Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon Almaty

The amazing and unique nature of Kazakhstan gives the gold of fields and endless plains, the velvet of mountain peaks, the expanse of forests and steppes.

But the Charyn Canyon remains the most mysterious, surreal and favorite place for travelers arriving in Southern Kazakhstan.

It has attracted attention for centuries by the strangeness of its outlines, the majesty of rocks and unimaginable blocks of sand. And, of course, the mystical stories that have overgrown this place have contributed to the popularity of another miracle of Nature.


There are unique Sharyn canyons at a distance of 200 kilometers from Almaty. So you can get here by your own car or use intercity buses. For travelers who are used to sightseeing as part of an organized group, there is an opportunity to take part in a weekend tour.


It is best to go to the Almaty canyon itself by SUV to see all the beauty, since some parts of it are difficult to access for buses and passenger cars due to the lack of roads. The tour takes 3-4 hours. This is quite enough to enjoy the majestic spectacle of a place that seems to have been transferred from the land of giants.

Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan is a whole complex composed of sedimentary rocks. Its length is over 150 km, and the height of the formidable rocks reaches 300 meters.

Once upon a time, this area was flooded by the huge Ili Lake, but over time the water dried up, leaving behind an unusual and majestic landscape.

To date, only a small Charyn River has remained from the ancient lake, which gave the name to the grandiose natural creation. Originating on the Ketmen Ridge, it connects with the Ili River, which, flowing through Kazakhstan, carries its waters further to China. Charyn is considered to be a rather stormy river, capable of breaking the resistance of the most experienced swimmer. It is not recommended for beginners to engage in rafting, experienced rafters call the Charyn a dangerous river, the complete passage is estimated at the sixth highest category of difficulty.

It is believed that the history of the canyon dates back 12 million years. And the territory itself is rightfully considered the closest relative of the world-famous American Grand Canyon.

Currently, the Charyn Canyon has been transferred under the management of the Charyn State National Park and has the status of a natural institution of republican significance. Tourists from all over the world come here every year, enjoying the grandiose view and magical overflows of colors.

The Charyn Canyon, photos of which can be viewed on the Internet or on the websites of travel companies, has become a real monument of Nature.

Valley of Castles

The canyon is beautiful in itself throughout. But the Valley of Castles deserved the greatest love of tourists.

The amazing chain of stone slopes has such a bizarre shape that it most resembles an ancient city with real castles.

The length of the magical "structure" is about 2 kilometers, the valley itself has several viewing platforms from where you can enjoy the magical view and take photos.

The valley acquires a special charm at sunset, when the entire territory is flooded with red rays. For romantics, the ideal time to visit will be the night with its incredible stars.

The natural world of the Charyn Canyon

The diversity of flora and fauna of the Charyn Canyon is amazing. Here you can meet more than 60 species of mammals, more than 100 species of birds and about 25 species of reptiles.

Almost one and a half thousand plants fill any more or less suitable cleft. At the same time, some of the plants are listed in the Red Book and grow exclusively on this territory. However, many animals remained to live only in this area under state protection.

Another natural monument is the famous ash grove, which occupies 5 hectares. Scientists are sure that the Sogdian ash, adapted to the soil and climate of Sharyn Canyon, was inherited by people from the times before the ice Age.

Visit time

The ideal time to enjoy the natural wonders is the period from late spring to mid-autumn.

In summer, the temperature can rise to 35 degrees, so at this time desperate heat lovers come here, in winter the thermometer can drop below 0, stopping at 5-6 degrees.

For tourists, there is an eco-hotel near the river, where you can live in comfortable bungalows or guest yurts.

Seekers of a romantic mood or real tourists with camping pots and guitars can pitch a tent anywhere.


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