Arrival Transfer to the Hotel
Arrival in Moscow. Our driver will meet you in the arrival sector with a Go Russia sign board. Transfer to the hotel.
Moscow City Centre Walking Tour. Departure to Kamchatka
During the tour we will walk around major cultural and historical points in Moscow. We will visit Lubyanka Square – the world-famous KGB centre of the Soviet epoch, and the Teatralnaya Square next to Bolshoi Theatre. We will also visit Tverskaya Street – the main and the busiest street in Moscow – with lots of shops, restaurants and unique combination of old, Stalin and modern architecture. We will then take a stroll along the pedestrian zone near the Red Square. In the evening transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Arrival in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. City Tour
You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to the Hotel Petropavlovsk in good time for a city tour this afternoon. After a welcome dinner, you’ll retire for the evening.
Ksudach Volcano and Kurilskoye Lake
Kamchatka is wild and it wows. So long as weather permits, we’ll begin with a bang. You’ll fly by MI-8 helicopter to Ksudach Volcano, an hour’s flight away. From the air, you’ll see water cascading out of the crater, creating stunning waterfalls. We’ll land so that you can visit the crater lake known as Schtubelya, located inside the volcano itself. Hot springs create nature’s own baths on the lake shore, a surreal but magical experience. After a short flight to Kamchatka’s Kurilskoye Lake, we’ll reach our accommodation, cosy wooden lodges on Grassy Point.
Kurilskoye Lake. Bear viewing
Kamchatka’s wildlife is as legendary as its scenery. Over the next two days we’ll line up a plethora of fauna. Motor boats will whisk you to salmon spawning hot spots. A highlight is likely to be a close-up encounter with the local brown bear population as they fish for migrating salmon. Overhead, Steller’s sea eagles soar across the sky, waiting to pounce too. You’ll be able to walk to a bear viewing platform located just 850 metres from the lodge, accompanied by knowledgeable local wardens. Longer walks take you to meadows where bears feed on wild berries as well as other more distant spawning spots. Keen photographers will be able to get some incredible shots and the memories you’ll create will stay with you for a lifetime.
Kurilskoye Lake. Bear viewing
Khodutka Volcano and hot springs
We’ll begin with another walking excursion with the local wardens to a nearby bear view platform for more chances to watch these captivating creatures in their natural habitat. In the evening, you’ll hop on another MI-8 helicopter flight to back Petropavlovsk. On the way, you’ll stop to bathe in the thermal waters of the Khodutka River. These are the largest naturally occurring hot springs on Kamchatka. The water bubbles out over a section of tundra located just under Khodutka Volcano and forms a small stream. Farther from the source the water slowly cools. It’s there that the water is safe for bathing; you’ll be able to find a spot where the temperature is just right for a swim. Next, fly over the crater of the active Mutnovsky Volcano. From the window of the helicopter you’re sure to get some incredible pictures. Landing at Petropavlovsk, we’ll drive you to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Optional helicopter excursion to the Valley of the Geysers and Uzon Volcano caldera.
The Valley of the Geysers is the world’s second largest geyser field, rivalled only by Yellowstone in the USA. Sprawling over a vast area, many geysers sit alongside hot springs and steam vents. A devastating landslide in 2007 altered the landscape dramatically, burying some geysers and rejuvenating others. You’ll walk along wooden platforms to witness one of nature’s most powerful spectacles as the geysers bulge and erupt in front of you. Afterwards, you’ll be taken to the 40 000 year old crater caldera of Uzon Volcano. This dormant volcano features bubbling mud pools, rivers, hot springs and lakes. It’s a beautiful spot.
Today we board a 4WD or 6WD bus and head to the old Cossack settlement of Milkovo (306 km away). Here, lunch will be prepared in a local restaurant and there will be a chance to stroll around the village to get a feel for Russian rural life. We’ll continue driving north from Milkovo and camp out in the wilderness in a mixed evergreen and deciduous forest along the banks of the Kamchatka River. It’s Kamchatka's largest river whose course takes it northwards through the peninsula’s central valley.
It’s time to camp in the great outdoors, so we’ll drive to the volcanic plateau of Tolbachik Volcano. Base camp is a 60km drive and we’ll spend the next two nights under canvas. This place, reminiscent of the Moon, is famous because it was here that the first Soviet "Lunar roving vehicle-1" was tested.
Today provides the opportunity to visit the relatively new craters of Tolbachik, formed in 20th century. We’ll also see a monument of nature, the Dead Forest, a result of the eruption of 1975. Newly formed lava tubes are also visible, as are the hardened lavas of the 2013 eruption. If you’re interested in tectonics, this scenery showcases every imaginable landform feature.
Esso, Bystrinskiy Natural Park
Driving west from Tolbachik, we’ll transfer to our hotel in the village of Esso, the most important settlement for the local Even people, who make their home in Kamchatka within the Bystrinskiy Natural Park. Enjoy a performance from the local dancing group, the participants of which are people representing different Kamchatka indigenous tribes: the Koryak, the Even and the Itelmen.
Esso and its environs
There’s much to explore in the area surrounding Esso. We’ll fly by helicopter to a camp populated by Even reindeer herders. It’s an occupation with a long history, yet the practice thrives today. The sizeable herds range from 500 to 2500 head of reindeer. You will stay in the old Medium Volcanic Range of Kamchatka, surrounded by ancient volcanoes with glacier-carved slopes and beautiful alpine tundra. We’ll camp and feel at one with nature in this remote and special place. Returning to Esso by helicopter the following day, we’ll return to our hotel for an overnight stay.
Esso and its environs
Return to Petropavlovsk
Sadly, we have to think about heading back and today we’ll drive back to Petropavlovsk, with a brief stop for in Milkovo. Tonight’s accommodation will be a Petropavlovsk hotel.
Visit a local farmer. Optional excursion around Avacha Bay by boat
Water plays an important part in people’s lives in these parts and our excursion around Avacha Bay will give us an opportunity to explore further. We’ll visit Starichkov Island to view sea birds and mammals, a six-hour stay providing ample time to watch the seabirds in their natural habitat, and fish. We’ll get to try Ukha, fish soup, an important local dish. This evening, we’ll pay a visit to local farmer Sasha Yastrebov in his yurt for an evening folk concert. Of course, this is Russia, and it will become a party, where you’ll sample delicious local seafood dishes and toast your hosts and their beautiful region with vodka and homemade balsam. Our final night will be spent at the hotel.
Tour Dates & Prices
Today, our tour comes to its conclusion and you’ll depart, having experienced one of Russia’s most captivating regions.
We highly recommend you to review all the information following the links below before your tour.
Please be aware that Kamchatka is a remote destination where the grade of accommodation and infrastructure in general may be lower than those which would be expected to be found in western countries. Our Kamchatka tours are first of all an opportunity to see wildlife and explore a unique flora and fauna. So please be prepared to some discomfort and varied weather conditions.
SHOWERS AND TOILET FACILITIES
There are no showers in camps only at the hotels. While camping there will be washstands. Hot water will be provided by your guides.
Toilet in camps will be a simple wooden structure with a hole. No bio toilets are provided as these cannot be cleaned.
The tour may include short days of strenuous activity, including paths along volcanic glaciers. These routes also may involve ascent and descent and the occasional difficult day, and therefore it is important for all participants to be reasonably fit. As long as you are confident of your physical condition, previous experience is not essential, although it is desirable.
Please note that despite limited alternatives we use the best available accommodation options. Your main accommodation while trekking will be tents
and a guest house
with bunk beds. Please see the detailed description in the "Accommodation" tab.
If you are a single traveller, you will be staying in:
- A single room at a hotel in Moscow and Petropavlovsk;
- A single tent while trekking;
- A bunk bed in a room with 8 beds at the guest house at Kurilskoye Lake.
You will need to bring your Personal Trekking / Camping Equipment
on a tour.
Please read these important sections for your tour: