Optional scenic helicopter flight to Kuril Lake for brown bears watching or to the Valley of Geysers and Uzon caldera can be organised on this day.
The choice is yours to either enjoy free day exploring Petropavlovsk or Paratunka at your leisure, or join one of the optional* scenic helicopter flight to Kurilskoye (Kuril) Lake for brown bears watching or to the Valley of Geysers.
Option 1: Helicopter tour to Kuril Lake for brown bears watching
Kuril Lake is without a doubt one of the best places on earth to observe these mighty mammals as they hunt the salmon that gather here in their millions during the summer months. One-hour flight gives you bird’s-eye views of volcanoes Gorely, Mutnovsky and Vilyuchinsky and lands on
the shores of Kuril Lake, where we observe the salmon run, get to know the ecosystem of the lake, visit the fish counting fence and will enjoy watching the bears fishing and playing. For 1 h and 30 min, we’ll use a mix of a motorboat and walking excursions with experienced local
wardens in order to maximise our chances of seeing bears up-close and observing different behaviours.
The bear viewing platform is located at the mouth of the many rivers that drain into the lake, providing awesome opportunities to take Nat Geo worthy photos of the bears fishing for migrating salmon.
After lunch, jump into the helicopter for a 15 min flight to Ksudach Volcano, where we land and Klyuchevskoye lake. We’ll take a short walking excursion along volcanic hot springs, which create a ‘hot beach’ on the lake’s shore. Our next stop - the banks of Goryachaya River, where we bathe in the thermal hot water springs – the largest in Kamchatka. The water bubbles out on to a section of tundra located just
under the Khodutka Volcano, forming a small stream. Further from the source, the water slowly cools, so bathers are able to find a location where the temperature is just right for a warm, soothing swim.
We board the MI-8 once more and set out for a 40-min flight back to the city. Approximate tour duration is 6-7 hours, you’ll be back to the hotel at about 5:30 pm.
Option 2: Scenic helicopter flight to the Valley of Geysers and Uzon Caldera. The Valley of Geysers is the only geyser field in Eurasia and the second largest concentration of geysers in the world. This cluster of around 90 geysers, fumaroles and hot springs in this valley were only discovered in 1941.
They lie above the marginal fractures of the oldest Uzon caldera and periodically expel hot water in spectacular jet streams.
The MI-8 helicopter will take you on a flight (about 1h 15min) over Karymskiy (active) volcano and Malyi Semyachik volcano with its spectacular acid crater lake, and finally will land in the valley.
The walking route (1h 30 min) goes along the wooden decking of the paths to the main observation points, from which you will see an eruption of the biggest geysers, look into the “Gates to hell”, enjoy the views of the pots with boiling red clay.
After that, the helicopter will take you to Uzon Caldera (5-10min flight). During the excursion (40-50min) you will walk along the Eastern thermal field to observe moon landscapes and volcanic activity. From here, you will fly (40 min) to the beautiful Nalychevo Valley where you will have lunch and a relaxing soak in natural thermal pools.
Don’t forget your swimmers!
Option 3: Cultural immersion in the ethnic tourist centre.
A village in an ethnic style introduces you to the culture of the native Kamchatka people (Koryaks, Itelmens and others). It is situated in an open area with a picturesque view of the volcanoes. Here the guests will have an excursion around the dog kennel and learn the history of the dog sledding sport in Kamchatka, listen to the stories about Kamchatka natives, watch
traditional dances and learn some of the dancing moves. You can also take pictures in traditional costumes, learn about the Kamchatka natives’ lifestyle and taste a hot fish soup (oukha).