Kazakhstan. Incredible landscapes, rock paintings and mounds of heroes

+ flight to Almaty and back home
9 days

What you get

Main cities
Mountains, waterfalls, desert
All transportation
and domestic flights
Professional tour leader - traveler
All breakfasts
in hotels
8 nights
Physical grade
Level 2 (easy) out of 5

Kazakhstan. Incredible landscapes, rock paintings and mounds of heroes

Ready to discover Kazakhstan? Nobody expected such impressions from this country!

  • Admire the blue surface of the Big Almaty Lake, framed by snowy peaks
  • Feel like a grain of sand in the Wild West of Kazakhstan - the grandiose Charyn canyon
  • Touch the petroglyphs in Tamgaly, which were left to us by people who lived four thousand years before us
  • See all the colors of the chalk mountains and relax in the hot springs in Altyn-Emel National Park
  • Walk around the mounds of the heroic leaders of the Scythian tribes, and appreciate the golden harness and utensils that they took to the afterlife.

Trip code


08 September, Wed 16 September, Thu
$ 1050

Day 1

The capital, Almaty Central State Museum Medeu Green Bazaar

We arrive in Almaty and check into a hotel. We begin our guided tour to Kazakhstan with a walk in the most modern city of the country. Look up - looming over the skyscrapers are the peaks of the Tien Shan - the Heavenly Mountains covered with snow! In the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan we will learn more about the history of the country. Here we can see ancient household items of the Stone and Bronze Age, admire Chinese and Japanese vases of the 12th century, found near modern Almaty, study traditional clothes of all peoples who inhabit Kazakhstan.

Is there a better place for observing local life, then the oriental bazaar? We doubt it! Head to the Green Bazaar to savour camel meat, horse meat, camel milk shubhat, and kumis. After lunch we leave for Medeu - the world's largest high-mountain skating rink 1691 meters above sea level! We will take the cable car to the top of the hill to see the skating rink from above. Previously, there was a monastery on this mountain, believers are still holding services here.

Day 2

Big Almaty Lake Chukur waterfall

In the morning we drive to the starting point of the trek to the Big Almaty Lake (one hour drive). We will walk about 15 kilometers with small backpacks carrying a supply of food for the day. Let`s admire the tall grass and mountain peaks on the horizon. We reach the Chukur waterfall 2670 meters above sea level. Dare to swim in the cold water? The natural pool is crystal clear.

We continue our walk and soon see mountain peaks covered with eternal snow! Suddenly, a huge blue mirror appears below, framed by mountains. What a view! From this lake, water flows into the capital, so swimming and even getting too close to the water is prohibited. After some rest and photos we head back to our hotel for the rest.

Day 3

Tamgaly rock paintings Altyn-Emel National Park

We leave for Tamgaly, where famous rock paintings are located along the river canyon (3 hours on the way). People who lived here four thousand years ago left us thousands of impressive images including animals, figures of warriors, weird beasts, and even saints, whose heads are surrounded by shinning suns. Scientists believe that these drawings are the first images of deities in Central Asia. Look carefully - can you find erotic scenes?

Our guided tour to Kazakhstan takes us to the village of Basshi (3 hours on the way). We check into a hotel in the Altyn-Emel National Park. We are surrounded by sands and stones, and the rays of the setting sun paint them in the color of gold. Impressed by these views, the great commander Genghis Khan called this area the Golden Saddle - Altyn-Emel.

Day 4

Altyn-Emel National Park Aktau gorges Besshatyr necropolis Hot springs

In the morning we begin our exploration of the Altyn-Emel National Park. In prehistoric times, these places were the bottom of the sea. When it retreated, multi-colored gorges formed from the chalk bottom sediments. Sheer walls up to one kilometer high are painted in green, red, beige and blue colors. A very unusual sight!

We head to the Besshatyr necropolis, which consists of 30 mounds up to 17 meters high and up to 104 meters in diameter! These are the burial places of the leaders of the Saka tribes, which many scientists associate with the Scythians. Scientists believe that they were buried in the VIII-III centuries BC with great honors. Indeed, in the mounds they found golden daggers, harnesses, quivers with arrows and expensive dishes - we saw all this in a museum in Alma-Ata. Time to relax and enjoy our group trip to Kazakhstan in the famous local hot springs!

Day 5

Singing dunes Sandboarding Ili river

We continue our group trip to Kazakhstan and drive to the mysterious Oshaktas stones. Just some eight centuries ago, the camp of the great commander Genghis Khan was located here. According to one version, the boulders were part of a signal tower with an emegrency fire lit between those stones.

The next stop is the sand dunes. Named North and South, they are 100 and 150 meters high. Climbing the ridge of these slopes is not easy! Listen closely. Yes, you really hear it! The winds lift millions of tiny grains of sand into the air, creating a sound that resembles the music of an organ. Those who wish can go down from the top of the dune on a sandboard.

We go down to the foot of the dune, to the spring, which bears the name of the famous Kazakh orientalist and ethnographer Chokan Valikhanov. He visited these places during the 1856 expedition. Be sure to take an interest in his works - you will learn a lot of interesting things about Kazakhstan.

Day 6

Charyn canyon Valley of Clay Castles Moon Canyon

In the morning we leave for the Charyn canyon (3 hours on the way). This is one of the deepest gorges on our planet, which stretches for 154 kilometers along the Charyn River. The rocks here reach a height of 150 to 300 meters! We will visit several viewing platforms to feel like birds and enjoy stunning views.

We will stop by the Valley of Clay Castles. Huge boulders here are washed away by river water, and "walls" and "towers" rise to 370 meters! Nearby lies the Moon Canyon. Here the surface really resembles the landscape of the Moon - it is completely white. We walk to the cave and to the source with clear water.

Day 7 - 9

Shymkent Koshkar-ata mosque Turkestan Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum

We leave for Almaty airport (3 hours on the way) and fly to Shymkent. We check into a hotel and go for a walk in the historic center. The oldest building is the Koshkar-ata mosque, built in 1850. It was originally located near the modern train station, but in the 1970s it was completely dismantled and moved to another location. Kazakhs believe that the holy Sufi Koshkar-ata, who lived in the 12th century, is buried here.

The next day we leave for Turkestan (3 hours on the way). In the 16-18 century, the capital of the Kazakh Khanate was located here. Muslims from all over Central Asia come here to worship the mausoleum of the Sufi philosopher Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. In addition to the tomb itself, the complex also includes the palace of the Kazakh khans, baths and other premises. In the evening we return to our hotel in Shymkent.

On the last day we go to the airport and fly to Almaty. Our small group trip has come to an end. Thank you for exploring this country with us!

Tour leader

Olga WuWei
tour leader

Подходит ли вам это путешествие?

This trip is of an easy level of physical activity, it is suitable for people in average health condition. We will take two short domestic flights and several short (up to three hours) journeys in rented jeeps. We will walk in cities and national parks, as well as hike for 15 kilometers. Accommodation in double/twin rooms in tourist class hotels.

Стоимость путешествия включает:

  1. Accommodation during the entire trip
  2. All transportation
  3. Two domestic flights
  4. Breakfast in hotels
  5. Local guides in national parks
  6. Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included:

  1. Flight to Almaty and back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals)
  2. Insurance (mandatory)
  3. Food
  4. Visa (if you need one).


Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to Kazakhstan.

We provide free visa consultations for clients.

Additional options

Local sim card with 4G Internet
Price: + $12
Sim card of a local provider with 6GB of Internet

Подпишитесь на рассылку