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Charyn National park, Charyn canyon, Almaty region, Kazakhstan.


Photo tour to Charyn National Park.

The Charyn Canyon is an amazing place, which tourists, one and all, call the “second Grand Canyon”. This monument of nature gives its North American counterpart only in size, more than compensating for their distinctive beauty.

The Charyn Canyon is a unique natural monument located two hundred kilometers east of the “Southern Capital” of Kazakhstan - the city of Almaty. This landmark is part of the Charyn National Park, founded on February 23, 2004.

The total length of the Charyn canyon is about 150 kilometers, and the height of its walls is from 150 to 300 m. The age of this ancient monument of nature is more than twelve million years. Due to the changeable landscape of the canyon, the local area is home to a huge number of biological forms: more than 1,500 plant species, 100 bird species, 62 mammal species. Many representatives of local flora and fauna are listed in the Kazakhstan Red Book.
Did you know? Experienced travelers recommend visiting the Charyn Canyon on weekdays, when there are few tourists here and you can fully enjoy the peace and grandeur of nature.

Valley of castles in Charyn Canyon.

Definitely the best attraction in the Charyn canyon - the Valley of Castles. This place with a length of just over 2 kilometers and a width of only 20–80 meters in recent years has become a real “Mecca” for tourists in Kazakhstan.

The beauty of the Valley of castles, on both sides of which towering rocks in the form of ancient temples and palaces, with colonnades, cornices, galleries and other architectural forms, is completely created by nature. In ancient times, there was a bay of a huge sea, located from Lake Alakol to the Caspian Sea, and later the old channel of the Charyn River, which influenced the structure of the canyon walls - clay-pressed stones that easily change shape under the influence of wind and water.
Did you know? It is precisely the Valley of Castles that passes most of the tourist route to the sights of the Charyn National Natural Park.

Ash Grove in Charyn National Park.

One of the main attractions of the Charyn canyon and the subject of national pride of the Kazakhs. The total length of the grove is about 20 kilometers, and the age of some of its trees reaches 700 years. The height of Sogdian ash trees is about 10 meters, moreover, the thickness of the trunks of individual specimens can reach ten "girths" in diameter.
The groves of the Sogdian ash tree, which survived the era of the ice age, have survived today in only two places on the planet - North America and the gorge of the Charyn river. Since 1964, this landmark has been declared a natural monument and is under the auspices of UNESCO.

Turang Grove in Charyn National Park.

Among the monuments of nature of the Charyn canyon of great interest for tourists is the grove of the Asian poplar (turang grove) preserved here.
The Asiatic poplar is unusually stable and suitable for breeding on sandy and saline soils, and its groves play the role of refuge in the hours of summer heat and in case of severe drought. From ancient times, these trees were considered sacred by the Kazakhs, and their cutting was a great sin.
Turanga using a powerful root system, immersed in the ground to a depth of fifty meters, can pump water from under the sand and is able to survive in the harshest conditions. This is what contributed to its popularity in Kazakhstan.

Charyn River in Charyn rserve.

Large water flow on the territory of the Almaty region in Kazakhstan. This river, originating on the southern slopes of the Ketmen mountain range, has a huge number of water tributaries, so that in the middle course it becomes very turbulent and full-flowing. For thousands of years, the turbulent waters of the Charyn River have created along its course several unique canyons: Aktogai, Toraigyr, Sartogai and, of course, Charynsky.
The Charyn River is of great importance in the economic activity of Kazakhstan. Its waters are used for irrigation and timber rafting, and also the Moinak HPP is located on it. In addition, this object plays a large role in the tourism infrastructure, as it is great for rafting, fishing and hunting.

Entertainment in the Charyn canyon.

In the Charyn canyon, the Eco Park recreation park is open, where services and entertainment are available for all tastes:
fishing on the Charyn river;
riding a quad bike;
off-road safari;
mini zoo;
rental of sports equipment;
horseback excursion through the Charyn canyon;
traditional Sakh bath;
ethnic yurts and cafes national cuisine.
In addition to entertainment in the Eco Park, on the way to the Charyn Canyon from Almaty, you should visit the museum dedicated to the traditions of national hunting, the Berkutchi, in which you will see live golden eagles and be able to take pictures with them as a souvenir.

Where is the Charyn canyon and how to get to Charyn canyon from Almaty.

Charyn canyon is located in Kazakhstan on the spurs of the Tien Shan mountain range. This monument of nature is located approximately 200 kilometers from Almaty, towards the border with China.
How to get there There are several options for how best to get to the Charyn canyon from Almaty:

By car. To the canyon is a very good asphalt road, so you can get here on a personal or rented car in Almaty in 3 - 3.5 hours. Trip itinerary:
Drive along the Kuldja highway for about 110 km.
Next, near the village Shelek, turn right.
After about 65 km you will see a fork, turn right on it to the Charyn canyon.
Get to the village of Kokpek and find the left turn, next to which there should be an info-board with the inscription “Charyn Canyon”.

Important! Be careful to drive into the territory of the canyon itself is only on off-road vehicles. Normal car will be difficult to overcome the reverse lift!
By minibus. In Almaty, a group of 7 - 14 tourists can use the services of a minibus with a driver for a comfortable trip to the Charyn canyon. The rental price will be approximately 30,000 tenge.
On the tourist bus. If you want to visit the Charyn canyon without a car and a small group, then the most economical option for you would be to use a tourist bus. Many of the travel agencies in Almaty organize trips to this attraction, and their cost varies depending on the services.
Extreme option. You can get to the Charyn canyon from Almaty on foot or by bicycle. But count your strength, as the path length is approximately 200 km. Another way of extreme travel is by hitchhiking. On weekends, quite a lot of tourists drive to the Charyn canyon in private cars.

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