Snow-capped peaks, azure mountain lakes and rolling farmland await in Almaty Province. The province is nestled in the southeastern corner of Kazakhstan and is home to some of the country’s most beautiful national parks, including Charyn Canyon and Altyn-Emel.
Things to do in Almaty
Enormous red sandstone rock formations make Charyn Canyon National Park one of the most beautiful pockets of Almaty Province. The park’s namesake canyon stretches for more than 150 kilometres along the Charyn River and is a prime hiking destination. Valley of Castles is one of the most popular trails and takes you past some of the most impressive rock towers.
Taldykorgan City is the bustling provincial capital and is a great base for exploring the region. There are some excellent cultural attractions to visit, including museums dedicated to famous Kazakh engineer M. Tynyshpayeva and beloved poet Ilyas Zhansugurov.
The city is dotted with family-run restaurants serving delicious Kazakh cuisine. Try dishes like “manty” steamed meat wrapped in dough, “kuyrdak” lamb roasted with onions and fragrant “pilaf” rice. Wash down your meal with a glass of fermented camel milk, a local delicacy known as “chal”.
Soaring mountain peaks and ancient Siberian pine trees surround Big Almaty Lake, one of the province’s signature attractions. From the viewpoint, you’ll get sweeping views over the turquoise coloured lake. If you’re lucky, you might spot Central Asian lynx, Siberian ibexes, brown bears, bearded vultures and ultra-rare snow leopards.
Altyn-Emel National Park is set in the Ili River Valley and features mountains, deserts and rugged rock formations. The park is home to more than 200 species of birds, making it one of the country’s top bird-watching destinations. Altyn-Emel is also an important archaeological site, with centuries-old petroglyphs, burial mounds and Iron Age settlements found within the park.
Getting around Almaty
Taldykorgan City is easy to get around on foot or by taxi while it’s also well-serviced by local buses. Rental cars are the easiest and most flexible way to explore Almaty Province. Hiring a private driver for the day is also a good way to visit surrounding sights and attractions. Taldykorgan Airport is a 15-minute drive from Taldykorgan City.