Singing Dune and 700-Year-Old Willow: Two-Day Tour

The Singing Dune is the main landmark of the Altyn-Emel National Park, a natural monument of republican significance and one of the 7 wonders of Kazakhstan.

We offer you a 2-day tour to the Singing Dune, a fascinating journey to the very heart of Altyn-Emel. You will be able to climb the famous dune Aigaikum and hear its unusual sound, which has become the basis for many legends.

You can also visit Kosbastau, a green oasis in the middle of the desert, with a 700-year-old willow, "dancing" turanga (relict Asiatic poplar) and a warm radon source.

Total distance: about 640 km

Duration: 2 days, 1 night

Excursion route: Route 1 (Singing Dune), marked in yellow on the map, and part of Route 3 (Kosbastau), marked red

Number of tourists: any

Season: all

Tour Programme

Day 1:

Transfer from Almaty to Basshi village - about 250 km (Almaty-Basshi road takes about 4 hours, excluding stops). The road passes through the city of Kapchagai (now Konaev), the Ili river in its widest place, where it flows from the Kapchagai reservoir, the village of Saryozek, the picturesque passes of Arkharly and Altyn-Emel.

Transfer to the Singing Dune - about 50 km from the village of Basshi. The road passes through the steppe, surrounded by the Dzhungarian mountains, the mountains of Katutau and Kalkans, via the Shygan and Mynbulak posts.

Climbing the sand dune, photo shooting.

Stopping at Chokan Valikhanov's spring, "Dinosaur Trail".

Visiting the Oshaktas steles.

Return to Basshi. Accommodation in the guest house of the Caravansarai campsite.

Day 2:

Transfer to the 700-year-old willow at the Kosbastau post - about 30 km from Basshi.

Walking, photo shooting.

Return to Almaty.

Places of Interest:

Besides the Singing Dune and the Kosbastau oasis, we make stops at two historical places of Altyn-Emel, the spring of Shokan Valikhanov (mid-19th century) and the Oshaktas stone steles, a monument of the era of Genghis Khan (13th century). Optionally, you can also make a stop on the "dinosaur trail" at the foot of the Small Kalkan mountain.


The tour program is variable. If you plan to visit the Singing Dune on the first day, then you need to leave Almaty on this day early in the morning. Or you can leave Almaty during the day to arrive in the village of Basshi in the evening, spend the night, visit the Singing Dune in the morning and return to Almaty in the evening.

The 700-year-old willow, which is the part of another excursion route, can also be visited either on the first or on the second day.

The routes of the Altyn-Emel park are long, and the roads are unpaved, a part of the Saryozek-Basshi road is under reconstruction, so it takes more time to travel than you can expect. The trip to the Singing Dune in the Altyn-Emel National Park is long (about 8 hours only on the road from Almaty to the village of Basshi and back, apart from the transfer through the park).

The tour takes less than 2 days. Practice shows that such a program is the most comfortable for tourists. There is an opportunity to take a leisurely walk and fully relax in nature.

A one-day trip to the Singing Dune is theoretically possible, but it will be very tiring for both the driver and the tourists themselves, so we usually practice 2-day tours.


Prices are valid for 2023.

The cost of a 2-day tour to the Singing Dune is shown for a 4-seater and a 7-seater car (for the total number of tourists and for 1 tourist).

The price includes:

Meals are not included in the tour. You can order national meals in Basshi. Also, at the Caravansarai campsite, you can cook any meal at any time (the campsite is equipped with kitchens with all the equipment, there is a summer kitchen, outdoor grill). To do this, you need to bring food and drinks with you. There is a small shop on the campsite where you can buy basic foodstuff but it is better to buy food in Almaty.

In the city of Kapchagai (now Konaev) there is a cafe of national and European cuisine on the way.

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