Maybe I missed a post on this somewhere, but we just tried to camp by the river in Charyn Canyon at the Eco Lodge a couple nights ago (as we had read about in many blogs and posts on various sites) only to find that it no longer exists. It seems that Covid (and who knows what other factors) has definitely done a number on some of the facilities we've hoped to visit. In this case, we hiked our gear all the way to the bottom of the path through the Valley of Castles during a beautiful sunset, only to arrive at the former location of the Eco-Lodge, and were informed by the park staff posted there that there is no camping possible, no longer a cafe, etc. The picnic pavilions seem to be the only structures left, none of the lodging or cafe or anything else is there. A taxi is still running through the bottom of the valley, but the whole point of being in the valley is to walk and see the formations. We were told we could camp up top if we wanted to, but since we saw no other campers, we decided to move on.
I would still recommend visiting the Canyon if you are planning to, it is a wonderously beautiful place to explore, especially with good light at sunrise or sunset. Just don't expect the Eco-lodge to be there.
All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
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