This scenic waterfall is the main attraction of the Tekes River Valley.
The Tekes Waterfall has eroded the surrounding rocky slopes, forming a deep pool. Although it’s small in size, it is still a spectacular sight to behold. The way to it from Almaty passes through the beautiful Bestobe Reservoir and Kolsay Lakes so don’t miss the chance to visit these amazing attractions of the Almaty Province too.
Driving to the waterfall, you will observe a magnificent panorama of sheer cliffs, mountain rivers, coniferous forests, and alpine meadows. Sometimes you will see the yurts of shepherds along the way. There are many jailaus (summer pastures) in the area.
At first, you will see the waterfall from a height, and then you will need to carefully descend to it. Below, you will enjoy the chilled ambience, the shade, and the icy-cold mountain water, which after a long journey would feel heavenly.
Useful tips 2021-2022
How to get there
The Tekes Waterfall is located in the Kegen District, 300 kilometers (186 mi) east of Almaty. It is highly recommended to drive only off-road vehicles, as some areas do not have the best of roads. To access the Tekes Waterfall, you’ll need to have a personal identification document – the waterfall is located near China’s border.
If Almaty is the starting point of your trip, follow the Kuljinsky Tract or Almaty-Horgos Highway. After you pass the village of Shelek, turn right towards the village of Kegen. In Kegen, take the A-351 highway. The estimated total travel time is four hours. Since the route is difficult and winding, it is important to study it beforehand. We recommend you to use the services of tour guides and drive only off-road vehicles. Remember that there may be no Internet access in some distant mountainous areas. When traveling to remote corners of Kazakhstan, we recommend that you have a GPS tracker with an SOS button or a satellite phone, so that you could call for help. Be sure to notify your friends or family about your trip to the waterfall. Please follow all the basic rules of safety and respect nature while traveling.
Food and accommodation
Since the road to the waterfall is quite long and hard, take food, water, and warm clothes with you. The weather in the area is cool and rainy. If you’re planning to spend the night outdoors, there is a designated area above the waterfall where you can set up a tent camp. However, if you hit the road very early in the morning, you will have time to return to Almaty by nightfall.