Charyn Canyon, Kolsai Lakes, thermal springs autumn-winter

The journey to the Charyn Canyon lies through the Syugaty valley, which spreads between the mountain chains Ketmen and Ulken-Boguty.

It seems to you there are ruins of many-storey ancient Greek temples in front of you.

These are multi-colored cornices, colonnades, pillars, towers, galleries, created by skilful sculptors – nature and time. They boggle the mind by their wild and virgin beauty.

If you start from the east, then you need to turn left before climbing to the pass. The way to the Valley of Castles runs on about 10 km. If you like you can also go to the wide floodplain of the river covered by flood-plain forest located hundreds of meters from the road.

Here you can stay for the night. The river here is smartish, but shallow. On the slopes of its valley the folds of the ancient and young layers, the ruptures of the earth's crust, faults, etc. are clearly visible as on a picture.

On the right slope there are the ancient limestones "stand on their heads" as the geologists say, i.e. tightly closed layers stand upright. On them horizontally lie the younger pliocene layers from interstratified horizons of gravel and sandy-clay deposits.

On the left all these rocks are torn by a perfectly marked fault – a result of the lifting of the block of carbon effusives that occurred during the Quaternary period. These rocks have different colors - from pale yellow to violet and red.

Charyn "temples» is a real geological museum. The walls of this geological fault are layered of solid rocks; the top is crowned with a layer of conglomerate, supple for the mighty forces of nature.

Kolsai Lakes are one of the most beautiful places of Kazakhstan nature. The lakes are called the pearl of the Northern Tien Shan. They are located on 1,800, 2,250 and 2,700 meters above sea level. The warm season lasts from April to the end of September.

Kolsai Lakes have the dark blue color of water, where tall firs are reflected. But the water changes its color from time to time. A moment ago it was emerald-green, but after passing a few tens of meters you look the water has already become bright-blue color. Blooming alpine meadows, rocks and huge coniferous Tien-Shan fir forests are surrounding the lake.

The First Kolsai Lake, 80 meter deep and 400 meter wide, extends for 1 km along the gorge. It’s located at the altitude of 1818 meter above sea level. There are comfortable expensive cottages here, as well as more modest cottages, and, of course, yurt camp and camping. Approaching to the First Lake you can see immediately mooring berth, where boats and catamarans moored. There are fishermen, hunting for rainbow trout near the water. However it does not stop the people. Not everyone can bathe in the lake, the temperature of 6 - 8 ° C. freezes any desire to swim.

To see the Second Lake you will have to walk 6 km up the gorge along a narrow mountain path. Hiking takes 2.5-3 hours.

The Second Lake is the most beautiful one of the Kolsai Lake located at an altitude of 2252 m above sea level. Its depth is 50 m. Approaching this lake a lot of fallen spruces forming a natural dam attract your attention immediately. Going further, you understand that the lake has not yet fully revealed its beauty. On the green lake shores there are numerous alpine flowers, among which the fragrant Edelweiss grow.

The Third Lake is 6 km above the Second, the difference in altitude between them is 448 meters. This is the smallest lake. The water of this lake is very cold. It is surrounded by rocks and juniper trees. The climate in this area is alpine: the summer temperature is up to 30 degrees in the daytime. Border Guard Service requires the issuance of a Special Permit for its visit.

The third day is devoted to rest and relaxation. Water of the thermal springs is mineral; it boasts health-promoting effects. Radon, which in small doses gives a good healthcare effect, enters into the composition of this water heated up by active volcanic processes to the temperature of 37-50 ° C.

Chemical elements found out in the water of springs help in the treatment of many diseases, including skin diseases, ulcers, arthrosis, osteochondrosis, salt deposits, fractures; gastritis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis; pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis, stones; heart attack, hypotension; diseases of the reproductive system; insomnia, chronic fatigue, depression.

In addition the radon baths promote metabolic balance, improve the work of the adrenal and heart, increase immunity, and normalize the level of cholesterol, insulin and sugar in the blood.

Before you start treatment with radon baths, you need to consult your doctor. Radon baths are contraindicated for the people with radiation sickness at any stage, as well as for those whose work is related to staying in the radioactivity zone.

In addition, all our tourists get acquainted with the national color of the Kazakh house, dishes of the cuisine, traditions and customs of the local population. If you like you can visit the Russian baths.

In our program: trip by the on off-road vehicles to the Charyn Canyon, accommodation in a local house-hotel, trekking to the Second Kolsai lake, picnic, visit to the thermal spring Ulken Boguty, dishes of national cuisine.

A. Legend of the route by the hour:

1st day

8.30 am: Gathering at the pointed address;

01 pm: Arrival to the beginning of the route in Charyn Canyon

02 pm: Descent to the river, lunch

03 pm: Climb from the canyon, walk on the top

04 pm: Way to the hotel for overnight

07 pm: Hotel accommodation, dinner

2nd day

08 am: Breakfast

09 am: Entering to the route of the Second Kolsai lake

02 pm: Lunch near the lake

06 pm: Return to the hotel, dinner

3rd day

08 am: Breakfast, departure to the thermal springs

02 pm: Lunch, bathing

07 pm: Return to the city of Almaty

Number of days: 3
Covered regions:
East Kazakhstan
North Kazakhstan
South Kazakhstan
West Kazakhstan
Included services:
Accommodation (Hotel/Guesthouse)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Entrance tickets (e.g. museums, parks etc.)
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/Train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
What to bring: 1. Warm clothes, trekking shoes, walking sticks; 2. Means of personal hygiene, medicines, personal dishes; 3. Sunblock, sunglasses.
Transport: SUV 4x4
Tour season:
Tour categories:
Private tours
Cultural tours
Adventure tours
Offroad tours
Sightseeing tours
Winter tours
Special Event tours
Wildlife tours
Highlight tours
Photo tours
Hiking tours
Horseback riding tours
Circle tours
Short tours
Budget tours
Payment Method

For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.