Among the diversity of tours to Kamchatka it’s easy to get lost and buy a wrong one. Many Kamchatka tour-operators have the same tours with completely different prices. Nobody knows what is the difference between all these “Kamchatka Caleidoscopes”, “Kamchatka stone flame tongues”, “The land of bears and volcanoes” and so on. Thus some tourists buy whether something cheaper or something that is more creatively described.
Kamchatka is not the place for the “all-inclusive” vacation. It’s impossible to choose a right hotel or a planned tour according to the colourful pictures and beautiful description – you are likely to be wrong.
Before going to Kamchatka make sure you are prepared for everything. Read only necessary information – just try to explore the region yourself. If you don’t know all the details about accommodation on the route, food, quality of roads, the duration of the trip and so on you will make your dream-trip hell and blame your tour-operator. So be careful! The only person who is responsible for your vacation is you.
Remember that Kamchatka is the mountains, lack of roads, conveniences and good mobile service.
Tours and their prices depend on these factors. For instance, two absolutely the same tours can be completely different in the price and organization, and it may be not mentioned in their description. So if you have some doubts - feel free to ask.
A professional touroperator will not exaggerate and hide anything from you.
But if you hear unclear replies instead of normal explanation, if a touroperator can't tell you all the details of a tour and promises ideal weather, think twice before relying on him.
All in all, decide what you really need. Think what you like and what you are not ready for. Most programs are already not appropriate for you, and don't spend your time reading their description. Believe us, we know what we are talking about.
We have created a check-list on FAQs to ease your searching for a tour to Kamchatka. Answering every question you will be able to choose a tour and make a dream-plan of your trip.
Let's get started!
Firstly, you have to choose the way of traveling. There are two variants:
– in a group
Let's go through pros and cons of every variant.
Most touroperators work exactly this way. They plan a program, book the accommodation in hotels or resort centers, set a starting day and the price. Usually the group consists of 16-20 tourists. The biggest advantage of group traveling is its price. The price is favourable for those who is traveling alone or in pair. The biggest disadvantage of such traveling is the case when the group isn't gathered. If it happens, you will visit locations of your program with a group with the similar program, at best - thus you will meet new people during every section of your tour. This scheme is always applied if the dates of gathering are not cancelled. At worst, the contract will be terminated, and you will have two variants: choosing an alternative program or taking your money back.
Groups routes are planned in advance, and nobody will change this plan only because of you if you, for example, couldn't get to Geysers Valley during a free day and want to try it again during the program.
If you want to travel in a group pay attention to all the details. As a pattern, the amount of people gathered, what can happen if the group isn't gathered, what hotel you will be staying at, what transport takes you to a volcano, providing food, the insurance and helicopter evacuation, how many guides will be working with your group, what to do if you are ill and can't join a group activity. Yes, and these are not all the questions you have to ask when buying a tour to Kamchatka!
A program is planned according to the certain requirement. A hotel, food, the kinds of excursions are chosen individually. We take all your wishes into account. The biggest advantage in individual traveling is the possibility to go wherever you want and how you like. In case of bad weather the program course can be changed. The biggest disadvantage for some people is the price: individual programs to Kamchatka are 1,5 times and more as expensive as group ones. But the price is worth it - remember that it's not only comfort you are paying for. Kamchatka is a difficult mountain region with unpredictable weather. So the most expensive thing you may pay for is when the whole crew put all their efforts for you to see everything you've planned despite the weather conditions and your state.
If you are planning individual traveling make your priorities clear. We plan individual programs according to your main preference, so decide what is the most important for you: comfort, the amount of visited locations, traveling with kids, climbing volcanoes and so on.
Well, you have chosen the way of traveling. Now let's choose the type of accommodation. Are you ready for spending nights in a tent? Read these factors before answering:
– Kamchatka is the land of brown bears. It's pretty usual to meet a bear in any campsite, especially near any river
– In 99% of the campsites the toilet is outdoors (usually it's a sanitary tent); there's no shower either
– Mostly there are no buildings nearby the campsites: in case of bad weather the only place you can hide in is your tent. In September it often rains, it doesn't snow already.
– In the morning it is very cold in the mountains, so cold that you don't want to get out of tent and put on your cool and wet boots.
– Let's get back to bad weather. Removing a tent and packing your things when it is raining is a "real pleasure".
So if you are ready, you are welcome - fill your program with traveling around the central part of Kamchatka with its active Kluchevskaya Sopka and Ploskiy Tolbachik volcanoes. There are no tourist cabins next to these volcanoes. You will stay in a tent minimum for 2 days, but usually tourists stay longer.
Plan a 12-14 days-vacation according to such program. Look through our "Central Kamchatka" program. If you are not ready to live in a tent think about the South-East of Kamchatka. Mutnovskiy, Goreliy, Avachinskaya Sopka volcanoes are located there. Firstly, there are tourist cabins near their feet, and secondly, you can visit these volcanoes within a day and explore the whole South-East for 7 days. You will also spend every day on the mountains or at the Ocean but staying in a hotel. So if you choose individual traveling our "Comfort" program will be the best for you.
If the money allows you to rent a helicopter for 2-3 days you can explore the whole Kamchatka without staying in a tent. We offer you our "Kamchatka-premium" program: for a week you will see the most popular Kamchatka highlights staying in the most comfortable conditions. Moreover, if you visit the Kurilskiye islands in addition you will make your first meeting with Kamchatka fully incredible.
We are always asked: "What is the main we have to see in Kamchatka?". Everybody wants to see everything at once, and it is normal. But remember: locations you will see depend on the plan of your program - accommodation in a tent or in a hotel, your budget and so on. Here are the tips for choosing a region for traveling.
The most famous Kamchatka sights are located in two basic touristic regions which are separated from each other by a 670 km of different road - from asphalt to off-road.
This is the region of Kluchevskaya group of volcanoes - that famous one which is often reported about on TV. The volcanoes of Kluchevskaya group are always active. They erupt, fire the lava out - well, draw attention to themselves. Geysers Valley is also located there.
The central region is appropriate for those who:
– can spend more than 7 days in Kamchatka
– is ready for a long tiring way to the feet of volcanoes. The first day of the trip takes about 8 h and 500 km, 50% of which is asphalt and the rest is gravel. The second day takes about 4 h through the forest with overcoming the river and going along the lava flow.
– is ready to spend nights in a tent with a toilet outdoors. It minimum takes 2-3 nights
– is not afraid of mosquitoes. There are many of them in central Kamchatka
The reasons to go to the central region:
– walking around unreal martian landscapes of the foot of Tolbachik volcano and climbing to hot lava cones
– to climb Ploskiy Tolbachik volcano (3083 m) and to see its giant crater of 2 km in depth
– to find a hole in night and to see red-hot lava inside of it
– to descend in one of the lava caves which have been burning with heat after the eruption in 2013
– trekking at the foot of the highest active volcano of Eurasia - Kluchevskaya Sopka volcano
– to reach the top of Kluchevskaya Sopka or Kamen volcanoes (for alpinists only!)
– to capture this unbelievable beauty, to take part in the international photographic competition and to win!
Mutnovskiy, Goreliy and Avachinskiy active volcanoes and the capital of Kamchatka - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy are located there. Also Kurilskoye Lake with brown bears and Russkaya bay with killer whales and whales are related to this region.
The South-East region is appropriate for those who:
– can spend less than 7 days in Kamchatka
– doesn't want to spend nights in a tent
– doesn't want/can't spend much time on the way
– is traveling with kids
The reasons to go to the South-East region:Ради чего едут в юго-восточный район:
– to climb 3 volcanoes within a program: Mutnovskiy, Goreliy and Avachinskiy
– to sail into the open Ocean and see sea lions, whales and killer whales
– to feed ground squirrels out of the hand
– to make a selfie with a brown bear
– to catch wild salmon during rafting
– to serf in the Pacific Ocean in the wetsuit
– to realize what is the real off-road
– to attend the concert of the national ensemble
For instance, someone is dreaming about sailing into the open Ocean by yacht, whereas someone gets seasick when imagines the water. All in all, it's up to you.
You can learn more about other activities in the Activities section. Read and choose what your heart feels for.
Kamchatka has a few places which don't need promotion. The first one is Geysers Valley, the second one is Kurilskoye Lake. Geysers Valley is the only place in Eurasia where you can see how geysers work. Kurilskoye Lake is the place where from July to September bears eat salmon and tourists capture them very closely.
Visiting Geysers Valley and Kurilskoye Lake is limited because they are protected by Kronotskiy Nature Reserve. The only and the quickest way to get there is by helicopter.
Nobody asks about the price anymore. New groups are gathered every day during summer season, and thus demand exceeds supply.
There is no feeling like flying around Kamchatka by helicopter. You are going to see so many beautiful views and places that you will be ready to repeat the flight. By the way, sometimes it happens! So we recommend to leave 2 free days for an additional program. You will also see locations on the way except those of the program: these are active volcanoes, waterfalls, twisting rivers. And one more advantage - no civilization! Just fantastic!
Usually helicopter excursions are never included in total cost of programs. But the exception is premium helicopter tours around Kamchatka: it happens due to bad weather. It is impossible to guarantee helicopter excursions to Geysers Valley and to Kurilskoye Lake: they depend on weather a lot, and thus they become additional programs.
Do you know that not only the helicopter is your chance to get to Kurilskoye Lake and to Geysers Valley? It's a different trip. Read more in our next blog.