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HomeKazakhstan Tours

Splendid Kazakhstan Tour

KZ03: 9 Days Almaty - Charyn Canyon National Park - Kolsai Lake - Almaty - Taraz - Turkestan - Shymkent - Almaty

Tour Type: Private Tour, flexible and customized
Guide & Driver: Experienced English-speaking driver guide, & air-conditioned car
Hotel: 3-star well selected hotels, also be open to your own choice

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Day 1: Arrival in Almaty, Airport Pick-up
Welcome to Almaty – the largest city in Kazakhstan and the Central Asia! On your arrival at Almaty airport, you will meet our driver-guide who will transfer you to the hotel then. You could get some brief information about this tour from him/her, and have some free time to visit nearby places after check-in.

Accommodation: Renion Park (3 stars)

Day 2: Full day tour with Big Almaty Lake
Our trip will begin with Big Almaty Lake - the Pearl of Almaty, which is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and glaciers. The water color would turn from light green to blue-green gradually from spring to winter every year. Then we will go to Medeo Skate Rink, a famous snow mountain that has been a popular resort for skiing. We will get to Shymbulak Ski Resort and climb up to the mountain top, to overlook Almaty, which would be an impressive experience on the snow mountain.

After lunch, we are going to have a stroll at Green Market. This is a typical Central Asian bazaar selling vegetables, fruits, spices, nuts, meats and daily uses, so it is a good place for us to learn the local life. Next, visit Zenkov Cathedral, a wooden construction with the world's second highest height, fine religious murals and beautiful interior decorations. After that, we are to see The Central Mosque of Almaty with a golden dome and a 47-meter (154-feet) high minaret, and lastly see the sunset on Kok-Tobe, the highest point in Almaty covered with lush plants.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Renion Park (3 stars)

Day 3: Visit Charyn Canyon National Park, Drive to Saty village
Go for a Charyn Canyon National Park trip today. This is a wind-worn valley full of grotesque jagged rocks, in the shapes of cock, castle, butterfly, and horse, etc. Valley of Castles Canyon is the most amazing section there. We will have boxed lunch in the valley, and then see the Moon Canyon section, which is also called Uzunbulak Canyon or White Canyon. Up to the afternoon, we are to see the sections of Bestamak Canyon and Charyn Canyon. Later, we will drive to Saty Village and sleep overnight at a local hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch-box, Dinner

Accommodation: Saty Village Guesthouse

Day 4: Kaindy Lake and Kolsai Lake, Drive back to Almaty
We are going to see Kaindy Lake and Kolsai Lake today. Kaindy Lake is a barrier lake in white birch woods. Formed after an earthquake, some tree trunks of white birches have been inundated and kept in this cold lake as the water coming from the melted snow on mountains. These trunks look like the masts of boats or submarines. Afterwards, we will head to the three hidden Kolsai Lakes linking with waterfalls in the green mountain. We are to see the Third Kolsai Lake only, for the other two are hardly to reach with undeveloped crooked trials. Seeing the primitive landscapes on lakeside, we are to drive back to Almaty in the end. It would take 3.5 hours to reach Almaty via the 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) long way.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Renion Park (3 stars)

Day 5: Drive to Taraz, Taraz city tour
Pack your breakfast and then we will go to Taraz by car, which is one of the oldest cities in Kazakhstan. 495km (308 miles) away, we will get there 6h 50min later. In ancient times, Taraz was a political and economic center once on Silk Road. We are to visit the mausoleums built during the 11-12th centuries: Kara-Khan Bab Mausoleum – the very old cube tomb plus a dome and an Islamic gate; and Aisha Bibi Mausoleum having a square cube body and a tapered dome. Both of them are the ancient masterpieces in Central Asia. Then the guide will show you around Ancient Taraz City.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Pride Hotel

Day 6: Drive to Turkestan, Turkestan city tour
We will go on the Kazakhstan tour package to Turkestan, taking a 4.5 hours' drive with a distance of 325km (202 miles). Turkestan houses plenty of Islamic sanctuaries, and the city means a lot to the Muslims in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. On the way to Turkestan, we will have a stopover to visit Akmechet Cave, an extremely large limestone cave taken as a mosque in ancient times. It is like a big hole looking from outside. As we get to Turkestan, we are to see over 600 years old Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi, which is the largest-scaled and best-persevered architecture of the Timur Age. Then next to Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi, we will also see Hilvet Underground Mosque, the abode where the famed Sufi and poet Khoja Ahmed Yasawi lived underground in his last years. At last, visit Juma Mosque Museum, the oriental Bath Museum, and Etnography Museum Mausoleum of Rabbi Sultan Bejim, which are all at the complex of Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Edem

Day 7: Drive to Shymkent, Stop at Otrar
Driving 2.5 hours and covering 168 kilometers' (104.4 miles') distance, we will go to Shymkent. On the way, you'll be escorted to stroll around the ancient town of Otrar, the ancient trade center of handcrafts and arts on Silk Road. We can see quite a few ruins of the palaces and hotels at that time. In particular, Arystan Bab Mausoleum, the 12th-century Islamic brick tomb, is a highlight in the town. After getting to Shymkent, we can also hang out in the downtown.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Ramada by Wyndham Shymkent (4 stars)

Day 8: Drive back to Almaty
Shymkent is a Kazakhstan city known for its vibrant bazaars. Today we are to see the local bazaars, the best places to learn local life, selling fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, Chinese sundry goods, etc. After that, we are going to drive back to Almaty 673km (418 miles) away, which would take 9 hours to reach.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Renion Park (3 stars)

Day 9: Depart from Almaty, Airport See-off
Our driver-guide will send you to Almaty airport on time, and you will catch your flight home. Enjoy your journey!

Meals: Breakfast

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This trip can be tailored to match your dates and interests!
What's Included
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels.
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited.
  • Services of a private English speaking driver-guide and air-conditioned vehicles per itinerary.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off services.
What's Excluded
  • International flight into and out Kazakhstan.
  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses (insurance, tips, drinks, etc.).
  • Kazakhstan Visa Fee.
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