Recommendation for trips on 4 days around Almaty

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karel
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Recommendation for trips on 4 days around Almaty

Postby karel » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:10 am

Hi folks,

I am looking for an advices about trips around Almaty. Me and my wife are going to Almaty in the beginning of July and we are going to rent 4x4 car (Renault Duster) for 4 days. Then we will go to Kyrgyzstan. I am interested to visit areas listed below, but I am not sure if we will be able to make all of these because of limited time (4 full days). We will start at Almaty airport in the morning (6.7. in the morning) and we have to be back on 4th day (9.7. in the evening) in Almaty centre. If it's not possible to make it all, what will you recommend?

1) Altyn Emel with Aktau and Katutau hills, Singing sand dune Terekty petroglyphs and Besshatyr
2) Charyn Canyon and also the other following canyons (Temirlik Canyon, Yellow Canyon, Bestamak Canyon, Red Canyon)
3) Kaindy lake
4) Turgen Gorge with the Bearicsh waterfall and Plateau Assy with the Observatory

Can you recommend anything else?

I also have few questions and I will be glad if you can help me with answering them:
a) Do we need any permission to enter there areas?
b) Is it possible to drive such car in the Altyn Emel park and Charyn Canyon?
c) Do I have to pay for the guide in Altyn Emel? Can we go alone in our car or do we have to take guide into our car with us?
d) Is it possible to drive such car in the Charyn Canyon or is it possible only by walking?
e) What fee will I have to pay for entrance in the parks?
f) Is there any restriction about camping in those parks or areas? Can we camp basically anywhere? We will have a tent and we want to camp just anywhere we will stay at night.
g) Can we go from Turgen to Assy Observatory and then to Saty village by car?
h) Is it possible to visit all three highlights in Altyn Emel in one day and camp there over night? What about the guide if he have to be with us in the park?

Thank you very much. Any advice appreciated.
Karel
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steven
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Re: Recommendation for trips on 4 days around Almaty

Postby steven » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:27 am

Hi Karel,

thank you for patience.

Question a, b, c, d, e should be answered in this article: https://caravanistan.com/kazakhstan/alt ... onal-park/

Let me know if you have questions after having read it, I will then update the article accordingly.

G. Yes. I think there is a backroad that leads straight to Saty but I am not sure. If not, you will have to go back to the main route for a bit after the plateau and Bartogai reservoir, before turning off to Saty.

H. Yes. Starting in Almaty, I would count on 12h driving. The guide will not camp with you.
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karel
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Re: Recommendation for trips on 4 days around Almaty

Postby karel » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:50 pm

steven wrote:Hi Karel,

thank you for patience.

Question a, b, c, d, e should be answered in this article: https://caravanistan.com/kazakhstan/alt ... onal-park/

Let me know if you have questions after having read it, I will then update the article accordingly.

G. Yes. I think there is a backroad that leads straight to Saty but I am not sure. If not, you will have to go back to the main route for a bit after the plateau and Bartogai reservoir, before turning off to Saty.

H. Yes. Starting in Almaty, I would count on 12h driving. The guide will not camp with you.


Hi Steven,

thank you for your reply. What about the four parts of the whole trip written below? Would you recommend anything else? Do you think we can make it all in 4 days? Is it better to start at Turgen Gorge and finish in Altyn Emel or tgo he opposite starting in Altyn Emel sice we will start on th airport?

1) Altyn Emel with Aktau and Katutau hills, Singing sand dune Terekty petroglyphs and Besshatyr
2) Charyn Canyon and also the other following canyons (Temirlik Canyon, Yellow Canyon, Bestamak Canyon, Red Canyon)
3) Kaindy lake
4) Turgen Gorge with the Bearicsh waterfall and Plateau Assy with the Observatory

Is it possible to camp with a tent anywhere in Charyn Canyon? I can't find any good map on the internet where I can see the all Canyons there. Is there any please (also for Altyn Emel)?

Where is it possible to buy gas cartridge on the way from Almaty airport to Altyn Emel, any outdoor shop?

Those 12 hours of driving do you mean it only to reach Altyn Emel from Almaty or drive thru the all highlights on Altyn Emel takes 12 hours? Thank you very much. ;)

Karel
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steven
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Re: Recommendation for trips on 4 days around Almaty

Postby steven » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:56 am

I would say start in Altyn Emel, it's hot there and you will feel refreshed afterwards when you come to the mountains.

For Besshatyr you need to make arrangements in advance as you will have read in the article I linked to. You can do all of this in 4 days but it is not a lot of fun in my opinion. I would schedule a day extra to have more time relaxing, but it is definitely possible.

5.Yes, you can camp. There is no map, except for the ones written at https://caravanistan.com/map

6. I don't know

7. Driving time: you can probably do everything in about 12h driving (no stops): Almaty - Singing Dune - Aktau/Katutau. But not return to Almaty, that's another 4 or 5 hr.
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Re: Recommendation for trips on 4 days around Almaty

Postby ikari » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:49 am

As Steve says, that is super ambitious for 4 days, and as you are doing it yourself without a guide/driver I would buffer in even more time. You must bear in mind that some of the places you have in your list (especially Altyn Emel and Assy Plateau areas) are super remote with close to zero road/direction signage and off-road tracks are not displayed in GPS or online maps. You will not have cell/data reception as there is no infrastructure in these areas and it could be hours before you see other cars to ask for directions.

We did a 5 day loop with a guide/driver from Almaty covering most of the places you mentioned in June 2018. We visited Kolsay Lakes as well but didn't have time for Besshatyr/Terekty petroglpyphs in Altyn Emel and for the Canyons we went to the Valley of Castles, Yellow Canyon and Black canyon but not the others.

f) Is there any restriction about camping in those parks or areas? Can we camp basically anywhere? We will have a tent and we want to camp just anywhere we will stay at night.

No restrictions where you can camp.
For Altyn Emel, a good place to camp is the place with the 700 year old willow tree in the Atkau mountain sightseeing route as there is a spring with freshwater and a outhouse toilet there.

g) Can we go from Turgen to Assy Observatory and then to Saty village by car?

Yes we did the reverse though from Saty-> Bartoghai Lake (which is gorgeous)-> Red Cliffs-> the Zhailau pasture areas-> The Assy Observatory-Turgen Gorge->Almaty.) The road from Bartoghai->Zhailau area is super bad and requires a lot of hard driving. If you don't have enough time, I would suggest dropping this from your itinerary as you will see similar scenery in Kyrgyzstan (where exactly are you going there?) - highland pastures, working nomads with thousands of cattle etc.

h) Is it possible to visit all three highlights in Altyn Emel in one day and camp there over night? What about the guide if he have to be with us in the park?

No. It is not practical. Each of the sightseeing routes require half a day at least, even more for Atkau/Kutatau route. I would recommend you spend at least 2-3 hours (excluding driving time) in each of the Singing Dune and the Atkau mountains trekking/scrambling around and taking in different vantage points. For Atkau the mandatory guide is a must as there are no marked trails.

The guide is a day guide from the Basshi office- they stay in Basshi so you have to drive him back.
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