Charyn Canyon Day Tour

Duration: 1 day

Listen to the sound of silence, smell the scent of sage, and feel yourself tiny little thing in the vastness of the Great Kazakh Steppes. Open the book of time and discover the history of the Earth in our Charyn Canyon Day Tour from Almaty. With its proximity to the city, it makes for an ideal destination for a full one-day trip. Take in unforgettable views of classic Kazakh southeastern landscapes with your knowledgeable guide and highly experienced driver. They will share with you stories about vibrant Kazakh culture and the epic historical legacy of nomads barely known to the rest of the world.

In Dostar Trips we treat each our guest as a friend whom we just didn’t meet yet (“dostar” means friends from Kazakh). If you take a trip with us – you can rely on our friendly support during all your stay, we will always be happy to help you with anything you wish – advise the best place to eat, buy a train ticket, meet locals. Check out what our previous guests are saying about us on TripAdvisor. Let’s be friends!  


  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel or Airbnb flat;
  • Lunch is included (please message us if you prefer vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options);
  • Friendly English-speaking guide and experienced driver;
  • Three amazing locations during a one-day trip to Charyn Canyon: Valley of Castles, Moon Canyon, and Bartogay Lake;
  • A full intensive day of sightseeing, hiking, and enjoying great vistas.


We will pick you up right from your hotel, you’ll be met by our friendly English-speaking guide and super-experienced driver. Let’s set off from Almaty and follow the New Silk Road of our days – Khorgos-Almaty highway. On the way to the canyon, we will talk about the country, culture, people, and the history of Kazakhstan. Driving time of the Charyn Canyon day tour from Almaty is around 2.5 hours with stops on the way.

During our day tour, you will observe the striking diversity of landscapes: from green agricultural fields of nearby villages sown with fruits and vegetables suddenly being swapped for the endless ascetic steppes stretching to the edge of the horizon with a rare bunch of sheep leading by a lonely herder.

On the way, we will have a stop at the little rustic Uighur village with the lively and colorful market and smell of grilled meat and tandyr samsa (meat-filled savory pastry baked at the special tandyr oven)! Be ready for the new gastronomical experiences! Let’s follow the words of legendary Anthony Bourdain: “Your body is not a temple – it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”   

Today you will not only try new food but also be awestruck by a bewitching landscape of mysterious Bartogay lake and impressive Charyn Canyon. We will have gentle descent at the Valley of Castles and have a picnic at the shore of the Charyn river that carved the canyon 12 million years ago, and then ascend up back to the surface with a short scramble up at the end. So please make sure to wear comfortable shoes with a good outsole. We will also visit Charyn Canyon’s most secluded part –  Moon Canyon with Pliocene clays (5 million years – can you imagine it?! So sick!). No crowds (nobody at all actually), just you and this endless compelling evidence of millions of years of deposition that make you think how much tiny little thing as humans we are!

The adventure comes to an end today as we drive you back to your hotel in time for a long-awaited relaxation time.

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What is included:

  • Transportation

  • Lunch-box (please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions)

  • Tour-guide

  • Water 

  • All fees & tickets

What to take:

  • Comfortable shoes

  • Hat

  • Sunscreen

Photography from Slawomir Adamczak, Pawel Plocienniczak & Stephen Bridger

Book your trip to Kazakhstan with confidence: no deposits, total flexibility & full refund guarantee.

Prices for the Charyn Canyon Day Tour from Almaty, USD:

Number of people in a group
Price per person, USD











Map of Zhetisu region