Kazakhstan Extension

Jul 8, 2023
Jul 11, 2023
4 days


The ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan has a lot to offer, and this tour is for those joining us on our 5 Stans Tour who'd like to scrape the surface of this country just a little bit more.

You could easily spend weeks in Kazakhstan and still not see everything, but there's a lot to do in and around Almaty that can be done in a couple of days and give you a great feel for the country.

We'll hang out in Almaty, visiting all the main sites there, plus some SAIGA specials, and then we'll head out of the city to some of the awesome natural sites. We'll spend a night at the famous Charyn Canyon, see some cool lakes and mountains, check out some weird Soviet stuff, and then head back to Almaty.

Of course if you'd like to spend even longer in Kazakhstan you can let us know and we can help you with plans or make some suggestions. There is still loads more to do!

View the full itinerary

If you like the look of this tour but the dates don't work for you, or you'd like to do part of the tour, please get in touch and let us know. All our tours are able to be split into smaller sections, we're always scheduling new tours and your dates might work for one of them, or we can always organise an independent tour.


Accommodation in twin share at roughly 3 star hotels, breakfast included, except when other accommodation is mentioned in itinerary

Where itinerary mentions yurt or homestay accomodation, single supplement and twin share may be affected

Transport as per itinerary

SAIGA guide and local guides



Visa fees if necessary

Visa support if necessary

Entrance fees

Meals other than breakfast

Transport to and from the start and end of tour

Personal expenses such as souvenirs or any optional activities

Any COVID related expenses


Get to know the vibrant and happening city of Almaty

Gawk at the natural splendour that is Charyn Canyon

Enjoy some little-known Soviet relics both in Almaty, and around it

Day 1Sat Jul 8
  • Today we'll start exploring Almaty, taking in such famous sites as the Green Bazaar, the Arbat and Panfilov Park, named after the 28 Panfilov Guardsmen from Almaty, who died during the Battle of Moscow in 1941, which is right next to Zenkov Cathedral. A Russian Othodox Church, its claim to fame is being the largest wooden structure in the world constructed with only joins, and no nails.
  • If you like to have a night out of any type, whether it’s fine dining, a cosy bar, a noisy pub or even the ballet, Almaty is the city you’re going to want to do it in.
  • We’ll take a ride on the Almaty metro. One of only two metros in Central Asia (the other being in Tashkent), it has just nine stations, so is largely useless to most people. However, like many metros in the former Soviet world, the stations themselves are ornately decorated, sparkling clean, and well worth a look at.
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Day 2Sun Jul 9
  • Today we’ll drive to a few of the destinations not within walking distance.
  • We'll pass Old Square and Republic Square, the two places where the Kazakh Parliament used to take place before moving to Astana in 1997. These are also where we recently saw fatal riots in January 2022, along with the images of the destroyed city hall and presidential residence.
  • We’ll show you Medeo, the highest ice-skating rink in the world, and then on to Big Almaty Lake.
  • Driving out to the suburbs of Almaty, we'll make a stop that isn't on other tour itineraries, and in fact most people in Almaty aren't even aware of this gem of Soviet history. Hidden in amongst medium density housing, there's a park which is now home to all the unwanted Soviet statues that were moved from their original places throughout the city and dumped unceremoniously here. Our favourite is the giant Lenin which used to be in Old Square, removed from his plinth and just standing flat on the ground with no sign or plaque to be seen.
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Day 3Mon Jul 10
Almaty, Charyn Canyon, Saty
  • Bidding farewell to the amazingly chic and cosmopolitan city of Almaty, we’ll make our first stop at one of the Soviet Union's main radio posts. Radio Centre Number 7 is located near the village of Shelek and was only decommissioned in the 90s. These huge radio towers were designed to block incoming radio signals from China and south from India and Afghanistan, while also sending Soviet radio across the globe.
  • After lunch, we’ll head to Charyn Canyon. Created by the Charyn River, this impressive natural monument has gained colorful formations of Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan varying shapes and sizes. The Valley of Castles is probably the most famous sight in Charyn Canyon, with rock deposits resembling towers thought to be created by giants. The Valley of Castles is over 2 km in length, and its width reaches from 20 to 80 m in some places.
  • After a long day of sightseeing we’ll head to Saty Village, where we’ll stay at a local homestay. Saty is the main town in the area that accommodates local tourists who come here to enjoy the region's pristine nature and awesome adventure tourism options.
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Day 4Tue Jul 11
Saty, Kolsai and Kaindy Lakes, Almaty
  • The Kolsai Lake National Park is famous for its immense beauty and of course its lakes. The main sight is Kaindy Lake. Kaindy Lake, despite looking prehistoric, was only created by an earthquake in 1911, thus why there are still hundreds of tree trunks sticking out of the water, where it once was a forest.
  • In the afternoon, return to Almaty.
  • You'll have the evening to check out any dining options you feel like you missed out on the first time, or simply explore the city a bit more.
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