Singing Dune and Aktau Mountains: Two-Day Express Tour


We kindly ask you to book a tour to Altyn-Emel in advance, at least a few days before the planned trip.

The Singing Dune and the Aktau mountains are the most remarkable natural phenomena in Altyn-Emel, places of pilgrimage for thousands of tourists from all over the world.

We offer you a 2-day express tour along the most popular routes of the Altyn-Emel National Park, to the singing sands of Aigaikum and the ancient mountains of Aktau.

Total distance: about 780 km

Duration: 2 days, 1 night

Excursion routes: Route 1 (Singing Dune), marked in yellow on the map, and Route 3 (Aktau mountains), marked in red

Number of tourists: any

Season: all (it can be hot in summer)

Tour Programme

Day 1:

Transfer from Almaty to the 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 Aktau mountains - about 70 km from the Basshi village. The road passes through the steppe, via the villages of Nurym and Aktobe, and the Zhagalbaily post.

Walking along the canyons of the Aktau mountains, photo shooting.

Transfer to the Katutau mountains - about 25 km from the Aktau mountains.

Walking around the lava gorge of Katutau, photo shooting.

Transfer to the 700-year-old willow in the Kosbastau oasis with a warm radon source - about 20 km from the Katutau mountains.

Walking, photo shooting.

Return to Almaty.

Places of Interest:

The Singing Dune and the Aktau cretaceous mountains are the main places that tourists usually want to see in the Altyn-Emel National Park. Visiting the Katutau volcanic mountains and the 700-year-old willow, which are off the main route, is not always possible, as the tour is very short in time.


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 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).


This 2-day express tour to the Singing Dune and Aktau mountains can be very tiring for tourists, with an early departure from Almaty and a late return, so we usually recommend 3-day tours. In this case, on the first day, you can leave Almaty later or, on the contrary, on the third day, return to the city early (so practically the tour takes not 3, but 2.5 days).


Number of touristsPrice per person, KZT / Total price, KZT
1285800 / 285800
2149900 / 299800
3104600 / 313800
482000 / 328000
575500 / 377500
665200 / 391200
757900 / 405300

Prices are valid for 2023.

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

The price includes:

  • Transfer from Almaty to the Basshi village and back
  • Transfer within the park
  • Driver's service
  • Park fees
  • Accommodation at the guest house of the Caravansarai campsite in Basshi

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.


We do not provide an English-speaking guide, the driver does not speak English. You can easily find all the information about the natural places you visit by following the relevant links, and on the information boards on the spot.

If an English-speaking guide is a must, please mention it in your request.

Helpful Information

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Arba Travel

Your Guide to Altyn-Emel National Park

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