The Golden Triangle Tour of Almaty, KazakhstanSoutheast region of Kazakhstan: This region, stretching from Almaty (Kazakhstan’s former capital city) to Lake Balkhash, is known as Zhetisu/Land of Seven Rivers/. It’s one of Kazakhstan’s most varied regions: from semi-deserts to lush greenery and dense forests, from Grand Canyon-like rock formations to waterfalls and lakes fed by the glacier meltwater of the snow-peaked Tien Shan mountain range. This part of the country is nicknamed ‘the Golden Triangle’ for its trio of major natural attractions: the Charyn Canyon, Kolsai Lakes and the Altyn-Emel National Park.
Travel time: Four season (dates are flexible)
Availability: Min 2, Max 30. Discounts available for the groups!
Duration:10Days( 10NIGHTS/9 DAYS)
Day1. Arrive to Almaty: former capital city of Kazakhstan
Arrive to Almaty city. Almaty is a former capital of Kazakhstan and continues as the major commercial and cultural center of the country, as well as its most populous and most cosmopolitan city. Meet your local team at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Do check in at your hotel and explore the city while enjoying the local kitchen. B+L+D
Day 2. Narynkol valley with Tien-Shan mountain ranges: Authentic nomadic life with untouched wild natural beauty. B+L+D
Today, after breakfast we start our adventure and drive towards Narynkol area which will be our last destination to arrive. On the way after crossing the endless, wide-open plains outside of Almaty, we stop to visit famous Charyn canyon ( part of the Charyn NP) which comes as a surprise. Seemingly out of nowhere, the landscape gets a third dimension. Colorful naturally formed stone sculptures ( or red sandstones) will stole your heart. Though its much smaller than the Grand Canyon but equally impressive. We will explore Valley of Castles: unusual rock formations with length of 3 kilometers and with a depth of 100 meters.
After Charyn canyon we continue driving and by the evening arrive to Narynkol valley. Overnight at the camp.
Days 3,4. Exploring Narynkol area. B+L+D
Narynkol is a rural area located 300km from Almaty city and borders with China and allows one of the greatest view to the great Tian-Shan mountains (Heavenly mountains) by its geographical location. This place is famous for its untouched beautiful nature and authentic nomadic lifestyle.
Here we will do and experience:
- Meet with Kazakh Eagle Hunters and their hunting eagle
- Horse riding
- Hiking activities
- Learning regular lifestyle of local nomadic people, wild nature and animals and more.
Day 5. Kolsai Lakes National Park: "Pearls of Tien Shan". B+L+D
Today we will drive towards Kolsay Lakes National Park which is located on the north slope of the Tian Shan Mountains (10 km from the border with Kyrgyzstan). Often referred to as "Pearls of Tien Shan", the park's main feature are the Kolsay Lakes ( lower, middle and upper Kolsai lakes) and lake Kaindy. One can explore the area by car, horse or do trekking( accessible for the beginner hikers). Arrive to the NP and do tented camping.
Day 6. Exploring the Kolsai Lakes NP. B+L+D
Today after breakfast we start to explore amazing Kolsai Lakes National Park along with beautiful Kaindy lake.
- Lower Kolsai Lake- The lower lake is about 1 km long, 400 meters wide, and 80 meters in depth. Accessible by road. (1,818 meters from sea level).
- Middle Kolsai Lake (Mynzhilgy - meaning "1000 years old") is the largest of the three, and reaches a depth of 50 meters. (altitude: 2,252 meters). It is considered the most scenic of the three Kolsai Lakes.
- Upper Kolsai Lake- is surrounded by spruce trees and alpine meadows. (altitude: 2,850 meters).
Lake Kaindy- This lake is considered very young lake created by nature. Formed in 1911, after an earthquake triggered an enormous limestone landslide, which formed a natural dam in the gorge that was covered by spruce trees. Due to cold temperature, trees are naturally well preserved in the water.
By the evening drive back to Almaty city. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7. Exploring the top sights of Almaty city. B+L+D
Today we will explore the top sights in and around Almaty city. This will include:
- Big Almaty lake- Visiting one of the world’s surreal lake. The Big Almaty lake is one of the reservoirs that provide fresh water for the city of Almaty.
- Medeu Ice Skating complex along with Shinbulak mountain resort - The Medeu is a high-altitude sports complex near Almaty, located at an altitude of 1691 meters above sea level. It is considered to be the world's largest high-mountain skating rink.
- Kok-Tobe Hill- is the highest point of Almaty city, 1100m and opens you the amazing panoramic view of the city from all directions.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8. Visting Turgen gorge. B+L+D
Explore the most beautiful and adventurous alpine valley which located just 70 km from Almaty city. The gorge opens up into a range of biomes and landscapes: alpine meadows, old-growth forest, glaciers and high peaks and waterfalls are all there for the taking. One can see some wild animals such as: Wolves, deer, wild hogs and even bear at the park area. Great place for fishing and trying local food from the nomads. By the evening drive back to Almaty. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9. Visiting Altyn-Emel National Park along with Singing Sand Dunes. B+L+D
Altyn-Emel National Park is located in the Ili River Valley, Kazakhstan and it comprises various landscapes, including: sand desert, mountains, and flora. The park was founded in 1996, with the objective to preserve a natural park complex, as well as archaeological and historical monuments. It is the largest reserve in Kazakhstan and part of UNESCO's world heritage.
Singing Sand Dunes- The singing sand dune of Altyn Emel is a geological oddity: a sand mountain that rumbles, but despite the strong wind never moves. We will have a lunch at a small oasis named after one of the great explorer of Kazakhstan, “Chokhan Valikhanov” just before exploring the sand dunes.
By the evening drive back to Almaty. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10. Departure back to home country. End of the trip!