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Kamchatka: Reindeer Herders & the Ring of Fire

Dates & Prices
Special Features
Daily Itinerary
Reading List
What's Included
Cultural Series Description
Suggested Extensions


"Fascinating. Educational. Mind expanding. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. MIR did a good job!"

H. Foehrenbacher

New York, NY

This uncommon journey focuses on the wild Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia's east coast, a wide volcanic promontory thrusting upward from the Pacific Ring of Fire. Spend nine days exploring this spectacular region by cross-country vehicle and helicopter, meeting its diverse people and experiencing its ruggedly beautiful landscapes en route.

Days 1-3: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Valley of the Geysers

Arrive in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a remote seaside town surrounded by three soaring volcanoes. Founded by Vitus Bering, the city is named after the two ships he sailed into Avacha Bay in 1740, the St. Peter and the St. Paul. Enjoy a boat ride around the bay, where colonies of sea birds nest on the cliffs.

Board a helicopter for a ride up Kamchatka's backbone of volcanic peaks to the Valley of the Geysers, hidden in a canyon 125 miles from Petropavlovsk. A natural preserve only discovered in 1941, this area seethes with geysers, steaming hot springs, mud kettles and aromatic sulfur pools. The only place with more geysers is Yellowstone National Park. In recognition of its great biodiversity, the valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Days 4-6: Esso, Reindeer Breeders' Camp

Venture north of Petropavlovsk, past the settlement of Milkovo, to the rarely visited region around the small town of Esso, located in the middle of the peninsula. Esso is home to many Koryak and Even indigenous people. The name Koryak comes from the native word khora, meaning reindeer; learn more about the lives of these semi-nomads during a helicopter visit to a reindeer camp. Visit the Koryak and Even ethnographic museum and art gallery and enjoy an authentic folk performance of traditional song and dance in the nearby settlement of Anavgai.

Days 7-9: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Avacha volcano

Drive back to Petropavlovsk and spend a day hiking at the foot of Avacha volcano, seeking out fantastic views of the nearby peaks. Gather back in town for a festive dinner to toast the conclusion of the adventure.

Trip Details

Length of Trip: 9 Days
Departures in 2014: 1
Dates: August 22-30, 2014
Land Tour Cost:  
6-16 travelers $6,295
Plus internal helicopter flights

$1,100 (subject to change)

Partial Single Supplement $750
No Hidden Costs!

MIR Signature Features

  • Helicopter over smoking volcanoes on your way to the Valley of the Geysers in some of the worlds wildest landscapes
  • Visit a summer encampment of seminomadic reindeer breeders and their herds
  • Boat around the mountainous coastline of Avacha Bay

Map - Click to Enlarge

Day Activity  
Days 1-2: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky  
Day 3: helicopter to Valley of the Geysers, trip to Avacha Bay  
Day 4: drive to Esso  
Day Activity  
Days 5-6: Esso, Anavgay Settlement  
Day 8: drive to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky  
Day 9: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky  

List of Highlights
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Capital of Kamchatka Peninsula, home to Russian Pacific submarine fleet, boat ride on Avacha Bay, Museum of Volcanology
Valley of the Gysers Helicopter journey to the Kronotsky Preserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Esso Helicopter journey with exceptional scenery, Milkovo Village, reindeer breeders camp, Esso, Switzerland of Eastern Russia, ethnographic museum, extensive system of hotsprings
Avangay Settlement Home to Even and Koryak people

Suggested Extensions

Optional pre- or post-tour to Vladivostok and the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Center outside Vladivostok. Contact us for details.

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