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Golden Ring of Altai

A great round tour represents the majority of important historical places and natural diversity of Altai. You will have an opportunity to go by boat on Teletskoe lake, to be imbued with ancient culture of Altai population, to hear Altai throat singing.

Except for the Pearl of Altai mountains, Teletskoe lake, you will have a unique opportunity to visit Karakol Valley, the bunch of numerous archeological monuments, to enjoy beautiful view of mountains from the 2000-metre height; to see one of the most wonderful rivers of the world – Katun River, Pazyrykskie burial mounds (6-th century BC).

During the tour you ride on a comfortable bus with an experienced guide. 

Distance: bus 1600 km, boat 80 km, on foot ~19 km

Type: Small Group Tours
Duration: 12 days

Itinerary Hide all details


Morning arrival in Barnaul. Meeting at the airport. 

Accommodation at Barnaul hotel (twin rooms). Breakfast in hotel, rest. 

Meeting with guides in the hotel foyer at 13.00 (1 pm). 

Excursion around the central and historical parts of Barnaul. Visit to Altai State Local History Museum. Nowadays museum collection contains more than 150 thousand exhibits; including the world's only model of steam engine, which was invented by Ivan Polzunov in 1763 in Barnaul. Archaeological finds are of special interest, they tell about the history of ancient Altai; as well as home appliances, embodying ethnical and social features of local people, historical and technical (including military remnants), numismatic and mineralogical collections, natural-science collections, representing biodiversity and natural resources of Altai.

Then visit the museum of pharmacy of the Altai mountains. The exhibition includes medical items, glassware, tools for the preparation of medicinal tinctures and pills. In the museum you can also find the production of various biopharmaceutical Altai companies, medicines consisting of the Altai honey, local herbs, sea buckthorn and products of reindeer antlers, which can be purchased.

Accommodation in Barnaul hotel 3*. Breakfast


Morning meeting with the guide at the hotel lobby. Transfer by a comfortable bus through the old town of Altai-Biysk which is the gateway to the Altai Mountains, as well as the start of the main artery - the ancient trade route - Chuyski tract. On the way of our trip we visit the village Manzherok where the lake with the same name and ski-resort are located. The water nut – chestnut, preserved from pre-Ice Age, - grows in this lake. 

After lunch, walk by cableway to the Malaiya Sinukha Mount (1196 m. above sea level). From the top of the hill you can see a beautiful view of the valley Katun and the surrounding villages. Next stop is the spring Arzhan-Suu. Water of the spring is full of silver, copper and other mineral impurities, thus, it can be stored for a long time and helps to regulate metabolic processes in the body. A large gift market is located not far away, so you can buy maps, books, art, items made of cedar.

Move along the river Katun to the Chemal village located in the heart of the Altai Mountains. 

Accommodation in hotel Usadba Kedr in comfortable twin rooms. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. 

Distance 360 km a day


In the morning we organize an excursion 'Chemal walk'. During the tour we will visit Chemal Hydroelectric power station which is located in the southern part of the village. Hydroelectric power is one of the first in the region, built in 1935. Then we go on the “goat trail” along the river Katun to the rocky island Patmos. On the Patmos island we can visit a small church of the femail monastery. Suspension bridge connects the island to the river banks. Next to the temple you can see an image of the Virgin and Child carved in the rock. 

At the end of the day the excursion to the national Altai dwelling-Ail. During the visit of Ail you can experience the atmosphere of 10-13 century, travel back in time and get acquainted with the way of life, traditions, customs, culture, history and pagan religion of Altai nomadic tribes. 

After lunch departure to Oroktoiski bridge to the narrowest and deepest place on the river Katun. On the way we visit the tract Che-Chkysh, take a short climb along the creek to the observation platform where we will see the shaman cave. 

Accommodation in Usadba Kedr. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 85 km a day by bus, 3 km a day on foot

Day 4:

Moving along the ancient trade route - Chuyski tract through its highest point Seminskii pass (1739 m above the sea level) to ethno-park Uch-Enmeck. Then we move to a valley of the Karakol river. 

Accommodation in tourist camp Karakol in four-bed felt yurts or ails. Facilities are on the territory. As for dinner, you will be able to taste traditional cuisine. Archi is cultured milk food which tastes like yogurt; Altai cheese Kurot; Talhan – specially processed wheat mixed with butter and honey in shape of balls. 

Late in the evening at the light of a fire and bright stars you will enjoy a folk program with throat singing and playing national musical instruments. This performance awakes deep personal background, helps to feel the spirit of Altai people, natural devotion, allows to enjoy unsurpassed skills of musicians, some of whom are international festival winners. 

And later, coming back to the ail, you will feel like traveling in a time machine back to ancient times. Before going to sleep, they make a fire in the center of ail and the smoke will go out through a hole on the roof. Ancient Altai household facilities, which decorate the habitation, create a special flavor and a spirit of the time. 

Accommodation in yurts or ails. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 170 km a day by bus

Day 5:

Among natives - Altai people - Karakol Valley is believed to be a sacred place. Whole groups of ancient Tumuli and a great number of rock carvings are situated here.  In the light of natives' traditional culture it is believed that ancient monuments of the valley represent an informational code about laws of the universe. People of the valley differ by its peculiar mentality and believe they are spiritually connected with the nature of this valley. Temple and funerary complexes Tuekty, Bashadara, Boochi, Karakol – where Afanasyev and Karakol people, royal Scythians and warrior Turkic people build their temples and altars, buried their chiefs and priests. 

Ride to Boochi. There are a great amount of archaeological monuments around this place: steles, stone fences, Tumuli with balbals – they are mostly oriented to Uch-Enmek peak. Visit of Bashadar Tumuli that is a special place, a sacral center. Tumuli systematic placing and detection of geomagnetic fields in the area is a clear proof of human stay in this zone. 

Departure to the upper reaches of the Katun and Chyia rivers. On the way we pass Chike-Taman mountain pass (1295 masl). Then visit Kalbak-Tash Hole and see rock paintings – petroglyphs. More than 5 thousand pictures are drawn on the rocky flattened elevation, situated across the valley of Chuya River. They all are carved with stone or metal tools mainly in a dotty way. The most ancient pictures are dated to the 8th century BC. 

Arrival to the tourrist camp Nomad. Accomodation in the four-person Mongolian yurts. Facilities on the territory. Russian banya (bath-house). 

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 235 km a day by bus, 1 km on foot

Day 6:

Excursion on the Chuysky Trakt towards the Mongolian border. A magnificent view of the top of the North-Chuisky ridge and highest peaks Actru-Bash (4075 m) and Karatash (3534 m) is offered from a vast intermountain basin.

Hiking to the picturesque Geyser lake on the way back. The lake is the only one of its kind in the Altai - extremely beautiful, clean, non-freezing even in winter, amazingly turquoise in color. 

Underwater geysers that can be found on the lake bed come to life from time to time, throwing a mixture of bluish clay and sand, thus, drawing circles at the bottom. These processes taking place in the mysterious depth are reflected on the lake surface as here you can see the same circles appear. 

Return to the tourist camp. Lunch. Walking in camp vicinities. Russian banya (bath-house). 

Accommodation in yurts. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 100 km a day by bus, 4 km a day on foot

Day 7:

After breakfast you'll make an excursion to Ulagansky District. 

You’ll pass natural monument Red Gates, where the road goes through a narrow passageway between two rocks of reddish color. On the road visit the place Pasyryk with ancient Scythian burial mounds, which were the graves of tribal leaders. Descent from the Katu-Yaryk pass to the Chulyshman River. You will go down to a serpentine road, carved directly on the hillside. On the one hand – a slope, on the other – a break of several hundred meters height. Distance — 3,5 km on foot, luggage by car, altitude 1200 m. The magnificent view of the Chulyshman valley and waterfalls on the other side is offered from the pass. The Chulyshman valley is one of the most beautiful places in Altai and also it is included in the list of Objects of the World Natural Heritage. 

Arrival to the tourist camp Ezen in the Chulyshman Valley, twin houses, facilities on the territory. Russian banya (bath-house). 

Accommodation in tourist camp Ezen. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 120 km a day by bus, 3,5 km on foot

Day 8:

Hiking to the waterfall Kurkure, located on the river, a  tributary of the Chulyshman river, on the opposite side of the camp. Kurkure means “violent" and it reflects completely the nature of the waterfall. It is incredibly powerful, strong though at the same time is defenceless in its natural beauty. The height of the fall is more than 30 meters. People living in the surrounding worship this marvel of nature and consider it to be sacred. Therefore, no cattle can be seen for a few kilometers around! The hiking to the waterfall across the river takes about 3 - 4 hours. 

After the tour, return to the camp. In the afternoon walking around, active outdoor games. Dinner. Russian banya (bath-house). 

Accommodation in tourist complex Ezen. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 6 km a day on foot

Day 9:

Early breakfast. Hiking detour a Karasu river ravine to see a unique natural object – “Stone Mushrooms”. “Stone Mushrooms” is a very interesting natural structure. There are cones rising above the valley on tops of which, as if by magic, huge rocky plates lay. The foundation of the cone is rather friable sandstone. Some “mushrooms” rise above the slope up to 10 meters or even higher. A beautiful view of the valley can be seen from here. Great natural beauty charm every person who could make his way out here. Please, keep in mind that this excursion will require comfortable trekking shoes. 

Come back to the campsite, lunch. 

Move to the Teletskoye Lake to cape Kyrsay. Accommodation at the tourist camp of the same name, twin houses, facilities outside. Russian banya (bath-house). 

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 5 km a day on foot, by bus 90 km

Day 10:

Excursion along the water area of the Teletskoye lake to the northern part by boat. The Teletskoye lake is one of the 20 worlds deepest lakes. Length is 77,7 km. The average width is 2-3 km. Maximal width is up to 5 km. Its area is not large – 223km². However, due to its depth ( the average depth is 175 m, the maximum is 325 m) it contains huge amount (40 km³) of excellent fresh water saturated with oxygen and transparent to the depth of  12-15 meters. About 70 rivers flow into the lake, though 70 % of all water is given by Chulyshman flowing from the south. Giving its waters to the Biya river (98%) the lake feeds the Ob to a considerable extent. On the way we will visit Waterfall Korbu – the most picturesque waterfall in the surroundings of the Teletskoye lake. It is situated on the territory of Altai reserve in 100 meters from the mouth of the Big Korbu river flown into the Teletskoye lake in its eastern part. The waterfall height is 12,5 meters. In the middle of the Teletskoye lake, opposite the waterfall, there is the deepest place – 325 meters. Old Altai legend says that a gold sword of khan Tele fell down exactly at this place and due to this the lake appeared. 

Arrival to the lake's north, lunch in a cafe. Accommodation in a hotel situated at the Biya river. Walking around the village Artybash to the bridge over the river Biya to continue to souvenir shops. There will be an opportunity to purchase honey, local herbs, art, items made of cedar. Dinner in a cafe.

Accommodation in Artibash hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Distance 80 km a day by boat, 2 km on foot

Day 11:

Departure to Gorno-Altaisk to visit the National museum named after Andrey Anohin. One of its main exhibits, the mummy of “Altai Princess” found on Ukok Plateau, is waiting for you. Lunch in a cafe. Arrival in Barnaul, accommodation in twin rooms. 

Accommodation in hotel 3*. Breakfast, lunch 

Distance 430 km a day by bus

Day 12:

Transfer to the airport of Barnaul. 


What's included

  • Transfer from and to Barnaul airport, all tour rides on a comfortable off-road minibus
  • Full board
  • Excursions
  • English speaking guide-interpreter
  • Rent a boat on the Teletskoe Lake
  • Folk entertainment with throatsinging
  • Museum tickets
  • Recreational fees
  • All permits and licenses
  • Insurance
  • Registration of foreigners
  • Russian banya (bath-house) 4 times
Not included in the price
  • International flights
  • Other meals (lunch, dinner on the 1st day, dinner on the 11th day)
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa expenses
  • Porter services
  • Souvenirs
Additional expenses
  • Extra supplement for single accommodation 189 USD/person
  • Extra supplement for double accommodation (big-size bed) 89 euro/person


Price packagePrice per person
Group Tour

per person, based on two people sharing a twin room

Book now


Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.

Sights included in program

Siberia : Altai
Altai is one of Siberia’s most valuable areas of historical and cultural heritage: over 5,000 monuments of archeology, architecture, history and culture are there.  Altai Republic contains the “Golden Mountains of Altai” UNESCO World Heritage Site, three federal protected areas, 120+ natural monuments, and a growing number of regional nature parks and reserves. Remote and wild river valleys, wind-blown steppe, and snow-cap... Read more
Ak-Kurum is translated as “white scree” is on the right bank of Chulyshman River, a few hours away from confluence to Teletskoe Lake. Kurume is usually called a clusters of large boulders and rubble solid rock, formed as a result of weathering on slopes and at feet. A characteristic feature of Kurume is its slow moving down the slope.   Read more
The Altai State Museum of Local Lore is one of the oldest museums in Siberia. It was founded in 1823 to the 100th anniversary of mining production in the Altai on the initiative of the head of the Kolyvan-Voskresensky District and the Tomsk Civil Governor P.K. Frolova (1775-1839) with the direct participation of the physician and researcher Altai FV. Gebler (1782-1850). It was they who initiated the formation of the museum's historical, technical... Read more
Altai : Barnaul
Barnaul is a city and the administrative center of Altai Krai, Russia, located at the confluence of the Barnaulka and Ob Rivers in the West Siberian Plain. Read more
Altai : Bijsk
A small and cozy city Bijsk is located in the south-eastern part of the Altai Territory near the beautiful place where Biya merges with Katun. It is divided into two parts - right-bank and left-bank, which are connected with each other by an old and in many ways unique bridge, which there is not much left in the country. Bijsk is the beginning of the famous Chui tract, which runs through the whole Altai to the border with Mongolia. Read more
Chemal is a village, the administrative center of Chemalsky district of the Altai Republic. The village was founded in 1885. Through the village passes Chemal tract. Read more
The Chike-Taman Pass is on the Chuyskiy Trakt. The altitude of the pass is 1460 meters, but due to its steepness its seems to be considerably higher. For those who drive through this pass for the first time it is really breathtaking, with all its steep rises, sharply winding roads, deep cliffs on both sides and astonishing mountain views! Photos do not convey even a hundredth part of your feeling when you move along the mountain serpentine. In th... Read more
Chulyshman is a river in the east of the Altai Republic. It originates from the high mountain lake Djulukul and flows into the southern extremity of the Teletskoye Lake. The valley of the Chulyshman River is extremely picturesque, but at the same time, it is one of the most difficult and uninhabited areas of the Altai. Read more
River Chulyshman Valley - The Wind Land The valley of the Chulyshman river is represented by a big canyon with more than 130 km length. There are only two ways to reach it – the first is aquatically through Teletsky Lake and the second is the overland way by a car through Katu-Jaryk pass.  The cleanest Chulyshman river begins at the glacial lake Dzhulukulja, on the way incorporating with smaller rivers and streams from numerous falls... Read more
Altai : Chuya River
River Chuya originates in the high swampy area on western slopes of ridge Chikhachev and northern slopes of ridge Saylyugem, combining into a single channel in Chuya steppe. Length of the Chuya is more than 280 km and river basin is at least 11 000 km2. Transparent river flows out Chui steppe and confluences left tributary a dull white Chaganuzun. The water turns to unusual leaden color and seems thick. River Aktru and River Maashei, also origina... Read more
Chuisky tract bears the proud title of the most beautiful Russian route, this is the main federal road of Altai. She winds along the valleys of seven rivers, between ten mountain ridges, crosses high-altitude steppes and passes. Read more
Karakol Nature Park Uch-Enmek is a specially protected area in the Ongudai district. It was established in 2001 by a decree of the Government of the Altai Republic. In the park there are a lot of cultural and historical monuments of different times and places sacred for Altai people. In 2011, the park expanded - it was joined earlier by the autonomous park "Argut", located 90 km south of the regional center Onguday. Read more
This rare in its origin and amazingly beautiful lake is located on the picturesque expanses of Altai Krai – in Ulagansky district, 7 km from the village Aktash. This is a Geyser lake, which is called Blue and Silver. The depth of the lake is about two meters, its diameter – 25-30 meters. Read more
Gorno-Altaisk or Gorno-Altaysk is a city located in the south of Western Siberia, the capital of the Altay Republic, Russia. It is situated in the northwestern part of the republic, about 3,640 km from Moscow. The population of Gorno-Altaisk is about 62,300 (2015), the area - 95.5 sq. km. Read more
Karakol valley is located in Onguday district of Altai Republic (618 km on Chuysky tract). Since 2001 is a reserved area and a part of the national park Uch-Enmek. In the park there is a sacred mountain Uch-Enmek. Translated from the Altai "uch" means "three" and "enmek" - the top of the mountain. Uch-Enmek has three peaks, the highest of which reaches a height of 2821 m. According to beliefs of the Altai people ordinary people c... Read more
Katu-Yaryk means “Frasture in rock, cramped gorge” in Altai. Katu-Yaryk pass was built in Oct 1989 by three buldozer drivers Akradii Abramovich, his son Anatolii and nephew Viktor Uhanov. The pass and road Balyktuyul – Balykcha was completed after 2 years by initiation “Soviet Altai» state farm director Sanaa Arsentii Viktorovich. Locals used boats and horse trails to get south Teletskoe and Chulyshman Valley before... Read more
Old Hydro power station in Chemal, Altai,Siberia, Russia. A popular tourist plac Read more
Altai : Katun River
Katun is the main river at Altay and is famous for great rafting routes. Also, the first 50 km after Gorno-Altaysk along Katun river is the area with very good infrastructure and can be recommended to those, who have only a few days and want to get a glimpse of what Altay is like. Read more
Korbu is the largest waterfall in the waters of Lake Teletskoye and the most famous tourist attraction of the lake. Except the waterfall Korbu, the top three most visited places during the excursions on the lake are the waterfall Kishte and Stone Bay. Read more
Manzherok Lake (Manzherok, South Manurek) is a lake on the terrace of the right bank of the Katun, at an altitude of 423 meters above sea level. The length of the lake is 1112 m, the maximum width is 400 m, the depth is 2.5-2.8 m, the area is 37.6 ha. Read more
Lake Teletskoye or Altyn-Köl, which means “Golden Lake” is a beautiful, large and very deep (up to 325 meters) lake in the Altai mountains. The size of the lake is 78 km by 5 km and is surrounded by two mountain ridges, named Korbu and Al-Tyntu, at this location the Altai mountains and the Western Sayans come together. Its surface area is 233 sq. km,  but because it is quite deep (325 m), the lake has up to 40 km³ of f... Read more
Arzhan-Suu Spring (which means “mineral water” in Altai language) is a national nature monument. The water is saturated in silver, copper and other mineral impurities, hence its beneficial effect on the metabolic process of the body. The water from the spring contains a higher quantity of iron than in Esentuky and Borzhomi springs. In the area around the spring the climate is rather mild. The average temperature in January is -13°... Read more
In Barnaul there is the only pharmacy museum beyond the Urals, the "Mountain pharmacy" - a unique monument of history and architecture of the 18th century, the first brick building of Barnaul, which appeared in the Altai mountainous district even in the days of the mining factories Akinfiya Demidova. "Mountain pharmacy" was the first pharmacy in the Altai and one of the first in Siberia. Read more
This well-put-together museum offers a good introduction to Altai culture with a range of ethnographic exhibits, wildlife displays and local art and artefacts, including a room dedicated to the Altai landscape painter Grigory Choros-Gurkin. It also houses a stuffed collection of the local wildlife including a snow leopard and an interesting display on prehistoric life in the region (complete with mannequins living in the most sterile looking cave... Read more
Road Aktas Aktas-Ust-Ulagan lied in 15 km from Aktash Village crosses Chibitka River and runs between high cliffs with pronounced reddish hue. This place is called «Red Gate» one of the natural monuments of Altai. Read more
50 km from Chemal there is the narrowest and deepest place of Katun with suspended road bridge. The bridge overlooks the rapids Teldykpen, popular with water tourists. Read more
In a very picturesque place, on Patmos Island of Katun river, nearby Chemal village there is a temple. The island itself was consecrated by bishop Parphentsiy in 1855. Now it is a home to a convent. The place is extremely popular among the tourists and travelers. The way to the island is a narrow suspension bridge, just 10-15 meters above the roaring Katun and such a crossing gives a real thrill. The thrill gets even greater when you notice a ca... Read more
Kurkure is a small river, a tributary of the Chulyshman. It flows in a narrow gorge, forming numerous waterfalls. The last one is 30 meter in height Kurkure located in a few kilometers upstream from Katu-Yaryk Pass on the right bank of Chulyshman River. Read more
US$ 2175
per person, based on 2-people group
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Price for persons:

Our flexible payment options allow you to pay 20% of a deposit first and the remaining 80% in 14 days prior to your tour date - payment can be done both online or over the phone. This gives you the peace of mind knowing your spaces are booked on the tours and that you do not miss out on making the most of your time in Russia.

Also you get the best, top-rated and most experienced and knowledgeable hand-picked tour guide appointed on a priority basis.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the best tour guides only. Multilingual and well travelled, each possesses deep insight into the diverse attractions and cultural patterns throughout the region. With us guides undergo a rigorous selection process, achieving outstanding knowledge of local culture and language. Rest assured that the best tour guides only will be working on the tours to give you excellent opportunity to explore the best of the sights during both short and long-term stay in Russia.

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Call us now

+1 (888) 845-8877