Go wild – very wild – as you unlock the beauty of the Altai Mountains on an 18-day far-out adventure through Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia.
Beginning in Nur-Sultan (Astana), travel to the depths of Russia and the Uch-Enmek National Park, making your way to some of the most isolated and spectacular mountain passes in the world.
Weave your way into western Mongolia and discover the secrets of the Ice Age with a glacier trek in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, and see truly wild Takhi horses in Khustain National Park. If you crave those weird and wonderful places, then you’ll love this experience through and through.
Why you'll love this adventure
- It’s unlikely you’ll have many other chances to get this isolated in Central Asia and do the amazing things that you will experience on this expedition. This is a trip of unmatched adventure and is defintiely one to show off about.
- Walk the most spectacular mountain pass into the Chulyshman River Valley with your small group. This road is like nothing you would have encountered before, and you’ll be camping right in its heart.
- On your way to the Karakol Valley, stop by the Anokhin Museum in Gorno-Altaisk to see the Siberian Ice Maiden – the 2500-year-old mummified remains of a Eurasian woman only discovered in the 1990s.
- Take on the mighty Pontanin Glacier – the longest in Mongolia – on a trek through the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Your expert local guides will get you up close and personal to this beast of nature.
- You’ll be visiting a lot of new, isolated regions so you’ll want to hear from local people. Use this opportunity to interact with indigenous communities, including the Altai people, who have a sacred connection to nature.
21 June 2021
8 July 2021
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
This trip includes an action packed itinerary! Please make an enquiry and we'll send you the full itinerary for each day including meals, activities, travel and accommodation.
- 16 breakfasts, 13 dinners and 13 lunches
- Hotel (3 nights), Cabin (4 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night), Tourist Ger Camp (3 nights), Camping (4 nights), Homestay (2 nights)
- Private vehicle , Overnight sleeper train , Furgon (Russian van) , Taxi , Plane
- Nur-Sultan – City tour
- Gorno-Altaisk – A.V. Anokhin National Museum of Altai
- Lake Teletskoe – Boat trip
- Uch-Enmek NP – Karakol Valley & Altai villages tour
- Uch-Enmek NP – Family lunch
- Chulyshman River Valley – Katu Yarik Pass
- Chulyshman River Valley – Ak-Kurume (Mushroom Stones)
- Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
- Tsagaan Gol River – Tuvan family visit
- Ölgii – Kazakh family visit
- Khustain National Park
- Ulaanbaatar – City tour
Hotel (3 nights), Cabin (4 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night), Tourist Ger Camp (3 nights), Camping (4 nights), Homestay (2 nights)
16 breakfasts, 13 dinners and 13 lunches
Food and dietary requirements
The Central Asian diet relies heavily on meat based dishes.There are options available for vegetarians, however these may at times be limited to plain noodles, bread, fruit, nuts, yoghurt, cheese, eggs etc. Those with particular dietary needs may choose to supplement meals with supplies bought from home or stock up at markets and supermarkets as you travel.
What is food in Russia really like? See our blog here for some must try foods:
Vegetarians in Russia certainly won’t go hungry as there are usually plenty of meat-free options on menus including salads, certain soups, and cooked dishes such as mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, buckwheat, dumplings with vegetable fillings, savoury pancakes etc. Vegans will need to look for options without mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese which are common in Russian dishes. Moscow, St Petersburg and increasingly other towns have an ever growing number of excellent vegetarian and vegan eateries.
Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets.
Those with special dietary requirements may choose to supplement included meals with supplies brought from home. Vegetarian lacto-ovo options (while limited) can be offered for all included meals, provided we are notified at time of booking.
Who is this trip for?
Is this trip right for you
A heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.
This trip involves multiple nights of camping, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of experiencing the elements. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand, and everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!
Sometimes you’ve got to rough it to get amongst it. As you’ll be often setting up camp in the remote wilderness, please note that there will be no wi-fi for the majority of the trip, and often no access to showers or electricity. At times, your leaders will make available a traditional Russian banya (bath) to wash in, but embracing the elements is important for this trip.
Please note that this trip involves a lot of walking, so be sure to bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it’s best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness, as most days involve exploring rugged landscapes on foot.
This trip includes long driving days spent travelling in a van with your group on rough roads that are often undefined and unmarked. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates. Note that these distances and times are estimated only and are subject to change, and due to the nature of a remote overland adventure trip like this, some travel may take much longer than anticipated, even if it looks close on a map.
Pack light, as you will be carrying your luggage at different stages of the journey. There is also an included flight in Mongolia which has a luggage weight restriction – please check the limits when you confirm your booking details to avoid paying any excess charges to the airline.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
This operator has a policy in place for COVID-19 and their adventures. Please request full details so we can share the most up to date information with you. Thanks!
We love this operator for the freedom and flexibility they give travellers to get off the tourist trails and really experience local cultures. Their style of small group travel is perfect for solo travellers, couples or small groups of friends and their grassroots style of travel seeks to have a positive impact on the communities they visit.
They use local leaders, local accommodation & transport and support local community projects, ensuring sustainability is at the centre of everything they do.
In addition, they expect their staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel – respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
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Excellent thoughtful service.They were prompt and friendly, and so thorough and helpful in connecting me with my adventure.
One of a Kind Service!From the very beginning of reaching out to AWA, they were super helpful, enthusiastic and informative.