Traveling to Kamchatka has unique challenges. Here is some helpful travel information for making your trip safe and enjoyable.
Foreigners must have a valid visa. Tourism visas are issued for no more than 30. Extensions are only given for an additional few days to help in emergency situations.
Foreigners must present for registration a Migration Card, filled out on the plane . Keep it with your visa and present these documents for registration. Upon departure from Russia, return this card to the Immigration Control officers.
Within 3 days of arriving, you must register your arrival on Kamchatka. A hosting tourism firm or hotels can register you and stamp your passport.
Remember, the animals were here first. They are fun to watch as long as you do not crowd them.
DRINK THE WATER
Kamchatka has some of the purest water on the planet. You may freely drink tap water and also from fast running streams and rivers.
EXPLORING THE WILDS
If you are hiking in the parks, register your plans with the Kamchatka Parks Department, with a local tourism company, or your hotel and don’t forget to check in when you return. Hike with a buddy. If you are hiking on volcanoes, hikewith a pair of poles for stability as you ascend slippery slopes or traverse snowfields.
Purchases in most stores and at most hotels cannot be paid for with credit cards. Automatic teller machines are located in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the airport, and at Sberbank and Kamchatpromagraprombank in Yelizovo. There are no ATMs north of Yelizovo. Banks in Kamchatka will allow withdrawals of dollars or rubles with a Visa and Mastercard and a few take American Express. These banks also have Western Union. Bring your passport. Currency exchange booths are also located in many banks, department stores and shopping centers around Petropavlovsk and in Yelizovo. Bring your passport.
It is possible to rent camping equipment from several outdoor clothing and sports equipment stores in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and from tourism companies. Car rental is not available. Many tourism companies will be happy though to arrange a driver.
Buses run from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM and after 9:00 PM, there are private microbuses on the regular bus routes. There is daily bus service from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, stopping in Yelizovo, to the villages of Milkovo, Esso, and Kozirevsk. Tickets are sold at either the Komsomolskaya Ploshad central bus station in PK or at the main bus station at the entrance to Yelizovo. Microbuses also make express trips between Yelizovo and Petropavlovsk. They arrive and depart in Yelizovo from the main bus station at the entrance to town from Petropavlovsk. Microbuses going to Petropavlovsk from Yelizovo drop off passengers en route but the main Petropavlovsk destinations are the 10th kilometer and the KP public market.
WEATHER, EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHES
The climate is rather extreme with snows and cold clear weather from November to April. But summers can be surprisingly warm. As the winter snows are slow to melt, July, August and September are the best time for trekking although ski-touring is perfect in spring time. Late summer and autumn bring the magnificent reds and yellows to the landscape and this is the time when Kamchatkan bears are berry-picking and fishing for the Pacific salmon which ascend the rivers in vast numbers.
The weather is not extreme at the trekking time, day temperatures in the mountains are about +20°C. Warm clothes are required for evening and nights. Full, lightweight, waterproofs required as some rain should be expected anytime. Waterproof, strong walking boots with good ankle support are essential but you will also find waders are very useful when crossing streams and swampy terrain. Light weight trousers are useful for the lush undergrowth through which the route goes. Walking poles can be very useful especially for river crossings and boulder fields.