Program of the tour Day 1 (6th of July) Acquaintance with Altai
Accomodation – agrotouristic complex "Yinegen" Distance - 280 km
Arrival at the airport of Gorno-Altaisk, meeting at the airport, transfer to the agrotouristic complex "Yinegen". A trip along the Chuysky Tract, that is the most beautiful highway of Altai. The road is considered the northernmost direction of the Great Silk Road. It connects the south of Siberia and Central Asia (ends on the border with Mongolia). Traveling along the Chuisky tract lets you to see all the main sights of Altai, gradually transfer from the foothills to the mountainous part and see the change of landscapes. Today you can see the Karakol Valley. This is the most sacred place in Altai. There are the monuments of the Bronze Age - mysterious steles; cave paintings, mounds of the leaders of the Scythian period (6-2 centuries BC), runic inscriptions of the Turkic time (7-11 centuries AD). But the main value of the Karakol Valley is that its inhabitants carefully preserve their traditions and culture. Accompanied by a local resident Marina Mikhailovna, we drive through the valley, visit places of power, learn about how rituals and offerings to spirits are performed by descendants of ancient nomads. Lunch in the valley, taste national Altai cuisine. Traditionally in cooking, nomads use meat (mutton - broth, blood sausage, boiled meat), dairy (fermented milk drink chegen, cheese kurut) and cereal products (talcan - ground barley, bread balls baursaki). After lunch, have a concert of Altai throat singing. Next, we continue excursion along the Chuysky Tract. We cross the rocky Chike-Taman pass (altitude 1295 m). Then we visit the Ilgumenskiy rapid, that is one of the most beautiful places on the Katun River. At the end of the day we arrive at the Yinegen touristic complex, which is located near the merge of the Chuya and Katun rivers. Dinner
Day 2 (7th of July) Journey along the Chuysky Tract towards Mongolia
Accommodation - Hotel of Saylyugemskiy National Park, Kosh-Agach village (Chuysky steppe) Distance - 230 km
Please note, that Kosh-Agach and Sailyugemsky National Park is border area. Need to issue border pass. For foreign citizens, documents are submitted no later than 30 days before the date of the visit. Today we continue move towards Mongolia. On the way, we can see the most beautiful places on the Chuya River, visit two waterfalls, get acquainted with the rock paintings of the Kalbak-Tash sanctuary; We see the Geyser Lake and the ancient furnaces, in which the nomads smelted metal ore. Picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you have an excursion to Mars. This unique place was formed long before the appearance of the Altai Mountains. Rocks of various shades of red appeared on the surface along the line of tectonic fault, which covered the planet at a time when a warm, shallow tropical sea splashed around Altai. At the end of the day we arrive at Kosh-Agach village, that locates in the Chuysky steppe. It is the coldest and, at the same time, the driest place in Altai. Local landscapes are very reminiscent of the landscapes of neighboring Mongolia. In the Chuysky steppe live Kazakh herders. Even nowadays they graze herds high in the mountains. Accommodation - Hotel of Saylyugemskiy National Park. Dinner
Day 3 (8th of July ) Land of Snow Leopard Excursion to Saylyugemskiy National Park
Distance - 150 km (mountain dirt road, type of car UAZ) Accommodation - Hotel of Saylyugemskiy National Park The purpose of the day is visiting of Sailyugem National Park, where rare animals live in the mountains on the border with Mongolia, including the snow leopard. Its number is small (no more than 20-30 individuals), but it is almost half of all the leopards in Russia. We climb to one of the peaks of the Saylyugemskiy ridge, in those places where the snow leopard was detected, and check the installed camera traps. Lunch in the visitor center of the national park. Return to Kosh-Agach. If free time is left, we can visit ancient sanctuaries with cave paintings and runic inscriptions in the Chuysky steppe.
Day 4 (9th of July) The Alpine camp Aktru and glacier Maliy Aktru
Distance - 100 km asphalt road, 60 km off-road (UAZ) Accommodation - hotel "Rasul" in Aktash village Early in the morning we leave Kosh-Agach and go to the direction of the North-Chuisky Ridge, where the oldest Altai alpine camp is located - Aktru. We take to the camp by UAZ (Russian model of off-road transport). The road is pretty bad (35 km one way). In alpine camp, we walk to the Maliy Aktru glacier. It is one of the most studied glaciers of the Altai. It was opened at the end of the 19th century. Since then, it has been regularly observed, making notes about the retreat and melting of the glacier. Not far from the glacier there are several cedar, which age has exceeded five hundred years. This is the oldest part of the cedar forest in Altai. Picnic in the mountains. In the evening, come down to the Kurai village , transfer to the Aktash village (hotel Rasul). Dinner
Day 5 (10th of July) Chulyshmanskiy canyon, transfer on Teletskoye lake
Accommodation - Hotel "Urochishche Aktra" Distance - 180 km by car (bad dirt road, 80 km by boat) Today we have a long transfer. First, we see the Red gate - a rocky section along the Chibitka mountain river, which are composed by minerals containing mercury (cinnabar). Along the road there are cascades of lakes. Commonly known as Dead. According to the legend, nothing alive is found in the lakes because of the content of natural mercury. But in fact, the fish lives there, it is just difficult for it to rise up because of the stormy and rapids of the Chibitka River. A little further we visit the urochishche Pazyryk, where in the 1940s an expedition of the State Hermitage Museum excavated the royal mounds of the Scythian period and found unique exhibits. Now they are stored in the Hermitage in 26 and 27 halls. Among them are the tattooed mummy of leader, the oldest surviving Persian pile carpet in the world, a birch wagon of Chinese work, and much more. This fact of the discovery of valuable things in such a wilderness proved that in 6-2 centuries BC (such is the dating of objects) there was a developed civilization. The farthest point of our route is the Katu-Yaryk Pass, it is a zigzag about 4 km long and a height difference of 800 m, which come down from the Ulagansky Plateau to the valley of the Chulyshman River. From the observation deck of the pass a breathtaking panorama of the canyon and waterfalls of the meandering riverbed opens. Come down from the pass, you get into the Chulyshmanskiy canyon. In these places, the ancient Turks could well hide here, who, according to legend, came to Altai from the territory of modern Xinjiang (China). No wonder Altai is considered like the place of formation of the ancient Turkic ethnos. After passing through the canyon (90 km bad dirt road, about 5 hours), we reach the Lake Teletskoye(southern coast). Here we wait for the boat. Transfer by boat on the lake, arrival to the Artybash village to the hotel. Dinner
Day 6 (11th ofJuly) Farewell to Altai
Distance - 250 km Early breakfast and transfer to Biysk (the oldest city of Altai, is founded in 1709 by decree of Peter the Great). Departure from the railway station by train
Photo credits: Pavel Filatov
Все фото и видеоматериалы принадлежат их владельцам и используются для демонстрации.