Never late to Explore

On 24-26 June we had a great 3 day tour to Charyn-Kolsay-Kaindy with our guests from Netherlands! Here is the story…

Day 1:  The morning was sunny when we started our 3 day trip. There were only 4 people in our group: Tina, Andre – our guest from Netherlands, photographer Andrey (yes, what a chance of such coincidence) and myself. The landscape was beautiful – clear view of Ile-Alatau mountains and multiple fields along the road. We made small stop in Baiseit village where we bought some fruits and continued our journey. After turn from main road to Charyn Canyon we spotted horses staying near in a small pond, we were all excited and made a stop. Finally we reached the magnificent place called Valley of Castles – the museum of natural art with millions year history. The view from top is great, but to get the full feel of the place you need to walk through the canyon. It’s full of variable forms and shapes and it makes your imagination to explode…you see different animals and faces. After short walk we came to the bank of Charyn river – an oasis place for relaxation and lunch. Way back is always hard, sun is high above you and it’s getting warmer and warmer. On the way back from park we picked up a guy (Nils) who was heading to Kyrgystan and you know…he was a Dutch guy. We made a small stop on Charyn bridge and later on left him on the way to Aksai village, hopefully he was lucky to catch next car and passed the border. Moon like landscape was our next destination. Unique place on bug Plato where you see multiple hills. You feel yourself like a small sand piece in endless desert. After small photo session we headed to Sati village not to miss our dinner. Near black canyon viewpoint we met funny guy from Ukraine who hitch hiked a 40 years old ZIL car. We couldn’t miss opportunity to add few photos to our road trip. It didn’t take us long to get to the village, the road was just perfect for most of the time. Hopefully this year the construction will be finished. By 19-15 we arrived to our guesthouse. We were pleased with this place and how warm people met us there. Homemade food and camp fire were a great end of our first day.

Day2: It was clear early morning when we had our breakfast and headed for Kolsay lakes. The Kolsay lake was calm and from side it looked like a mirror reflecting surrounding hills and sky. We decided not to stop for long on the first lake and went to the second. From looking above on the look we could see that water was crystal clear. We took it easy and made stops almost every hour. On our way we met several groups of people and dog who periodically followed us in our way up. The trail path was complicated by places with horse tracks and mud which didn’t dried up since last rain. After 3,5 hours walk we have reached second lake. It was good achievement for us. On the bank of the lake we met Dutch group of tourists – good place for meetings away from home country. At some point clouds began to cover the sky and we decided to go down and not to wait for the rain. Way back was smooth and in 3 hours we were sitting on the bank of bottom lake. We visited nice camp place on the left part of lake before going back to Sati village. Shower was the best thing after exciting daily hike. We were tired but pleased with this wonderful day.

Day3: That was the last day of our trip. Luck with weather was still on our side. After hearty breakfast we went for massage procedures – that was the bumpy road to Kaindy lake. After 40 minutes session we arrived to Kaindy lake parking lot. After 15 minutes walk we stopped at observation point just above the lake. Fantastic view has opened to us – bluish water with steep rocky cliffs going down into water. Then we moved to a place where river flows into lake in between two cliffs. There was lots of water in the river and we couldn’t come close to the shore of the lake, but few other tourists had reached shore with bare foot through cold mountain water. Last our stop was on the other bank of the lake, where we had some snacks and enjoyed the view of the lake and ducks quack-quack. Another massage therapy on the way back before tasty lunch. The road back to Almaty took us 4 hours, it was certainly a bit sad for me that the trip was over, but new adventures are waiting ahead.


  • To my guests Tina & Andre. Thanks for giving great example of lifestyle and desire to explore world regardless of your age.
  • To Dinara and Zhanara for their traditional kazakh hospitality and great food.
  • To Andrey for his professional photos, good company and great ideas.