Bears’ Paradise

Duration: 12 days / 11 nights

Type of tour and means of transportation involved: learning value; vehicles and hiking, some trekking, excursions

Planned group tour kick-off in 2018: Jul 10 to 21, Jul 24 to Aug 4, Jul 28 to Aug 8, Aug 5 to 16, Aug 24 to Sep 4, Aug 28 to Sep 8

Difficulty level: no above-average level of physical fitness expected

Number of participants: 12

Comfort level: twins and doubles in out-of-city lodging and two-man tents

Catering: breakfasts and suppers in café at lodging; three meals cooked on gas stove every day while en route

Price per person: 168 000 RUB

Tour programme

Day 1: Arrival
Meet your guide at airport. Transfer to hotel in Paratunka.

Day 2: Mutnovsky ascent
Breakfast. Depart for the base of the Mutnovsky (a ride of three or four hours). Stop to take pictures at the Vilyuchinsky pass. Hike to the active crater of the Mutnovsky volcano (taking around four hours). Cross vast, never-melting snow fields and a narrow canyon cracked through the crater. Snack en route. Tour the crater. Return to lodging, supper, rest.

Day 3: 6WD to Pauzhetka
Driving (450km distance) will take all day, crossing the entire width of the peninsula and including embarking on a barge twice to the cross the rivers Bolshaya and Opala and then a southbound journey along the Okhotsk shore and across several deep rivers which must be driven across. Come evening, arrive and settle in Pauzhetka, an inhabited place, in a Spartan guesthouse (cots, sleeping bags). Thermal pool next to the cabin. Delicious hot supper with local seafood. Rest.

Western Kamchatka means vast black-sand beaches trodden by hundreds of bears and vast coastal tundra and meadows.

Pauzhetka is a settlement located near the bases of the Koshelevsky and Kambalny volcanoes and famed for hosting Russia’s first geothermal power plant. Every building in Pauzhetka is heated by thermal water, and so our local greenhouses. There is a pool filled with hot water almost in every yard – and this is an excellent addition already inserted into your itinerary.

Day 4: hike to Kamenny Gorodok, a mystical place
Depart to the river Kayuk in the foothills (distance involved: 7km). Cross the river and hike up a stream into the mountains amid dense forest. The ascent normally takes around three hours, including stops for rest. Outdoor dinner on a large patch of tundra. Hot tea to go. Return to the car and drive back to Pauzhetka. Thermal pool, hot supper, rest.

Kamenny Gorodok is a mysterious place at an elevation of 600m above sea level, off the beaten tourists’ track. The stony rocks have very different shapes. The bird’s view is wonderful: you can see from there the Sea of Okhotsk, the entire valley of the Ozyornaya river, and the Kuril Lake, as well as Diky Greben and Koshelevsky, two volcanoes.

Days 5: arrive to the nature reserve and meet the bears
Drive to the river Ozyornaya, ride the vehicle across the mountain river. Protected area begins and car is met by reserve official whose task is to ensure that visitors are safe in the reserve and abide by the rules. All equipment and personal belongings are loaded on quad bikes.

Hike 13-kilometre forest road to the lake to arrive at research base and check-point surrounded by electric fence where you can relax and feel safe. Set up camp on the bank of the Kuril Lake (you are kindly expected to pitch your own tents), two guests per tent. Dinner in canteen, rest.

Options include a lake cruise on boat. Watch bears in natural surroundings. Supper, night in the camp.

Ozyorny check-point is the principal pocket of social life around the Kuril Lake.

There is accommodation infrastructure there. The territory, embracing around one hectare, is surrounded by an electric fence, effectively making it off limits for bears. The compound includes living quarters for rangers, scientists, and volunteers; two canteens with modernised kitchens admitting sitting fifty; four toilets; sauna; four permanent tents housing twenty; a pier with three motor boats; and several helipads. Wind, solar, and petrol generators produce electricity. Batteries and electronic devices can be charged.

The area has radio and satellite Internet connection (wifi available on special occasions), and every ranger carries a portable radio station.

Day 6: hike to the Severnaya Bay where bears fish
A five-hour excursion in the company of an armed ranger. In vicinity of the check-point, the Institute of Fishing and Oceanography has established a research centre from where visitors will watch bears catch fish – sometimes more than forty individuals at the same time. It is a four-kilometre hike across birch groves and alder shrubs. Simple, low-scent refreshments (to avoid attracting bears) to be had with water and tea en route. Observe the bears’ natural behaviours. Return to camp, more bear-watching at fish-counting facility. Supper, night in the camp.

In summer, when the Pacific Ocean’s largest population of sockeye salmon runs up rivers to spawn, those rivers seem to be boiling. Large schools of fish can be found near the lake’s banks and in the Severnaya Bay, and groups of up to thirty bears can be seen fishing there. They essentially ignore humans, just making sure that there’s a certain distance. They don’t mind being taken hundreds of pictures and video clips of.

Day 7: Kuril Lake motor boat cruise, and mind-boggling forest walk down the Khakytsyn river to Sypuchka
Ride motor boat, see the island with gull rookeries. Arrive at the Travyanoy check-point. Walk 6km along the river Khakytsin is an adventure in itself, taking about 2.5 hours. Snack and watch wild bears in natural surroundings. Return to motor boats and back to the camp. The entire day’s itinerary takes eight to nine hours. Supper. Sleep in tents.

Sypuchka is the name of a rock standing some six kilometres upstream from the mouth of the Khakytsyn river. This hundred-metre tufa rock constantly sheds sparkling sand. Its base is eaten at by the streaming river while bears roam the broad, rocky valley and catch their salmon.

The road to Sypuchka and back is actually a bears’ highway. This enterprise is for those with a taste for adrenaline and hardcore experience. You could meet as many as fifty bears while en route, and of course they are no trouble, just passing you by or crossing onto the other side of the stream – or else you have to cross yourself. Not one tourist was harmed on this route since the reserve was firsts opened.

Day 8: hike to Kutkhiny Baty rock formations – cross the Kuril Lake – back to Pauzhetka
Break camp. Set out on foot from Ozyorny check-point. Hike 5km down a forest road, cross the river on a specially prepared and delivered boat. Kutkhiny Baty, a weird-shaped rock formation, is located just across the river. See and photograph the gigantic white-coloured shapes. Cross back and hike the remaining 7km to the parking place. Drive to Pauzhetka and revisit the guesthouse. Bathe in thermal pool, supper, rest.

Day 9: Pauzhetka to Petropavlovsk
Set out from Pauzhetka. Picnic midway, in the forest or on sandy beach near the Sea of Okhotsk. The journey back, with all the barge river crossings, will take about nine hours.

Day 10: The Pacific and marine fishing
Depart to the city port. A comfortable 20-seat boat will take you to sights including the Tikhaya Bay, Babushkin Kamen isle, and Stanitsky cape. A brief stop for taking pictures and ‘warmup’ flatfish ledgering. Proceed to the Starichkov island where groupers, lenok, and other fish can be found in large numbers. Sonars help find larger schools, and real fishing commences. During the stop, a guide diver will pick crabs and sea urchins from the bottom, and you can eat them. Sea urchin roe is extremely valuable food exceptionally rich in proteins and used to prevent many diseases. No cruise is thinkable without salmon soup and seafood dishes, and on your way back you will see the Three Brothers, a principal sight of Petropavlovsk. Transfer to hotel. The cruise will take six hours.

The Bay of Avacha is recognised as the world’s largest and prettiest bay in the whole world. Completely surrounded by hills and snow-capped mountain summits, it can host the whole world’s fleet! During the cruise you will see ringed seals, sea otters, fur seals, and, if you’re lucky, the beautiful killer whales.

Huge members of birds nest on islands, including red-faced cormorants, glaucous-winged gulls, fulmars, tufted puffins, Atlantic puffins, pigeon guillemots, and many more. Besides, these islands are home to the rare Steller’s sea eagle, the largest among sea eagles.

The diminutive bays create unique shorelines and rugged rags are veiled in legend. Thus, the three rocks towering above the strait connecting the bay and the ocean are called Three Brothers – you can capture on your camera this ‘gateway to the city,’ as theyare called… People say that there were brothers who once stood up to protect Petropavlovsk and were petrified, shielding the coast from huge tsunami. All this coupled with the Avacha Bay’s magnificent panorama crowned by the towering peak of Vilyuchinsky volcano will leave lasting marks in your memory!

Day 11: Free day (could be used for a helicopter excursion to the Valley of Geysers or any other excursion at your choice)

Day 12: Departure
Transfer to Yelizovo. Visit fish market, buy souvenirs, transfer to the airport, departure.

Price includes:
- hotel accommodation;
- all transfers as per itinerary;
- guide fees;
- licences for South Kamchatka reserve;
- sea cruise fee;
- catering and chef’s fees;
- tents and sleeping gear (mats and sleeping bags);
- marine fishing tackles.


Price does not include:
- flights to Kamchatka and back;
- alcoholic drinks;
- helicopter excursion to the Valley of Geysers (or any other excursion on the free day).




What to pack:  
- backpack, 40 litres (to pack your personal belongings);
- comfortable outdoor clothing;
- waterproof boots with lugged soles;
- sneakers;
- waterproof jacket with a cape;
- waterproof trousers;
- warm fleece sweatshirt;
- socks;
- T-shirts;
- cap;
- underwear;
- bathroom supplies and swimming gear;
- toiletries;
- first-aid kit;
- sunglasses;
- sunscreen.
- bug repellent;
- camera;
- copies of your ID in watertight cover.



Yevgeny Kostyukov​

phone .: +7-914-625-33-99


skype-400 evgeny.kostyukov