 725 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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