Mysteries of Turgen

Horseback Tour

Duration: 3 days
Season: May – October
Mountain Range: Ile Alatau

About tour:

Feel yourself like a real nomad, dive into the world of Kazakh culture and the unique natural landscape of the Ile Alatau mountains with all their brightest contrasts. A magical adventure in the Turgen Gorge will acquaint you with the most amazing places of the region, such as Don Zhailau and the Assy Plateau. Here the life of nomadic families takes its course in no rush. You will see their yurts, the largest astronomical observatory with its dome resembling an Edelweiss flower, rivers flowing into many branches along wide valleys, the Oi-Karagai area. There are chances to find traces of wild animals, visit a mountain lake with massive glaciers reflecting in its mirror surface, feel the freshness and vibrations of the Kairak waterfall water streams, see unique moss glaciers growing in the permafrost points. And all this will be accompanied by the rhythm of a walking horse, taking you higher and farther, digging into the world of fabulous impressions.


– feel yourself like a real nomad walking on the horseback through the green pastures

– dive into the world of unique natural landscape of the Ile Alatau mountains 

– acquaintance with the most amazing corners of Turgen Gorge 

– passing the astronomical observatory with its dome resembling an Edelweiss flower

– chances to find traces of wild animals in the area of  Oi-Karagai

– feel the freshness and vibrations of the Kairak waterfall 

– visiting a mountain lake with massive glaciers reflecting in its mirror surface


450$ per person for the group of 2-4


4 people


Ile Alatau


May – October

Highest point:

2800 m.a.s.l.


3 days

Ability level:

intermediate, advanced/expert

Start point:



Almaty – Batan Village – Assy Plateau – Don Zhailyau Plateau – Oi-Karagai Area – Mountain Lake – Kairak Waterfall – Batan Village – Almaty

Day by day Schedule:

Day 1

Almaty – Batan – Assy – Ushbulak

– 06.30 – meeting with the guide in Almaty, transfer to the Batan Village, where Tumar ethno village is located (75 km).

– 08.00 – acquaintance with the staff of the ethno village, homemade breakfast, preparation for the route, distribution of the equipment, safety instructions, riding techniques over rough terrain and the algorithm of movement along the route.

– 10.00 – start of movement along the route, horseback riding to the Assy Plateau, stop near the observatory.

– 13.00 – riding to the lunch place, rest and picnic by the stream.

– 14.00 – riding to the camp site in the picturesque Ushbulak area.

– 16.00 – setting up the camp.

– 17.00 – free time, walk around the neighborhood.

– 19.30 – dinner, sitting around the fire, overnight in tents.

Distance: 18 km.
Elevation: +1550 meters/-770 meters.
Campsite altitude: 2450 meters.

Day 2

Ushbulak – Don Zhailau – Oi-Karagai

– 08.00 – breakfast, packing the camp and horses.

– 10.00 – the beginning of the movement along the route and riding to the Oi-Karagai area through the Bartagul area and Don-Zhailau Plateau. On the way, you will see panoramic views of the Sarytau Ridge and the glaciers of the Turgen and Chon-Turgen Gorges’ upper reaches, whitening in the distance. Along the way, you will make rest stops and photo sessions.

– 13.00 – arrival at the place of an overnight stay by the stream. Setting up the camp. Rest.

– 14.00 – picnic lunch.

– 15.00 – walking in the surroundings, free time.

– 19.00 – dinner, sitting around the fire, overnight in tents.

Distance: 14 km.
Elevation: +550 meters /-600 meters.
Campsite altitude: 2400 meters.

Day 3

Oi-Karagai – Mountain Lake – Kairak Waterfall – Batan – Almaty

– 08.00 – breakfast, packing the camp, preparing for an excursion to the mountain lake.

– 10.00 – horseback riding to the mountain lake. As you move, you will discover the snowy peaks of the Turgen and Chon-Turgen Gorges, the Trekhozerny, Turgen and Bolshoi Issyk Peaks.

– 12.00 – arrival at the lake, rest, tea with a view of massive rocky peaks and glaciers.

– 14.00 – return to the camp site. Lunch, rest. Loading the horses. Riding to the Kairak waterfall.

– 15.00 – arrival at the waterfall, walk.

– 16.00 – riding to Tumar ethno village. For the most part, the path will follow the road, which at the very end will turn into a path with a breathtaking view of the Turgen River and the surrounding mountain slopes.

– 17.30 – return to Tumar ethno village, rest and transfer to Almaty.

– 20.00 – arrival in Almaty.

Distance: 16 km
Elevation: +700 meters/-1400 meters

Required clothing and equipment

– Light functional trekking long pants or leggings;
– Cycling shorts with a soft insert (for a more comfortable stay in the saddle);
– T-shirt or light shirt with long sleeve;
– Thermal base layer in the case of a cold season;
– Cap or panama hat;
– Neck warmer;
– Trekking waterproof boots or similar with a good protector sole and high lacing;
– Membrane or other water and wind resistant jacket;
– Raincoat poncho;
– Hiking gaiters;
– Warm fleece or polartec jacket;
– Light down vest or jacket;
– Two pairs of thick high socks;
– Hat according to the season;
– Two pairs of gloves (thin and warm, according to the season);
– Head-mounted or other compact flashlight;
– Water container (1 liter);
– Thermos for hot tea (0,5 – 1 liter);
– Sunglasses;
– Sunscreen with a high degree of UV protection;
– Personal AID kit (cold and individual diseases medicines, adhesive tape);
– Sleeping bag with temperature from 0 to +10 degrees Celsius in comfort zone;
– Food for snacks;
– Tourist mat;
– Remedy for mosquitoes, flies, horseflies and ticks;
– Personal hygiene items;
– Small towel;
– Swimming suit;
– A small hiking backpack with a volume of 20-30 liters;
– Isothermal foil survival blanket;
– Matches or a lighter in a sealed package;
– Chargers and cords (power bank or compact solar panel).

Services included in the package:

1. Transfer Almaty – Batan – Almaty.
2. Services of an experienced certified guide.
3. Horse breeder services.
4. Environmental fees.
5. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner on Days 1-2, breakfast and lunch on Day 3.
6. Horse rental.
7. Tent and public camping equipment.
8. Personal protective equipment (helmet and gaiters).
9. Sleeping mat and bag.
10. Camping utensils.

Services does not included in the package:

1. Personal and other expenses not specified in the program.
2. Insurance policy.
3. Food for snacks.

Please, note:

For participating in this program having an appropriate insurance policy is required.

The organizers have the right to cancel the tour due to unfavorable weather conditions or danger threatening the lives of the participants.

Please inform in advance about any existing health problems: allergies, chronic diseases, injuries, etc.

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