Waters of Eden – The Complete Tour
Available July 1 through August 31 = 11 nights/11 days
$2,025/person for 3-6 passengers
$1,820/person for 7-14 passengers
$1,620/person for 15+ passengers
Activity Level Very Difficult
Recommended by the Lonely Planet
This area of Russia is considered a paradise on earth. This Adventure offers a chance to explore the beautiful mountain scenery and river valleys while hiking and camping. We offer three routes found below – “The Complete Tour” for the opitmal experience needed to explore the beautiful Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria; “The Cherek and Chegem” and “The Tizil Valley” routes which both offer variations of the complete tour.
Each day and activity is handpicked based on our close partnerships with our local friends to maximize your adventure. Your immersion in culture and the natural beauty of the Caucasus will leave you with truly unforgettable memories. The locals you meet and the friends or family you travel with will naturally create unique experiences for each group. We’re absolutely delighted to put together such tours and to also partake in these adventures with each group. Welcome to Eco-Tourism in the Caucasus!
* Except for travel days, meals and unlimited water are included in the expense of this tour package.
** Tips are expected for guides and translators (represents additional expense to tourists – approximately $10/day.)
*** Tips for drivers and servers are appropriate according to the quality of service provided.
Including, but not limited to, recommended flight schedules, airport information, step-by-step visa application guide, seasonal advice, and local expertise
All Tour Transportation
Registration in Russia
Cultural Exchange Talent Costs (when applicable)
Gondola fee (when applicable)
Gift bags (including snacks and gifts)
RU Visa & Processing – $430/tourist (3-year, multi-entry)
Travel Insurance – $30/tourist ($3/day)
Airfare – $1,600
Not Included Total – $2,060
15+ Pax. Tour Cost – $1,620
Estimated Total Cost – $3,680
Evening arrival (fly into MinVody airport, transfer to Upper Balkaria accommodations)
Moscow is the gateway city for passengers entering Russia. From any of Moscow’s airports you can find connections to your destination airport – Mineral Waters (MRV). You will transfer from MRV to Upper Balkaria and accommodate at Hotel Tay El.
Brunch, visit ancient ruins, memorial, cultural exch.1 (Upper Balkaria accommodations)
After sleeping off your jet lag and enjoying a first-rate brunch, you’ll casually spend your first day climbing in the ruins of the old village and learning about the locals’ history. In the evening you’ll actually get to meet some of the villages “white beards.”
Tunnel walk, Blue Lake, swim in hot springs (Hot Springs accommodations)
On your way out of Upper Balkaria, walk the scenic “old road” (1 km) alongside the Cherek Canyon, shop alongside Blue Lake pathways, and take a dip in the local hot springs at Aushiger. Dinner and accommodations are right there at the hot springs.
See Nalchik’s Green Market and central park, cultural exch.2 (Nalchik accommodations)
Sight-see Nalchik’s Green Market and the city’s huge central park. Don’t skip Sesruko’s monument (accessible by chair lift) or the goat market’s hand-made wool products. In the evening enjoy cultural music played by a talented group of locals.
Chegem waterfalls, paragliding, cultural exch.3 (Paradrome accommodations)
Sight-see upper and lower Chegem waterfalls and ancient mausoleums on the way to your cultural exchange with fellow adventurers at the paradrome. For an additional 3,000 Rubles (approx. $50) soar above the eagles for 25 minutes under a parachute.
See Belem pass, Cheget Village, and gondola up Mt. Elbrus (Kundolen accommodations)
Experience the incredible scenery from the pass between the Chegem and Boksan valleys before exploring Cheget Village. After lunch, you’ll ride the gondola up Mt. Elbrus and view the landscape you’ll soon trek on foot. You’ll overnight in a Kundolen home.
Trek to Tizil grotto, cultural exch.3, explore Kundolen (Kundolen accommodations)
After breakfast you’ll initiate your legs with a short trek to Tizil’s grotto (two hours one way). Upon returning, you’ll have a late lunch before enjoying a cultural exchange with music and dancing. If you’ve got something left in the tank, then explore Kundolen.
Sight-see Belem mountain lakes, start multi-day trek (Sunny mining village campsite)
The serious trekking starts after you’ve had a chance to behold the majestic hue of Belem’s mountain lakes. From the peak named “Mother-In-Law’s Tooth” you’ll trek to the abandoned mining village of Sunny and camp next to the river that runs through it.
Trek to Kenjal overlook of Mt. Elbrus (Kenjal Plateau campsite)
Sunny is nestled on the valley floor, so you’ll trek out of the valley to the plateau looming above you – Kenjal. On a clear day, Kenjal offers the most breath-taking view of Mt. Elbrus found in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. You’ll make camp nearby.
Trek to Gedmish Falls, cultural exch.2 (Gedmish accommodations)
The trek from Kenjal Plateau to Gedmish Falls is a walk on the heights with constant look-outs (esp. see Mt. Elbrus). Even so, the beauty of Gedmish Falls at day’s end may steal your breath more than the rest. You’ll meet locals and overnight near the falls.
Trek to the Valley of Springs, horse rides available (Valley of Springs accommodations)
The plant life and scenery change noticeably trekking to the Valley of Springs, but you’ll welcome the diversity. You may take a late-afternoon trek on horseback depending on how quickly you cover the distance from Gedmish to your accommodations.
Sight-see Juli Su springs/falls, Kislovodsk, evening departure (fly out of MinVody airport)
End your adventure by visiting Juli Su, a collection of springs and waterfalls located at the base of Mt. Elbrus. From there you’ll pass through Kislovodsk’s city center before transferring to Mineral Waters (MRV) airport for your evening departure.