Ideal option for riders with basic horse-riding skills. This nice route combines simplicity, unexplored places and staying in a mountain hut with breathtaking view to the snowy peaks of Kungey-Alatau. The tour starts in a quiet Kurmety village, an alternative to crowded Saty.
We also offer Hiking on this route if you prefer to walk. It is equally exciting and scenic! Check out Hiking itinery in the tab below.
Best period: July – September
Route complexity: horseback part of the route is available almost for any tourist who has ever sat in the saddle. Who has any experience in travelling on horseback through the mountains will enjoy route’s beauty and simplicity.
Height difference: the lowest point – 1600 m.a.s.l. Maximal altitude on the route is about 3200 m.a.s.l.
Day 1. Almaty – Charyn canyon – Kurmety
Departure from Almaty not later than 7 a.m. The first object on the way to mountain land Kungey-Alatau will be Charyn canyon.
Charyn Canyon is a natural complex, unique in its kind not only in Kazakhstan but also worldwide. It was formed during Paleogene and reminds the Grand Canyon of Colorado River in North America, although inferior to it in size. The height of the steep slopes of the canyon is up to 150-300 meters. Extraordinary dissection of the terrain is striking: the numerous ravines form a dense, chaotic network. Wind and water have created the beautiful “Valley of Castles”, where you are always surrounded by the fancy towers composed of sedimentary rocks. The length of the valley – more than 2 km, width – 20-80 meters. For millions of years, nature has been creating a unique architecture, erecting magnificent castles carefully and slowly. You can spend hours walking among the strange towers and columns, being surprised by the wild imagination of nature.
After short walking in “Valley of Castles” we will go to the village where delicious lunch will be waiting for us in a guesthouse. After lunch training walk on horseback to the lowest lake Kolsai.
Kolsai Lakes – “Pearls of the Northern Tien-Shan” – represent a cascade of three lakes. The largest lake is accessible for all visitors. It is the most beautiful lake, having a lack of civilization and the abundance of mushrooms. Horse lovers can order horseback tour to this place. The highest lake is small. It is located on the border of fir-wood and the alpine meadows and amazes by its harsh alpine beauty, as well as the rich flora and fauna. Vertical drop between the three lakes is about 700 meters. The lowest lake can be reached by car. But you should walk a few kilometres along mountain trails to see the second and the third lake. Without doubts, the tourists are expected to have a wonderful vacation in these places – berries, mushrooms and fishing. The water in the lakes is cold and clean and is home for the rainbow trout – a fish that lives only in the running or spring water. In the around mountains, you can see Marals, mountain goats, wolves and even bears.
After reaching lake’s shore we will make a break, drink tea, coffee. Coming back to guesthouse. Dinner and bathhouse/shower, night in guesthouse. *Horseback walk during the day about 6 km.
Day 2. Kurmety – Taldy – mountain hut
Breakfast at 9 a.m. After breakfast preparations and beginning of the horseback route. During our horseback walk, we will follow quiet easy trails with small height difference. We will make few stops for the break and lunch. Finish point of this day will be in mountain hut where we could see wonderful view to Kyzymschek summit and upper reaches of Taldy gorge. Dinner and night in mountain hut. *Horseback walk during the day about 15 km.
Day 3. Mountain hut – Taldy – Kurmety
Breakfast in the hut. After breakfast preparations and exit on the horseback route. Small part of it will be overcome by the same road. After we will make a stop for lunch near the bank of Taldy river. Then we will continue to move down the Taldy river. We will be moving through the shady gorge along the river. Sometimes we will have to cross the river, on horseback it will be easy. The last part of the route we will overcome by secret trails of local shepherds and arrive to the village. Dinner and bathhouse/shower. Night in guesthouse. *Horseback walk during the day about 18 km.
Day 4. Kurmety – Kaindy – Moon canyon – Almaty.
Breakfast at 9 a.m. After breakfast transfer to Kaindy lake.
Kaindy Lake (birch lake) is situated among magnificent pine forest at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level and is famous for its origin. It was formed in 1911 due to the powerful earthquake that triggered the landslide blocked the alley by the natural dam, and the water has flooded the valley. The water of the lake is very cold, that is why the needles of the flooded trees are well preserved and clearly visible through the transparent surface of the water, and dry stems of fir trees overlook the water surface, like the masts of the submarine squadron. It is impossible to describe in words all this mystical splendour of the lake – it is necessary to go there and see everything with own eyes.
After walking near the lake picnic will be arranged. Transfer to the Moon Canyon.
Moon valley – it’s one of the numerous canyons of Charyn national park. It got such a name because of the fancy shapes of the rocks and pleasant yellow colour. There are a lot of small springs and bush thickets where flocks of pheasants live. Just a few tourists visit this canyon. And because of this feature, it was kept untouched by civilization.
Walking in the canyon. Then the long back way to Almaty. Arrival to the city by 8 p.m.
Tour price for the horse trek: 4 days/3 nights: 825 USD per person, provided 2 persons traveling together. For the group requests discounts will be provided.
Tour price if you are hiking: 4 days / 3 nights: 645 USD per person, for a group of 2 people. For group applications discounts are available.
- Transportation according to the program by comfortable minivan or 4WD car
- Accommodation in the guesthouse in Kurmety settlement and in the mountain hut
- English-speaking guide services and excursions according to the tour program
- All environmental fees during the tour
- Meals: lunch and dinner in Day 1; breakfast and lunch in Day 4; three-times meals in the other days
- Drinking water 1L per person per day
- Horses rental
- Horse groom services, for the big group.
- Sleeping bag, matt, everything necessary for sleeping and eating in mountain huts
- Accommodation in Almaty, if required
- Meals not indicated in the program and/or not included into the tour price
- Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required
- Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program
- Introduction horse-riding lesson in the mountains (30USD)
RECOMMENDATIONS for clothing and equipment:
Given that in the evenings and at night can be quite cold, take with you:
- Waterproof membrane jacket / storm, trousers made of gortex material
- Windproof jacket, warm fleece sweatshirt or Polartec jacket
- Several sets of underwear, several pairs of socks, one warm socks
- Several T-shirts with short and long sleeves, shorts, cap
- Good shoes, change shoes for the camp, best light sneakers
- Thermos for 1-1.5 liters, or another water tank
- Personal hygiene items, personal first-aid kit, sunglasses, sunblock, ticks.
Contact us using the booking form. Thank you!