From the soaring peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains to the expansive steppe and the otherworldly beauty of the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan offers a myriad of unique experiences for adventurous travellers seeking something beyond the ordinary. This country is a land of vast and diverse landscapes, rich culture, and incredible offbeat adventures waiting to be discovered. Now visa-free for Indian passport holders, here are some offbeat adventures you can embark upon in Kazakhstan:
1. Charyn Canyon
Perfect breakfast in #Charyn #canyon #Kazakhstan looks like this. The canyon is roughly 90 km in length. It is part of the Charyn National Park in the #Almaty Province. Over time, the canyon has gained colorful formations of varying shapes and sizes. #DreamNowTravelTomorrow pic.twitter.com/HX6FeKkun0
— Embassy of Kazakhstan🇰🇿 in India 🇮🇳 (@KazEmbassyIndia) January 14, 2021
Located in the southeastern part of the country, Charyn Canyon is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon’s little brother.” This remarkable natural wonder boasts towering red sandstone cliffs, stunning rock formations, and a winding river that has carved its way through the landscape over millions of years. Hiking through the canyon’s labyrinthine trails, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an undiscovered world.
2. Kolsai Lakes
Kolsai Lake – one the most beautiful lakes of #Kazakhstan. #VisitKazakhstan pic.twitter.com/wR6y0J3Bc2
— Kazakhstan 🇰🇿 (@Kazakhstan) February 28, 2020
Tucked away in the picturesque mountains, the Kolsai Lakes are a hidden gem of Kazakhstan. The three alpine lakes, surrounded by dense forests and snow-capped peaks, offer breathtaking views and a tranquil atmosphere. Embark on a hiking expedition to reach the upper lakes. Moreover, pass through meadows adorned with wildflowers and encounter a diverse array of wildlife along the way.
3. Singing Sand Dunes
View from the top of the singing sand dunes #desert #altyn #Kazakhstan #travel pic.twitter.com/fNTJGvKl9z
— Marc (@Blogfortravel) May 10, 2018
Located in the Altyn-Emel National Park, the Singing Dunes are a natural phenomenon that will captivate your senses. These massive sand dunes emit a peculiar humming sound when the wind blows, creating a hauntingly beautiful melody. Climb to the top of the dunes and additionally, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding desert landscape.
Also Read: Visa-Free Travel To Kazakhstan Now Possible For Indian Passport-Holders; Stay For Upto 42 Days
4. Aral Sea Ship Graveyard
Once a thriving sea, the Aral Sea has dramatically shrunk over the years due to environmental factors, leaving behind a haunting and surreal landscape. Now in the town of Moynaq, you can visit the Aral Sea Ship Graveyard, where rusting ships lie abandoned in the middle of a barren desert. However, it’s a poignant reminder of the ecological challenges faced by the region and a testament to the power of nature.
5. Kaindy Lake
Kaindy Lake in Tian Shan Mountains, Kazakhstan is a 400 meter long lake with a hidden underwater forest! pic.twitter.com/JM0pkXNBjT
— Nature Is Weird (@NaturelsWeird) May 26, 2022
Hidden deep within the Tian Shan Mountains, Kaindy Lake is a true natural wonder. The lake’s crystal-clear waters are home to a submerged forest, with tree trunks rising eerily from the depths. Snorkel or dive to explore this underwater marvel, witnessing firsthand the mesmerizing sight of trees frozen in time beneath the surface.
6. Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve
The Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve is one of the most popular one-day tours from the #Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan. #Korgalzhyn means land of the birds and it is #Kazakhstan’s first reserve listed in the @UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Network.https://t.co/FlJXBBCVbb pic.twitter.com/rOx75LdrOv
— Embassy of Kazakhstan🇰🇿 in India 🇮🇳 (@KazEmbassyIndia) June 16, 2020
With more than 200 steppe lakes in and around the reserve, the area is a vital stop on major bird migration routes from Africa, the Middle East and India to summer breeding grounds in Siberia and is particularly renowned for its flamingos. Birdwatchers from around the world flock in during May and June for the northward migration.
Being visa-free, it’s easy to travel to Kazakhstan which is a land of surprises, where offbeat adventures abound. Whether you’re hiking through canyons, exploring space launch facilities, or immersing yourself in the remnants of a vanishing sea, Kazakhstan offers a wealth of unique experiences.
So, when are you heading to visa-free Kazakhstan?
Cover image credits: Canva