Touch the glacier

Search for snow leopards' marks

Explore shamans' valley

Uncover thousands of years of history

Dates

19 - 30 August 2018   (12 days)

Fee

1.349 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: tents | 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 shamans' valley

With the first rays of the Sun you will explore the coloured mountains of Kyzyl-Chin. Clay layers of orange, red and burgundy colours in morning light make the hills really impressive.

After breakfast we pack our stuff and drive 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. The name Kamtytugem is translated as shamans’ valley. Many years ago shamans gathered here for performing their rituals. As it is known, shamans chose very specific forceful places in the world for such purposes.

Besides this, the valley itself is really beautiful. 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.

Kamtytygem Valley is the habitat of a very rare animal – snow leopard. You will search for scratchings on the trees – through territorial marking methods they communicate with one another.

Night: tents | Meal: 3 times | Driving: 56 km asphalt, 38 km mountain road| Walking: moderate    

Highlights: sunrise in the coloured mountains, looking for snow leopards’ scratches, local museum

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Day 5. Checking wildcams, high montanious lake

Today we have a day trip up to Kamtytygem river. People are rare guests to this area. 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 beautifull waterfall where the zone of bald mountains already starts.

Night: tents| Meal: 3 times | Driving: no | Hiking: intense (10 km)    Highlightschecking wildcams, waterfall and lake in the uppers reaches of river

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Day 6 & 7. Wildlife of Sailugem national park

We start the day driving across the Chuya Steppe to another destination – Sailugem national park. On our way you are invited to a koumiss farm. You can try this national drink – koumiss – in a special way prepared mare’s milk.

This day and the next you will travel on the territory of Sailugem park towards the Sarjematy and Bayan Chagan valleys where you again have the possibility to see beautiful landscapes and wildlife. The park is the habitat of many wild animals. You have a great chance to observe and take pictures of argali, marmots, ground-squirrels and birds of prey.

You will also have an opportunity to hike to several points with fantastic views of rivers, lakes and mountains.

In the evening of the 7th day you will go to the visit center in Chagan-Byrgazy, where we spend the night in the houses.

Night: tents/houses| Meal: 3 times | Driving: ~50-70 km/day mountain road | Hiking: intense 

Highlightsmeeting wild animals and birds of prey, stunning viewpoints 

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Day 8. Deeper to the mountains, ancient megalithic complex

Today you will cross Chuya Steppe and go deep to the mountains, up to the South- Chuya Ridge. First, you 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.

 You will see the village Beltir which was damaged very badly by an earthquake in 2003. After Beltir you will enjoy real off-road driving on our way to the upper reaches of Akkol River. You will pass two beautiful lakes – Akkol (White Lake) and Karakol (Black Lake). There is a chance to meet camels. This night we will spend on the bank of the River Akkol, high in the mountains. This night can be very cold.

Night: tents| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 75 km mountain road | Walking: moderate

Highlights: Altaian Stonehenge, remote village, white and black lakes

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Day 9. Hiking to the glacier

It is a day of a very interesting hiking up towards the snow mountains and glacier (7 km one way). On our way you will admire beautiful views of the Sophia glacier and rock towers over it. You will be able to touch eternal snow and watch how the River Akkol impressively emerges from the glacier. After hiking we will pack and drive down to the Chuya steppe to have the night in the yurts and enjoy banya.

Night: yurts| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 55 km mountain road | Hiking: intense (15 km)

Highlights: path through moraine, lunch at the glacier

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Day 10. 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: tents| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 190 km asphalt road | Walking:  moderate   

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

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Day 11. Back to Gorno-Altaisk

Today we continue the drive along the Chuiskiy tract back to Gorno-Altaisk. There we will enjoy the last dinner together.

Night: hotel| Meal: 3 times | Driving: 270 km asphalt road |

Highlights: botanical garden, dinner in the restaurant  

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Day 12. 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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