Having arrived to the Meeting Point no later than 10 minutes before the tour departure time, you will meet your guide and board a comfortable vehicle to start your trip to the Big Almaty Lake. Before the tour, we provide 1L of bottled water and you are welcome to bring your personal snack, tea or coffee in a container with a lid on it.
You will be taken from the city center to its south-western part. Passing by the city's newest Al-Farabi Avenue you will observe the ski jumping complex "Sunkar", park of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and listen to the stories of your guide about Almaty city and its history. After a short stop at the entrance to the Ile-Alatau National Park for completing necessary entry procedure, you will start your journey to the Big Almaty Gorge. Upon the way you will know how one of the oldest water pipes of Almaty was constructed, what is preserved in the territory of the national park and how Japanese influenced the development of this area.
Ile-Alatau National Park contains unique natural monuments such as relict moss spruce trees, waterfalls, alpine lakes, glaciers, as well as cultural and historical heritage sites. Unique landscapes can be seen here: from diverse grass steppes to alpine meadows and peaks covered with eternal snow and glaciers. An ancient road passes along the spurs of Zailiyskiy Alatau, along which tribes and peoples moved in the distant past, and later the Great Silk Road appeared. The richness and beauty of nature, monuments and objects of natural and cultural-historical heritage attract thousands of tourists to the national park.
After 40 minutes of driving in the gorge through the winding mountain paved road with breathtaking views, you will see the the glorious panorama of the Big Almaty Lake, color of which is always different depending on the weather. The lake is a source of drinking water supply of Almaty city. Because of this reason the access of the tourists to the lake is limited, so the excursion route leads little bit higher above the Big Almaty Lake. There you will have around an hour to admire the scenery and make a walk on the banks of the lake half-way to the water surface, which is about 300 meters down from the road. Descend to the lake is stony and covered with seasonal shrubs and herbs so comfortable shoes or boots will make the walking more enjoyable.
The Big Almaty Lake was formed as a result of the activity of an ancient glacier and, due to its alpine location, the water in it always remains cool - even in July the water temperature does not exceed +10 degrees. The lake is very beautiful, especially when its blue surface is absolutely calm and the sky and surrounding mountains are reflected in it. Due to the small remoteness from the city, the lake is very popular among townspeople, and also attracts many tourists with its magnificent scenery.
On the way back to the town you will visit the Falcon Farm, where you will enjoy a spectacular show with specially trained hawks, falcons and eagles - hunting with them is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh way of life. Show is open-air and takes around 30-40 minutes. If you are very impressionable and sensitive, please take into account that real chicks (lifeless) are used for feeding the birds during the training and the show. After visiting the Falcon Farm, you will have your ride back to the original Meeting Point with estimated arrival time around 18:30pm.
Sunkar falconry nursery is located in the Big Almaty Gorge, in the territory of Ile-Alatau National Park. The purpose of the nursery is to breed and reintroduce endangered species of birds of prey into the nature of Kazakhstan. During the time of existence of the nursery, 850 specimens of the Saker Falcon were released into the nature, which were on the verge of extinction due to predatory actions of poachers in Kazakhstan. According to the specialists, there is no such collection of purebred Saker Falcons in any nursery in the world. The nursery is also famous for its unique falconry show, where you can watch birds of prey of incredible beauty at arm's length.
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