Photo Tour: Valley of Castles (10 days)

Photo Tour: Valley of Castles (10 days)

August 10, 2016
All Tours | Photo Tours | Ecotours | Unforgettable photo tour to Charyn State Natural Park, representing itself a strip of foothill plains and intermountain hollows on both sides of Charyn river. The park is rich not only in unique natural objects and complexes, but also in historical and cultural heritage...

Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)

Season: January - December

Best Period: April - June, September - November 

 

 

Charyn State Natural Park represent itself a strip of foothill plains and intermountain hollows on both sides of Charyn river - of the largest Ili river inflow within Kazakhstan. Charyn river valley is the unique location of the remains of prehistoric flora and fauna. 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. 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.

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1. Almaty - Valley of Castles

Group meeting and departure from Almaty at 07:00. Several stops and lunch in a cafe on the way. Arrival to Valley of Castles canyon. Setting a camp, walking and photographing. Return to the camp, dinner and free time. Optional - night photographing. Overnight in the tent camp at the territory of the state park.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 200 km

Days 2-3. Valley of Castles

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn in the canyon. Return to the camp, breakfast, free time. Lunch in the camp. Closer to the evening, a hike to a shooting point for photographing the sunset over the canyon. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp at the territory of the state park.    
Total daily walking distance approx. 5-7 km 

Day 4. Valley of Castles - Temirlik River Canyon 

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn in the canyon. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Temirlik canyon with several stops on the way. Arrival to an overnight place, setting a camp, lunch. In the afternoon, a walk to a cascade, located downstream. Return to the camp, dinner and free time. Optional - night photographing. Overnight in the camp at the bank of Temirlik river.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 70 km, walking distance - 4-5 km

Days 5-6. Temirlik River Canyon

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn in the canyon. Return to the camp, breakfast. After breakfast, free time and walking in the canyon. Lunch in the camp. Walking in the canyon until sunset. Return to the camp, dinner. Preparation to the next day and free time. Optional - photographing of the night sky. Overnight in the tent camp at the bank of Temirlik river.   
Total daily walking distance approx. 10-15 km 

Day 7. Temirlik River Canyon - Charyn River Nameless Canyon  

Early wake up at 07:00. Breakfast, disassembling of the camp and transfer to a nameless canyon with several stops on the way. Arrival to an overnight place, setting a camp, lunch. In the afternoon, walking until sunset and photographing. Return to the camp, dinner and free time. Optional - night photographing. Overnight in the tent camp in the nameless canyon. 
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 50 km, walking distance - 5-7 km

Day 8. Charyn River Nameless Canyon

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn in the canyon. Return to the camp, breakfast. After breakfast, walking in the canyon and photographing. Lunch in the camp. Walking and trekking to the shooting point for photographing the sunset over the canyon. Return to the camp, dinner and free time. Overnight in the tent camp in the nameless canyon.   
Total walking distance in this day approx. 10-15 km 

Day 9. Charyn River Nameless Canyon - Ulken-Bogutty Mountains

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn in the canyon. Return to the camp, breakfast and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to Ulken-Bogutty mountains. Lunch in a cafe on the way. Arrival to an overnight place, setting a camp. Walking and photographing until sunset. Return to the camp, dinner and free time. Overnight in the tent camp at the red canyon in Ulken-Bogutty mountains.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 120 km, walking distance - 5 km

Day 10. Ulken-Bogutty Mountains - Almaty

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to Almaty, lunch in a cafe on the way. Arrival to Almaty approx. at 18:00.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 150 km

TOUR FEATURES:

The tour program is very intensive, almost all camp-to-camp transfers will be off-roads. You will need to get up very early and walk a lot in search of the best shots. All of this - in the mountain valley at an altitude about 2200 meters above sea level, where the weather often changes: it can be very hot during the day and quite cool during the evening and night. There are many dangerous insects and reptiles. That is why, it is strongly recommended to refrain from the use of alcohol and to be extremely careful.

Group Tour Price for 14-23.10.2017: 865 USD Per Person

Tour Price for 2017: 1200 USD Per Person, provided 4 persons traveling together

Tour Price INCLUSIONS:

1. Transport services on the entire route    
2. Guide-photographer service
3. Camping equipment for common use (camping tent, table, chairs, cooking utensils)
4. Food for cooking in field conditions     
5. Permits to visit the specially protected natural areas, all environmental fees    

Tour Price EXCLUSIONS:

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. Rent of personal camping outfit (tent, sleeping bag, сaremat, personal utensils, etc.)      
5. Medical insurance    
6. Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required   
7. 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, and temperature can drop to zero, 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. Camera, waterproof carrying case, a neutral filter with variable density, tripod, remote control, wide-angle and telephoto lenses    
12. Anti acarid remedy     
13. Tent, sleeping bag, caremat, utensils for personal use

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    Contacts in Almaty

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    +7 (727) 2-900-777
             info @ city-tour.kz
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