The total number of foreign tourists who visited the country last year surpassed 610,000 visitors. Domestic tourism also saw a boost thanks to the ongoing development of tourism infrastructure and local businesses. The positive industry growth has been recently noted by esteemed travel journals, like Travelscapes, which awarded Kazakhstan as the most trending excursion destination in 2023.
Natural attractions still dominate the traveler's Kazakhstan bucket list. Some of the sites were noted to be reminiscent of other popular places in the world, which you can see more of here.
5. Charyn canyon
The canyon attracted more than 45,000 tourists who were eager to see the splendor of the ancient, sun-dried river landscape with their own eyes. The Charyn Canyon is located in the Charyn National Park about 215km east of Almaty. It is said to have formed about 3 million years ago as the land around the canyon started to rise. Because the area used to be a large inland sea, the deposits revealed on the sides of the canyon are relatively soft and contain hundreds of millions of years of the Earth’s history.
4. Bayanaul National Park
A popular resort among the locals, the eponymous mountain range attracts more and more people each year. In the last year alone, the Bayanaul national park received more than 85,000 tourists. The park was opened to maintain the natural vegetation and animal species of the surrounding mountainous region. There are more than 450 species of tree, including indigenous species such as Black Alder and Bayanaul Pine.
3. Kolsay Lakes
Often dubbed a “Pearl of Tian-Shan”, this location offers breathtaking vistas of the most prominent mountain ranges of Kazakhstan. The number of tourists who have traveled in and around the lakes surpassed 190,000 in 2022. The lakes are located in the Kolsay Gorge and are separated into three: upper, middle, and lower.
2. Burabay National Park
Over the years, the national park has become one of the most significant brands of domestic tourism. In the past year, 550,000 visitors came to admire the scenic views of Kokshetau. There are 14 lakes on the territory of the park, each of which has an area of more than 1 km. The river network is sparse and consists of small rivers, springs, and temporary channels. The largest lakes are Bolshoye Chebachyeand Maloye Chebachye, Shchuchye, and Borovoye.
1. Ile-Alatau National Park
Ile-Alatau national park was the most popular destination among domestic tourists in 2022, with 628,000 people visiting the Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range. The 2,000 sq km park is almost untouched by the advances of civilization and contains a wealth of differing habitats from woodlands to Alpine meadows, glaciers, and meltwater lakes. The park is home to around 300 species of birds and animals, including snow leopards, the Central Asian lynx, Tian Shan brown bears, Central Asian stone martens, Siberian ibexes, bearded vultures, and golden eagles. The territory is also thought to possess the genetic root of all known varieties of apple trees in the world.