Day 1: Almaty - Altyn Emel National Park
Stop At: Tamgaly Tas, Kapchagay Kazakhstan
Having arrived to the Meeting Point no later than 10 minutes before the tour departure time, you will meet your guide and board a comfortable vehicle to start your trip to Altyn Emel National Park. Before the tour, we provide 1.5L of bottled water and you are welcome to bring your personal snack, tea or coffee in a container with a lid on it.
While driving over an hour on a highway, you will pass by artificial Kapshagai water reservoir, the biggest in Almaty region, with the casinos of "Kazakh Las-Vegas" on its bank. Upon arrival to Tamgaly-Tas, the first destination on the bank of Ili river, you will see images of Buddha and texts in Tibetan, Kalmyk and other languages. On the opposite side of the river you will see the scenery in the style of medieval Kazakhstan that were built for the filming “The Nomad” movie.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Altyn Emel National Park, Kazakhstan
Another couple of driving hours and you are at Basshi village, which is located at the territory of the national park. There you will have a lunch before your trip to Singing Dune. The Singing Dune is perfect to admire at sunset when nature is getting calmer and shades are longer. If you are lucky enough, you can hear how the Dune sings, and literally feel the trembling while touching the sand.
After hiking up to the 150-meter dune, you will return to the village for dinner and overnight in one of the villagers' guest houses or cozy local hotel.
Duration: 6 hours
Accommodation included: Overnight in a guest house or local hotel
Day 2: Altyn Emel National Park - Almaty
Stop At: Aktau Mountains, State National Park Altyn-Emel Kazakhstan
After breakfast at 8:00am, you will be driving on unpaved park roads over 80 km (approx. 2 hours) to the Aktau mountains. A walk on Martian landscape requires nothing special from you, except being attentive on a soft sandy surface, carrying some water with you, and adding some fantasy listening to the guide's stories about inhabitants of an ancient ocean.
Return to Basshi village for lunch.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Zharkent Mosque, Zharkent Kazakhstan
After lunch, transfer to Zharkent town (97 km) and visit to mosque-museum. A wooden mosque-pagoda, built without a single nail, delights with its architecture! The bright patterned roofs and towers designed by Chinese architect Hon Pik, the walls inside the unique structure, artfully decorated with national ornaments of different nations cultures, openwork carvings and flowers drawings evoke particular interest in history and invite you to lose yourself in time for a moment. Having mentally and spiritually recharged by two-days outdoor trip you will drive back to the original Meeting Point in Almaty with estimated arrival time around 7:00pm.
Duration: 2 hours
• Breakfast: Breakfast at a guest house or local hotel
No accommodation included on this day.