Kazakhstan Best Things To Do, Itinerary, Cost, Travel Tips

Kazakhstan Best Things To Do

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.

Winter Wonderland – Kazakhstan


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.

Horse riding in the land of Wanderers



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.

Kazakhstan is paradise for nature lovers

 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.


Our lovely host of our little home stay


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.


Hiking Trail To Kolsai Lake 2



Incredible reflections


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.


Trees poking out of Lake Kaindy’s surface



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.

Big Almaty Lake

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.

Author: Offbeat Wanderlust


  1. Great post! I had no idea Kazakhstan means “Land of the Wanderers”. Very cool! It looks so beautiful – the photo of Big Almaty Lake reminds me so much of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.

  2. Wow, the cost was really reasonable for four days. Kolsai Lake is amazing! And then I saw Big Almaty Lake! How gorgeous are those? Kazakhstan sounds like it would be a very interesting place to visit, and I would definitely use a homestay.

  3. Wow, the lakes and mountains look spectacular from your photos. It seems like a beautiful place to visit and spend time in the outdoors. I’m not a great hiker but a horse ride through this area does seem like a good option should I ever get the chance to visit. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  4. Wow I’d never think of visiting Kazakhstan before, but it’s stunning. Your photos always leave me speechless and I’d like to do a homestay too. A lovely itinerary and a good read!

  5. Lake Kolsai looks so surreal, straight out of a fairytale! You got very lucky with some snow, it just makes the pictures much more beautiful! And I love the dress you’re wearing at Lake Kaindy 🙂 I think I’ve already told you this- I’m going to plan my Kazakhstan trip exactly like yours, so will need these tips in 2018.

  6. Wow the views look incredible, almost unreal – I love how you travel to off the grid places 😀 – Like me, you guys do some great budget traveling and Kazakhstan looks like a great place to explore for budget travelers 😀 I would love to explore around the Kolsai lake and the Charyn canyon – I’m actually going to look into possibly traveling through Kazakhstan next year at some point 😀

  7. I have to admit, this is definitely not a country I’d ever considered visiting before – and I think it’s because I knew so little about it. It’s really not on the British travelling radar! But boy, after seeing your pics, it totally should be. I love the way you’ve summarised your tips here, great advice for prospective travellers x

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *