Discovering Kazakhstan - 6 days
Day 1: Almaty
Arrive Almaty and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight.
Day 2: Almaty to "Altyn-Emel" National Park
Breakfast. In the morning transfer to "Altyn-Emel"Park., visiting Buddhist petroglyphs "Tamgaly Tas", enroute along the Ili river. These are Buddhist rock carvings figures, which are unusual for the region. Arrive at "Altyn-Emel"National park which was created in 1996. The name "Altyn Emel" has a Mongolian background, and means "a gold saddle". The National Park is a unique deserted mountain complex located on the ancient route of the Greta Silk Way.
Walk to the Taygak Gorge to see the petroglyphs on the nearby mountains. The Bronze Age rock paintings represent stages of hunting, wild animals and pets, rituals and deities with sun faces. Spend the night in the guest house.
Day 3: "Altyn-Emel" National Park ("Beshatyr" or King's Burial Mounds, "Singing Dunes")
After breakfast depart for the main attraction of "Altyn-Emel". Visit the "Besshatyr" the so called king's burial mounds, in the center of the park. They represent a necropolis tomb of East Scythians and Tigrakhauda sakis, who lived here in the 7-6 centuries B.C. It's also known as "Kazakh Stonehenge".
After lunch visit the unique natural phenomenon, "Singing Barkhan" a crescent-shaped sand dune located between the Small and Big Kalkana Mountains. Scientists are still trying to discover the origin of the dunes, which are unnatural in this rocky-steppe area. Sounds, made in dry weather by the sandy mountain, reminds one of an organ, and sometimes of the rumble of a jet plane. Overnight at the "Basshi" village guest house.
Day 4: "Altyn-Emel" – Jarkent – Charyn Canyons- Almaty
Breakfast. Transfer to Jarkent. En route, visit the Djungan Mosque –a holy place of the Uygurian people. Continue to the ash grove where two 5 million year old trees can be seen. Arrive at the Charyn Canyons, an amazing creation of nature, millions of years old. See the stunning "Castles Valley" surrounded by 12 million year old towers of fantastical forms. At the base of the canyon is the roaring Charyn River. Enjoy the sunset on the Canyons. Overnight in Almaty
Day 5: Almaty (City Tour)
After breakfast, depart for the "Hawks Nursery". Enjoy the hawk show, see the hunting dogs and ride the horses. Return to Almaty. Enjoy an afternoon city tour, including visiting of: the Central Mosk, Panfilov's Park, the New Republic Square and the monument of Independence.
Drive to "Medeo", known worldwide for its skating rink situated in a picturesque canyon. The Medeo skating-rink has seen over 150 world records on speed-skating contests. Return to Almaty for overnight stay.
Day 6: Almaty
Breakfast. Check-out and transfer to the airport.