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Tolmachov Lake and Apacha thermal springs

It is at school that most Russians hear about Kamchatka and its exotic beauty. Now, time comes for you to tread on the same trail that first explorers of our land were taking, including Vladimir Atlasov, Vitus Bering, Stepan Krasheninnikov, and others.

Travelling in Kamchatka is exciting, enlightening, and, of course, memorable experience. You will never forget the volcanic structures at Tolmachov Dol, including the Tolmachov lake, one of the highest alpine lakes in all of Kamchatka with its elevation of 628m above sea level.

This lake lies in an immense recession of volcanic origin – such structures are known as calderas, and this particular caldera measures 15 by 5km. The lake’s gently sloping banks are overgrown with blueberry and crowberry, so you could see bears feasting on fruit almost at any time. However, there’s more than the boundless expanses of berries that attracts bears (and tourists) to this place: the kokanee, a unique subspecies of salmon.

When rocky shores of this lake collapsed, some sockeye salmon that came to the lake to spawn became locked in it and stayed there. Generation after generation, they adapted to the new environment and became able to survive in fresh water. Kokanee salmon can be found deep in the waters of Tolmachov today.

The lake’s maximum depth is a mere 60m, but it practically never gets warm with temperatures barely reaching 5 or 6°C even in July, when air temperatures approach 30°C. That makes it somewhat difficult to enjoy a swim in it!

The Tolmachov river rises from its namesake lake and flows at first calmly, then violently down its narrow, rocky bed. There are three very beautiful waterfalls where the Tolmachov Dol ends, and four kilometres away from the lake there are two pits originating from subterranean volcanic gas explosions (such explosion vents are known as maars to geologists).

Another, and no less beautiful lake known as the Bear Cup, and much deeper at over 100m, is found in one of the maars, and that is where our experienced guide will take you for an exciting walk beginning from the lake camp. Dive into the enthralling world of Kamchatka’s wilderness! It is about two hours’ walking in a birch forest alternating with dwarf alder shrub and abundant with crowberries, honeysuckle, and blueberries. You can also enjoy the view of the Opala, one of the most beautiful volcanoes in Kamchatka.

The excursion includes bathing in the Apacha thermal springs that are located 160km away from Petropavlovsk (connected by a sealed road), or one hour’s drive away from the Tolmachov lake. There’s also accommodation with large, open-air thermal water pools where it is so enjoyable to soak after a long day outdoors. Thermal waters are mineralised above average, including such valuable elements as silicon acid and boron.

The health-giving bath will be followed by a two-hour journey back with those wonderful recollections and reliving of new impressions.

All destinations are reached by well-prepared all-terrain jeeps.

Tour programme:

- jeep transfer to the base of the Tolmachov Dol, taking about two hours;
- light snacks (hot tea, sandwiches, sweets);
- walk around and take pictures;
- two-hour hike to the Bear Cup lake;
- return to the parking area;
- hot dinner;
- drive to the Apacha thermal springs;
- bathing in hot springs;
- transfer to accommodation – about two hours.

• Time available: early June through mid September
• Duration: 10 hours
• Number of participants: up to five
• Level of difficulty: no above-average level of physical fitness required, children of twelve and older are welcome

What to pack: wind- and waterproof jacket with a cape, hiking boots, fleece, windproof trousers, headgear, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, repellent, camera.

Price per person: 8 200 RUB

There is a surcharge for groups of more than five people.


Yevgeny Kostyukov​

phone .: +7-914-625-33-99


skype-400 evgeny.kostyukov