Pearl of Altai


"Pearl of Altai" includes the northern and eastern parts of the East Kazakhstan region. The city of Ust-Kamenogorsk will be the center of the cluster, in which eight key tourist attractions are identified: the Berel Mounds; the reservoir of Bukhtarma; the Ertis River - Lake Zaisan; Katon-Karagaysky SNNP; the city of Semey and Abai district (Zhidebay) and others. In the future, the cluster may expand, including the remaining parts of the East Kazakhstan region.

Cluster "Pearl of Altai" will be positioned as "World of Natural Wonders" and will be the center of development of ecological tourism. The main tourist products that will be developed in this cluster include active and adventure tourism, recreation in the mountains and lakes, pantherapy, gastronomic tourism and others.



Ust-Kamenogorsk is a city in eastern Kazakhstan, an industrial, cultural and administrative center of the East Kazakhstan region. It was founded in 1720, officially received the status of the city in 1939. The city is located at the confluence of the rivers Irtysh and Ulba, in the Kabinsky mountainous region of Kazakhstan. The area is 54.4 thousand hectares. The area surrounding the city is a river valley, surrounded almost from all sides by spurs of mountain ridges that are part of the South-Western part of the Altai Mountains. In the east lie the western spurs of the Shanovsky ridge, the highest points of which can reach more than 800 meters. In the western part, the terrain is somewhat lowered and turns into a strongly hilly plain. To the south-west and south the area again gradually rises and passes into the northern spurs of the Kalbinskiy range, which are intersected by deep gorges and valleys of mountain rivers. A short drive from the city is a small archipelago of the Monastery Lakes. It is a popular recreation area for both the citizens themselves and the guests of the city.



The main attraction of Ust-Kamenogorsk is not monuments of architecture, museums or ancient sites (although this is also important), but an extraordinary surrounding nature, which can not be admired. Colorful mountains, picturesque lakes, green reserves - everything here can lead a tourist to delight. And not only the tourist, even the townspeople do not get tired of enjoying the beauty of their land. Is it possible to get used to this, and how can this ever be boring?


Natural reserves, however, are outside the industrial city: Katon-Karagai State National Natural Park. The nature protection zone is on the border with Russia. The area of ​​the park is 643.5 thousand hectares. This is the largest national park in Kazakhstan. About 34% of the park's territory is covered with forest, where mostly coniferous species are represented: spruce, Siberian cedar, larch and fir. In the park there are such rare animals and birds as the Altai blackfin, the black stork, the cranes gray and belladonna, the burial ground, the osprey, the saker, the peregrine falcon, the horn-nosed turpan, the snow leopard and the stone marten. Katon-Karagai National Park crosses the Austrian road, the length of 50 km. The road carries the unofficial name "Austrian", as it was built between 1914 and 1916 by Austrian prisoners of war of the First World War. The Austrian road is the most popular route of the park, it passes through its main attractions: the Marble Pass, the Altai and Burhat passes and the northern branch of the Great Silk Road.


West-Altai State Nature Reserve. The area of ​​the reserve is 86 thousand hectares. Here stretches the "black taiga", consisting of thick fir-spruce forests, and there are about 50 species of mammals and 200 species of birds. In the reserve there is a monument of nature "Stone City", consisting of granite remains.


Markakol State Nature Reserve was created to preserve and study the unique ecosystem of the mountain lake Markakol, located at an altitude of 1447 m. Lake Markakol is one of the largest lakes in the Altai, its area is 455 More than 100 rivers and streams flow into it, and only one river flows from the lake - Kalzhyr. About 700 species of plants are found in the reserve. Mammals are represented by 55 species, including elk, roe deer, maral, wild boar, brown bear, wolf, wolverine, ermine, hawk, weasel, badger, columns, solongo, otter, sable, American mink, occasionally you can see a snow leopard. Also there are about 250 species of birds. In the waters of Lake Markakol, fish such as grayling, char, minnow and lake schnuck live. The lake bait is a kind of Siberian lenok, it is found only in Markakol. It is best to fish in the reserve at the end of winter and in autumn.


"City of Spirits" (Kiin-Kerish) is one of the most mysterious sights of Kazakhstan, located in the vicinity of Lake Zaisan. Here, in the middle of the desert, there are cliffs and cliffs of red color, reminiscent of castles, towers and yurts. Red cliffs are nothing more than tertiary clays deposited as a result of weathering. The Kiin-Kerish landscape can indeed be called extraterrestrial, similar to the Martian one. It is said that this place has the strongest energy: in ancient times it was used for ritual sacrifices. But the most interesting fact was that in the red clays of Kiin-Kerish were found imprints of tropical vegetation and the remains of fossil vertebrates of the Mesozoic times.


"Kazakhstan" is like in Hollywood. On Mount Ablaketka at an altitude of 522 meters above sea level, the word "Kazakhstan" is laid out in giant letters. The inscription is visible practically in any corner of the city, it resembles the famous "Hollywood" letters on the Californian hills. True, the height of those is 10 meters, Ust-Kamenogorsk is a little "more modest" - only six! Next to the inscription, a Kazakh flag was installed of the same impressive size - 6 by 12 meters. The city akimat explained that this gift was made to Ust-Kamenogorsk by two large companies that wished to remain anonymous. At night, the metal letters will glow. True, only on holidays.

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