Altyn Emel National Park and Charyn Canyon Tour /3 days/

Short description

3-day tour to Kazakhstan will introduce you to amazing natural sites of Almaty vicinities. You will enjoy wonderful and different views of the biggest Kazakh natural reserve – Altyn-Emel, walk along the Aktau mountains, and listen to the Singing Barchan (singing-dune) song – a unique occurrence of the nature that has many related legends. You will also have a trip to Charyn Canyon, a beautiful valley of red rocked ‘castles’ as if erected by unknown giants. Positive emotions and exceptional selfie photos are guaranteed!

Tour itinerary
Day 1
Almaty – Tamgaly Tas – Altyn-Emel

Departure from Almaty at 07:00. Transfer to the Tamgaly-Tas located on the Ili River. Tamgaly Tas is a unique monument, where you will see rock-carved images of Buddha’s and writings in Tibetan, Kalmyk and other languages. Discover interesting facts and legends about Tamgaly-Tas and enjoy the beautiful views.
Continue to the village of Baschi. After lunch, excursion in Altyn-Emel National Park. Drive to the mountains of Aktau and Katutau.
Katutau Mountains (Harsh Mountains) are ancient ruined mountains with volcanic outputs. Water, time and wind carved intricate shapes in the rock. Sedimentary rock of the bottom of the ancient Tethys Ocean is preserved there. Aktau Mountains (White Mountains) are one of the largest paleontological fields in the world. The chalky hills consist of sandstone and red clay, layered with yellow and pink cornelian, jasper and white quartz.

Day 2
Altyn Emel National park

Breakfast at 07:00. Drive to Singing Dunes 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 has a height of 120 meters and a length of about 3 km. It 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 Djungarian 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. Late in the afternoon return to the hotel.

Day 3
Altyn-Emel – Charyn Canyon – Almaty

After breakfast depart Altyn-Emel and drive to Charyn Canyon. En route stop to see the old ash-tree grove on the Temerlik River. After some time for picnic and rest continue drive to Charyn Canyon. Arrive in Canyon. Walk along Canyon and enjoy its beautiful views, one of which is the so-called “The Valley of Castles”. It is thought to be one of the sights of the Canyon – these rock deposits resembling a tower by its form seemed to be created by unknown giants.The Valley of Castles is over 2 km in length and its width reaches from 20 to 80 m at some places. Late in the afternoon return to Almaty (4hrs). Transfer to the hotel. End of the tour.

Tour route
Day 1
Almaty > Tamgaly Tas

Distance: 109 km, Time: 2 hours

Day 1
Tamgaly tas > Altyn Emel

Distance: 250km, Time: 3 hours

Day 2
Altyn Emel > Charyn Canyon

Distance: 230km, Time: 3 hours

Day 2
Charyn Canyon > Almaty

Distance: 200km, Time: 3 hours

Tour Package Price
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