Summer Fun in Kazakhstan: Places to go White Water Rafting Near Almaty

Are you visiting Kazakhstan during the warmer months and need ideas to cool off? White water rafting is a very popular activity in Kazakhstan, especially with all of the beautiful natural places to go rafting! If you want to try something new, or if you’re someone who loves to go white water rafting, consider checking out the following rivers that are known as great rafting destinations:

Charyn River

Charyn River, Kazakhstan. Source:

Charyn River: Located near Almaty, the Charyn River runs about 255 kilometers long, and is situated in a place of true beauty. When rafting through Charyn River, you will travel through special places like the Valley of the Castles and the Kerbulak Gorge, as well as a sprawling canyon with towering walls. The best time to visit Charyn River is in May and June, as that is when the water levels are the highest. The rapids here range from class 1-3, so even inexperienced rafters can enjoy the water here.

Chilik River

Chilik River, Kazakhstan. Source:

Chilik River: The glacier-fed Chilik River is 240 kilometers long and is located amongst the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains. The best time for rafters to visit this river is from the middle of June to the middle of December when the waters reach to about 2 meters deep. The Chilik River is known for its class 3 and 4 rapids, as well as an intimidating class 5 rapid. It is no surprise that this river is meant for experienced rafters.

Ili River

Ili River, Kazakhstan. Source:

Ili River: If you’re a beginner rafter, or if you’re looking for a more relaxed rafting experience, then check out the Ili River. This river is an outstanding 1,001 kilometers long and boasts a wide variety of species of fish. The Ili River flows from east to west Kazakhstan, and during your rafting excursion you will see renowned sites like Tamgaly Tas, the Devil’s Thumb, a set from the movie Nomads, and the crossing of Genghis Khan.

Karkara River

Karkara River, Kazakhstan. Source:

Karkara River: If you’re up for driving 280 kilometers outside of Almaty for an amazing rafting experience, then look into tours at Karkara River. You may want to set aside some extra time while planning a trip here because you must travel, but don’t let that discourage you. This river is located in a stunning area, which is home to alpine meadows, rocky terrain, forests, wildlife, and more. If you’re interested in rafting in Karkara River, be sure to book your visit there during July or August.

Koksu River

Koksu River, Kazakhstan. Source:

Koksu River: If you have a few days to spare during your vacation to Kazakhstan, consider going on a multi-day rafting tour in the Koksu River. This river is about 300 kilometers from Almaty, so some travel is needed to reach this destination. Beginners may want to steer clear of this river, as conditions can be quite brutal for those who aren’t experience in the realm of white water rafting.

Turgen River

Turgen River, Kazakhstan. Source:

Turgen River: For rafting newbies, the Turgen River is a great choice for your Kazakhstan water rafting experience. However, it should be noted that this river is just slightly more challenging than the aforementioned Ili River. While rafting on the Turgen, you will come across gorgeous sites such as the Turgen Gorge, the Tian Shan Mountains, alpine meadors, forests, waterfalls, and hot springs.



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