Chapter 1. Why Altai and what's its zest?


Altai is stunning. The impressions that you get here are hard to get anywhere else. Advantages of Altai are the natural sequel of its flaws and the other way round. I will give some theses. Believe it or not is up to you.

It is better to be a tourist in Altai than a local


Houses, light, cows, sheep and simple mode of life

Exactly so. For a tourist it is amazing and beautiful area: a bit wild, with weak infrastructure, huge, interesting, various and uncrowded. 

But for the local people Altai is: lack of job, high prices, weak economy, low salary and nearly everything relies on subsidies.

Low population


Way to Ulagan village. Nobody's here

Altai is the nature itself and so there are natural touristic routes, not urban ones. Having as big territory as Slovakia, Altai is populated with 200 thousand people (a number which may live in just a district of a city). 70 thousand of them live in the capital town, the rest are spread out for thousands square kilometers. These are hundreds kilometers without connection, without hotels, without roads to many sightseeings.

At the same time, this is the biggest plus, the main feature, because, as a result, the nature remained nearly untouched.



Blossom of May

It goes without saying - Altai is full of splendid views. That might be the first thing noticed by tourists here. Of course, views differ from season to season, but the contrast with the urban life, amazing impressions can be noticed by everyone.



       The Middle Katun: one of the best sectors for commercial rafting

You know, sometimes you come somewhere and feel like 'Hmm... Same as "N" city...' But many touristic routes in Altai are so unique that you can't compare them to some other places (example - comparing Switzerland and Altai).
Let's take rafting down the Katun - one can hardly find such a wide and such a rough river. Or Chuysky trakt - it is good mixture of an excellent highway and wild areas, mountains without communication, without people. 
Altai itself differs even from the other mountain regions if we take the whole complex of its characteristics.

As in the past


Ancient cultures' remains

Living an urban life, we take for granted such things as laws, IT, electric cars, iphones and the 21st century itself.There are places in Altai where people kept old-fashioned mode of life: cows, harvesting hay, horse as an everyday transport. Some may have VK and Instagram accounts but their houses may not be electrified or even supplied with water.

I don't mean to say that is totally wild area. Altai is not cut off from the rest of the land - there are almost everything from the modern world. It develops as any other region. But as a mixture of new and old it looks amazing; we called it 'technobarbarism'. When I go to the mountains, civilizational contrasts still make me smile.


The nature of Altai is various. These are - rocks and marals, wild steppes and camels, mountain plateaus, snow-covered peaks, glacial lakes, waterfalls, rough rivers, the Martian valley and thick forests — you can see all that within a week.

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We do have Internet and modern shops but we don't have plants and factories. Population of Altai Republic is around 200 thousand people: just as one district in a city. Lifestyle in Altai is slow and quiet: adults ride horses and go hunting, children go to the local schools, shepherds take their herds to the alpine meadows.



People come to Altai to have rest from stir and city rush - to switch off from all that and to clear their minds. Methods are various: meditation on the Chike-Taman Pass; a horse ride wherever you like; rafting down the Katun river; go hiking to Belukha or make a bike journey on Chuysky trakt.

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All that matters is what remains inside. Excitement, harmony, light and willing to come back again. Altai leaves no one apathetic.

What Altai gave to the world

Have you ever known that Altai contains the entrance to a secret place, Shambhala, home of humans' masters? Ages have passed - still, it is not found. Or found but never revealed. You may search it for somewhere around the Teletskoye Lake or Belukha)

By the way, Altai gave the world 5 objects of heritage. It didn't leave a choice to UNESCO - to give it or not such a high status.

And more:

  • More than 7000 lakes with total space 600 sq. m.
  • The highest peak of Siberia
  • 60 000 km of mountain rivers
  • 100 species and 500 000 tons of medical herbs.
  • Chuysky trakt - one of the TOP-5 most beautiful roads in the world (according to National Geographic Magazine)
  • 40 000 cbm of fresh water stored in the Teletskoye Lake.
  • 700 million cbm of woods.


Mountain Altai (officially - the Altai Republic) is located at the South East of Russia and borders with Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia.

About the way how to get to us - we have detailed material.


When I was 17, me and my team were coming back by the train from a competition in Volgograd. I was going to buy some clothes, some shoes and a lot of school stuff for upcoming school year (there was weak supply in our town). In the train I was robbed, all the money was stolen and my shopping got broken down - such a tragedy..) Having come home, I asked my coach if he could help me to find a job. He appointed me to some tour firm as guide's junior assistant. And I got to my first active tour. Active tourism in Altai had been just at its starting stage. It offered a peculiar service.
It was 2001. Since then this way or another my life has been connected with active tourism in Altai. I experienced different tour firms. And since 2009 we've been creating and providing tours of our own. Through communication with tourists and guides, through travelling in Altai and arranging tours, through the prism of experience this mailing and now this 'Entry point' is being created.

Alexey Kiryanov,
Equesto CEO (FB)


Chapter 1. Why Altai and what's its zest?

Chapter 2. Best time of the year to go to Altai

Chapter 3. Best solutions how to get to Altai

Chapter 4. Taking off our rose-colored glasses: antidote against 'all-is-good' ads

Chapter 5. Activity in Altai

Chapter 6. Touristic bases, hotels and campsites of Altai

Chapter 7. Hikes with tents

Chapter 8. The ancient Altai and history

Chapter 9. Important questions got answered

Chapter 10. Prices in Altai

Chapter 11. Altaian tour selection guide

Chapter 12. Goods of Altai

Chapter 13. What do people say after visiting Altai?

Chapter 14. The examples of independent travels in Altai

Chapter 15. Organizing a tour

Chapter 16. Bike tours in Altai

Mailing for the first time comers to Altai

9 - Edited (2).pngIf you are going to visit Altai, you probably started with searching for the information in the internet: how, what, where, how much, what are the routes, reservation, sightseeings and tours. That's a huge work and it is time consuming.

Our mailing is a set of several letters full of concentrated and structured information, links to well-tried sights and sources and answers to questions.