Journey to the protected areas of Central Asia
Altai – Golden Mountains

Altai is the most untouched by man and protected region of Russia (almost a quarter of the area of the Altai Republic are among specially protected natural areas). The region is among 5 natural objects of the UNESCO World Heritage: Belukha Mountain, Altai Natural Biosphere Reserve and nature biosphere reserve Katunskiy, Lake Teletskoye and the Ukok plateau. During the weekly trip to Altai you visit all objects of UNESCO; get acquainted with the Altai throat singing, which is included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
As part of this tour, you be able to visit the most remote and wild parts of Altai, touch the culture of local people, get acquainted with archaeological antiquities.
In National Park Saylyugemskiy, where the snow leopards are being protected and observed, you check and install camera traps. Here you climb one of the nameless peaks and give it your name.
As part of an active program, you are offered helicopter flights, trekking at the foot of Belukha Mountain in the highland area, horse riding, diving in Lake Teletskoye and a boat trip.
During the whole trip you be accompanied by a professional photographer Pavel Filatov

The winner of the photo contest National Geographic Russia in 2018, the author of several photo albums on Altai. He photographs the most interesting moments of the journey for individual photo books for each participant of project.
Map of the journey
1 - Gorno-Altaysk airport
2 - Katunskiye Porogi Hotel
3 - Ukok Plateau
4 - Luxury Camping in Sailyugemskiy National Park
5 - Mt Belukha
6 - Altay Village Hotel
7 - Lake Teletskoye

Program of the tour

Day 1
Landing on Altai
Accommodation - tourist complex "Katunskiye Porogi", several private villas in a closed protected area.
Distance - 60 km, by helicopter
"Jакшылар!", or "Hello!" - we say to the guests arriving to Altai! Welcome to the beautiful region of Russia. At the airport, according to the Altai traditions, guests are greeted by a master of throat singing (kaychi) and girls dressed in national costumes. They perform greetings in the Altai language and offer a treat of national cusine. These are usually baursaks - bread balls, deep fried, talkan - balls of ground barley with honey, sour milk drink chegen (or herbal tea with honey).
Transfer by helicopter to the tourist complex "Katunskiye porogi", which is located on the banks of the Katun River. This is a private tourist complex, which has several private villas. Guarded territory.
Accommodation in cedar villas, rest. Dinner. After lunch, walk along the banks of the Katun River. Russian bathhouse.
In the evening, you have a gala-dinner with representatives of the authorities of the Altai Republic and Altai Krai, as well as representatives of the directorates of reserves and protected areas of the Altai region. These are the Altai Natural Biosphere Reserve, the Natural Biosphere Reserve Katunskiy, the Sailyugemskiy National Park.
If we have a good weather, make dinner on the street on the terrace.
Dinner is accompanied by a violin quartet (two violins, piano and cello).
At the dinner we organize a presentation of the region (Altai).
Day 2
Mysterious Ukok - crossroads of worlds
Helicopter tour on the Ukok Plateau
Transfer to Saylyugemskiy National Park
Accommodation - luxury-camping near the border with Mongolia
Distance - 450 km, by helicopter
The day is dedicated to a trip to the heart of the Altai mountain region to the Ukok plateau. The Altai mountainous country is a cross-border region, which is simultaneously located on the territory of four states - Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. The Ukok Plateau, which are among UNESCO World Heritage, is a natural cluster, near which the borders of all four states converge. It is located on an altitude of 2200-2500 m asl and is surrounded by the Saylugemskiy ranges (about 3500 m asl), Tavan-Bogdo-Ula (4354 m asl) and South Altai (3700 m asl .). Through Ukok, in ancient times, there were paths, through which contacts were made between civilizations of Southwest Asia, Ancient India and Ancient China, as well as representatives of nomadic tribes of southwest Siberia. That is why there are more than 400 archaeological monuments on the plateau, including the mounds of the Scythian period (Pazyrykskiy culture). In one of these mounds in 1993, the mummy of Princess Ukok was discovered. She was a noble woman, presumably a shaman or a worshiper. Princess Ukok's mummified body, which has lain in the mound for more than 2.5 thousand years, as well as objects made of Indian silk, wool, felt, wood, leather, are perfectly preserved due to the presence of ice in the mound.
On the Ukok plateau we visit archaeological complexes accompanied by scientists from the Novosibirsk branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is possible to organize the copying of petroglyphs on mica tape.
After we take an excursion to several natural objects of the Ukok Plateau.
Picnic on the Ukok plateau.
Helicopter transfer to a luxury-camping, which are placed on the territory of the Sailyugemskiy National Park. Accommodation and rest.
In the evening, you have a small walking excursion. Dinner.
Additional option, you can invite an astronomer, who is employee of the Greater Novosibirsk Planetarium (with special equipment). Together with him we can watch the starry sky and listen to fascinating stories about space. In this location is very transparent atmosphere, a small number of cloudy days, it contributes to the observation of the stars.
Day 3
Altai - Land of the Snow Leopard
Horse riding in the mountains, climbing to the nameless summit, checking and installing snow leopard photo traps
Accommodation - luxury-camping
About 30 snow leopards live on the territory of Altai, it is about half of all snow leopards in Russia. These amazing members of the cat family living in the highlands are studied and protected by the Saylyugemskiy National Park staff. With the help of photo traps, the number of leopards has been established, individual representatives are being studied (because of each leopard has its own unique pattern of spots on the skin). Scientists monitor these rare animals and study their habits. We take a horse riding through the territory of the Saylyugemskiy National Park, check the photo traps<which are installed earlier, and also climb the nameless mountain peak.
We set our flag here, we build a stone tur (an ancient tradition of nomads - to lay stone altars on the tops and passes), in the stone tur we lay down a capsule with a note and a description of the ascent. This mountain is officially assigned a name that guests choose (the name should be coordinated with the Directorate of the Saylyugemskiy National Park).
Return to luxury-camping. Rest
In the evening, dinner with elements of Altai national cuisine. Traditionally, nomads use meat (mostly mutton), dairy products, cereals, and wild herbs and berries for cooking. Among the popular dishes are caan - blood sausage, kocho - mutton broth with pearl barley, archi - soft curd cheese, kurut - dried slightly smoked cheese, and araka - milk vodka.
After dinner, you have a campfire concert of Altai throat singing. it is kind of folk art, widespread among the nomads of Mongolia and Siberia, it is included in the UNESCO World Non-material Cultural Heritage. Experienced kaichi - at the same time is a shaman. He can perform a heroic epic continuously for several days. At the same time, he gradually falls into a trance and involuntarily takes text of the song from the subconscious.
You also are offered the shaman mysteries around the fire.
Day 4
The highest in Siberia
Helicopter excursion to Belukha Mountain - the highest in Altai and Siberia (4506 m)
Accommodation - Altay Village(5-star hotel). You can find out the opportunity to take the hotel for private close
Distance - 600 km, by helicopter
After breakfast, you by helicopter go into the kingdom of snow, ice and stones. This is the Belukha massif, or Kadyn-Bazhi, mountain so is called in the Altai. Belukha - a huge mountain range, here are collected the largest glaciers of Altai, originate the river, including Katun - the largest river of Altai. Subsequently, the Katun forms the Ob River, which is included in the 10 largest rivers of the planet. On the slopes of Belukha there are mountain lakes, and in summer alpine meadows bloom. We fly over the mountains, see its largest glaciers and waterfalls, see rivers being born from glaciers. In one of the valleys we make a small trekking. Picnic in the mountains.
Helicopter transfer to Lake Teletskoye.
Arrival at the Altay Village hotel, accommodation, rest and dinner.
Day 5
Altai Natural Biosphere Reserve
Boat trip on Lake Teletskoye
Accommodation - Altay Village hotel
Distance - 120 km (private boat)
Today we take a boat trip on Lake Teletskoye. This is the deepest lake of Altai (325 m, average depth of 170 m), which is one of the five deepest lakes in Russia. The lake is very similar in structure and origin to Baikal - the deepest lake on the planet. Lake Teletskoye has a huge amount of clean fresh water (40 cubic km). For comparison, this amount of water enough for provide the inhabitants of the city with a population of half a million over 600 years. The lake is included in the UNESCO World Heritage. The whole right bank of Lake Teletskoye is protected as part of the Altai Natural Biosphere Reserve. We sail on a boat on the lake, accompanied by representatives of the reserve. Together with them we stop at the cordons where the families of the reserve keepers live. These people live alone in the middle of the taiga. Most of the year (when the lake freezes in winter), they are cut off from the outside world, but continue to carry out scientific and environmental work.
Return to the hotel
Day 6
Diving on Lake Teletskoye
Accommodation - Altay Village Hotel
Today we offer you to make a "underwater" walk on the Teletskoye Lake. At Yaylu cordon, accompanied by instructors, we be able to see the underwater world of the Siberian lake and touch its deepest mysteries. Under the water you can make a photo session, take pictures with the flag.
Return to the Altay Village Hotel.
In the evening, a small workshop in the home alcohol brewing with wild Siberian herbs. Several hundred medicinal herbs grow in Altai, including many endemics (which are not found anywhere else on the planet). Specialists from the Altayskoye kholmogorye, who have been studying the properties of wild plants all their life, share their secrets and help prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks based on burdock, fir, and wild berries.
In the evening, Russian bathhouse.
Фотографирование с флагом под водой на Телецком озере
Day 7
Farewell to Altai
Distance - 160 km, by helicopter
Breakfast and helicopter transfer to Gorno-Altaisk airport. Departure to Moscow by private flight.
Photo credits: Pavel Filatov

Все фото и видеоматериалы принадлежат их владельцам и используются для демонстрации.
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