A natural wonder in the Tien Shan Mountains, which took millennia to form.
Charyn Canyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States. Although it's much smaller, it's equally impressive. The canyon is located 200 kilometers (124 mi) away from the city of Almaty. The landscape of the area is constantly changing due to weathering and erosion. Many animals live here, including some endangered species. The most picturesque places of the canyon are the Valley of Castles, the Ash and Turang Groves, and the Charyn River.
Video about Charyn Canyon
How to get there
Visiting the canyon with a bus tour, which you can book in any travel agency in Almaty, is recommended. You can also go by car, driving along the paved Kuljin highway. Then turn right after you pass the village of Shelek, which is about 114 km (70 mi) away from Almaty. Then drive about 50 km (30 mi) more to the village of Kokpek. Beyond Kokpek there is a "Charyn Canyon" signboard; turn left there. After about 11 km (7 mi) you’ll see the checkpoint of the Charyn National Park.
Food and accommodation
The local Eco Park offers travelers a meal in a café and the chance to spend the night in a yurt (a national dwelling) or a small bungalow.