This article highlights the popular places to visit near Almaty. What to do in Almaty, if you came to the southern capital of Kazakhstan? You find many sightseeing around the city. Almaty region is the most popular tourist destination in Kazakhstan country and in Cenral Asia area. When came in Almaty, you should definitely try to go on a hike in the North Tien Shan mountains, see beautifull mountain lakes, visit the 4 most popular National Parks in the Almaty region (Ile Alatau, Sharyn, Kolsay lakes and Altyn Emel), make a most extreme trip to the highest waterfall in Kazakhstan, feel the life of the nomadic people of Kazakhstan and look at the Lord of the sky – the highest peak in Kazakhstan, Khan-Tengri peak (7010 m).
1 Ile Alatau mountains (Nothern Tien Shan).
In the Ile Alatau mountains you will find untouched nature with mountain forests, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, incredible panoramic views from the peaks and passes. All this can be seen in 1 day and in a multi-day trekking or in jeep-tour. Mountaineering is popular in the summer. Skiing and snowboarding is popular in the winter. The choice of options in the Almaty mountains is huge. Looking at the page with our tours.
2 Turgen valley and trekking of many moraine lakes.
One of the rare places in the Ile Alatau mountains, where you can see around ten mountain lakes at altitudes from 3000 to 3700 meters. Some lakes are located among the green meadows. Other lakes are located beside the glaciers. The area is characterized by easier trails and large plateaus. The Turgen valley is interesting for fans of trekking with night stops in tents.
3 Big Almaty gorge.
Big Almaty lake (BAL) is the most famous natural attraction of Almaty located in this gorge. There are several routes available for hiking (Tourist peak 3954 m and Big Almaty peak 3682 m). Before the lake can be reached by car. The road continues up to the Zhusaly-Kezen pass(3333 meters).
4 Kolsay lakes National Park.
In the National Park located the most beautiful mountain lakes of Almaty region. It is the system of three Kolsay lakes and Kaindy lake. The Kaindy lake famous dry trunks of fir trees, submerged in water. You need at least 2 days for visit the park. The first Kolsay lake and Kaindy lake available for cars. The second and third Kolsay lakes can be reached on foot or by renting horses. Tourists can be staying in guest houses of Saty village or nearby the lake in tents.
5 Charyn National Park.
The sculptural canyon “Valley of Castles” is the pride of the Park. It is often compared with big brother “Grand Canyon” in the USA. Kazakhstan’s analogue, of course, at times less, but it does not become less attractive. Public transport does not go to the canyon. You need a car. One day is enough for visiting. Distance from the Almaty is 200 km.
6 Altyn Emel National Park.
Park with the most unreal landscapes in Almaty region. There are three main attractions of the Park: singing dune, colored chalk mountains Aktau and the remains of lava in the Katutau mountains. Excursions to the Singing dune are organised every weekend by touristic firms during the summer season. Better to take a private tour by 4WD transport to get for the other attractions of the Altyn Emel.
7 Issyk lake.
The second most popular lake after Big Almaty lake. It is located at an altitude of about 1700 meters. Beautiful forest surrounds the lake. Issyk can be reached by car about 1 hour. A walk around the lake takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Many touristic firms are organized excursions to the Issyk lake every weekend during the summer season.
8 Asy plateau.
The high-mountain valley Asy is located in the eastern half of the Ile Alatau mountains. There are two ways. Both options — only on jeeps. Through Turgen gorge or through Bartogay reservoir. The plateau can be visited from the end of May to the end of September. In summer, you can see the standard life of kazakh nomads with their traditional houses – yurts. Observatory is located on the plateau of altitude 2600 meters. Asy plateau is the most popular place of mountain biking.
9 The Khan-Tengri peak
The Khan Tengri peak is the highest point of Kazakhstan. It is located in the south-east of Almaty region on border with China and Kyrgyzstan. You can admire the Khan-Tengri in good weather from the nearby mountain valleys. You can climb on the peak during the two summer months (July-August). Tuzkol lake is popular with photographers, who like sunrises and sunsets. You can be see from here the highest peaks of Central Tien Shan mountains. The lake is located near the village Karasaz at an altitude of 1965 meters. Terskey Alatau mountain range is interest for hiking and trekking. There are has a several picturesque valleys, Karakul lake, Akkul lake and Tekes waterfall.
10 Zhetysu Alatau (Jongar Alatau) mountains.
This mountains are interesting for hiking, trekking, climbing and jeep-tour. The nature Zhetysu Alatau is like the Ile Alatau mountains, but even more wild and untouched. These mountains have iconic attractions. Zhasylkol lake and Burkhan Bulak waterfall. Waterfall is the highest in Kazakhstan. You can start your routes from Taldykorgan city, Sarkand city and Kapal village.