Admire fascinating sceneries

Enjoy sunrise on Mars

Photograph birds of prey

Learn local traditions

Altai remarkable landscapes

Dates

5 – 17 August 2018    (13 days)

Fee

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 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.

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

Highlights: excursion to the museum and around the city 

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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.

In the evening you will meet the kaichi and enjoy his concert.

This night we will stay in the national houses – ails.

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

Highlights: excursion in the valley, kaichi concert 

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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 near fantastic Kyzyl-Chin.

Night: houses | 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 high-altitude lake

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 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. In the village Kokorya we will visit a local museum.

We will stay for the night at the bank of the high-altitude and very beautiful Kokkol Lake.

Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 56 km asphalt, 54 km mountain road| Walking: moderate     

Highlights: sunrise in the coloured mountains, Yustyd valley, local museum

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Day 5. 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. It is only several kilometers to the border between Russia and Mongolia from this place.

A little bit deeper in the mountains Snow Leopards and Pallas’s cats live. After our walk we will spend some time 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, Himalayan griffon. Then we return to the cars and go back to the houses at Kokkol.

Night: tents| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 10 km| Hiking: intense (10 km) 

Highlights: going to the top of the hill, fantastic view from the top, Kindyktykul lake

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Day 6. Ancient geometric stone settings and acquaintance with the national park

Today we will cross the Chuya Steppe in the other direction. We are heading to the south of the steppe, to the Sailugem national park, the center of wildlife tourism of the region.

We will pass along River Yustyd where many ancient burial mounds are situated. We stop and will 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. If the level of the water in the river is ok, we will cross it and stop in Tashanta, the border checkpoint with Mongolia.

After accommodating in the houses of the visit center, we will walk up the hill next to the visit center. From the top we will delight an astonishing view over the park.

Night: houses | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 50 km asphalt, 57 km mountain road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: archeological sites, Sailugem national park

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Day 7 & 8. 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 evening we will return to the visitor center of Sailugem national park in Chagan-Byrgazy, where we spend the night.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: ~40-70 km/day mountain road | Walking: intense 

Highlightsmeeting wild animals and birds of prey, stunning viewpoints 

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Day 9. From dry brown steppe to green valleys

After breakfast we drive to the remote village Jazator which is situated in the conjunction of 3 great ridges. During our driving you will notice how landscapes are changing – from yellow steppe hills to green valleys covered with forests.

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.

In the village of Jazator we will have an excursion in the local museum where we get acquainted with the traditions of Kazakhs who live in this territory together with Altaians.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 125 km mountain road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: Altaian Stonehenge, museum of Kazakh culture, village Jazator

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Day 10. Off-road driving, Samakha steppe

Today we will follow a scenic route by car deeper to the mountains. We will enjoy a real off-road and wildlife adventure. From the top of the pass we will admire a magnificent view to the Samaha Steppe. It is a small high-altitude steppe decorated with the stripes of green forests and edged with 2 beautiful mountain rivers.

We will have lunch just on the top of the pass and after exploring this nice place, we will return to the houses in Jazator.

Night: houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 30 km mountain road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: Pass Camel’s neck, Samakha steppe

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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. In Kosh-Agach you visit the market where you can shop for souvenirs and goods from Mongolia.

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 near the Katun River.

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 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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