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How to get to the Big Almaty Lake (abbreviated BAO)?

It is worth at least once to visit such a unique place as the Big Almaty Lake, because this is a truly magical piece of nature. To make this fascinating journey, you need to know how to get there: by car, bus, take a taxi or go by bike. This and other features of the upcoming route will be discussed in this article


Car travel

A delightful piece of nature is located at 2511 m above sea level, which is 1611 m higher than the city of Almaty.

Getting to BAO from Almaty by car is the right decision, which is confirmed by the presence of high-quality asphalt pavement. The upcoming journey will take only 1-1.5 hours.

It is preferable to choose a time early in the morning so as not to get into traffic jams that arise in the middle of the day.

It is impossible to get lost during this fascinating journey, because there is only one road leading to the lake. You can pause on the way to rest and eat in one of the many restaurants or cafes located along the road.

It is necessary to take into account an important nuance: it is desirable to choose clear days. Although it is not so easy to predict, because the weather in the mountains is changeable. If it rains, the road will become more dangerous, and the path to the lake is not even. It is a serpentine with a lot of sharp bends and extremely narrow sections.

The most dangerous places where rockfall is likely. The driver needs to be extremely vigilant and pay attention to the warning signs.

A more detailed route:

  • The beginning of the route is the intersection of Navoi Street with Al-Farabi Avenue (First President’s Park).
  • The path towards the mountains along Dulati Avenue is 9.4 km.
  • On the way (about 6 km above the beginning of the route) there will be a road post where an environmental fee will be required.
  • In the Big Almaty Gorge, before reaching the pipe, turn left, and along the serpentine road - 14.3 km.
  • Then drive 1.1 km from the sign "Hotel Alpine Rose".


Eco post

Traffic jam

Part of the way on the bus

Bus route number 28 begins its journey from Navoi Street, near the Park of the First President and will take you to the final stop - Big Almaty gorge. This type of transport is beneficial due to the fact that they are allowed to pass at the eco-post without stopping and do not require an environmental tax from passengers.
Next you have to be ready for a walk up to the fork of the gorges of Almarasan and Bolshoi Almatinsky, then turn to the left side and continue along the straight road to the "Pipe".
This path can not be called easy, as much as 8 km uphill, so you will need a remarkable stamina. In addition, there are still about two kilometers ahead from the "Pipe". This construction is a pipe for supplying water from a height to the Upper-Almaty high-pressure hydroelectric station.

Depending on the physical training, you can go along an asphalt road, here it is easier to walk, but the route is longer - about 16 km. This choice has its advantages: the road is more gentle, there is an opportunity to enjoy the unique mountain landscapes.


To BAO by taxi

So that a taxi ride is not too expensive, experienced tourists and locals recommend bargaining. Good-natured drivers do not have to be persuaded for a long time, most often it is possible to slightly reduce the initial price.
The taxi driver will take travellers from the intersection of Al-Farabi and Navoi to a fork in the area of the pipe.
To climb a steep ascent along the path along the pipe, endurance is necessary (a very steep slope), then the daredevil is rewarded with a more gentle ascent. After the sign pointing to the above-mentioned hotel located in these surroundings, it will be necessary to walk another 3 km.
You can persuade the taxi driver to take you to the lake, although you will have to pay more.

Tourists can count on free movement in the border zone of Kazakhstan with Kyrgyzstan. Here, no one will require a special pass from them..

Cycling route

For an experienced cyclist, the path from Almaty to BAO is quite achievable, although you cannot call it easy. However, if you have a reliable bike and good physical shape, a trip to the lake along the same route as on a car will bring a lot of pleasure.
The starting point is the intersection of the streets of Navoi and Al-Farabi, continue towards the mountains, turn left, then straight ahead and the last orientation is the “Alpine Rose”, from which the last three-kilometer route follows

In addition to physical training, you need confidence in the absence of fear of heights. This applies not only to cyclists, but also to all tourists.

Weekend tour

There is another convenient option to get on the BAO - weekend tour. An organized group led by a guide goes to the lake by registered bus.

Retirees and families with children travel that way most often. The organizers guarantee their comfort and take on all the problems with overcoming the route. During the journey, the guide tells passengers interesting stories related to these places.

Interesting places in the vicinity of BAO

  • You can spend the night in a hotel located 2 km above the lake, near the observatory. Admire the heavenly bodies at night, looking at them with a telescope - the dream of people who are passionate about the mysteries of the universe.
  • Lovers of everything connected with the cosmos should go 8 km higher, where on Zhusaly-Kezensky Pass, there is a scientific cosmostation.
  • Travelers who are ready to try themselves as climbers can climb the Big Almaty peak and the Tourists peak.
  • In the falconry of AK Sunkar, tourists will be introduced to the amazing world of birds, and a fascinating bird show is held here.

A person who finds himself in such amazingly beautiful places is once again convinced of how delightful planet Earth is.
Regardless of the type of transportation, a trip to the lake brings a lot of pleasure. The beautiful lake will stay in your mind in all its magnificence.

How to get to BAO on the map

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