The Stone Warriors of Oymyakon, 25 June - 4 July, 2017
Exclusive photo tour
Yakutia is an immense land that lies in Far East of Russia.
As the World’s Largest Federal Subject, Yakutia is also ranked among less-populated ones.
There’re plenty of tourists who would like to visit this land, and we’re happy to give you such an opportunity!
We’ll go along the Kolyma Highway. This route was built by inmates of the infamous Gulag (during the USSR’s Stalinist era). A few years ago the highway was opened for a year-round use.
Immense and picturesque landscapes around the Kolyma Highway are still poorly captured in photos.
Two eventful days later we’ll reach the settlement of Ust-Nera that is located at the confluence of the well-known Nera and Indigirka Rivers. We’ll go motorboating from there until we find way to our camp site.
The enormous area, which is Yakutia, is covered with ranges and peaks where many logging complexes are located. These formations look like huge humans or real stone giants.
This unique place is little-known in Russia, and is completely unheard beyond its territory!
The Yakuts, the indigenous population of this area, call these stone giants the Kigilakhs of Oymyakon that can be translated as “human-like”.
The Stone Warriors of Oymyakon have distinct human features and even their own character!
Besides, in winter Oymyakon is regarded as the Coldest Inhabited Area in Russia, but don’t worry – we’ll make our journey in summer.
We’ll drive along the Kolyma Highway, and then go motorboating along the river till we reach our base camp.
During the tour a well-known Russian photographer will give you advice on the best shooting techniques and photo editing methods. Amateur photographers will enjoy special workshops on mastering sophisticated photo equipment, building the right composition and using filters. If you’re a seasoned photographer, you’ll learn more about shooting panoramas, focus stacking and night photography.
What’s more, the places we’re going to visit are so picturesque that you’ll take stunning pictures with a camera and even a smartphone!
Our professional team includes a photographer, experienced guide, translator, drivers, motorboat helmsmen and a cook.
You’ll be able to step into the shoes of a real explorer as there’re still too few photos of these amazing places.
- Cover 1000 km on the Kolyma Highway, an exceptionally picturesque route in Yakutia
- Cross the Lena River, the largest one in Eastern Siberia
- Go motorboating along the famous Indigirka River accompanied by experienced guides
- Visit the Stone Warriors of Oymyakon, which are unique natural formations
- Technical grade – basic.
1 stage – the Kolyma Highway
We leave Yakutsk in the morning. The trip to the settlement of Ust-Nera takes two days. By the way we make an overnight stop in a beautiful place and pitch a tent.
While travelling, we enjoy breathtaking landscapes and the Yakut settlements.
We pass over the Lena and Aldan Rivers by ferry. There we admire numerous mountains, rivers partially covered with ice, and picturesque passages.
We cross the Black Pass where the local mountains meet the river.
We stop along the route several times and take pictures of the most interesting sites. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to capture all the beauty of the Kolyma Highway in just two days. However, we can also enrich our photo collections on the way back.
2 stage – the Stone Warriors of Oymyakon
We reach the settlement of Ust-Nera on the evening of the second day. There we take motorboats and continue our journey along the Indigirka River that lasts roughly an hour.
Then we step ashore and set a temporary camp.
The next day we climb 400 m higher and fix our base camp.
That’s a dream place for any photographer. The surroundings are full of amazing angles that can result in gorgeous shots.
More seasoned travelers probably won’t resist the temptation to discover distant Stone Warriors and get extraordinary photos.
3 stage – the Kolyma Highway
In the morning we pack up our base camp and go to the Indigirka River. Motorboats bring us to the settlement of Ust-Nera. There we get into cars and set off to Yakutsk.
While travelling along the Kolyma Highway, we stop in the most interesting places. Later we come back to Yakutsk, and that’s the end of our journey.
Maximum Number of Participants: 10
Everything listed in the tour program together with camping and meals is included in the final price. It means that you won’t make any additional payments after leaving Yakutsk and till you come back to the city.
- double accommodation in tents along the itinerary
- transfer from the airport of Yakutsk to the chosen hotel, and return
- car & driver services
- gas costs
- motorboat & helmsman services
- motorboat fuel costs
- three meals a day (full board). You can have additional snacks on the way. The food includes traditional Russian porridges with meat and snacks like chocolate. If you’re vegetarian, let us know beforehand and we’ll prepare the menu without any meat
- photographer guidance
- guide services, including detailed information about the culture and traditions of the indigenous people of Yakutia
- travelling kitchen services
- translator services (English/Russian)
- guide armed with a rifle who has also road flares and means of emergency communication
- mosquito-repellent spray and mosquito head nets.
- flight tickets. You’re recommended to come to Yakutsk on June 24, so that you can leave the city on July 5. If needed, we’ll give you detailed instructions on how to book the tickets for these days, and provide you with the links to the official websites of airline companies
- hotel in Yakutsk – one night before setting off on a journey and one night after camping. You’re advised to stay in hotel to avoid possible problems with flight delays. In case you need help in booking a room, we can find you a suitable hotel and send the link
- meals in Yakutsk
- medical insurance and flight delay insurance
- Russian visa (we’ll provide a visa support document, also known as a letter of invitation).
We’ll mostly travel by cars and motorboats, but the distance from the Indigirka River to our base camp will be covered on foot, so be ready to carry your luggage. If you can’t do it yourself, we’ll be happy to help. Please, let us know beforehand. It’s better to leave large suitcases at home as they are hard to put in a boat. We recommend taking a waterproof backpack or travel bag. Besides, you’ll have to carry your photo equipment to the chosen shooting location.
We’ll sleep in tents throughout the journey, let alone a hotel in Yakutsk.
The itinerary can be slightly changed due to bad weather conditions.
Make sure to buy travel insurance coverage.
We’d like to draw your attention to the fact that we bear no responsibility for changing weather conditions and delayed flights.
You’ll be able to take a hot shower only upon your return to Yakutsk.
Try taking enough spare batteries for your camera as we won’t have a chance to recharge them on the way. It’s better to bring no less than three or four batteries.
As we have a cook you shouldn’t worry about food. If you’re vegetarian, let us know and we’ll make a special menu.
Our guide will be armed with a rifle and will also bring road flares. Mobile communications will be available only in certain points of the itinerary. In case of emergency, we have a sat-phone. Your safety is our first priority. In the beginning of the journey the guide will give you information on the safety rules that must be obeyed.
The technical grade of this tour is basic, and the journey will be suitable for everyone.
Being a Russian photographer, Andrey sees his mission as showing the world – both his fellow countrymen and foreigners – the true beauty of this largest country. He also wants to draw the public attention to the preserve its unique nature.
Andrey is a member of the Russian Geographical Society.
He made it to the shortlist of the photo contests “35AWARDS 2015” and “Wild Nature of Russia 2015” hosted by National Geographic Russia. One of his shot was included into Top 100 photos of 2015. Andrey became the winner of the photo contest “The Best Of Russia” with his landscape pictures in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also took part in the photo festival “100 Wonders of the World 2014” and was awarded in the category “Animalistic” in the course of the contest “At the Heart of the Image” hosted by Nikon.
Sergey graduated from the Russian State Geological Prospecting University. He’s a professional traveler with 30+ years experience, guide, photographer and blogger. In the very beginning of his traveling activities Sergey had been engaging in speleology for ten years.
As a member of the Russian Geographical Society and the Artists’ Union of Russia, Sergey aims to show hard-to-reach and little-known places mostly located in Russia.