Example Itinerary

Classic Kazakhstan

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Price Per Person
Destinations
Kazakhstan

This 8-day journey through Kazakhstan tells a tale of two cities, Almaty and Astana. One was the capital during Soviet times, the other became the capital post-Independence. Almaty is a cosmopolitan city with wide tree-lined boulevards and towering mountain backdrop. Astana is a newly constructed glass and steel mass of futuristic structures arising from the empty flat steppes, a symbolic distancing from its Soviet past. Together these two cities showcase the history and culture of of the country. Combined with day-trips to some of the country’s most beautiful natural sights, private touring, and stays at luxurious hotels, this classic journey will leave you with lasting memories of Kazakstan.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Flashiest Capital City: Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana until 2019, shoots up from the plain, almost barren, landscape with shiny futuristic structures. A shopping mall that looks like the world’s largest tent, a glowing blue pyramid opera house, and a giant gilded lollipop-esque tower are just a few landmarks of this quirky capital.
  • Charyn Canyon: Explore one of the country's crown-jewel natural attractions stretching 95-miles along the Charyn River.
  • Turgen Gorge: Though Turgen Gorge is famous for its waterfalls, its lush and diverse terrains also makes it an outdoor haven for hiking, skiing, mountain-biking, and exploring.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Almaty

Arrive in Almaty, Kazakhstan's main transport hub in the south. Almaty was formerly the capital when Kazakhstan was a part of the USSR up until independence in 1997. Today it is still the country's major commercial and cultural center, as well as its most populous and most cosmopolitan city. Over the next few days, Almaty will be your base as you explore the stunning surrounding countryside. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel. After freshening up, step out to get familiar with this historic city. The ancient settlement of Almaty was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century and a modern city was raised in its place by the Russians in 1854. Learn the details about the country's beginnings leading up to its independence with visits to the Central Historical Museum, Republic Square, and Monument of Independence.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: With the soaring peaks of the Ile-Alatau mountains to the south and the city of Almaty laid out to the north, the Ritz Carlton lies between wild nature and urban action.

Services: Every care is taken to ensure guests are satisfied at every turn, from airport limousine services to 24-hour concierge on hand at all times.

History: This ultra-chic, contemporary hotel soars above the ancient city of Almaty, juxtaposing the historic with modern-day Kazakhstan.

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Ritz-Carlton Almaty Preferred Hotel
About

The InterContinental in Almaty is a luxury hotel sitting opposite the famous Presidential Palace in Republic Square. It’s the perfect location to see this popular attraction, as well as the city’s many others in this central area.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 2

Almaty

This morning, visit Issyk Lake, one of the country's most beautifully surreal sites. The lake is fed by the Issyk River and is located a two hour drive from Almaty. Walk up to view points and admire the alpine scene of the lake's brilliant teal hue and surrounding forested, snow-capped mountains. Return to Almaty for lunch and more city touring. Its wide tree-lined streets are filled with green parks, museums, shops, markets, and Central Asia's best selection of restaurants and cafes. Stop by the popular Green Bazaar, Panfilovtzev, Zenkob Cathedral, and Central Mosque. Discover the local products at Green Bazaar which includes breads, cheese, and horse meat. Sample local favorites such as aromatic pilaf and kebabs. Head out to the towering mountainscape surrounding the city, home to the world's highest altitude ice rink. Boasting pure glacial water, mild valley climate and natural beauty, Medeo Ice Rink is popular amongst locals and international sportsmen who come to enjoy ice skating, ice hockey, and figure skating.

Almaty
Almaty

Day 3

Almaty

Rise early today for a long day out at Charyn Canyon, one of the country's crown-jewel natural attractions. Stretching 95-miles along the Charyn River, red sandstone was sculpted by wind, water, and sand to form Charyn Canyon. Hike along the various trails in and around the canyon and observe its fantastical shapes and varying in shades from deep orange to light brown. Return to your hotel in the evening.

Day 4

Almaty

Today's adventure takes you to Turgen Gorge, a densely forested alpine valley about 45 miles east of the city. The valley offers a variety of landscapes including alpine meadows, old-growth forest, glaciers, and high peaks - an outdoor enthusiast's wonderland. Mountain and forest trails of varying difficulty and terrain lend themselves to hiking, biking, and horse riding. Along the way, discover ancient drawings along Asy River and the many waterfalls throughout the park. White water rafting, skiing, and multi-day trekking is also available for the more adventurous. Also in the area is a trout farm, ostrich farm, and historical and ethnographic open-air museum.

Almaty
Almaty

Day 5

Astana

Travel onward by flight to the capital, Astana. A gleaming city of metal and glass that rises up from the semi-arid Kazakh steppes, vast sums of the country's oil profits went into the drastic expansion and reconstruction of Astana after it was made the capital following the country's independence. This afternoon, discover some of the city's interesting architecture designed by top international architects. Begin at the National Museum of Kazakhstan, a blue glass and white marble behemoth that covers the country's history and culture from ancient to modern times, followed by the white marbled Hazrat Sultan Mosque. Next you will gaze upon the Sir Norman Foster designed glass pyramid-shaped Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Finally, you’ll visit the Astana Opera house which is constructed of white marble with gold trimming and Corinthian pillars.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Exceptional Culinary Establishments: The hotel’s three restaurants – MÖKKI, Selfie Restaurant, and ӨZEN – are among the vanguard when it comes to the fine dining landscape of Astana. Guests may enjoy sampling the traditional cuisine of Kazakhstan or branch out and test their palate on innovative courses.

A History of Excellence: The name “Ritz-Carlton” is synonymous with class and luxury in the hospitality industry – and with good reason, as evident in the beautiful décor and tasteful, spacious layouts of Ritz-Carlton Astana accommodations.

Ballroom Extravagance: The Ritz-Carlton Astana’s jaw-dropping 10,764-square-foot ballroom is an exquisite setting of glittering crystal chandeliers, elegant lighting, and sophisticated arrangement.

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Ritz-Carlton Astana Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Outstanding Service: Experienced, thoughtful butlers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that guests want for nothing.

Feature-Rich Accommodations: Heated floors, plush bathrobes, a wireless Geneva Model sound system, and a 27” AquaVision in-bathroom television are a few St. Regis room standards.

Prime Location: Close to some of the most breathtaking natural landmarks and treasures, such as the Baiterek Monument and the Hazret Sultan Mosque.

Events and Traditions: Enjoy and choose from numerous classic hotel rituals and experiences such as afternoon tea, the delicious, zesty St. Regis Bloody Mary, and champagne sabering.

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St. Regis Astana Preferred Hotel

Day 6

Astana

Take in more of Astana's remarkable futuristic architecture today. The Baiterek Tower stands prominently in the middle of the city, symbolizing the legend of a golden egg on top of a tree of life with artistic flourish. The unmissable huge transparent tent is Khan-Shatyr Mall, an entertainment complex and another work of Norman Foster's. The huge structure houses a park, a boating river, a mini golf course, shopping center, and an indoor beach resort, and uses sophisticated heating and cooling systems to shield against extreme temperatures. Next you’ll visit the Kazakhstan Pavilion and Science Museum, also known as Nur Alem. Once the iconic sphere at the center of Expo 2017 Astana, it remains the largest spherical building in the world with a diameter of 80 meters and height of 100 meters. Finally you’ll visit the Grand Mosque of Astana, a relatively new construction completed in 2022, it is the largest mosque in Central Asia, and the second largest mosque outside the Middle East.

Astana
Astana

Day 7

Astana

Spend today at Lake Borovoe and Burabay National Park, located north of Astana. Enjoy the endless pastoral views of the steppes and blue skies during the drive. Lake Borovoe is a large deep blue lake surrounded by thick pine forest. Take a walk or bike ride around the lake and explore the park. The lake has several small bays and a few easily scalable peaks which offer vantage points to view the lake and plains, a remarkable panorama of flat surface stretching in all directions.

Day 8

Departure

Enjoy breakfast and spend the morning at leisure until your private transfer to the airport for your flight onward.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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