We represent the most popular tourist route in Almaty region. The combination of simple tracking, visiting many natural places, and absolutely different landscapes makes the route unforgettable and completely reveals the wild nature of Almaty region!

Ile-Alatau mountains, Deonisiy Mit'

According to the program a five-day trip, guests visit the main attractions of Altyn-Emel National Park: Singing Dune and Aktau mountains. 

Inside Aktau gorge, Azamat Mukhametzhanov

Further, the route follows to several canyons of Charyn and Temirlik rivers – Red Canyon (the Valley of the Castles), Lunar Canyon, Katu mountains, and panoramic sites. Our tour is the most intensive trip to canyons. You may compare itineraries of local guides, 99% of tourists visit only the Valley of the Castles. We visit six locations inside canyons. 

A brilliant in the route’s crown is a visit to the mountain lakes Saty and Mynzhylky (Kolsay Lakes), Kaindy Lake.

Small canyon, Aktau mountains, Altyn-Emel, Deonisiy Mit'

The duration of the route is 5 days. The distance of the jeep tour is 1 410 km, trekking – 36 km. We will visit three national parks of Kazakhstan – Altyn-Emel, Charyn, Kolsay lakes.

Tour map


Day 1. Aktau (White mountains), Altyn-Emel

07:00. Breakfast at the Hotel (Almaty). Loading of the luggage. 08:00. Departure by SUVs to Basshi village, the headquarter of Altyn-Emel National Park. (255 km).
11:30. Check-in at the reception office of the national park, visiting of Altyn-Emel National Park Visit Center.
12:30. Lunch in the cafe.
13:30. Departure to Aktau mountains (70 km).
15:00. 7 kilometers of trekking inside Aktau mountains (the main canyon, visiting a small canyon, going to the top of one of the mountains).
18:00. Departing a 700-year-old willow tree and taking a photo (40 km).
19:00. Accommodation at the guesthouse. Rest and dinner. Overnight.

Evening sunset on top of the Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel, Vladislav Purtov

Day 2. Singing Dune, Sculpture Valley

08:00. Breakfast at the guest house. Departure to Singing Dune (AygayKum, 55 km).
12:00. Return to the guest house (55 km). Lunch.
14:00. Departure to Sculpture Valley (90 km).
15:30. Trekking inside the Valley (2 km), taking a photo.
17:00. Departure to Zharkent town (30 km).
18:00. Dinner in the cafe.
19:00. Overnight in the hotel.

Singing Dune, Azamat Mukhametzhanov

Day 3. Charyn Canyon
08:00. Breakfast at the hotel. Loading of the luggage. Departure to Charyn National Park (180 km).
11:30. Arrival and descent to the “Valley of the Castles” canyon (Qyzylsay). Lunch in the boxes.
14:00. Next visit is a panoramic site with a view from top of the Valley of Castles.
15:00. Departure to Lunar canyon panoramic site (25 km).
16:00. Transfer to Stone Shelf (15 km).
16:45. Departure to the Valley of the Castles viewpoint (Napoleon, 5 km), the Austrian spot (2 km). Making a photo, departure to Saty village (Kolsay lakes, 110 km).
19:00. Arrival at Saty village (Kolsay lakes area). Accommodation at the guesthouse. Dinner. Overnight.

Day 4. Kolsay Lakes

08:00. Breakfast at the guest house. Departure to Saty lake (1st Kolsay, 15 km).
Trekking to Mynzhylky lake (8 kilometers, 3 hours of trekking).
13:00. Arrival to Mynzhylky lake (2nd Kolsay). Lunch (lunch boxes).
14:00. Return to Saty lake (8 kilometers, 3 hours of trekking).
17:00. Departure to Saty village (15 km). Dinner. Rest.

Day 5. Kaindy Lake

08:00. Breakfast at the guest house. Loading of the luggage. Departure to Kaindy lake (15 km). We visit three different locations around Kaindy lake.
13:00. Lunch at the guest house. Departure to Almaty (295 km).
18:00. Arrival to Almaty.

The shore of Kaindy Lake, Deonisiy Mit


- 530 USD per guest in a group of 6, a total of 3 180 USD.
- 575 USD per guest in a group of 5, a total of 2 875 USD.
- 590 USD per guest in a group of 4, a total of 2 360 USD.
- 690 USD per guest in a group of 3, a total of 2 070 USD.
- 900 USD per guest in a group of 2, a total of 1 800 USD.
- 1 595 USD for an individual tour.

Price includes:
- transportation by SUV (Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Land Cruiser 100, 200, Toyota Land Crusier Prado, Nissan Patrol),
- English/Russian -speaking guide-driver,
- 2 nights’ accommodation in the guest house, Altyn-Emel, overnight. 
- 2 nights’ accommodation in the guest house, Kolsay Lakes area, overnight. 
- sightseeing tour according to the program,
- ecological fees in accordance with the program,
- mineral water 1,5L p/p daily,
- Full board: BLD.

Cost of children's participation in the trip:
- Infants under 2 years old travel free of charge,
- children from 2 to 11 years old - 50% of the trip cost,
- children from 12 years old and up - 100% of the trip cost.
The provision of a child seat is possible, please discuss this in advance of the trip.
Transportation of human friends (dogs and cats) is possible, the fee is 10 USD/day.

Wenn Sie eine deutschsprachige Reiseleitung benötigen, teilen Sie uns das einfach mit, wir haben in unserem Team deutschsprachige Gästeführer!

Price does not include:
- soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks,
- rent of personal clothes, shoes,
- telephone calls, personal expenses,
- breakfast on the first day, dinner on the last day.

White Mountains (Aktau, Altyn-Emel), Azamat Mukhamenzhanov

Route difficulty is standard and suitable for people with average physical training. 

Please, be informed, trekking between Saty lake (Kolsay 1st) and Mynzhylky lake (Kolsay 2nd) and inside AkTau (White) mountains) is not a simple walk.
It's available for people with average physical form and children over 7 years old. We would like to recommend the use of trekking sticks during trekking.

When visiting the Kolsay lakes you need to have identity documents (border area).
Precautions: a mandatory sun hat, sunglasses, and anti-bug repellents (spring, early summer periods).

Annika van Beek, a Dutch Travel Journalist visited Almaty region in the fall of 2019. We were pleased to help organize a trip with a visit to Charyn Canyon, Kolsay, and Kaindy Lakes.
An article on visiting canyons and mountain lakes can be found here (in Dutch).

We prepared a video about the Golden Ring of Zhetysu trip, hope you will like it.

Order the tour by clicking "Book A Tour" or by calling Outfitter KZ team's telephone number: +7 701 457 6666. WhatsApp and Telegram are available also at +7 701 457 6666.
or by email: outfitter.kz@gmail.com.

A few words about Outfitter KZ team.

Lonely Planet marked us as TOP outdoor provider in Almaty city. Our team became a member of Kazakhstan Tourist Association in December 2018.


TripAdvisor awarded "Traveler's Choice" nomination to the Outfitter KZ team twice in 2020, 2021, and 2022 as a local business with consistently positive traveler reviews.


We use photographs of the famous Kazakhstan photographer Deonisy Mit' in the promotion of our tours.

Sharyn, Kaindy, Zhalanash, Sogety, Basshi, Konyrolen, Koktal, Zharkent, Sogdian ash tree

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Tour Cost from: 530 USD
The most popular multi-day tour (5 days)

15 December 2018       11550 views


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