The Outfitter KZ team presents a non-standard, yet exceptionally scenic tour - a visit to the Ketmen pass, the Shalkode mountain valley, Tuzkol Lake, and the Tekes River waterfall.

The elevation difference is 600 meters, reaching 3040 meters above sea level. The route is available from mid-June to mid-September, depending on the conditions of the road passing through the Ketmen pass. For overnight stays, an option is available to organize a camping camp in tents, if desired.

Visiting the Kurtogai tract provides a comprehensive sense of the Charyn canyons' magnitude and inspires the spirit of adventure in travelers.

The Tekes River is a tributary of the Ili River, the largest river in Southeast Kazakhstan. The Tekes originates in Kazakhstani territory, then crosses into the People's Republic of China and re-enters Kazakhstan as a water artery known as the Ili River. In some places, the Tekes forms unusual sections of the riverbed, one of which we will visit - the Tekes River waterfall near the village of Saryzhaz. The waterfall cascades down and forms a compact bowl, and the path to the waterfall winds through alpine meadows.

Lake Tuzkol is renowned for its breathtaking dawn view of the highest peaks of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic - Khan-Tengri Peak and Pobeda Peak. While it's not always possible to witness the snow-white peaks, considering the weather forecast when planning the trip is important. Khan-Tengri Peak (7010 meters) stands as the highest point in the Republic of Kazakhstan, while Pobeda Peak (7439 meters) holds the distinction of being the tallest peak in the Tien Shan range and Kyrgyzstan. These mentioned mountain peaks are popular climbing destinations among international climbers.

The mountain valley of Shalkode boasts alpine meadows and groves of Tien Shan spruce. Along the river of the same name, Shalkodesu, you can enjoy fishing for the Ottoman fish.

The Ketmen Pass connects two picturesque valleys, the Shalkode and the Ili River valleys, and is located an hour's drive away from the village of Ketmen. The pass reaches a height of 3040 meters above sea level. It is passable from mid-June to early October, and in shaded areas, snow can persist until early June. It's recommended to use SUVs for driving and to make stops at panoramic viewpoints along the way.

The Ketmen Pass is renowned as the most beautiful pass in the Almaty region.

Travel program:

Day 1:

  • 07:00: Departure from Almaty towards the Tekes River waterfall (320 km).
  • 09:00: Fuel stop in the village of Chilik.
  • 10:30: Stop in the Kurtogay tract with a view of the Charyn River canyon.
  • 12:00: Fuel stop in the regional center of Kegen. Lunch provided in boxed meals.
  • 14:30: Arrival at the parking area near the trailhead for the Tekes River waterfall trek.
  • 15:30: Arrival at the Tekes River waterfall after a 3.5 km trek (approximately one hour walk).
  • 16:00: Return to the parking area (3.5 km trek back).
  • 17:30: Departure to the overnight lodging location.
  • 19:00: Arrival at the overnight lodging location, camp setup, and dinner preparation by the guide-driver.
  • 20:30: Dinner and socializing by the evening fire.
  • 22:00: Overnight in tents (two guests will be accommodated in each triple tent).

Day 2:

  • 07:00: Breakfast at the campsite.
  • 09:00: Departure towards Lake Tuzkol (65 km).
  • 11:00: Short walk to the shores of Lake Tuzkol.
  • 12:00: Lunch provided in boxed meals. Departure from the lake towards the Ketmen Pass (40 km). Drive through the picturesque Shalkode valley with photo stops.
  • 14:30: Start of the ascent to the Ketmen Pass with photo stops.
  • 15:30: Stop at the pass summit, which sits at an elevation of 3,040 meters.
  • 15:40: Pause at the panoramic viewpoint of the winding mountain pass.
  • 16:00: Departure for Almaty (340 km).
  • 17:30: Fuel stop in the regional center of Chundzha.
  • 21:00: Arrival in Almaty.

The cost of travel:
160 USD for one guest, if there are six guests in the car, 960 USD in total.
185 USD for one guest, if there are five guests in the car, 925 USD in total.
180 USD for one guest, if there are four guests in the car, 720 USD in total.
225 USD for one guest, if there are three guests in the car, 675 USD in total.
320 USD for one guest, if there are two guests in the car, 640 USD in total.
595 USD per guest, individual trip.

Included in the price:
- transportation of guests in comfortable SUVs (4 guests in a car), Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Toyota Land Cruiser 100, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Patrol cars,
- services of an English-speaking guide-driver throughout the route,
- itinerary of the trip (please see the program-timing of the tour),
- three meals a day, excluding breakfast of the first day, dinner of the third day,
- overnight in triple tents for two guests,
- rental of camping equipment (tables, chairs, washbasin, tents, mattresses, sleeping bags), - drinking water for trip participants (1.5 liters / guest per day)

Additional options:
- renting a tent for overnight stay for one guest separately in a tent - an additional 15 USD to the tariff.

The cost of the trip for guests traveling with their own car:
- a trip in your car as part of the participants - 15 USD / day, includes a guide along the route,
- rental of camping equipment (mat, sleeping bag, tent, place at the table, armchair) - 15 USD/day for one guest,
- meals excluding accommodation, transport, lunches in road cafes - 60 USD / guest for three days,
- rental of a portable radio station for communication in a column, obtaining guide information - 15 USD for three days.

You can order a tour by clicking on the "Book a tour" button or by calling Outfitter KZ: +7 701 457 6666.
WhatsApp/Telegram are available at: +7 701 457 6666 or by sending a request to e-mail:

Briefly about the Outfitter KZ team:

Team Outfitter KZ is a travel agent, as well as a full member of the Kazakhstan Tourism Association.

The world famous travel guide publisher Lonely Planet recognized our team as the best provider of active tourism services in Almaty.

The international travel portal TripAdvisor three times in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 awarded our team with the Traveler’s Choice award (“Traveler’s Choice”) as a tourist attraction included in the top 10% of the best market participants in the Almaty region, regularly receiving positive reviews from tourists.

To read reviews of guests who have left their experience with us on TripAdvisor.

We create adventure!

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Tour Cost from: 160 USD
3 days, fixed dates

17 August 2023       353 views


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