Example Itinerary

Kamchatka: Russia's Ring of Fire

Duration
13 days / 12 nights
Price Per Person
From $34,700
Interests
Off the Grid, Trekking, Open Spaces
Destinations
Siberia & Russian Far East

Discover Russia's Ring of Fire on a two-week Kamchatka adventure, traversing the peninsula's volcanic peaks and steaming geysers both on foot and via helicopter. Fly into one of the most remote regions on the planet to trek calderas, bathe in thermal waters and encounter families of brown bears splashing in the rivers, catching sockeye salmon. You'll start with excursions from Paratunka, stop overnight in a guest house on the banks of the Kamchatka River, camp under the stars on the slopes of the Tolbachik volcano, then end back in Petropavlovsk with a cruise around Avacha Bay. 

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

  • Trekking: Circumnavigate the mountain cirque of Mount Vachkazhets, hike the Valley of the Geysers, ascend the Avachinsky Volcano and climb to the crater rim of Plosky Tolbachik. 
  • Helicopter Rides: View Kamchatka's natural wonders from above with flights over dramatic mountain ranges, reaching remote locations such as the Uzon Caldera, Kurilskoye Lake and the Khodutka River, home to thermal waters perfect for bathing.
  • Wildlife: Get close to Kamchatka's brown bears as they catch migrating salmon around Kurilskoye Lake and feast on berries in the surrounding meadows.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Paratunka

You'll arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the administrative and cultural capital of the remote Kamchatka region of Russia. This is the second-largest city in the world that is unreachable by road, so luckily you’ll be flying in. Transfer to your hotel with a scenic drive that features views of snowcapped mountains and volcanoes. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, have dinner and rest at the hotel, ready to start your outdoor adventures in the morning.

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Paratunka

After breakfast, you'll drive around 50 miles to the Mount Vachkazhets mountain mass; an extinct volcanic region ideal for trekking. During ancient times, the mount's powerful and explosive eruptions broke the craters of the volcano, creating huge cirques. You'll trek to a cirque as well as Tahkoloch Lake, which lies at the base of Vachkazhets and is fed by melting glaciers, plus nearby waterfalls. Take picnic lunch en route against a breathtaking mountain backdrop.

Paratunka

Day 3

Map

Paratunka

Today, you'll discover picturesque Kamchatka from above, taking a Mi-8 helicopter excursion to the Valley of Geysers and the Uzon Caldera. Sweeping over tundra, lakes, rivers and mountain-volcano ranges, you'll touch down in Kronotsky Nature Reserve to hike the Valley of the Geysers, one of the Seven Wonders of Russia and one of the largest geyser fields in the world. Explore thermal hot springs, active geysers, bubbling mudpots and other volcanic features, then ascend to the skies again to the Uzon Caldera. This six-mile-wide caldron has a flat bottom and more volcanic manifestations to explore, such as mudpots, acid lakes, brightly-colored algae, hot springs and fumaroles shooting flows of steam. 

Day 4

Map

Paratunka

Climbing aboard an all-terrain vehicle, you'll venture out to Avachinsky Volcano this morning; a rocky drive that takes around two hours. Break for lunch, then start your climb of Avachinsky, one of the most active volcanoes in the region, which features craters of hardened lava and oozing smoke. The trek aims for the Camel Mountains along a relatively easy four-mile route with 1,000 feet of elevation. 

Day 5

Map

Paratunka

Another exciting day of helicopter excursions awaits you today, as this time you head for Kurilskoye Lake. This is one of the best places to see Kamchatka's bears catching salmon, as the area boasts the highest population of brown bears and the largest sockeye salmon spawning location on the peninsula. Take a motor boat and then it's a short walk to reach a prime bear-viewing spot near the mouths of the many rivers that drain the lake. Next, walk to scenic meadows where brown bears can often be found feasting on berries.

Later in the afternoon, take the return Mi-8 journey with a detour via a dip in the thermal waters of the Khodutka River - the perfect tonic after four days of hiking activities. The largest natural hot springs in Kamchatka, the waters here bubble out of a section of tundra just under the Khodutka Volcano. As the water winds along a the stream, it cools - the further along you are, the cooler the temperatures are for your swim.

Paratunka

Day 6

Map

Kozyrevsk

Leave Paratunka behind as you travel to the old Cossack settlement of Milkovo. Here, lunch will be prepared at a local restaurant, then you'll stroll around the village to get a feel for rural life. Continuing north of Milkovo you'll reach dense forests and the banks of the Kamchatka River, overnighting in a local guest house in Kozyrevsk, a tiny picturesque town in the Kamchatka River Valley. (Note that today requires 8-10 hours of driving, depending on road conditions, which can be rough.)

Hotel Options

Day 7

Map

Tolbachik

Heading even further north and into central Kamchatka, you'll drive for five to six hours through coniferous foest and volcanic desert to reach the slopes of the Tolbachik volcano complex, where you'll be camping for the next three nights. The complex is made up of Plosky Tolbachik (active), a flat-topped shield volcano, and Ostry Tolbachik (dormant), a peaked stratovolcano.

Hotel Options
Tolbachik

Day 8

Map

Tolbachik

Today, you'll ascend 3,085 meters up the Plosky Tolbachik Volcano. Starting in the early hours by crossing a congealed lava flow, the climb to the crater rim is relatively easy, but it still takes around four or five hours to get to the top, then the same to return to base camp. Once at the crater rim, you'll see you’ll see a caldera 1.8 miles in diameter, filled with ice, plus impressive panoramas of surrounding volcanoes, mountain ranges and the Kamchatka River Valley, as well as groups of old cinder cones and new cones formed by the Great Fissure Eruption of 1975-76.

Day 9

Map

Tolbachik

Learn more about the Great Fissure Eruption today, which featured southern and northern ruptures that lasted for 18 months. Vegetation was destroyed, while lakes and streams were covered in ash. Driving an hour to the site of the northern rupture, you'll see a chain of three cinder cones, elongated in a northeasterly direction, with lava flows and an ash-and-lava cover of nearly four square miles. The relatively flat slopes of the cones are covered with ash-slag material and on the surface there are volcanic bombs of various shapes and sizes. Here, you will be able to explore the consequences of the eruption: lava flows, lava caves and the “dead forest.”

Day 10

Map

Esso

Driving west from Tolbachik, your next destination is Esso, known as the "Switzerland of Kamchatka" due to its snow-capped mountains and evergreens. The town of Esso has only around 2,600 inhabitants, many of which are native peoples such as the Evens and the Koryaks. The atmosphere is charming and picturesque, featuring small wooden houses with well-kept gardens. Here, enjoy a music performance by members of one of Kamchatka's indigenous groups. A local association takes care to pass on the traditional practices, songs and dances to children, so the heritage of Kamchatka's ethnic groups will not be lost. To learn more about the region's history and culture, pay a visit to the Bystrinsky District Ethnographic Museum. 

Optional: There is also an opportunity for a horseback riding excursion on this day.

Hotel Options

Day 11

Map

Petropavlovsk

Today is a long driving day (8-10 hours), as you return to Petropavlovsk. However, the drive is very scenic, offering gorgeous mountains views that make the long journey more bearable.

Hotel Options
Petropavlovsk

Day 12

Map

Petropavlovsk

Today, take a cruise around Avacha Bay, one of the largest bays in the world. From the ocean, you'll be able to see the dramatic Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka coastline, as well as colonies of marine birds such as puffins, gulls, ducks and cormorants. There's also a great view of the magnificent Avachinsky Volcano, which you hiked on Day 4. 

Upon returning to land, you'll drive to the Pacific coast and walk along the black sand beach. If you wish, stop by a local market to see the wide array of fresh salmon, roe and Kamchatka crab for sale - these also make for a scrumptious picnic dinner.

Day 13

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Departure

Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport, ready for your onward flight and next destination.

Terms & Conditions

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, and meals as per program. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

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.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, 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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