Outfitter KZ has the honor to present a rich and interesting two-day tour with elements of hiking in the canyons of the Charyn River, on Kaindy Lake.

The trip is without exaggeration the most intense two-day tour of the sights of Almaty region: we visit six natural sites of the canyons of Charyn River (two canyons, four magnificent panoramic sites), the Alpine lake Kolsay lower, four locations of the unique Kaindy lake.

View from the panorama of the Charyn Canyon "Valley of Castles", photo by Deonisiy Mit


Canyons of Charyn river are in Raiymbek district of Almaty region, 180 km from Almaty. Canyons are more than 100 km long, and in each of them grows different varieties of relict trees - Sogdian ash, which survived the age of glaciation, Turanga. In July 2018 the national park "Charyn" was included in the international network of biosphere reserves UNESCO.

Tien-Shan spruces are in the water column of Kaindy lake, photo by Deonisiy Mit

The Kolsai Lakes are located 100 kilometers southwest of Charyn Canyons, 10 kilometers north of the border with Kyrgyzstan. The lakes are located on the territory of Kolsai Lakes National Park, which was established in February 2007.
The Kolsay lakes are a system of three lakes in the northern Tien Shan, in the Kolsay Gorge, in the link connecting the ridges of Kungei Alatau and Zailiisky Alatau.
The first lake (Saty Lake) is located at an altitude of 1,818 meters, a length of 1 kilometer, a width of 400 meters, and a depth of 80 meters. The second lake Mynzhylky is located at an altitude of 2,252 meters 5 kilometers from the first lake. The third lake is Sarybulak at an altitude of 2,850 meters, 5 kilometers from the second lake.

Kolsay lower lake (Saty), photo by Deonisiy Mit

Lake Kaindy gets its name from the birch grove that tourists visit on their way to the lake. Kaindy was formed as a result of a strong earthquake, part of the mountain slid into the gorge, slowing the free flow of the river Kaiyndy. The river eventually flooded the gorge, Tianshan spruces remained standing in the water due to the low water temperature of Kaindy, a mountain river.

On the way back from the lake, guests admire the panoramic view of the Chilik River valley.


Day 1.
07:00. We pick up our guests at the addresses and drive out to the Charyn Canyons (200 km).
08:30. Refueling in Chilik.
10:00. Visit the Valley of Castles Canyon (Kyzylsay Canyon) - the most popular canyon of the Charyn River, going down, trekking with photo stops inside the canyon, 2,5 km.
11:00. Rest on the bank of Charyn river.
12:00. Walking ascent from the canyon back to the car park (2,5 km). 
In the high season in the canyon, there is a cab from the national park, if necessary you can take a cab backup (cab fare is not included in the tour price).
13:30. Lunch break in the parking lot.
14:00. Departure to the Moon Canyon (Uzynbulak Canyon), 25 km.
14:30. Stop at the panorama of the Lunar Canyon, photo session.
15:30. Departure for the next location - an unforgettable panoramic view of the Stone Shelf (15 km).
16:00. Arrival at the Stone Shelf, photo stop.
16:30. Departure to the panoramic site "Napoleon" (2,5 km), please ask the guide about the history of the name of the panorama. :-).
17:00. Visit the site "Napoleon". Photo stop.
17:30. Departure to the panorama "Austrian View" (2 km).
18:00. Visit the Austrian view, departure to Saty village, the neighborhood of Kolsay lakes (120 km).
When visiting the Kolsay lakes you should have your identity documents (border zone).
19:00. Visit the Black canyon, a part of the main canyon of the Charyn river.
20:00. Accommodation at the guest house, dinner.
21:30. Communion around the campfire.
22:30. Overnight stay at the guest house.

Panoramic view from "Napoleon" site, photo by Alan Shafigullin

Day 2.
08:30. Breakfast at the hotel.
09:00. Departure to Kaindy lake (15 km, unpaved road).
09:30. Arrival at the parking lot. Trekking to the lake (2 km).
In the high season, the parking lot is available for the service of horse rent (horse riding is not included in the price of the tour).
10:30. Visit three locations on the lake: the shore of the lake, the panorama over the lake, and the inflow of the Kaindy river into the lake.
12:00. Return to the parking lot (2 km). 
13:00. Departure to the guest house, on the way we visit the panoramic site with the view of the Chilik river valley.
13:30. Lunch at the guest house.
14:30. Departure to the lower lake Kolsay (15 km). 
15:00. Short walk along the shore of Kolsay lower lake.
16:30. Departure from the lake parking to Almaty city (300 km).
20:30. Arrival in Almaty.

Kolsay lower lake, photo by Maxim Popov

The cost of a two-day trip to the canyons of the Charyn River, Kolsay Lower Lake, and Lake Kaindy:

180 USD for one guest if six guests are in the car, a total of 1 080 USD 
205 USD for one guest if five guests are in the car, a total of 1 010 USD 
200 USD for one guest if there are four guests in the car, a total of 792 USD.
245 USD for one guest if three people are in a car, a total of 729 USD.
305 USD for a guest if there are two guests in the car, a total of 612 USD.
550 USD for one guest, individual trip.

The price includes:
- transportation by comfortable SUV(Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Land Cruiser 100, Toyota Land Cruiser 200).
- services of English/Russian speaking guide, 
- eco-fees of "Kolsay Lakes" and "Charyn"  national parks,
- three meals a day, excluding breakfast on the first day, dinner on the second day,
- accommodation in private rooms. 
- drinking water of 1.5 liters per guest per day.

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.

For those staying at the guest house, bathhouse services and an evening bonfire are provided (included in the price).

If necessary, you can reduce the cost of the tour, by using the accommodation type "hostel" or separate guest rooms with a bathroom on the floor, please discuss this with the manager.

The birch grove after which Kaindy Lake is named, photo by Vladislav Purtov

The difficulty
 of the route: standard, suitable for people with an average physical condition.

At the same time, please note that when trekking along Kolsay Lake 1, Kaindy Lake there are ascents and descents, which are not always comfortable for guests (the altitude of the Kolsai 1 is 1,800 meters above sea level, Kaindy Lake is 1,750 meters).

Safety precautions: mandatory headgear, sunglasses, and own first aid kit. 

When visiting the Kolsai lakes you need to have identity documents (border area).

In promoting the tours we use photos, kindly provided by the Kazakh maestro of photography Deonisiy Mit.

You can book a tour by clicking the "Order Tour" button or by calling Outfitter KZ at +7 701 457 6666. 
What's App/Telegram are available at +7 701 457 6666 or by sending an application to e-mail: outfitter.kz@gmail.com.

Briefly about Outfitter KZ team

The Outfitter KZ team is a travel agent as well as a full-fledged member of the Kazakhstan Tourist Association.

TripAdvisor has awarded Outfitter KZ three times in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 with the Traveler's Choice nomination as a local company that regularly receives positive feedback from travelers.

World-renowned guidebook publisher Lonely Planet recognized our team as @the best active travel provider in Almaty@ (2017).

Sincerely, the Outfitter KZ team

We create adventures!

Рекламная пауза
Tour Cost 180 USD
2 Days tour, Kolsay lower, Kaindy lakes and Charyn canyon

06 February 2023       2851 views


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