A bear viewing trip is one of the truly great wildlife experiences to any Kamchatka visit. When you see these magnificent animals on their home turf roaming freely along the coastline, catching salmon at rivers, eating berries in the mountains - it's a moment when you forget everything else and just soak in nature at its best. Kamchatka bear watching tours can be added to many itineraries as several different locations to view bears are available. Each option varies in quality, experience and cost. Like nature itself there are no guarantees. Yet there is nowhere better in Kamchatka to see and photograph the bears in their element.
You fly to Kamchatka. Fly via helicopter from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Kurilskoe lake. You will be invited to the voyage around Avacha Bay. Drive to the plateau of Mutnovsky volcano. Fly back home.
This itinerary takes you to one of the most remote parts of the world. This program requires flexibility, caution and good humor. Every effort will be made to follow the itinerary; however there is always the possibility of changes.We adhere to the following basic ecotourism principles.
Summer season is usually warm and sunny in Kamchatka. However, the weather in Kamchatka is extremely changeable and runs from storms, to heavy rain, to fog or glorious weather. We have no control over weather patterns and so one always has to be prepared for all types of weather.
Please be prepared by wearing layered clothing, take woolen or silk underwear and certainly raingear and excellent hiking boots or shoes.
Departure for Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. The flight time is 8.5 hours and there is a plus 9 hour change in time ( from Moscow).
Day 1: Arrival to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Double accommodation in a hotel. Get acquainted with a guide. Sightseeing. T.
Day 2:Flight to Kurilskoe lake
After breakfast fly via helicopter from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to Kurilskoe lake and land at the doorstep of a remote wilderness lodge in prime Kamchatka bear viewing country. The flight offers spectacular scenic views of the Kcudach volcano. Make an excursion to the Schtubelya and Klyuchevoe crater lakes (located in a crater of Ksudach Volcano) and visit hot springs on the lake's shore. Short flight to Kurilskoye Lake. (Some Russian volcanologists consider Kurilskoye Lake to be a large collapsed caldera!). Accommodation in a small cozy wooden lodge on Grassy Point or tents (depends of departures dates). B, L, D, T.
Day 3:Kurilskoe lake
From the lodge/tents, an experienced guide will take you to view bears in their natural habitat. Here you'll have a good chance of taking great, close-up shots of bears fishing for migrating salmon. At Kurilskoe sockeye salmon spawn from spring until early winter and huge Kamchatka brown bears patrol the shoreline. The Kamchatka Bears are referred to as the Brown Bear because of their dark brown coat. Their color is due in part to a diet of salmon, which are rich in oils and minerals. Their diet consists mostly of berries and small rodents. The daily itinerary is flexible but will certainly include a maximum amount of time outdoors viewing bears. B, L, D Tent or Hostel
Day 4:Kurilskoe lake, Khodutka River.
We will take hikes along the lakeshore, to the tundra, to a bear-viewing platform overlooking a salmon-filled river. You'll see bears fishing just a few step away from you. Helicopter MI-8 flight to PKC. Stop for a bathe in the thermal hot water of the Khodutka River. Accommodation in a hotel. B, L, D, T
Day 5: Voyage around Avacha Bay
You will be invited to the voyage around Avacha Bay (6 hours) to picnic with tasting a traditional Russian ukha (fish-soup). You will see Petropavlovsk and its surroundings, sea birds and their colonies, you will land on the beach for a hike. Overnight in a hotel. B, L, D, T
Day 6: Drive to Mutnovsky volcano
Drive by trucks to Mutnovsky Volcano. In July travelers will likely have to hike a long way to get to the area where they can ascend Mutnovsky due to either snow or the formation of snowmelt lakes preventing the trucks from getting through. The tarred road lies along the west side of the flat valley floor. A dirt road begins at the end of the farmed land; this provides access to the Mutnovsky area. From the road there are views east to the splendid but inactive cone of Viluchinsky volcano, and north along the glaciated trough of the Paratunka Valley. The road climbs gently in a lovely environment of open mountain tundra. We stop at a viewpoint on the broad plateau east of Gorely volcano; the shield volcano of Gorely lies to the west, beyond the rim of its modest caldera wall; the ice-clad ramparts of the Mutnovsky Volcano lie further away to the south; the Viluchinsky cone rises to the east. The trucks will go as far as they can get. Your campsite is in a beautiful and remote area, with the steep andesite slopes of Mutnovsky rising to the south and the gentler basaltic slopes of Gorely to the north. A short walk to the south reaches the rim of the canyon where we can observe some fine waterfalls cut into the volcanic rocks, but the floor of the crater is choked with snow many meters deep. Dinner is at a hostel in the area of the geothermal power station and then it will probably be an early night at the hostel ( room for 5 pax) or in your tents B, L, D Tent or Hostel
Day 7: Ascent Mutnovsky
The walk to the crater is a single trail and back. No one should wander off alone, because the grounds are very unstable and potentially hazardous. The walk is nearly 11 km from the hostel with a rise of less than 600m into the main caldera. The trucks go as far as possible. On the way you pass the two hills of Skalisty and Dyugorby, which are actually very old volcanoes. Beyond the trail one can observe past old bore holes spouting steam. The track goes through the pass between Mutnovsky and Dyugorby from where Asacha, Opala and Gorely volcanoes can be seen to the left. This is an incredible sight. You then traverse through a mix of rough tundra, lava and banks of ash and pumice. The walk up the gorge is largely on banks of hard snow and firm ice that has accumulated in winter avalanches off the gorge walls. Much of the surface is covered in wind-blown ash. The caldera's eastern glacier lies ahead where it melts out on a steep rocky slope, aided by a series of fumaroles. You climb the slopes of volcanic ash and glacial till and pass besides various geothermal vents; these include fumaroles and mud pools. A lake is sometimes dammed up behind the glacier; at other times it drains through the ice, leaving a flatbed of reworked ash pitted by boiling mud pools. Streams emerge from the snow and ice fields and flow back under the glacier toe. You have lunch on the rim of the caldera, take pictures and enjoy the view. In the afternoon you return to your campsite. B, L, D Tent or Hostel
Day 8: Gorely Volcano
Depart the camp after breakfast towards Gorely. From the lake flats, walk up the volcano, climbing steadily to gain 750 m in height. You trek over a mixture of rough grassy tundra with very low dwarf willow and bare stripes of basaltic lava. Some lava flow structures are recognizable and there are also patches of volcanic ash redistributed by the winds. Higher up, long gently graded snow-fields provide the easiest route up (and certainly the best way to come back down). The first large crater contains a cold lake about 100 m below; its surface has ice floes from a small glacier on its internal slope. The walls of all the craters expose profiles through thick sequences of lava flows. You will have a picnic lunch on the edge of the crater. Over 100 m down, a hot acidic lake has active fumaroles around its margin and beneath the surface. The recent eruptions of Gorely have been largely steam events produced when vents heat up and increase their output. Return back along the outward route to the trucks by the lake. The trucks head back out of the Gorely caldera and return to the Akros cottages with the hot thermal water swimming pull.Cottage, B, L, D
This day will allow you to relax a bit after our activities of the past few days. If the weather is cooperative and if there is place on the helicopter fly to the Valley of Geysers, located in the Kronotsky Reserve. The flight takes about one hour and fifteen minutes, three hours are spent in the Valley and then there is a lunch after which you return to Yelizovo. The whole excursion can take all day though because the weather usually does not clear until late morning. Kronotsky Preserve. Local people with the goal of conserving the sable population created this protected area 123 years ago. One of Russia's largest; an oldest preserve in Russia, Kronotsky is a multi-faceted jewel covering 1,007,134 hectares of land and a 3-mile zone of 152 miles of shoreline. The preserve's mountains, glaciers, active and extinct volcanoes, rivers, lakes, islands, beaches, and rugged shoreline give the preserve a variety of ecosystems and remarkable biodiversity. The protected area abounds with wildlife, marine or terrestrial, to watch and photograph. The preserve plays a major role in preservation of Kamchatka's brown bears as it is home to about 750 of these wonderful creatures. Additionally over 2500 of Kamchatka's last wild reindeer live in the territory, along with Steller's sea eagles, and Aleutian terns. B, Hotel
Day 10: Departure
The morning is free for last minute shopping. Your incredible adventure in Kamchatka came to its finish line. Your driver will take you to the airport.T, B
Price:3600( Dbl) / 3780 (Sgl) Euro per pax for group from 12 pax only!
• All transport, including ground transportation, transfers, etc.
• All excursions as noted in the itinerary
• English speaking knowledgeable Tour Manager
• All meals as noted in the itinerary
• All accommodations as noted
• All other entrance fees to preserves and reserves
• International airfare
• Communication costs and other personal items
• Flight to the Valley of Geysers
• All alcohol