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A three-day trip to the Altyn-Emel Nature Reserve, the Charyn Canyon, and Issyk Lake

Type of tour: Multi-day tours

3 days

Price per person:

500-1140 USD

About tour:

Day 1: On the first day of the tour, we will visit the largest natural reserve in Kazakhstan – Altyn-Emel. The path to the reserve will take about five hours, so the tour will begin early in the morning. Having reached the place, we will have lunch in a cafe and go to explore the sights. First, we visit the beautiful mountains of Aktau. The road to Aktau is unpaved, and we have to drive about 160 kilometers (a round-trip distance). A walk in Aktau will last a couple of hours, and then we will go to another part of the reserve and visit the Poyushii barhan  (Singing Dune). In the evening, we will return to a small village in the reserve and stay in a guest house overnight.

Aktau mountains

Day 2: After breakfast, we will leave Altyn-Emel and go to the Charyn Canyon – one of the most famous natural attractions of Kazakhstan. This canyon is the largest in Central Asia, and its age, according to scientists, is about 12 million years. The landscapes of the canyon are fascinating, and we will have enough time to explore it – we will examine the upper panoramas and walk along the bottom of the canyon, among the steep cliffs more than 100 meters high. For the night we will stay in a tourist camp in the canyon.

Charyn canyon

Day 3: Having breakfast in the canyon, we will go to the Issyk gorge and visit the mountain lake of the same name. In fine weather, the lake pleases with its emerald color and pleasant freshness of the mountain air. Here you can have a picnic, ride along the coastline in a motorboat (for an additional fee) or go on a light short hike deep into the gorge. We will spend about two hours on the lake, and then we will return to Almaty.

Issyk lake

For this tour, we recommend you to wear comfortable trekking shoes, bring a windbreaker and hats.

IMPORTANT: In the Altyn-Emel nature reserve you have to drive about 260 km along dirt roads of not the best quality. Please be prepared for off-road adventures.

The tour starts from your hotel in Almaty. After the tour, the guide will accompany you to your hotel, or any other point in the city.

Need something more?

If you want to spend more than 3 days in Kazakhstan, we offer to you a five-day tour of the main sightseeings of southern part of our beautiful country!

  • • Guide services
  • • Transport services
  • • Entrance fees to the territory of the national park, canyon and Issyk gorge
  • • Meals according to the program
  • • Accommodation in a guest house in Altyn-Emel - 1 night (double rooms)
  • • Camping in the Charyn Canyon - 1 night (double rooms)
  • • Water
Does not include
  • • Air tickets
  • • Visa
  • • Accommodation in Almaty
  • • Breakfast on the first day of the tour
  • • Dinner on the third day of the tour
  • • Other expenses not included in the tour price


Private tour for one person


Group of 2 people


Group of 3 people


Group of 4 and more people


  • Private tour for one person
  • Group of 2 people
  • Group of 3 people
  • Group of 4 and more people

About the company

We work so that tourists coming to Almaty can learn more about our city and discover the culture and sights of Kazakhstan.