Make the most of your first visit to Kazakhstan! This tour invites you to learn about history, culture and modern life of Kazakhstan. You will visit 3 major centres of the country – striking new capital – Nur-Sultan, heartland of culture and former capital – Almaty, bustling Shymkent with Silk Road cities of Turkestan and Otrar. Between city excursions we added trips to famous nature attractions – Burabay national park, Kolsai Lakes, Charyn Canyon and Big Almaty Lake. Please note that this tour is fully customisable. We can change departure and arrival points, add other locations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan. Feel free to get in touch with us via booking form.
Day 1. Nur-Sultan arrival
Arrival in Nur-Sultan. Transfer to the hotel, check-in not earlier than 2 p.m. Start of Ethno-cultural program. By the will of fate Kazakh people were spaced at the crossroad of Eastern and Western cultures, and that is why Kazakhstan is country of rich cultural heritage.
As you know, familiarity with the culture and traditions of a country begins with an introduction to its national cuisine. The same holds for Kazakhstan: there is no better way of understanding the Kazakh traditional culture, than a gastronomic experience, consisting of cooking traditional dishes yourself and get acquainted with the secrets of traditional culinary arts, that you will acquire during this program.
You will also have unique opportunity to participate in the process of manufacturing of a very ancient Kazakh musical instrument, an authentic value and heritage of the Great Steppe – ‘sazsyrnay’.
Finally, at the end of the program you will be offered to try on the Kazakh national clothes and dance the national dance “Kara zhorga”.
Program duration from 1,5 to 2 hours. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2. Nur-Sultan
Breakfast in the hotel. At 10:00 start of Nur-Sultan Grand Tour (7 Hours)
During the tour you will visit historical center of the city as well as its modern part.
In order to better understand today’s life of the city, you will enter the largest and unique shopping center Khan Shatyr. Then you take the elevator to the top of the “Astana-Baiterek” monument, where you can admire the magnificent panorama of the city. After lunch you will cross Ishym river and get to the Kazakh Eli Square. There you will visit another unique project – the Palace of Peace and Accord, and also see the extraordinary beauty of Khazret Sultan mosque.
Important point of the excursion will be National Museum of History of Kazakhstan*, where you can look at the far-reaching plans of the development of Nur-Sultan together with its historical background.
Overnight in the hotel.
Day 3. Nur-Sultan – Burabai – Nur-Sultan
Breakfast in the hotel. At 09:00 start of Burabai National Park Tour (10 Hours)
Full day guided tour to Burabai National park (Borovoe), which occupies 85000 hectares of northeastern part of Kokshetau elevation. There are 14 lakes in the park, each having surface area of more than 1 sq.km, and a large number of small lakes. There are no monuments of material heritage in Borovoe. But the nature itself has created the unique natural landscapes of extraordinary beauty with combination of majestic mountain scenery, blue mirror lakes, coniferous and deciduous groves.
On arrival you will visit the Khan’s pass and see “Burabay” mountain.
On Abylaykhan Valley you will feast your eyes upon “Ush-kyz”, “Ok-Zhetpes”, “Zhumbaktas” rocks and “Kokshetau” mountain, each having the surprising legends reflecting history and identity of the Kazakh people. During the tour you will have lunch in a local cafe and 30-minute free time to walk in the wood. Further you wil have an easy hiking on “Bolektau” mountain, on the top of which the tremendous view of the “Borovoe” lake and its surroundings opens.
Transfer to Nur-Sultan, overnight in the hotel.
Day 4. Nur-Sultan – Almaty
Breakfast in the hotel. Check-out not later than 12 p.m. Transfer to airport. Flight to Almaty.
On arrival transfer to the hotel, check-in. Start of The best of Almaty tour: city (3 hours)
After meeting the guide at your hotel, your will start the tour with a visiting of Almaty Museum. After the museum, you will continue the tour and will have a short stop for the detailed acquaintance with architecture and history of Abai Opera an Ballet Theatre. Then you will visit one of the oldest of Almaty parks – Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, where one of the most beautiful wooden building in the world – Zenkov Cathedral is located. In the park you will also see the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame, listen to the stories of the guide and admire the beauty of the Museum of Musical Instruments. Next point of interest is a popular place for townspeople – the Green Bazaar, where it is impossible to refrain from shopping. It is the great chance to experience an atmosphere of the real eastern market, its colours, smells and crowds. There you can obtain famous oriental sweets, dried fruits, buy local products and souvenirs, but don’t forget to bargain. In the market they accept cash in tenge (local currency), so it would be good to have some with you or there is an exchange point just nearby to the market area. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 5. Almaty – Kolsai Lakes
Breakfast in the hotel. Departure from Almaty at 08:00. Upon arrival to Saty, you will check-in at the guest house, where you will spend next two nights. After lunch transfer to Kaindy Lake.
After walking around the lake you will return to Saty settlement to take a shower, have dinner and rest. Overnight in the guest house.
Day 6. Kolsai Lakes
Wake up at 07:00, breakfast. Trekking from the lake Kolsai-1 to the lake Kolsai-2. Lunch on the way.
Having arrived to Kolsay-1 Lake and got a brief instruction, you will start the trekking. The route lies on the bank of the lake and continues with the path through the pine forest, alpine meadows along pure mountain river flowing all the way down from Kolsai-2 Lake. The total walking distance between two lakes is about 7 km and usually takes 3-3,5 hours one way. An altitude rises up more than 400 m, from 1818 m above sea level at the first lake to 2250 m at the second lake. There is no category of difficulty and route is accessible for healthy, average-trained people.
Enjoying your lunch in front of the cold and pure-clean lake in surroundings of magnificent mountain peaks is priceless after active trekking. Afternoon walk back to Kolsai-1 Lake and driving back to Saty settlement. Arrival to the settlement. Dinner and overnight in the guest house.
Day 7. Kolsai Lakes – Charyn Canyon -Almaty
After breakfast you will leave a hospitable family and depart to Charyn Canyon at 08:00. It will take about 2 hours to reach the canyon. Upon arrival, you will admire the grand panorama and go down to the bottom of the canyon to walk around 2 km through the maze of the Castles Valley.
The bottom of the Canyon has slight descend to the end of the walk, where you will get to the fresh oasis on the bank of icy cold Charyn River, where also located eco-park with several yurts (traditional dwellings) and a small open air café, working in the summer time. After some rest walking back and driving to one of the observation points for another breathtaking panoramic view. After 3-4 hours spent in the canyon you will depart to Almaty. The lunch will be served in a local café in a village in 1-hour driving distance after the canyon. Arrival to the original meeting point in Almaty is approx. at 19:00.Overnight in the hotel.
Day 8. Almaty – Big Almaty Lake – Falcon farm
Breakfast in the hotel. Check-out. At 10:00 start of The best of Almaty tour: mountains (9 hours)
After meeting of the guide at your hotel, your will start the tour with a ride to the Medeo Gorge (1690 meters above sea level) well known due to the highest mountain skating rink in the world and the dam, protecting the city from dangerous mudflow. Brief walk around with a chance to take your mountain-view pictures and breath the fresh pine-tree air, then you will take a cable car to Shymbulak ski resort area.
Further your mountain adventure continues at the top of Kok-Tobe hill, where the tallest TV tower in the world is located (if to count from the sea level) and where you will get by the picturesque winding mountain road on the park eco-cars.
After the short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway* and lunch you will drive to the Big Almaty gorge, where at an altitude of 2,510 m above sea level located the Big Almaty lake – one of the most picturesque lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau. The lake is very beautiful, especially when its blue surface is absolutely calm, and it reflects the sky and surrounding mountains.
On the way back to the town you will visit the Falcon Farm, where you will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks – hunting with them is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh way of life. After visiting the Falcon Farm you will have time for dinner in one of city’s restaurants.
Transfer to railway station. Departure to Taraz by evening train. Overnight in train.
Day 9. Taraz – Shymkent
Arrival to Taraz by morning train from Almaty. Meeting at the railway station and transfer to Taraz. Sightseeing at History Museum, Karakhan and Dautbek Mausoleum, Tekturmas historical complex and Akyrtas antient palace complex.
Transfer to Shymkent. On the way sightseeing at architectural monuments of XI-XII centuries: Aisha-Bibi Mausoleum and Babaja-Hatum Mausoleum. Arrival to Shymkent. Accommodation in the hotel. Overnight in Shymkent.
Day 10. Shymkent – Otrar Settlement – Turkestan – Shymkent
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to Otrar Settlement. Sightseeing at Arystan-Bab Mausoleum (teacher and spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi), archaeological site of the ancient settlement of Otrar.
Transfer to Turkestan. Sightseeing at “Azret-Sultan” historical and architectural complex, Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Necropolis, Hammam, Hilvet underground mosque).
Transfer to Shymkent airport. Flight to Almaty. On arrival transfer to the hotel, overnight.
Day 11. Almaty departure
Breakfast in the hotel. Check-out not later than 12 p.m. Transfer to airport. Departure home.
3075 USD for one person
1695 USD per person in a group of 2
1436 USD per person in a group of 3
Group discounts available.
- Accommodation in 3* hotels and guesthouses
- English speaking guide
- Meals according to the program
- Transport service
- Entrance fees
- Environmental fees
- Domestic train ticket (Almaty-Taraz)
- Bottle of water – 1l. per day
- Meals not indicated in the program
- Early check-in not indicated in program
- Late check-out not indicated in program
- International air ticket
- Domestic air tickets (Nu-Sultan – Almaty, Shymkent – Almaty, price depends to the dates of trip and booking)
- Visa Support
Note: Accommodation can be upgraded to higher class (4*, 5*). Please request.