Admire fascinating sceneries

Enjoy sunrise on Mars

Search for snow leopards' marks

Learn local traditions

Altai remarkable landscapes

Dates

On request                 (13 days)

Fee

From 1.549 EURO         (from Gorno-Altaisk)

Group size

min. 4, max. 9     participants

Itinerary

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Day 1. Welcome!

In the morning we will meet you at the airport in Gorno-Altaisk.

First, we will get acquainted and then transfer you to the hotel. You will have time to rest as we do understand that the night flight is quite exhausting. In the afternoon you will visit the National Museum of the Altai Republic. It exhibits the famous “Siberian Ice Maiden” and other interesting items about the past in the Altai Republic. We will end the day with a dinner together in a national yurt and will enjoy a concert of kaichi.

Night: hotel | Meal: 3 times | Driving: no Walking: in the city

Highlights: excursion to the museum and around the city, kaichi concert 

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Day 2. To the sacral Karakol valley

After breakfast we visit the border office in order to get our permits to travel in the Russian border zone with Mongolia.

Next, we will travel along the famous road – Chuiskiy Tract – which connects Russia with Mongolia. The National Geographic magazine named Chuiskiy Tract as one of the world’s most beautiful roads. During our drive we will stop at several picturesque and interesting places.

After lunch you will visit the Karakol valley which is considered a sacral place among Altaians. There you will enjoy beautiful views and have a look at the historical monuments of different epochs – petroglyphs, burial mounds and stone stelas.

This night we will stay at the home of a local woman, where you can get acquainted with the way of life in Altai and customs of modern Altaians.

Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 200 km asphalt road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: excursion in the valley, way of life in Altai 

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Day 3. Along one of the most beautiful roads in the world

Today we continue driving to our main destination and will have a lot of interesting places to visit, enjoy the views and make wonderful pictures. After packing we will go to the Chiketaman pass, followed by the confluence of the Chuya and Katun rivers, the river Katun terraces and the Inya Bridge.

While lunch is being prepared, you will have an excursion around the famous Kalbak-Tash rocks with petroglyphs.

After lunch you will cross the Kurai steppe, a very beautiful intermontane basin where you can admire, depending on the weather conditions, impressive views of the mighty North-Chuyskiy Ridge with eternal snow and glaciers. Then you leave the asphalt road and go deeper to the mountains – to stay for the night in a real yurt.

Night: yurts | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 245 km asphalt road | Walking: moderate

Highlightsexcursion over petroglyphs rocks, a lot of stops at beautiful places

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Day 4. Coloured mountains and and shamans' valley

After an early start we will explore the coloured mountains of Kyzyl-Chin. Some people call this place “Mars on Earth”. Clay layers of yellow, white, orange, red and burgundy colours make the hills really fantastic.

After making exclusive pictures we will start driving across the Chuya Steppe. We will stop in Kosh-Agach, the district centre, and visit the market where you can shop for souvenirs and goods from Mongolia. 

After that we are going to another destination – Kamtytygem Valley. On our way you will visit the local museum in Kokorya village. Here you will get to know the history of the area and look at very interesting archeological findings. 

 Not long ago locals found a sarcophagus with very well preserved items in one of the caves. There were a uniquely decorated quiver and arrows with iron tips, utensils made from the roots of trees and the remnants of silk ribbons.

The valley itself is really beautiful and differs very much from landscapes of the Chuya steppe.

Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 56 km asphalt, 40 km mountain road| Walking: moderate     

Highlights: sunrise in the coloured mountains,  local museum

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Day 5. Checking wildcams, high montainous lake and waterfall

Today we have a day trip up to Kamtytygem river. People are rare guests in  this area.

Kamtytygem Valley is the place where a route of a very rare animal – a snow leopard – passes. You will search for scratchings on the trees – through such territorial marking methods they communicate with each other.

We will also check wildcams which are installed on the snow leopard’s paths and maybe will be lucky to have a new picture or video of this gorgeous animal. We will hike up to the mountainous lake and beautiful waterfall where the zone of bald mountains already starts.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: no| Hiking: intense (12 km) 

Highlights: checking wildcams, looking for snow leopards’ scratches, waterfall and lake in the uppers reaches of river

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Day 6. To the border with Mongolia

In the morning we will start driving across the Chuya Steppe to its north-west border surrounded by severe rocky mountains of Chikhachev Ridge.

During the crossing we will stop at several picturesque places and archeological monuments. We will pass along the River Yustyd where many ancient burial mounds are situated. We will stop and have a look at stone “pictures” – rectangulars, circles and other figures made by people centuries ago, the purpose of which is still unknown to scientists.

We will stay for the night at the bank of the high-altitude and very beautiful Kokkol Lake which is only 5 kilometres to the border with Mongolia.

Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 80 km mountain road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: archeological sites, Yustyd valley

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Day 7. Mongolian landscapes and severe rocks

Today our tour will lead us deeper to wildlife. We have only a short drive to the beginning of the hill, and from there we will go up the hill on foot. To get as high as possible we will have to walk the whole day. But while we get higher and higher, we will enjoy a fantastic view of the black rocky mountains with green lakes on one side and endless steppes on the other. 

A little bit deeper in the mountains Snow Leopards and Pallas’s cats live. After our walk we will have rest at the bank of the picturesque Lake Kindyktykul. This is also a place of nesting of rare kinds of birds such as bar-headed goose, red-breasted merganser and Himalayan  griffon. Then we return to the cars and go back to the houses at Kokkol.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: ~10 km | Walking: intense (10 km) 

Highlightsgoing to the top of the hill, fantastic view from the top, Kindyktykul lake 

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Day 8. Ancient megalithic complex and acquaintance with the national park

We start the day driving across the Chuya Steppe to the next destination. We are heading to the south of the steppe, to the Sailugem national park, the center of wildlife tourism of the region.

If the level of the water in the river is ok, we will cross it and stop in Tashanta, the border checkpoint with Mongolia.

On our way we will visit the Tarkhata megalithic complex. The megalithic complex is a place where huge rocks are put in a circle with a diameter of 60 meters. Some of them are engraved with petroglyphs. Most of the scientists consider it as an ancient astronomic observation and sacral place.

After accommodating in the houses of the visitor center, we will have a walk in the surroundings.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 90 km mountain road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: Altaian Stonehenge, Sailugem national park

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Day 9 & 10. Wildlife of Sailugem national park

These two days we will make wildlife day trips with the guide from Sailugem park towards Sarjematy and Bayan Chagan valleys. The park is the habitat of many wild animals. We have a great chance to observe and take pictures of argali, marmots, ground-squirrels and birds of prey.

Together with our guide we will check one of the wildcams. It is a unique opportunity and we are allowed to watch the pictures.

We will also hike to several points with fantastic views of rivers, lakes and mountains.

In the evenings we will return to the visitor center of Sailugem national park in Chagan-Byrgazy, where we spend the nights.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: ~50-70 km/day mountain road| Walking: moderate

Highlightsmeeting wild animals and birds of prey, stunning viewpoints 

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Day 11. Kurai steppe and outstanding geological phenomena

Sorry to say – our way home begins. But you have a consolation as we will drive along a very beautiful road. 

On our way we will explore the Kurai Steppe – the only place in Altai where the ridge with 4000 metres high mountains arise just from the steppe. Besides, we will observe some interesting geological phenomena – the giant current ripple marks. We will stop for the night in Bely Bom.

Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 120 km mountain road,150 km asphalt | Walking: moderate    

HighlightsAncient smelting furnace, giant current ripple marks, North-Chuya Ridge

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Day 12. Back to Gorno-Altaisk

Today we continue the drive along the Chuiskiy trakt back to Gorno-Altaisk. There we will enjoy the last dinner of this trip together.

Night: hotel| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 330 km asphalt road |

Highlights: botanical garden, dinner in the restaurant  

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Day 13. Farewell

After breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home or your next destination.

Kaichi Travel

Adventure travel, nature tours to Altai - one of the most beautiful places in Siberia.

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