Altyn-Emel– Charyn

Trip to the ancient mystic places


all year round



Tour description

Altyn-Emel is a national park in the valley of the Ili river on the territory of the Almaty region. the remains of unique archaeological and historical and cultural monuments stand on its scenic territory. In 3 km from the river bank Ili there lays the necropolis of the Saka nomadic elite from the 8-3rd centuries B.C., called Besshatyr — that is translated as Five tents.

Among the most known sights of the park which we will visit in this tour — The Singing sand-Dune which is 1,5 km long, the chalk mountain of Aktau, cut through by canyons, Katutau — the mountains set by volcanic minerals.

The Charyn Canyon is a nature sanctuary consisting of sedimentary rocks dating back to around 12 million years in the past. The height of the canyon’s cliffs reaches 150 — 300 meters. The most interesting place for tourists is the scenic Valley of Castles. It is the place where unique plants grow and rare birds from the list of the Red Book live. The round tour of our trip will take in total 3 hours. We will pass through the canyon bottom, surveying its bizarre formations. We will go down to the river bank of Charyn River and will organize a picnic there. Then we will walk through the national-park and will return back.


  • Walking tour to the volcanic mountains KatuTau
  • Excursion in the church of the 19th century and the Zharkent mosque similar to Buddhist temple
  • Walk among alien landscapes of the Charyn and Ak Tau mountains
  • Evening film watching: we bring a projector and demonstrate movies on the big screen

Tour schedule


Day 1

with overnight accommodation in hotel

9:30—13:00 transfer Almaty– Basshy settlement

13:00—14:00 Lunch

14:00—15:30 Free time, attending of museum of the Altyn-Emel national park

15:30—16:30 transfer to the Singing Sand-Dune

16:30—18:30 Walk through the dune

18:30—20:00 transfer to the settlement (sunset on the way)

20:00—21:00 dinner

21:00—23:00 Home Theater


Day 2

with overnight accommodation in hotel

8:00—9:00 Breakfast

9:00—10:30 transfer to the Ak Tau mountains

10:30—12:30 walking tour

12:30—13:30 picnic-lunch

13:30—16:00 attending of the volcanic mountains Katu Tau and 700 year old willow

16:00—17:00 transfer to the Basshy settlement

17:00—19:00 Free time

19:00—20:00 Dinner

20:00—22:00 Home theater

22:00—23:00 transfer to the steppe, watching the stars


Day 3


8:00—9:00 Breakfast

9:00—11:00 transfer to Zharkent

11:00—12:30 Excursion to the museum-mosque and ancient Russian orthodox church

12:30—13:30 lunch

13:30—15:30 transfer to the Charyn canyon

15:30—16:30 walking through the canyon

16:30—20:00 return to Almaty

What's included

  • Transport: offroader 3-5 seats – Toyota FJ, Hyundai Starex
  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation in hotel
  • Meal: breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on the way
  • Photo shooting to be reserved and paid additionally