Fly-in and walking
Kamchatka is without exaggeration one of the most spectacular regions in Russia. It occupies an area of 470,000 sq. km, which equals the size of France, Belgium and Luxembourg combined, and separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean. There are more than 160 volcanoes on the peninsula (29 of them are active), due to the fact that it lies on the Great Pacific “ring of fire”. Volcanoes and volcanic peaks, cyclones and underground heat created here a mixture of twenty climate zones and a great variety of flora and fauna.
One of the greatest attractions of the Kamchatka Peninsula is the Salmon run in the Kurilskoye Lake which attracts Brown Bears in the summer months. Ringed by mountains and situated in an ancient volcano crater, Kurilskoye Lake is one of Kamchatka’s trademark destinations. Stay in a quaint, wooden lodge on the lake’s shores and take part in some of the best bear viewing on the peninsula. Watch the massive pink salmon run and take walking excursions on the lake to view Stellar sea eagle’s nesting. After Kurilskoye Lake you’ll spend 2 days in tents on the plateau of Mutnovsky Volcano with visititing active crater of the most beautiful Kamchatka volcano. At the end you will take spectacular helicopter flight north of peninsula visit the famous Valley of Geysers and caldera Uzon volcano and go on a marine excursion to the Avacha Bay.
Until 1990, if you were a foreigner or nonresident of Russia, you weren’t allowed to visit the region. In 1991, the Russian Federation was established as an independent republic and Kamchatka was opened for visits by foreign guests. Kamchatka is a heaven and synonymous with a paradise on earth. Its pristine, untouched and oozing with natural beauty. Go a journey to Kamchatka and be prepared to be mesmerised by this far away land!
Today is set aside for your arrival in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The day is at leisure for guests to shop for local souvenirs and other essentials for the trip like Rubber Boots for the lake and repellents. Later in the evening, a welcome dinner would be hosted in a local restaurant. Overnight in a city hotel.
Today, fly on an MI-8 helicopter from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Kurilskoye Lake. Weather permitting, the guests would make a landing at the Ksudach Volcano or at a hot spring. Later, guests would arrive in Grassy Point, the place where our Lodge is located for the tour of Kurilskoye Lake.
View Kamchatka Brown Bears, Stellar Sea Eagles and Salmon spawning places. Take motor boat excursion and walking excursions with local wardens to a nearby bear view platform (800 meters from the lodge) that is located at the mouth of the many rivers that drain into the Kurilskoye Lake.
Here you’ll have a good chance of taking great, close-up shots of bears fishing for migrating salmon. The salmon pause briefly in the lake and then make their way from the lake into the streams where they spawn. Take longer walking excursions to a large meadow where bears feed on wild berries and visit other spawning streams farther from the lodge. Along these streams you’ll see spawning salmon and many signs of the large number of bears in the area. There’s a good chance you’ll see bears fishing just a few yards away as you walk along the banks of streams.
Take a walking excursion with local wardens to a nearby bear view platform (800 meters from the lodge) for the last morning in Kurilskoye Lake. In the evening, take a helicopter MI-8 flight. Weather permitting, the guests would stop for a bathe in the thermal hot water of the Khodutka River. This is the largest wild hot springs on Kamchatka. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Ksudach Volcano if the landing was not possible on Day 2.
Helicopter lands near tent camp on Mutnovsky Volcano plateau, where our 4 or 6WD truck and Russian team will wait for you. Accommodate in tented camp.
After breakfast today, carry an extra sweater and a hoodie and follow a trail up to the Mutnovsky Volcano. The volcano walk is on a single trail there and back, and everyone should walk into the caldera. From the campsite, the walk is nearly 7 km, with a rise of less than 600 m, into the main caldera.
Return to the campsite back along the outward route. Dinner at camp. Accommodate in a tented camp.
After Breakfast, pack your overnight bag and sleeping bag, and roll up your camp-mat, and put them all in the vehicle before setting out for the day’s walk. Have an anorak, extra sweater and woolly hat on, or in a day bag. Food is not needed. A water bottle is useful for your own drinking supply.
the volcano walk is on a single trail there and back, where members can walk as far as they wish and then return down the same trail. Return back along the outward route to the bus by the lake. The bus head back out of the Gorely caldera, and then return to a hotel in the Paratunka Valley. Rest and swim in pool with thermal hot water.
Breakfast in hotel. Leave in a conventional bus, for the journey back to Petropavlovsk. A boat trip (6 hours) out into the bay is a very relaxing way of gaining an alternative view of the splendid setting of Petropavlovsk and its dramatic volcanoes. Departing from a pier near the center of town, the expanse of the hilly city soon falls into perspective.
Avacha Bay is geographically as perfect a bay as a city could hope for. It is large and deep, with a narrow opening which keeps out foul weather and ice. The cliffs around the bay house many colonies of seabirds in their natural habitats, and puffins are commonly seen among many other types of seabird. Hot lunch is aboard. Return to the Petropavlovsk Hotel some time in the afternoon, and take your own walk in Petropavlovsk. Dinner is in the hotel.
After breakfast in the hotel, leave in our own conventional bus, for the 45 minutes drive to the heliport, at Yelisovo, close to the main airport.
The helicopter flight to the Valley of Geysers takes about 75 minutes, on either of two routes.
The helicopters land in front of the timber lodge that is the access point for all visitors to the trails into The Valley of Geysers. Lunch is scheduled at the Valley of Geysers lodge. Later visit Uzon Caldera and return by helicopter to Yelisovo, and by bus to the Petropavlovsk Hotel. Dinner in hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, depart to the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport for your flight back home. The epic journey to the Russian far east sadly comes to an end.