Reindeer Herders. Deep Into the Taiga!

Reindeer Herders. A long river journey deep into the Siberian taiga. Lena and Olekma Rivers. South Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Alexander Dyakonov.

Reindeer Herders. A long river journey deep into the Siberian taiga. Eco & ethno tour in Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Alexander Dyakonov.

REINDEER HERDERS IN YAKUTIA, RUSSIA
Summer journey to reindeer herders’ camp deep into the Siberian taiga!

Tour type: guided, private.
Period: July-September.
Group size: 1-2 people.
Tour duration: 6, 8 or 10 days.

Route: Yakutsk – Olekminsk – Kudu Kyuel village – the “Sanya” reindeer herders summer camp – the way back.
Area: Olekminsky District, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), North-Eastern Siberia, Russia.
Rivers to travel: Lena River, Olekma River.
Trip starts and ends in Yakutsk.

Transport means:
– Yakutsk to/from Olekminsk along the Lena River by the “Meteor” passenger hydrofoil boat.
– Olekminsk to/from the “Sanya” reindeer herders summer camp by a regular motor boat.

Travel highlights:
  • The Lena River with Lena Pillars Nature Park (passing by).
  • Siberian taiga & habitable wilderness.
  • Authentic Siberian village life.
  • Indeginous people with rich cultural & historical background.
  • Stay at reindeer people’s summer camp in the forest.
Olekminsk and the Olekma River on the map

Travel photographs

Photo credit: Alexander Dyakonov.

Alexander is historian. It’s him guiding travelers.

Itinerary

Day 1. Yakutsk – Olekminsk. Distance to travel – 620 km.

Journey along the Lena River on the “Meteor” passenger hydrofoil boat. Departure early morning. Arrival in the late evening. Overnight in Olekminsk.

On the way to Olekminsk, we’ll see the famous stone forest of Lena Pillar Nature Park and just fascinating river-forest landscapes.

Day 2. Olekminsk – Kudu Kyuel village. Distance to travel – 170 km.

Sailing on a regular motor boat. Kudu Kyuel village is located on a bank of the Olekma River. Overnight in a private house.

This day is remarkable by a chance to see a true country life in the remotest wilderness. Peaceful and authentic.

Day 3-4: Kudu Kyuel – reindeer herders summer camp. Distance to travel to the camp – 20 km.

This day we’ll go deeper into the Siberian taiga and travel across the territory belonged to the Evenk community of reindeer herders called “Sanya.”

Herders will show their reindeer, the camp, hunting & fishing area. We’ll have an unique chance to try our best in hunting and fishing as well.

Overnights in tents.

Day 5: The way back to Olekminsk. Overnight in Olekminsk.

Day 6: Olekminsk – Yakutsk. Return to Yakutsk in the evening.

Price

We prefer to customize the tour and its price.

Duration might be 6, 8 or 10 days.

Basic components:

  • Travel Yakutsk – Olekminsk by a hydrofoil boat.
  • Travel Olekminsk – Kudu Kyuel by a motor boat.
  • 2-day visit to the “Sanya” reindeer herders camp with the use of a motor boat.
  • Meals for travelers and a guide (currently, it’s min. 1000 RUB/day/person.
  • Russian-speaking guide (6000 RUB/day).
  • Letter of invitation (2000 RUB/person).
  • Travel arrangement service fee.
  • VAT/tax.
Booking & payment conditions

Once the tour itinerary and its price are confirmed by travellers, we send the invoice for pre-payment.

Please, note:

– Tour is done privately upon request.
– Booking is considered to be done, when the full balance payment is done.
– Payment is accepted in RUB/USD/EUR/GBP/CNY by bank transfer.

REQUEST YOUR QUOTE:

Yakutsk – Magadan. Kolyma Highway

Yakutsk - Magadan. Kolyma Highway Summer Overland Travel in Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Black pass in the Verkhoyansky Range between Yakutsk and Magadan on Kolyma Highway (Road of Bones) in Russia’s Siberia. Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

YAKUTSK – MAGADAN ROAD TRIP ON KOLYMA HIGHWAY (ROAD OF BONES)
Overland travel in summer-autumn 2019

This warm period we continue arranging road trips on Kolyma Highway from Yakutsk to Magadan or backward. Yes, it’s on Stalin’s Road of Bones in Russia’s Siberia.

RANDOM TRAVEL PHOTOS

Kolyma Highway (Road of Bones) in Summer

Watchdog on the famous M56 Kolyma Highway. Summer Overland Travel in Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

In above photos, you might see such parts of the M56 Kolyma Highway as:
– Tattinsky district with statues by the road;
– mountain passes in Verkhoyansk Range;
– one of bridges constructed by the inmates of Stalin’s Repression;
– mountain rivers, glaciers, falls;
– Vostochnaya Meteo Station and a cute watch dog;
– Ust Nera and Artyk settlements;
– gold mining spot, one of them;
– Kadykchan, abandoned town of coal miners, one man is left to live inthere;
– a new bridge across the Kolyma River.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov, our major guide.

Oymyakon, the Pole of Cold in the summertime (optional)

Oymyakon is the coldest inhabited village on Earth. It’s often named the Pole of Cold. In summer, we would rather call it the hottest place in Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia.

We are often asked to add Oymyakon in the itinerary. So, we did this time as well. See the related option of the Kolyma road trip below.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Dneprovsky GULAG Camp in Magadan Oblast

Dneprovsky is one of Dalstroy’s many GULAG camps in Magadan Oblast. Stands a little bit off the M56 Kolyma Highway between Susuman and Magadan. Big relatively. With well-remained buildings to see during the visit.

A track to Dneprovsky is passible, if weather is perfect and there were no heavy rains.

Photo credit: Evgeny Venediktov, one of our expedition drivers.

Butugychag GULAG Camp in Magadan Oblast (optional)

Butugychag is the horrible GALAG’s Labor Camp existed in Magadan Oblast from 1945 till 1955. Mostly known for its deadly uranium mines.

On request, we can visit this site, but we would need to have one extra day and drive from Susuman to Magadan through Ust Omchug (overnight) as well as additional expenses for a guide to show a trek.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

Magadan, Russia

The Sea of Okhotsk and bays in Magadan, Russia.  Photo by Ajar Varlamov.

Photo credit: Ajar Varlamov.

KOLYMA ROAD TRIP OPTIONS

We offer two options:
  • Yakutsk – Magadan Tour, 6 days, group trip. See description below or download the PDF file.
  • Yakutsk – Magadan Tour, 6-10 days, private trips. Route and travel budget to be customized on clients’ request. Travel dates are set up by clients. Private trips might be arranged from the early June till the midst of October.

YAKUTSK – MAGADAN GROUP TOUR, 6 DAYS, 2019

Duration: 6 days (4 travel days + 1 full day in Magadan + departure day.)
Group size: 3-4 travelers.
Period: Summer – Autumn 2019.
Dates:

  • 17 Jul 2019 – 22 Jul 2019 – Guaranteed. A group of 4 people.
  • 04 Aug 2019 – 09 Aug 2019.
  • 22 Aug 2019 – 27 Aug 2019.
  • 05 Sep 2019 – 10 Sep 2019 – Guaranteed. A group of 4 people.

Route: Yakutsk (start of the tour) – the Lena River – the Aldan River – Khandyga (overnight) – Teply Klyuch (GULAG Museum) – Verkhoyansk Mountains (Road of Bones) – Ust Nera (overnight) – Kadykchan (ghost town) – Susuman (overnight) – Yagodnoye (Kolyma History Museum) – the Kolyma River – Dneprovsky (GULAG) – Magadan (city tour + the Sea of Okhotsk bays) – Sokol Airport (departure).

Expedition-ready 4wd transports:
– Mitsubishi Delica (minivan);
– Toyota Land Cruiser Prado;
– Toyota Land Cruiser 105.

Highlights:

– Lena & Aldan Rivers to cross by transport ferries;
– Yakutian villages between Yakutsk and Khandyga;
– Teply Klyuch (w/ GULAG Museum);
– Verkhoyansky Range w/ narrowest passes such as Chernyj Prizhim, Zajachja Petlya, Lastochkin Dom and w/ the highest, longest Olchan Mountain Pass;
– Kadykchan, ghost town;
– Susuman (the town of gold miners);
– Yagodnoye (Panikarov’s private museum “History of Kolyma”.)
– Kolyma River & Bridge;
– many abondend gold miner’s settlements;
– Dneprovsky GULAG, if weather would allow;
– Magadan City & Okhotsk Sea Bays Tour.

Kolyma Road Trip Intinerary:

DAY 1 – YAKUTSK (START OF THE TOUR). DRIVE YAKUTSK TO KHANDYGA, 432 km (according to our GPS tracks), average moving speed 40 km/hr. Breakfast at hotel. Leaving hotel/place of stay at 09:00. Crossing the Lena River by a transport ferry, 8 km. Stop at Nizhny Bestyakh at a store for travelers to buy snacks and drinks. Start of journey on the Kolyma road through many traditional Sakha (Yakutian) villages. One stop at Cherkekh Outdoor Architecture History Museum. Two stops for meals at roadside cafes en route (not included). Crossing the Aldan River by a transport ferry in the evening. Arrival in Khandyga. Accommodation at private apartment-based hotel (twin/triple rooms, shared kitchen, shared bathroom, no breakfast).

DAY 2 – DRIVE KHANDYGA TO UST NERA, 560 km, 40-50 km/hr. From this moment, the Kolyma road goes through mountains’ valleys and passes. We depart the place of overnight at 08:00. Drive one hour to Teply Klyuch. Stop for breakfast in Teply Klyuch (not included). There is a chance to visit GULAG History Museum in Teply Klyuch. Drive through Verkhoyansk Range with numerous stops for photo sessions at such remarkable places as Zheltyk & Chernyj Prizhim (Yellow & Black Passes), Zajatchja Petlya. Stop for late dinner (not included) at Cuba Cafe in Kyubyume. This is the place where all adventure travelers leave their expedition stickers to a tube-like cash box. Stop on high points on Olchansky Mountain Passes. Arrival in Ust Nera in the evening. Dinner (not included) at cafe in the settlement. Accommodation in the Soviet-era hotel (single room/s with WC for travelers, no breakfast).

DAY 3 – DRIVE UST NERA TO SUSUMAN via KADYKCHAN, 395 km, 40-50 km/hr. Visit to a cafe for breakfast (not included) and at a store to buy snacks and drinks. We depart Ust Nera ±10:00. On the way to Susuman, you’ll see abandoned settlements previously used by GULAG’ administration, and the lost coalminers town of Kadykchan. No cafes en route for stops to have lunch. Arrival in Susuman by the evening. Dinner (not included) at a cafe bar in Susuman. Accommodation in Susuman in gold-mining company’s hotel (single/DBL room/s with bathroom).

DAY 4 – DRIVE SUSUMAN TO MAGADAN via DNEPROVSKY, 625 km, 40-60 km/hr. This day we leave Susuman after breakfast at a cafe (not included). We’ll see the famous plane cabin sticking out of the public administration building. Crossing the only bridge across the Kolyma River (stop for photo session). If weather is good to us and there had been raining, we would be able to do a 16-km turn to visit Dneprovsky GULAG. Final decision to drive to Dneprovsky belongs to a driver. We’ll see also many ghost towns, do stops for meals (not included) at cafes in Laryukovo and Palatka/Atka. Arrival in Magadan in the late evening. Check-in at hotel (not included).

DAY 5 – MAGADAN. Breakfast at hotel. City & Okhotsk Sea Bays Tour. Stops at bays, Mammoth Monument, the Mask of Sorrow, Magadan Surroundings, etc. We have a good tradition to visit a local fish market to get the perfect red caviar.

DAY 6 – DEPARTURE. Breakfast. Transfer to Sokol Airport, 51 km. Hugs. Flight from Magadan.

Feel free to request a tailor-made trip!

6-Day Tour Cost for Summer-Autumn 2019:

Group Trip:

For 4 travelers = 99 000 RUB / ± 1 413 EUR per person.
For 3 travelers = 125 500 RUB / ± 1 794 EUR per person.

Notes:
– Official rates will be set up in Russian Rubles in April 2019.
– Listed costs are based on the rates of Summer 2018, when applied currency exchange rate was 70 RUB per 1 EUR.
– Keep in mind that early birds deserve discounts. Write us to learn conditions.

Private Trip:

For 1-4 travelers = on request.

For summer road trips, we use the optimized set of services.

Package Includes:

  • visa invitation;
  • 4wd transport w/ experienced driver (who is going to be a guide at the same time) and all transport-related expenses for driving en route Yakutsk – Magadan road as per itinerary;
  • travelers’ ferry passes on the Lena and Aldan Rivers;
  • travelers’ entry tickets to museums in Cherkekh and Teply Klyuch;
  • accommodation in Khandyga (apartment-based hotel, twin room, shared kitchen, shared WC & shower, no breakfast), Ust Nera (Soviet-type hotel, single/twin room w/ WC & shower, no breakfast), Susuman (standard hotel with single/DBL room, no breakfast);
  • sightseeing in Magadan (entry tickets not included) as per itinerary;
  • transfer from hotel to Sokol Airport in Magadan;
  • sat phone for emergency calls only.

Does NOT include:

  • air tickets to Yakutsk and from Magadan;
  • any meals in Yakutsk (reserve 1500-4000 RUB/day/person);
  • any meals en route Yakutsk to Magadan (1500-2000 RUB/day/person);
  • entry tickets to Panikarov’s Kolyma History Museum in Yagodnoye (if Panikarov would be in the town, it’s possible to attend his private museum dedicated to the victims of Stalin’s repression);
  • meals at restaurants in Magadan (2500-6000 RUB/day/person);
  • personal travel & medical insurances;
  • personal clothes & gears;
  • tips & gratitude.
Booking & Payment Conditions:
  • Payment might be done in EUR/USD/GBP/CNY by bank transfer.
  • To reserve a trip, deposit amounting to 212 EUR) per person is to be pre-paid by bank transfer.
  • Balance payment should be done 45 days before the start of the road trip.
  • Please, note that Payer’s bank surcharges Payer up to 25 USD per international bank transfer.

ORDER YOUR KOLYMA ROAD TRIP

By phone:

+7 (4112) 25-99-30 (work),
+7 (924) 765-99-30 (mobile).

Via email:

contact@visityakutia.com.

We tend to reply immediately or in the course of a day. If we don’t get back to you as quick as you wish, please, don’t worry. We could be busy with urgent requests or current travellers. Don’t hesitate to remind us.

Kolyma’s Road of Bones travel is better to do with friends. Tell the world that you plan to do the trip from Yakutsk to Magadan in Russia’s Siberia.

Lake Baikal Summer Tour

Shamanka Rock at Burkhan Cape in Kuzhir Island, Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Ajar Varlamov, Visit Yakutia LLC

IRKUTSK – LISTVYANKA – OLKHON ISLAND.
7-DAY SUMMER TOUR TO LAKE BAIKAL, RUSSIA.

Enjoy the mighty Lake Baikal and Irkutsk, authentic city in Siberia, Russia!

While traveling across the vast Russia, especially in Siberia and the Far East, it’s worth to spend a week for Irkutsk, Listvyanka and Olkhon Island. Start your big travel from Irkutsk and Lake Baikal.

Highlights:

– Irkutsk City Tour.
– Day trip to Lystvyanka & Circum-Baikal Railway.
– 4-Day Trip to Olkhon Island.
– Arshan & Tunka Valley (optional).

Feel free also to request the customized itinerary.`

Lake Baikal Travel Photographs

Irkutsk, Russia:

Photo credits: Ajar Varlamov, our best German-speaking guide.

Listvyanka, Lake Baikal:

Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal:

Photo credits: Ajar Varlamov, our best German-speaking guide.

Arshan & Tunka Valley (optional):

Photo credits: Ajar Varlamov, our best German-speaking guide.

Map

Lake Baikal: Locations to Visit

Just a few marked places to visit and see in the area of Lake Baikal, Irkutsk Oblast & Buryatia, Russia.

Lake Baikal Tour Details

Group size: 1-4 PAX.
Period: June – September 2018.
Route: Irkutsk (arrival + city tour) – Lystvyanka (+boat journey to Circum-Baikal Railway) – Olkhon Island (overland excursions) – Arshan & Tunka Valley (optional) – Irkutsk (departure).

Tour type: private.
Tour dates: any dates on request.

Itinerary

Day 1 – IRKUTSK. Arrival at Irkutsk Airport. Transfer to hotel. Free time. Lunch in the city (included). 2.5-hr Irkutsk City Tour w/ one visit to a regional museum.

Day 2 – LISTVYANKA & CIRCUM-BAIKAL RAILWAY. 08:45 – Meeting a guide at hotel. 09:00 – Leaving hotel. Transfer to Lystvyanka, 69 km, 1.5 hr. 10:00 – Visit to Taltsy Museum (open-air wooden architecture museum). 12:30 – Boat journey to the first tunnel of Circum-Baikal Railway with stops by at Shaman Stone and Port Baikal village. 16:00 – Visit to the 19th-century wooden Orthodox church. 16:30 – Fish & Crafts Market. 17:30 – 18:30 – Back to hotel in Irkutsk.

Day 3 – IRKUTSK – OLKHON ISLAND /LAKE BAIKAL. 09:00 – Departure from Irkutsk. Driving to Khuzhir village on Olkhon Island, 292 km. On the way, we’ll have stops at the place of ancient rock paintings and at a roadside cafe with Buryat traditional meals (included). Ferry crossing Sakhyurta settlement to Olkhon Island, 2 km. Arrival in Khuzhir village by 16:00. Visit to Shamanka Rock at Burkhan Cape. Dinner at a guest house (included). Free time. Overnight at a guest house in Kuzhir.

Day 4 – OLKHON ISLAND / LAKE BAIKAL. Breakfast (included). 09:00 – Start of an overland journey to the most northern point of Olkhon, Baikal National Park, by off-road vehicle. Visit to Kharantsy Cape and village. Stop at Peschanka settlement. Beautiful views on sandy beach and the old wooden pier. Stops at Sagan-Khushun Cape & Three Brothers Rock. Cape Khoboy, the place of the Power. Lunch around the campfire at Deva (Girl) Rock at approx 13:00. Back to Khuzhir by 18:00. Dinner (included). Overnight at a guest house in Kuzhir.

Day 5 – OLKHON ISLAND / LAKE BAIKAL. Breakfast (included). 09:00 / 10:00 – Start of excursion to the southern part of Olkhon Island by off-road vehicle. This day we’ll visit a view point to the central part of the island, Kurykan wall, Old Castle rock, Yalga lake, Halzany area and places with the view to the ‘Big Sea’ area. Lunch on the field. Back to Khuzhir by the evening. Dinner (included). Overnight at a guest house in Kuzhir.

Day 6 – OLKHON ISLAND – IRKUTSK. Breakfast (included). 09:00 – Leaving hotel. Transfer to the ferry place. Crossing Olkhon Gate Passage by a transport ferry. Drive back to Irkutsk with a stop at a roadside cafe for lunch (included). Arrival to hotel in Irkutsk by 16:00/17:00. Free time.

Day 7 – DEPARTURE – Transfer to Irkutsk Airport (or railway station). Hugs.

You might also wish to:
– add an extra day for a trip to Arshan & Tunka Valley by car with a guide (Arshan is a mineral water resort and famous for hot springs and a dormant volcano at Tunka valley);
– embark a big road trip en route Irkutsk – Yakutsk – Magadan;
– fly to Yakutsk and experience the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Feel free to customize the Baikal holiday itinerary to fit in your travel plan.

7-Day Lake Baikal Holiday Package Cost for Summer 2018

For a group of 4 travelers = 57500 RUB per person.
For a group of 3 travelers = 63500 RUB per person.
For a group of 2 travelers = 68500 RUB per person.
For 1 traveler = 108500 RUB.

Various discounts are granted. Feel free to request them.

Includes:
– Transfers from/to Irkutsk Airport.
– Transport for Irkutsk City Tour, 2.5 hr.
– Transfer Irkutsk – Listvyanka – Circum-Baikal Railway – Listvyanka – Irkutsk as per itinerary;
– Transfer Irkutsk – Kuzhir, Olkhon Island – Irkutsk as per itinerary;
– English-speaking guide for transfers to/from Irkutsk Airport, 2.5-hr city tour in Irkutsk, day trip to Listvyanka and 4-day Olkhon Island trip;
– Accommodation in Khuzhir, Olkhon Island (SINGLE for individual trip, TWIN/TRIPLE for couple/group trips), 3 nights.
– 1 lunch in Irkutsk, 2 lunches at roadside cafes, 3-time complex meal at a guest house in Kuzhir, Olkhon Island.
– One museum entry ticket in Irkutsk.
– Permission to enter Olkhon Island Nature Reserve.

Does NOT include:
– Air fares to/from Irkutsk.
– Train tickets to/from Irkutsk.
– Accommodation in Irkutsk.
– Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
– Health-and-travel insurance policies.
– Tips and gratitudes.

Option:
– Day trip to Arshan & Tunka Valley Nature Park (119 USD/person for 4 travelers; 137 USD/person for 3 travelers; 155 USD/person for 2 travelers; 246 USD for individual; price includes transfers, guide’s service, national park entry fees; hot spring entry fee and meals are paid on spot.)

Booking & Prepayment Conditions

– The tour is reserved, when deposit (amount depends on the size of a group) is pre-paid.
– Balance payment is due no later than 21 days before the start of the tour. Usually it’s done right after you have got a Russian tourist visa.
– If booking is done less than 21 days before the tour, the tour is to be pre-paid in full.

Baikal Travel FAQ

– Where to stay in Irkutsk?
– Our travelers usually stay at Courtyard by Marriott Irkutsk City Center Hotel or Marussia Boutique Hotel. If any, we know some budget options.

– What accommodation do you provide in Khuzhir, Olkhon Island?
– Nice guest houses in the forest part of Khuzhir settlement. We prefer to accommodate in the one which is owned by the US citizen, as high standards are applied at reasonable prices.

– Is it possible to stay at the place with a restaurant and bar in Khuzhir, Olkhon?
– Yes. We recommend to stay at Baikal View Hotel (w/ breakfast). Lunch and dinners are not included but you can order whatever you wish.

– Is it possible to book hotel rooms with your company’s help?
– Yes. Why not?!

– Could you buy air/train tickets from Irkutsk to other cities in Siberia and the Far East in Russia?
– Yes, we can. We are connected to the Russian domestic flight/train ticket system. Well, actually we’ll show you all options and you decide which one is perfect to you.

ORDER LAKE BAIKAL TRAVEL PACKAGE!

By phone:

+7 (4112) 25-99-30 (work),
+7 (924) 765-99-30 (mobile).

Via email:

contact@visityakutia.com.

We tend to reply immediately or in the course of a day. If we don’t get back to you as quick as you wish, please, don’t worry. We could be busy with urgent requests or current travellers. Don’t hesitate to remind us.

Enjoy Irkutsk and Lake Baikal during your big tour across Russia’s Siberia & Far East! Irkutsk and Baikal are awesome! A quick look should be not enough.