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
Embark on the voyage of a lifetime on an unparalleled exploration of the 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. Life aboard is good, with no shortage of fresh local caviar and vodka. Whatever your speed, this soul-stirring smorgasbord of volcanoes, wildlife and unique indigenous culture will enthral and inspire you.
- 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 Yachika Island, 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
- Hundreds of northern fur seals and Stellar sea lions haul out on Kuril’s Lovyshky Islands. Cruising close to shore on the zodiacs, we’ll be able to closely approach these noisy, entertaining animals in their element
- 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
- The highly maneuverable Zodiacs will forge upstream along Kamchatka’s Zhupanova River. Here we can spot rare birds including Stellar’s sea eagles. Brown bears are sometimes seen fishing for salmon at the river’s edge
- Take a history lesson in oceanic exploration on a visit to the Komandorsky (Commander Islands). Visit the burial site where Captain Vitus Bering’s ill fated second Kamchatka Expedition came to an end. We’ll also drop in on Nikolskoye, the only settlement on the Commanders, where we’ll experience a cultural performance by the local Aleut community
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.
This 2-week Kamchatka volcano trekking expedition in wildest Kamchatka, Siberia 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. In addition, we’ll travel by 4WD to remote Central Kamchatka to the summer camps of the Even and Koryak tribes, indigenous Kamchatkans who still live a semi-nomadic way of life, herding reindeer and keeping their distance from urbanised lifestyles in order to preserve their ancient culture and unique mix of Christian and shamanic beliefs. This guided Kamchatka volcano trekking tour involves a mix of hotel stays, camping, off-road driving and trekking, with an average height of 1,200m above sea level.
Kamchatka Volcano Trekking Highlights
- Spend a night camped out in tents or 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 lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976, the larch trees at the volcano’s foothill have become petrified ghosts of their former selves
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 bear tour, an adventure into the wilds of Russia’s Far East that’s equal parts thrilling and humbling. Including three nights staying in a forest cabin on Kuril Lake at the height of the bear’s salmon hunting season, this Kamchatka wildlife tour will get you closer than you ever imagined to the animal inhabitants of the Kamchatka peninsula.
Bears of 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.
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 Tour 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
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