Kamchatka's Tolbachik Volcano - Mars on Earth

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 28th Dec 2018

Tolbachik – is a volcanic complex, located in the Klyuchevskoy Nature Park in Northern Kamchatka. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage site – “Volcanoes of Kamchatka“, the park covers an area of 376,000 ha with Eurasia’s most grand and active Klyuchevksaya group of volcanoes in its centre. It consists of 13 volcanoes, including 4 active and 9 extinct ones. With Kamchatka’s largest river running through it, the park is unique for its dense concentration of giant volcanoes over a relatively small area, attracting scientists, photographers, trekkers and nature lovers from all around the globe.

TOLBACHIK VOLCANO TREKKING TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Ascending Plosky Tolbachik volcano (2,850m) across frozen lava flows and slag fields. A picturesque panorama of Klyuchevskaya group of volcanos opens from the top. You will be captivated and mesmerized by the lunar landscapes. No wonder, in this area the Soviet lunar vehicles were tested.
    • Explore the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and solid lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976, the larch trees at the volcanoes foothill have become petrified ghosts of their former selves.
    • Visit Esso village, nestled in a valley and surrounded by mountain ridges and evergreen forests, it is one of the best places to get acquainted with the lives of Kamchatka’s local people. Esso’s gorgeous scenery has led to it being described as the ‘Switzerland of Kamchatka’. It’s a laidback place, populated by about 2,500 people, with hot thermal pools and a network of hiking trails extending into the neighbouring Bystrinsky Nature Park

Staying in a mix of hotels and campgrounds, travelling by 4WD transport, we visit as many unique habitats in the park as possible. Feast your eyes and cameras on the volcanic ranges and lava fields of the Pacific Ring of Fire, untouched swathes of old growth forest and mountain hot springs.

Unusual landscapes of the Tolbachik’s area is the extraterrestrial scenery which is compared indeed with the Mars’ one. Getting to the park is not so easy, but it really worth it!

You’ll have plenty of time to savour the atmosphere of Kamchatka and follow our own interests – wildlife watching, birding, botany, geology, volcanology, photography or trekking. On this tour, there is a day with optional activities available – a helicopter flight over the Valley of Geysers or to Kuril lake for brown bears watching, as well as a day cruise on Avacha Bay to spot seabirds.

For hiking enthusiasts, volcanology nuts and those seeking a physical, challenging expedition in one of the world’s most remote and pristine natural regions, our Kamchatka Volcanoes Trekking tour represents an unparalleled adventure travel experience.

Giants of Kamchatka - Trekking Active Volcanoes

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 6th Dec 2018
Kamchatka trekking tour

This 7-day private tour in Kamchatka, Russian Far East, is geared towards the active and adventurous traveller. Your group will climb several volcanoes during the trip, although all are easy to moderately strenuous hikes, with no special climbing gear involved. You will need just a day-backpack for treks, as all main stuff will be transferred by a truck or left at the hotels/camps. This private, guided Kamchatka volcano trekking tour involves a mix of 4 guesthouse nights and 2 nights in tents, some off-road driving and trekking, with an average height of 1,200m above sea level. At the end of the tour, an optional Mi-8 helicopter group flight to the Valley of Geysers is offered to see the biggest geyser field in Eurasia and the second largest concentration of geysers in the world.

GIANTS OF KAMCHATKA TREKKING TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Embark on full day trek from base camp to the summit of Mutnovsky (2,322m), one of the world’s most scenically breathtaking volcanic hikes. Feel as if you’re witnessing the earth’s creation as you gaze down from the rim of the crater upon glaciers and mineral lakes and the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles
  • Trek to the top of Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Russia. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a rock ledge just below the crater, with magnificent views of the volcanic lake and steaming fumaroles below
  • Ascend Avachisnky volcano (2,751m), located in the neighbourhood of other family volcanoes Koryaksky and Kozelsky, and be amazed by views from the summit

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Kamchatka - The Lost World

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 14th Jan 2019
Kamchatka adventure

Discover everything that makes Kamchatka paradise for nature lovers and intrepid adventures whose dream is to wander far from the well-trodden path. Our comprehensive Kamchatka adventure tour takes place over 18 of the most memorable days you’ll ever experience. With almost three weeks to explore the peninsula, this uncommon journey allows you to traverse vast distances to remote lands and explore all the most breathtaking highlights of Russia’s mythical Far East. Staying in a mix of hotels, wooden cabins, and spectacular campgrounds and travelling by helicopter and 4WD, we visit as many unique habitats as possible. Feast your eyes and cameras with the volcanic ranges and lava fields of the Pacific Ring of Fire, untouched swathes of old growth forest, mountain hot springs, majestic coastline and the wind-swept tundra where Kamchatka’s last nomads make their summer camps alongside their reindeer herds.

Kamchatka Adventure in a Lost World Highlights:

  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter. During salmon season, Kuril Lake is one of the few places you can observe brown bears in their natural habitat at close proximity. To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears feeding along the shore from a motorboat, as well as on-land from a viewing platform overlooking prime fishing territory
  • Travel cross-country on remote roads to Central Kamchatka, home of the Even and Koryak tribes, the “people of the reindeer”, who set up their summer camps near the village of Esso. You’ll be granted the extraordinary privilege of experiencing traditional nomad life, spending a night camped out with the herders in their tents
  • Embark on a full day trek to the summit of Mutnovsky, a hike containing some of the of the scenically beautiful landscapes in Kamchatka. Feel as if you’re witnessing the earth’s creation as you gaze down from the rim of the crater upon glaciers and mineral lakes and the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles

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Kuril Islands & Russian Far East Voyage in Luxury

Written by Anna Schneider
Last updated on 8th Nov 2018
Kuril Islands cruise, Russia tour

Embark on the voyage of a lifetime on an unparalleled exploration of the Sea of Okhotsk and a region known as the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. The cruise from Hokkaido Province, Japan to the distant Kuril Islands and the remote reaches of Kamchatka is one of the world’s great ocean journeys, beckoning nature lovers, history buffs and those with a thirst for adventuring where few have gone before. Marvel at the dramatic scapes of this ancient land of fire and ice – its towering volcanic mounts, alpine forests, fast flowing rivers and pristine tundra. Our fleet of Zodiacs will allow us to climb ashore to observe flourishing seabird colonies and dozing seals in their thousands, and we’ll be constantly on the look-out for whales and sea lions.  Whatever your speed, this soul-stirring smorgasbord of volcanoes, wildlife and unique indigenous culture will enthral and inspire you.

The Kuril Islands & Russian Far East Luxury Expedition voyage Highlights:

  • Tyuleniy Island in the Sea of Okhotsk is tiny in size, and so densely populated with mammals and birds the island itself is barely visible. The shoreline is carpeted with murres and other seabirds, straining to be heard above the racket of tens of thousands of roaring, barking and bellowing seals and sea lions
  • Our zodiacs follow the high tide to the very centre of mist-shrouded Yankicha Island, a part of the Kuril Islands, where an inundation of seawater has transformed a massive caldera into a lagoon. Hiking the grassy ridges, we’ll keep our eyes out for the elusive Arctic fox
  • Atlasova Island rises out of the water as a near-perfect cone. The highest volcano in the Kuril chain is a striking sight, inspiring various legends among the traditional Ainu inhabitants
  • Be on the lookout from your Zodiac for thousands of Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions, as well as parliaments of puffins and pods of breaching whales.

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Kamchatka's Critters and Craters

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 12th Nov 2018
Kamchatka summer tour

The compressive 15 day Kamchatka summer tour will take you to many of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes and prime wildlife spotting locations on the peninsula, despite the challenges of travelling in a largely undeveloped region defined by vast distances and the virtual absence of sealed roads. We’ll also visit remote Koryak and Evens settlements in Central Kamchatka and be welcomed into the summer camps where they graze their reindeer herds in the tundra. At times exhausting and frequently exhilarating, these unforgettable two weeks in Russia’s Eastern frontier will send you home with a newfound appreciation of the raw power and beauty of Mother Nature and the importance of preserving these last remaining tracts of untouched wilderness.

Best of Kamchatka Summer Tour Highlights

  • Take a breathtakingly scenic flight on a Mi-8 helicopter to Kurilskoye Lake, with a bonus flyover of the summit of Kusdach volcano. With a bit of luck, we’ll land near the summit and walk to the deep blue lake in the crater of the volcano, where’s it is actually possible to swim for short periods in the lake’s ‘hot beach’
  • Spend 2 incredible days among the brown bears of Kuril Lake. As the bears’ only interest is in gorging themselves on the salmon swimming upstream to breed, visitors can observe wild bear families at unbelievably close proximity. We’ll observe the bears both from boats and from a special viewing platform overlooking prime fishing grounds 
  • A Russian Mi-8 helicopter will drop us off at the banks of the Khodutka River to bathe in thermal hot springs. After a relaxing soak, our joy flight continues with a breathtaking pass over the crater of the active Mutnovsky volcano.

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Trekking volcanoes of Kamchatka from North to South

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 8th Nov 2018
Kamchatka Volcano Trekking

This 17-day volcanoes trekking expedition in wildest Kamchatka, Russian Far East is geared towards the active and adventurous traveller. We’ll climb several volcanoes during the trip, although all are easy to moderately strenuous hikes, with no special climbing gear involved. We’ll travel by 4WD truck to the remote sights of Kamchatka, passing the most active volcanic zone of the peninsula. There should be several encounters with marmots, ground squirrels, foxes, and bird life, and if you are lucky enough, you will see the Brown Bears.

This guided Kamchatka volcano trekking tour involves a mix of mostly camping, some hotel nights, lots of off-road driving and trekking, with an average height of 1,200m above sea level.

Kamchatka Volcanoes Trekking Tour Highlights:

  • Spend a night camped out in log cabins in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park, a World Heritage-listed natural preserve which contains 13 of Eurasia’s most spectacular and active volcanoes at its centre. Enjoy a real Siberian sauna (banya) in the wilderness beneath a stunning night starry sky
  • Visit the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and solid lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976

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Kamchatka - Kingdom of the Brown Bears

Written by Anna Schneider
Last updated on 16th Jan 2019
Kamchatka tour bears and volcanoes

Perhaps the most potent symbols of Kamchatka’s untamed nature are its towering volcanoes and the mighty Kamchatka Brown bears, the furry residents are the ancestor of the Alaskan Kodiak bears. These two iconic natural emblems are the main subjects of our Kamchatka bears and volcanoes tour, an adventure into the wilds of Russia’s Far East that’s equal parts thrilling and humbling. Including three nights staying in a cabin on Kuril Lake at the height of the bear’s salmon hunting season, this Kamchatka wildlife watching tour will get you closer than you ever imagined to the animal inhabitants of the Kamchatka peninsula.

Kingdom of the Brown Bears in Kamchatka tour highlights:

  • Kuril Lake during the summer salmon run is one of only a few places where visitors can observe hunting brown bears in their natural habitat at close proximity. To get the best chances of adrenaline-pumping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch bears feed and frolick along the shore from a motorboat, as well as on-land from a special viewing platform overlooking prime fishing grounds.
  • Take off in a Russian Mi-8 helicopter for a breathtaking flight to the Khodutka River hot springs, nestled in a forested valley where we’ll bathe, relax and camp for the evening. The largest collection of hot springs in Kamchatka, water temperatures in the various spring pools range from 40 and 60°C.

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Wrangel Island Cruise - An Arctic Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 12th Dec 2018
Wrangel island cruise expedition with polar bear, Wrangel island tour

Cruise to Wrangel Island, an area 140km off the northeast coast of Siberia, separated from northern Alaska by the Chukchi Sea. For 10 frozen months of the year, this lonely wilderness is completely cut off from the outside world. Reaching Wrangel and braving its polar climate is not for the faint of heart. Only the most dedicated nature lovers make the journey – but the rewards are without parallel. There is simply no better destination than to meet the wild denizens of the Arctic up-close, virtually undisturbed by human interference, and in numbers that will simply astound you.

Wrangel Island Arctic Expedition Cruise HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Whale Bone Alley is the name given to a beach on Yttygran Island in the Bering Sea. Landing on the beach, you’ll take in the haunting atmosphere of this ancient site, where gigantic whalebones appear to sprout out of the ground, stretching along the coast for nearly half a kilometre
  • Uelen, the most northeasterly village in Russia, home to a predominantly Chukchi population. The village is one of the foremost centres for Chukchi and Inuit art. On our visit, we’ll be entertained by local folklore and a visit to the bone-carving workshops

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Kamchatka Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 7th Nov 2018
Kamchatka Bears, Kamchatka photography tour

On this 2-week Kamchatka photography tour designed especially for landscape, nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts. Stay on the shores of the iconic Kurilskoye Lake and take part in some of the best brown bear photo opportunities as the bears gorge themselves during the annual salmon run. Hike to the summits of some of Kamchatka’s active volcanoes for thrilling shots of steaming vents, acid lakes, and smoking craters. Your aim is to return to “Earth” with images of alien landscapes and wild nature worthy of the pages of National Geographic. Our Kamchatka photography tour suits all the professional and amateur photographers, as well as active and adventurous travellers. No prior mountain climbing experience is required, but a decent level of fitness is strongly recommended.

Kamchatka Photography Expedition HIghlights:

  • Brace yourself for a bone-rattling journey on a Russian 6WD all-terrain vehicle on a road tracing the western coast of Kamchatka (complete with river crossing) to isolated Pauzhetka village. Pauzhhetka is a tiny settlement between the Sea of Okhost and Kuril Lake, surrounded on all sides by towering volcanoes
  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter for a two day shooting and photo workshopping season among the brown bears who gather at the lake in large numbers during the salmon season To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears on land and on boat, staying overnight in log cabins close to the lake shore
  • Russkaya Bay Cruise: Set sail from the capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and explore the wildlife-rich waters of Russkaya Bay and the Starichkov Island seabird capital. Try your hand shooting marine mammals including whales and seals and enjoy a lunch of freshly caught seafood

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Kamchatka Discovery

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 10th Sep 2018
Valley of the geysers Kamchatka, Kamchatka discovery -Kamchatka Tour

There are adventure travel destinations. And then there’s Kamchatka. If you crave transformative travel experiences, communion with nature and wilderness that is still truly “wild”, our Kamchatka tour will fulfil your frontier travel fantasies. The remoteness and sheer size of the Kamchatka Peninsula don’t always make for a leisurely vacation, but Kamchatka Discovery with private transport makes seeing most of the Siberian spectacular sights possible over eight enthralling days.

To make the most of your time in the peninsula, our Kamchatka tour will take you by 4WD, on foot, and on board a boutique cruising yacht. Perhaps the most ideal way to travel Kamchatka’s great distances is by helicopter. On one of our optional helicopter excursions, land next to Kurilskoye Lake to observe the famous brown bears, or take a fly-over across the Valley of Geysers for an incredible bird’s eye view of the kind of bizarre and beautiful primitive landscapes that make Kamchatka so alluringly otherworldly.

Kamchatka Tour Highlights

  • Avachinskaya Bay cruise: Spend half a day tracing the twisting coastline from tranquil Avacha Bay out to Starichkov Island, a nature reserve renowned for its seabird population
  • Volcano trekking around Mount Vachkazhets: Discover the surprising beauty of the peninsula’s volcanic landscapes on a circuit of the Vachkazhets volcano, an easy four-hour hike passing flower-filled meadows, waterfalls and panoramic mountain viewpoints

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Sea Kayaking in Kamchatka

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 17th Oct 2018
Kamchatka kayaking tour, Kamchatka sea kayaking

This epic Kamchatka kayaking tour covering roughly 110km of rarely visited Pacific Coast will take you to parts of this dramatic region only accessible by small sea craft. Tracing the peninsula’s shoreline south from the calm waters of Avacha Bay, you’ll paddle beneath the shadows of snowy volcanoes and explore mysterious sea caves. Visit the incredible Starichkov Island Nature Reserve – one of the Pacific’s largest seabird colonies, and impressive Russkaya Bay for world-class marine mammal encounters. Discover a side of the Kamchatkan wilderness only a few have ever experienced on an unforgettable Russian sea kayaking adventure.

Kamchatka Kayaking Tour Highlights

  • Be immersed in the scenic splendour of Avacha Bay, a tranquil harbour surrounded by soaring cliffs and coastal forests. Dramatic rock formations rise from the water, including the ‘Three Brothers’, said to be the guardians of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
  • The vast colonies of seabirds that nest on Starichkov Island Nature Reserve are a breathtaking sight. You’ll see thousands of cormorants, gulls, guillemots and puffins, while in the morning, dozens of largo seals can be found sunbaking on the rocks

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Kamchatka Winter Adventure

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 24th Aug 2018
Kamchatka Winter tour, Russian winter holiday

A winter wilderness adventure like no other! This Kamchatka winter tour is your chance to visit one of the most remote and scenically stunning destinations on Earth – the Kamchatka Peninsula, an ancient volcanic region on the edge of the Pacific Rim of Fire. There are no roads or railways from Kamchatka to the rest of the world – the only practical way in is by air. One of the final frontiers of winter sports travel, unspoiled by commercial tourism, Kamchatka offers pristine mountain ski slopes, abundant wildlife and rugged natural scenery.

Kamchatka Winter Tour Highlights:

  • Experience an exhilarating day of skiing or snowboarding at Gora Moroznaya, a superb ski resort boasting five unique mountain ski slopes in a beautiful alpine setting
  • Embark on a thrilling guided snowmobile safari to Three Brothers Rock, a stunning viewpoint on a spectacular stretch of the North Pacific coastline
  • Ride a Snowcat (an enclosed vehicle with tracks designed to power through snow) across the foothills of the Avacha volcano to Camel Mount, a viewpoint commanding breathtaking panoramas of Kamchatka’s volcanic mountain ranges
  • Husky dog sledding: Visit a winter camp inhabited by the semi-nomadic Koryak people. Get acquainted with a traditional form of winter transport – the husky dog sled, and try your hand at ‘mushing’ the excitable pups through powder-soft winter snow

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About 56th Parallel

56th Parallel is a travel company specialising in providing packaged tours and travel services in Russia.

Our goal is to redefine travel to Russia, focusing on creating the most rewarding experiences, which help travellers unfolds the soul of this exciting destination.

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