Places for active recreation
In the City That Never Sleeps, it might be exhausting to always hang out in crowded places or to do things that have already become uninteresting. However, Almaty is super versatile and anyone can find an activity which would lay on his/her soul. If you are adventurous and always willing to experience new emotions, this article is meant to satisfy you and your internal extreme. As Almaty is a big metropolis, the range of various activities is wide. You can try different types of them: paragliding, rope jumping, rafting, trap shooting, skydiving, hunting, fishing, paintball, karting, hiking etc.
Since Almaty is surrounded by the mountains of the Zailiysky Alatau, the number of places for paragliding is very large. The most popular of them are the high-altitude ski resort Shymbulak, the Ushkonyr plateau and the Big Almaty Gorge. These places attract many pilots and tourists from all over the world. Moreover, except professionals, there are many ordinary people who want to try this activity and feel like a flying bird for a short time. You can “fly” at the height from 960 to 3600 meters above sea level, at your discretion. There are instructors who will accompany each desirous during the flight, and will secure the safety journey. Usually the flight lasts from 7 to 15 minutes and there is also the weight limit which is from 20 to 110 kg. The average bill for this joy is 15 000 KZT.
People call fans of this type of extreme sports crazy, and it seems that we have to agree with this. Rope-Jumping is an activity that can give a person an abundance of adrenaline and at the same time fear. There are few places for Rope-Jumping in Almaty, such as the Almaty-Kapchagay highway, the dam in the Almarasan gorge and the Kargalinka river area. But one of the most popular organizers is FlyKazakhstan, whose jumps are held in Kapchagay. They are popular due to their 10 years of experience in the field and many people turn to them first. In addition, there are some requirements for jumping from Rope-Jumping: jumping is available for people with a strong nervous system and for people aged 18 to 60 years. The height range starts from 45 to 180 meters depending on the object. If you are afraid of Rope-Jumping, but want to try it, there are professional instructors at your service.
Another sport with a high level of adrenaline is rafting. This is a very difficult but extremely exciting activity that you can also try in Almaty. Since Kazakhstan is a country of steppes, there are not many rivers where you can try rafting. In any case, Almaty offers its residents and visitors several popular rivers such as the Ili, Chilik and Turgen. The average length of the route is from 2 to 5 km.
Although the number of extreme sports varies, bench shooting is one of the most enjoyable outdoor gun adventures. Some people may think it’s dangerous and boring, but it’s one of the best skills to master for both men and women. The most important benefit of shooting is that it helps a person turn off the parts of the brain that are constantly working at the same time and focus on one thing. There are several shooting clubs in Almaty where everyone can test their abilities. In addition, you can do this with a friend or individually, and experienced instructors with many years of experience will help in the shooting process.
Among all the extreme sports, skydiving is the most extreme that you can try. If you are looking for an activity that can challenge your fears, emotions, mental and physical strength, then skydiving is the activity for you. If you have never skydived but have always dreamed of doing so, there are some things you need to know: relax, don’t worry, enjoy the experience and the view. Experienced professionals can help you, so do not be afraid to jump with a parachute. In the north of Almaty, a 30-minute drive from the city along the Kapchagai highway, is the village of Bayserke. Flights are carried out at the airfield, which is located in this village. Usually the jump is made from a height of 900 meters. You cannot come and jump; there will be a 4 hour briefing before the jump explaining the rules and requirements.
Since ancient times, the Kazakhs loved hunting, and to this day this interest is in our blood. Currently, there are several special companies that will fully organize your hunt. Speaking of Almaty, there are several hunting grounds here. For example, deer are hunted more to the east of the city of Almaty – Dzungarian Alatau (~ 400 km), Dardamty (~ 300 km) and Kolsai (100 km). The height of the hunting zone is 1500–2000 m above sea level. The Siberian ibex is hunted in 2 regions: Altyn-Emel and Charyn regions (~ 250-300 km east of Almaty). The height of the hunting zone is ~ 1000 m above sea level. Central Asian goats are hunted in one area – Sairam Ugam National Park, which is located west of Almaty. This region borders on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. To hunt in this area, the hunter must fly to Shymkent; then land transport ~ 100 km. The average height in the hunting area is from 1500 to 2000 m.
Everyone knows that Almaty is popular as a city full of picturesque places, and for fishing enthusiasts there are special areas for this type of recreation. These are the Karatal River, the Koksa River, the Ili River, the Kyzyl Tu, the Kaskelen River, etc. In the Almaty rivers, you can catch such fish as: bream, carp, pike perch, aspen, carp, silver carp and snake fish. Many fishermen say that the best moment in fishing is the process when you sit, relax in silence and wait for the fish to be on your hook. This is exactly what makes people enjoy this type of activity.
Paintball is a game that gives you a real feeling of war and fighting. Paintball helps to relieve stress and relax, as fans of various computer games can shoot like in real life. This type of entertainment is not only extreme, but also funny, because the paintball bullet is colorful. Almaty has a large selection of paintball clubs, from mini playgrounds to a large village with all paintball equipment. Picturesque forest and various obstacles will make you feel like a real soldier and fight against your «enemies».
Not everyone has the ability or the courage to drive, but in this case, karting is always a good idea. There are not many places for karting in Almaty, but there is one area that is very popular among residents and visitors of the city. It is called the Sokol Hippodrome, which is located on the 76th km of the Almaty-Astana highway in the Ilsky district of the Almaty region. The total area of Sokol is 205 hectares and accommodates about 105 thousand people. Also, the parking system of this place is calculated for 35,000 parking spaces. Apart from Sokol, some parks have small go-kart areas, but they are mainly for children and small ones.
Every Almaty resident loves two things the most: mountains and hiking. You will not find a single inhabitant of Almaty who has never gone to the mountains. The southern capital has always been popular for its high mountain peaks, and native Almaty residents prefer to hike up there rather than drive there in cars or buses. For this reason, there are many destinations for hiking. Of these, the most visited are: Big Almaty Peak, Furmanov Peak, Nazarbayev Peak, Bukreev Peak, Kokzhailau, Butakovsky Waterfall, Medeu, etc. Hiking is considered a healthy sport, not extreme or dangerous. Tourists visiting Almaty for the first time are highly recommended to go hiking and conquer at least one of these mountain peaks.