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Classic Almaty region route in off season (Altyn Emil, Charyn, Kolsai)

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:34 pm
by thijsbroekkamp
Hi guys,

In the first week of november we want to rent a car to in Almaty to go to singing dune, Aktai, Charyn and Kolsai. I’ve been reading up on the information here and I gather that everywhere the season ends around end of october. The tourism office in Almaty couldn’t provide me with a clear answer due to very bad English. We like to overnight at every location to see sunset/sunrise. Would anyone of you know if we would have trouble getting accommodation at that time of year? Am I correct that we not need a 4wd? (only if we were to go to the canyons behind valley of castles and kaindy lake I gayhered) As always, any response greatly appreciated. Very last minute arrangements on shitty internet in Khiva before going off grid for some time in Turkmenistan 😬

Re: Classic Almaty region route in off season (Altyn Emil, Charyn, Kolsai)

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:22 pm
by Julia
Hi
For accommodation as it's not a season then:
Hotel inside Altyn Emel will probably be close. But you can find homestays in the villages next to the park all around the year.
Yurts in Charyn will be close too. And there is no other accommodation in or near Charyn. So you need to visit the canyons within a day and stay for a night somewhere else.
Yurts near the First Kolsay Lakes will be close. But you can find homestays in Saty village all around the year.

As for your transportat:
In Altyn Emel - for the Singing Dune better to have a jeep (or any other off-road car). But normal car can get there too but be slow and careful.
For Aktau mountains - only off-road car can get there.
Roads in Altyn Emel are really bad. Be careful and slow. Cars often get damaged tires with nails or little rocks on the roads. Better to have spare tire and tools to replace it if needed.
For Charyn - the road to the Castle valley park is new and good. Any car can do it. Don't know about roads in other canyons. I've never been in others. But from what I heard mostly jeeps go there. So I'm afraid you'd better have an off-road car if plan to go to other canyons too.
For the First Kolsay lake - any car can go there. For the Second Kolsay lake - only hiking on foot. It's a little narrow path in the mountains for hikers only.
For Kaindy lake - only off-road car can get there.

Enjoy!

Re: Classic Almaty region route in off season (Altyn Emil, Charyn, Kolsai)

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:02 am
by thijsbroekkamp
Thanks so much for the extensive information! Will go for a 4wd then ;)

Re: Classic Almaty region route in off season (Altyn Emil, Charyn, Kolsai)

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:31 pm
by Julia
Yes, for this itinerary a 4wd is a better choice. Good luck!