4 Days Itinerary, Cost, Visa, Travel Tips
Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world and the largest landlocked Central Asia country.
Kazakhstan means “Land of the Wanderers” – and the country’s truly incredible landscapes, hidden lakes, marvelous mountains, its history and culture reward those who choose to explore it.
Best thing is that Kazakhstan is not a tourist hub yet. During our time in Kazakhstan we met almost no tourists.
There so many opportunities for hiking, camping, horse riding, rafting etc. So if you are drawn to going to an offbeat place and love adventure, Kazakhstan must be on your bucket list.
Watch our drone movie from the Land of Wanderers
Also Read “Suggested Itinerary For Georgia“
Where To Fly
You will be taking international flight to the capital city Almaty.
There are 3 passport categories for visa application
1) Visa on arrival
2) Visa through embassy without Letter of Invitation
3) Visa through embassy with Letter of Invitation
Know more about Visa policy here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Kazakhstan)
Best Time To Travel
Between May to mid-October is the best time to travel to Kazakhstan. During winter most of the hiking trails are closed.
We spent 250 USD per person for our 4-day trip. It included everything (food, accommodation, transportation, fuel, guide, tips) except flights and visa.
Cost is based on 2 people and you can reduce it even further by sharing your car with more people or using shared taxis.
Also read “5 Days Suggested Itinerary for Tajikistan“
Read our day by day guide for our trip to Kazakhstan
Day 1. Arrive to Almaty, Transfer to Lake Kolsai
We arrived at Almaty International Airport at around 3 pm, we picked up some lunch on the way and started driving to Lake Kolsai.
The drive was around 5 hours (approx. 300 Km), so by the time we reached it was already dark.
We spent a night in a homestay near Lake Kolsai.
Homestays have lately become one of our fav things to do to experience the local culture.
We were served with traditional dinner on our arrival and it was very yummy.
We would highly recommend you to spend at least one night in a homestay on your visit to Kazakhstan.
Day 2. Hike to Lake Kolsai
Kolsai Lake is one of the most beautiful places not only in Kazakhstan but also on the Planet Earth. It is known as the Pearl of Northern Tien Shan.
Kolsai means a “Lake in the Valley“ in the local Kazakh language and indeed the lakes are surrounded by magnificent cliffs and mountains with snowy caps.
There are 3 lakes in the area. Lake One sits at 1,800 m, Lake Two – at 2,250 m and Lake Three – at 2,700 m above sea level.
It’s a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers. Many activities such as horse riding, hiking and mountain biking and camping are available.
Hiking trails to the lakes are easy and good for amateurs as well as experienced hikers.
You can easily spend a day here. Make sure you carry snacks and water.
Day 3. Lake Kaindy & Charyn Canyon
Lake Kaindy also known as “Birch Tree Lake” is 400 m long and up to 30 m deep.
The lake is famous for its breathtaking scenery, unnatural bluish green water and the trees that poke out of the water.
This mysterious lake is located 12 km to the east of the first Kolsai Lake.
Once you visit this place, you will never forget its calmness, beauty and tranquility surrounding it.
We spent half a day here and then we continued our journey to Charyn Canyon.
It is around 100 km from Lake Kaindy and takes around 2.5-3 hours by car.
Charyn Canyon also called as Grand Canyon of Kazakhstan is an incredible natural monument. The canyon is located in Charyn National Park and is 150 km long and up to 300 m deep.
Different shades or red, orange and yellow add to the beauty of this natural marvel.
You can do trekking around the canyon. If you just plan to relax, bring some snacks & drinks and arrange a picnic with your friends and family. Make sure to stay for the sunset.
Then we headed back to Almaty to spend a night there.
Day 4. Big Almaty Lake
Take a day trip from Almaty to Big Almaty Lake. It’s around 30 km from Almaty and takes around 1-1.5 hours.
The lake is located in Eliy National Park and it’s a perfect place to spend a day before flying back.
This was our short itinerary for Kazakhstan.
Even though we spent very short time in Kazakhstan, we fell in love with it. We would highly recommend you to add it on your bucket list.
If you need more information on planning such trip, please reach out to us.