Travel in Siberia

Active-excursion tour "The Pearls Of Tuva"

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This tour takes place in regions:

On this tour you will visit:

Hotels on this tour:


  • The tour takes place in these regions: Tuva
  • You'll visit the following locations: Kyzyl
  • Duration: 10 days/ 9 nights
  • Months: from June to September
  • Bus traveling: 1180 km
  • Foot traveling: 15 km
  • People in a group: min - 6, max - 12
  • Age limit: children not younger than 10 years old
  • The tour doesn't require any special physical training.
Price includes:
  • transportation (minibus, UAZs, PAZ);
  • accommodation in the hotel (double), in the in the yurt complexes and tents;
  • full boar;
  • group transfers;
  • excursions;
  • luggage transportation;
  • entrance tickets to museums, parks, nature reserves;
  • folk-art programs;
  • guide service;
  • visa support;
  • insurance.
Price does not include:
  • airplane tickets to Krasnoyarsk, Kyzyl;
  • alcohol drinks;
  • transfer in Krasnoyarsk;
  • extra service, banya, shaman's kamlaniye;
  • excursions;
  • luggage transportation;
  • entrance tickets to museums, parks, nature reserves;
  • Extra pay for a single room during the whole tour - 160 Euro.

Please contact us for details

Tuva ? A bird has to cover many thousands of miles in the direction of the rising sun before it has overcome the Altai Mountains. There, in the geographical heart of Asia Tuva lies, in the north it borders with up to 4000 m high mountain ranges of Altai and Sayan, in the south it changes over to prairies and semi-prairies, up to the border with Mongolia. Politically, the Tuva Republic now belongs to the Russian Federation. Autonomous Republic as a part of the Russian Federation is after all, bigger than Greece and Belgium together. This tour to Siberia will show you taiga, high-mountain tundra, bogs and branches of the Gobi Desert border here with each other. Reindeer, willow grouses, bears, wolves and frozen mammoth bones from river banks are found side by side with yaks, camels and bustards.

Just over 300,000 people live in this rich nature, it is a folk with an ancient history and culture. Originally and even to the present time they have been nomads.

We get to know their traditions and their ideas, their art and culture, the hardness of their daily life and their skills.

Tuva is a country in an ancient crossroads of cultures: Skyphen, Huns, Chinese, Mongolians, Russians and others have left their mark - monuments, inscriptions, rock carvings, fairy tales, buildings from the past, prince graves...

From the German book "Mysterious Tuva. Expeditions to the heart of Asia" by Sew'jan I. Weinstein ("Geheimnissvolles Tuwa. Expeditionen in das Herz Asiens")

Alouette Publishing House

Day 1

Yurts of the nomads

The tourists are met in the airport of Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva republic. An excursion around the city is planned next day of the tour. And this day the group starts a journey to the past. You are transferred to the yurt's complex "Biy-Khem"* (25 km far from Kyzyl). The yurt is very comfortable to live in. It is made of a lightweight frame covered with felt. There is an artificial fireplace in the centre. The entrance is a small door facing the east. All the yurts are furnished with according to the national traditions for one or two people. You can feel yourself as a genuine nomad with only one distinction that there are all conveniences, which are an integral part of city dweller's life.

The yurt-camp is located 22 km from Kyzyl. From that place the tourists will travel to different nooks ofTuva.

The valley, where the complex is located, is called "Biy-Khem" (it means "Major Yenisei") as the river flowing there.

After arriving to the complex you will have free time. Those who wish can walk to the hill and enjoy the picturesque scenery of the valley.

After supper the group will gather near the bonfire to get acquainted more closely.

*Accommodation in the yurt complex "Biy-Khem", dinner.

Day 2

National traditions

During this day the tourists will be taken to the capital of Tuva - Kyzyl. Here you couldn't but pay attention to a stone globe with outlines of continents, where even Tuva and its capital are specially marked, as exactly here there is the geographical centre of Asia.

The next place for visiting is the Buddhist temple where you will have a chance to hear a sermon of the lama. Buddhism in Tuva exists in harmony with shaman beliefs. The central place in shamanism is devoted to shaman, who is a negotiator with the world of mortal people and the world of spirits, and who protects person's interests.

So after the Buddhist temple we will go to the Shaman clinic, where tourists have a wonderful possibility to observe him in private. It is a long tradition for shaman not only to protect people from evil spirits and foretold the future, but cured diseases. While visiting shaman some individual meetings or healing sessions are possible. **

Lunch is organized in a local restaurant. After eating the group will visit the Regional Museum of Tuva and see unique archaeological finds of different epochs.

They can provide tourists with the information about the way of living and the culture of people, who lived there in ancient times. For all comers there is a museum sightseeing excursion. **

After returning back to the camp the tourists have a possibility to taste traditional Tuvinian cuisine. Milk, meat and other animal produce are the main food of Tuvinian people. Kumys or sour milk from horse and sagazha - roasted liver are very popular with tourists. People couldn't but drink coffee with milk. Tea is always green and is boiled with salt.

After dinner - the performance of traditional throat singing - "khoomei". "Khoomei" is a fantastic ability of the Tuvan people (and some other Siberian nationalities) to emit simultaneously two or three sounds of different tone and to sustain the same sound for 25-30 seconds without taking a breath. If you close your eyes it is hard to believe that the sounds are emitted by a person, but not by a musical instrument**.

* Accommodation in the yurts' complex "Biy-Khem". Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

** Extra pay

Day 3

Mineral springs

Tuva is rich for mineral springs. From ancient times people worshipped to them, thanking for healing behavior.

In Tuvinian spring means 'arzhaan". One of them - "Shivilig" - is open for the tourists. It's located in the kettle of the same name. As for "Shivilig", it means "holy water" or "healing spring". Because of radon its water has a power of healing.

On the way is a stop near a breathtaking mountain Khairykan - one of the most respected places in Tuva. In 1992 it was chosen by Dalai Lama XIV to be an energetically powerful place. Once a year local shamans come here to get energy, strengthen and purify their spirits.

Lunch is organized right on the grass, under the "Seven Sisters" - ancient larch trees, growing from one root.

A great number of tourists up to the present days live as nomads. During the trip, if tourists have luck, they will have an opportunity to observe them.

The nomads' way of living didn't change greatly during the last century. Even now according to the tradition, their houses - yurts are imaginary divided into two parts - male and female. Guests are received in a specially-organized honoured place. The food is cooked inside the yurt on the hearth. Usually the introduction to the lifestyle of a Tuvinian family produces a great impression and let tourists from big cities to take a different view on habitual things.

The group will arrive to the spring in the evening. After been provided with accommodation tourists have dinner and rest near the evening bonfire.

*Accommodation in a tent camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4

Mongulek

Breakfast. There are two possible variants of the day program depending on the tourists' physical training level. The ascent to the foot of the mountain Mongulek* (total distance - 15 km). Lunch is organized near the foot of the mountain, in a quiet atmosphere of ancient statues. After coming back to the camp people have a rest near the evening fire, dinner.

*Accommodation in the tents camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5

The temple Ustuu-khuree

On the way to Kyzyl tourists will see the centre of Budhist culture and ruined temple Ustuu-khuree. The temple became a crown of building in Budhist style in Tuva. There was no similar building not only on the territory of Tuva and Soviet Union. In 1930 when a special law was adopted, Ustuu-khuree was closed and in 1937 - ruined. In 1999 the Russian Government admitted historical and architectural value of this unique temple and was made a decision to restore it. This idea was supported by musitians, who organized in Chadan a yearly festival of live music "Ustuu-khoree", attracting attention of tourists to the problem.

Lunch is organized in the open air. Transfer to Sayano-Shushenskoye reservoir (100 km), fixing of a tent-camp. Rest near reservoir. Dinner near the fire.

*Accommodation in the tents camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6

The heart of a Siberian deer

After breakfast the group leaves for Kyzyl (440 km). The next stop is near the mountain Syyn-Chureck. Native people call it "The heart of a Siberian deer" because of its unusual shape. The mountain is widely known for numerous rock paintings of different epochs. They are presented by depiction of animals, people and scenes of hunting. You will see how archaeologists, who often work here, copy the paintings on the paper, and you can even take these copies with you as a rare souvenir.

From the mountain Syyn-Chureck a fascinating scenery opens for your eyes. After ascending the mountain you will have a picnic at the foot of the mountain. After the picnic the journey back to Kyzyl is continued.

A supper and a traditional meeting near the fire will be waiting for you on arrival to the yurt camp "Biy-Khem"(180 km).

*Accommodation in the yurt complex "Biy-Khem". Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7

A free day

Everybody can spend this day according to their own interests. You can stay in the camp or go hiking in the mountains. You can also go to the Kyzyl or just walk in the surroundings.

There is also banya for the guests.**

Dinner is served in the complex, after the dinner you can join the others near the fire. It is a good idea to spend this day quietly, as the next day you will have to get up very early to have a trip to the lake in the mountains.

Besides, one who wishes can have a rite of kamlanie with a shaman.** Kamlanie is a charming spectacle. It's a kind of communication with spirits, a genuine magical rite near the fire, accompanied by long-drawn-out sounds of drum.

*Accommodation in the yurt complex "Biy-Khem". Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

**extra pay

Day 8

The lake in the mountains

Early in the morning the group departs to the Chagytai Lake. On the way to the lake there will be a stop near the monument of arat (Tuvinian shepherd). The Chagytai Lake is one of the deepest and biggest lakes with fresh water in Tuvinian basin. Its crystal water swashes at the foot of the northern slope of the mountain range Tannu-Oola. It's 1003 meters above sea level. Its area is about 2860 hectares. The banks of the lake either rocky or sandy stretch 20 km long. Only the southern part of the lake is marshy and is covered with purple willow, birch, larch trees.

Fixing of tents near the lake. Sandy beaches, immense mirror-like surface of the lake, crystal-clean water, fresh mountain air… That's all for you.

It's planned to spend only one day and night near the lake. That's way it's not worth spending time in the campsite, it's better to go walking and enjoy picturesque surroundings.

The evening program is usual - dinner and meeting near the fire.

* Accommodation in the tent camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 9

Lake Svatikovo

After breakfast the group has a trip to the healing spring Argolik (45 km). It's an interesting fact that there is no salt in the spring, but native doctors believe in it's healing power. Seminar. Lunch in the open air.

Further the group departs to the healing lake "Douce-khol" (Svatikovo, 140 km). This is an ideal place for tourists to enjoy the view of "desert zone" in miniature and hot sand. The lake is said to be healing. Its healing behavior is better than the one in Dead Sea in Israel or in the Lake Tuz in Khakassia. The level of mineralization in the lake is very high. Rapa (water with high salt density) looks like glycerin. There are millions of tiny red krill in the lake - residents of salty lakes and seas. Rapa contains magnesium, sodium and much bromine. Together with therapeutic mud it cures arthropathy, digestive apparatus, nervous system and even skin diseases and female disorders. It's extremely difficult to dive into the lake, as the density is so high that it pushes you out. The deeper you go into the lake, the warmer is water and mud. At the bottom of the lake the temperature reaches 41°Ñ. The difference in the temperature of rapa on the surface and at the bottom of lake average 16°Ñ. Tourists will enjoy this type of the rest. In the evening tourists return to yurt-complex "Biy-Khem" (65km). Dinner after return and evening bonfire.

*Accommodation in the tent camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10

Departure. Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. Departure to Krasnoyarsk or Novosibirsk.

In case of bad weather the main program can be changed to alternative one (day 1,2,3) which are of the same service level. You can also have the alternative program for extra pay.

Day 1

Old believers

In some regions of Tuva which are difficult to access, old belivers and their descendants live. Old believers settled in Tuva in the end of the 18th century. Their descendants are still rather reserved. But nevertheless some of the families receive guests. This day you can visit such family.

Early in the morning the group departs east to Erzhei village (180 km). Lunch is served during transfer. The route to the village goes along the Ka-Khem (the Small Yenisey). Absence of good roads is compensated by picturesque view of this mountain region, coniferous forests, green glades and pastures. The group is provided with accommodation in the houses.

In the evening the tourists will go to Sisim village of old believers located on the picturesque riverbank. You can get there only by ferryboat. This ferryboat is the only way to get the village of old believers. Meeting local people is amazing. It is a real trip back in time, a trip into another world with other values and interests. The group will get a chance to discover the way of life and traditions of these unique people.

Then the group goes back to the camping site. After that there is a supper, banya and a meeting near the fire.

*Accommodation in cottages. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 2

A day on the riverbank

In the morning the group will travel to the Ka-Khem river, where everyone can enjoy beautiful nature, go boating** and swimming. Fishing lovers** can catch delicious river fish here - umber or colt.

In the evening the group returns to the yurt complex "Biy-Khem" (180 km).

*Accommodation in the yurts complex "Biy-Khem". Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

** extra pay

Day 3

The valley of king

After the breakfast the group will go to the "Valley of Kings" (150 km). In about 10th century B.C. Scythian tribes roamed from place to place here. Archaeologists didn't know about their burial places on the territory of Tuva for a long time. Only last century they paid attention to huge burial mounds (80-120 meters/diameter). There were even burial places which were not ransacked, for instance "Arzhaan II". The treasure found in the burial mound became a real sensation in archeology and history (more than 20 kg of complicated gold items were retrieved).

After a picnic in the open air the tourists will have rafting along the Biy-Khem River. The duration is about 4-6 hours. The last point in rafting is the yurt-complex "Biy-Khem", where dinner and an evening campfire are prepared for tourists.

The rafting is the final event in the traveling around Tuva, the last pearl in the necklace of impressions!

*Accommodation in the yurts complex "Biy-Khem". Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

In some regions of Tuva which are difficult to access, old believers and their descendants live. Old believers settled in Tuva in the end of the 18th century. Their descendants are still rather reserved. But nevertheless some of the families receive guests. This day you can visit such family.

Early in the morning the group departs east to Erzhei village (180 km). Lunch is served during transfer. The route to the village goes along the Ka-Khem (the Small Yenisei ). Absence of good roads is compensated by picturesque view of this mountain region, coniferous forests, green glades and pastures. The group is provided with accommodation in the houses.

In the evening the tourists will go to Sisim village of old believers located on the picturesque riverbank. You can get there only by ferryboat. This ferryboat is the only way to get the village of old believers. Meeting local people is amazing. It is a real trip back in time, a trip into another world with other values and interests. The group will get a chance to discover the way of life and traditions of these unique people.

Then the group goes back to the camping site. After that there is a supper, banya and a meeting near the fire.

*Accommodation in cottages. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Even if you are an experienced traveler and have already visited every corner of our planet, we will still make an offer for you to visit Tuva republic. This is the world where people talk to spirits and where nature strikes your imagination. In Tuva you can see the northern deserts and the southern tundras, mountains have numerous mineral springs. Mountain steppes are full of bright colors. Tuva is a place where snow leopards and mountain yaks live. Nomads still tend their herds here, old believers carefully preserve ancient traditions, shamans perform a ritual of kamlanie (during it a shaman communicates with spirits with a purpose of healing or fortune telling) in energetically powerful places. The centre of Asia is situated in this land, one of the greatest rivers, the Yenisei, begins its way here.

Choosing the journey to Tuva you will travel to another world, to another time, you will get amazing impressions, rare as real pearls.

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