Travelling with BaikalNature you will make tours of Russia, especially the regions of the Altai, Lake Baikal and Kamchatka. We invite you to board the Trans-Siberian Railway train from Moscow to Vladivostok and let you even cross the border since Mongolia is open for you now. You can use the “Tour search” form, fill in the criterion «Destination» and click "search" to find trips that meet your expectations. In addition, you will find the "Destinations" heading on the right upper part of the page describing each tour. By selecting one of your own you'll have access to all offered trips.
BaikalNature offers different types of tours:
You can use the “Tour search form” defining the trip best suited to your needs. To do this, simply fill in the following criteria with your choice: "Destination", "Tour type ", "Activity ", etc. and click "Search”. The list of tours defined by your search will be displayed on the screen. It will be more helpful than reading the brief description of each tour and clicking for more details on those that attract your attention.
BaikalNature allows you to travel with it throughout the year. However, not each tour is offered in all seasons because of climate conditions necessary for the journey and the activities proposed. You can use the search form, choose the "Departure Month” and click on "Search" to find tours that meet your expectations. The period will be shown under the name of each tour. You'll also find it on the upper part of the descriptive page of each tour in the "Period " header.
Some of our tours are offered with fixed departures, other departures are open:
Tours with Fixed departures are offered only on specific dates in advance, as you will be part of a group. However, the departure will not be guaranteed until a group consisting of a minimum of people required is formed (please mind the "Group" in the header of the page describing each trip and the paragraph that appears under its name). However it is possible to ensure the start by paying a small supplement. For more information, please refer to the paragraph "Price comment”, located in the "Departures & Prices" tab.
Tours with open departure periods give you more freedom and autonomy. Some of them are available all the year round; others are only for a given period. The price will vary depending on the number of people interested in the tour. If both parties agree, it is possible to join an existing group which will bring down the price of the tour.
To determine the type and departure dates or periods of availability of each tour, please read the header “Departure” in the upper part of the page devoted to it and click on the "Departures & Prices" tab.
Whole range of activities on the agenda is clearly stated in the upper part of the page of each tour in the "Activities ". By clicking on each one you will find other BaikalNature tours offering the same type of activity. You can also use the search form, select an activity and click "Search" to find tours that meet your expectations. Moreover, reading the "Presentation" tab on the page of each tour you can find out more details and the diversity of each tour.
All our tours are not of the same level of complexity. For some of them, being healthy and enjoying good physical condition is the minimum required, for others, you will need an excellent physical training and moral fitness. In any case, we advise you to consult with your physician before starting any booking process. BaikalNature, depending on the physical activity required, ranked its tours in 5 difficulty levels represented by simple symbols:
If comfort level of our tours is consistent with accommodations provided in the program, it is often the activities that determine them (e.g. trekking implies tents). BaikalNature classified the comfort of its tours into 5 levels represented by a simple symbolic system:
All trips offer different levels of exclusivity. In some tours some proposed activities will be shared with people outside the group, in others, BaikalNature books most of the services for its customers. There are 5 different levels of exclusivity of BaikalNature tours, represented by the simple symbolic system:
As everyone has different period of time for discovery of a region or different wishes, BaikalNature has designed a range of tours from a simple visit to a city (3-4 hours) to trips for three weeks with discovery stopovers from one to three days. This variety also allows you to extend the tour you have already chosen. You can use the Tour Search form, choose the Tour Length and click the "Search" button to find trips that meet your expectations. In addition, the length of the trip is clearly indicated in the upper part of its descriptive page under the "Trip Length" header.
To maximize your enjoyment, but also to leave the nature untouched for our children, the groups are usually small, from 4 to 10 participants. To learn the membership of the group, please consult:
the "Group" header of the page describing each tour and in the list obtained after using the “Tour Search Form”,
“Departures & Prices” tab on the descriptive page of each tour.
To find out how many people can take part in each BaikalNature tour, please read the information in the "Group" header of the page describing each tour and in the list obtained after using the search form.
All our trips with fixed departure dates are open for single travelers. However, the departure will not be guaranteed until a group consisting of a minimum of people required is formed (see the membership of the group in the upper part of the page describing each tour under the "Group" header). For the information on possible single supplement, please refer to the paragraph "Price comment” located in the "Departures & Prices" tab.
Because of high costs that would result in some tours with open departures, only those labeled "Group: 1 +" are accessible to people traveling alone. This information is contained in the header of the page describing each tour and in the list obtained after using the search form on travel. Regarding the price itself, you should keep in mind that you will pay a greater sum than those travelling in groups. For the price you pay for one person, please see the tab "Departures & Prices" on the descriptive page for each tour. However, if both parties agree, it is possible to join an existing group which will bring down the price of the tour. Anyway, you can always ask us for a tour, to do that please refer our "Custom Tours and Logistics”.
Specially to let you travel with your children, BaikalNature has created "family tours". Some of BaikalNature tours require specific physical conditions for adults and therefore are not feasible for children. For other tours, the key factors for choosing the tour will be the activities of the tour, the daily physical exercise and the type of terrain encountered, as well as your child's age and physical condition. You can complete the "ASK A QUESTION ABOUT THIS TOUR" form from the descriptive page of the trip you want to book and one of our experts will contact you as soon as possible.
Transportation used during BaikalNature tours are varied and determined by different criteria:
All transportation used are clearly indicated in the header of descriptive pages for each tour in the "Transport " heading. You can find all these transports by clicking on "Map of this Tour".
The equipment you will need depends on the type of activities of the tour, level of difficulty of the terrain you'll encounter and especially the season when the trip takes place, and the region. You will receive, before booking a BaikalNature tour, specifications of the said trip. It contains, among other information, all equipment necessary to complete this journey.
You can see the route of each trip very clearly by clicking on "Map of this Tour". The types of activities, overnights and transport are reported on the map to help you read easily. We invite you to zoom in closer to get a glimpse of the environment that will be yours for the duration of the trip.
Nothing could be easier. On the right side of the page describing each tour you will find a category "You might also like these trips". It lists all trips that meet the same spirit, you just should click on one of your choice.
Yes, without any problem. The range of BaikalNature tours is such that it allows you to create an extension to the trip of your choice and add it to the beginning or the end of your stay. You fill in the Tour Search form and click "search" to find the tour that meets your expectations.
It is quite feasible. Whether you know exactly what you want or you have only vague ideas, please go to our Custom Tours and Logistics.
BaikalNature is a Russian company in Russia where the currency is ruble, that’s why we set the price of our trips in this currency. The prices listed in euro and dollar to the right of those reflect the ruble exchange rate of the day, and may therefore go up or down. Current exchange rates of dollar and euro are given at the bottom of the pages, describing tours. For more information, please consult our "Terms & Conditions".
In general, our travellers have full board service from the beginning of the tour *. Transfers, local transportation, accommodation and meals 3 times a day are included, as well as interpreting and guides’ services*, sightseeing and entrance fees to national parks and state reserves, group equipment, camp cuisine and a first-aid kit. An invitation letter is included in the basic price of the tour. To learn more, please refer to the paragraphs "Price includes" and "Price comment” in the “Departures & Prices” tab located on the descriptive page of each tour and consult our “Visa support” page.
* except freedom tours.
The price of our tours do not include travel insurance, visa fees, transportation outside the programme, some meals in towns or during free days (as specified in the details of the tour), gratuities and personal expenses . To learn more, please refer to the paragraphs "Price does not include" and "Price comment”, located in the "Departures & Prices" tab on the descriptive page of each tour.
We do not include price for transfers airport - hotel (reception with a sign) in the tour price intentionally, but offer this service separately to give you more flexibility in building your stay online. So you can arrive earlier or depart a few days later after the completion of the tour, remittance services are offered at the time of booking your tour or accommodation. For more information, please visit the "services" on BaikalNature site.
3. Other Services
BaikalNature offers a range of additional services (transfers by land and sea, visa support, interpreting service and rent of equipment). Thank you for visiting the " services" on BaikalNature.com.
4. Booking and payment
You can complete the "Ask a question about this tour" form from the page of the tour you wish to book and one of our experts will contact you as quickly as it’s possible.
BaikalNature pays special attention to the security of online payments and confidentiality of the customers’ personal data. That's why we chose to work with the International operator of web-payments ChronoPay for processing online payments. Upon payment, the user is automatically redirected to the secure ChronoPay server, where your confidential information is captured from the credit card and payment is made. The server uses the latest SSL (Secure Socket Layer) standard online industry, to encrypt your credit card information, eliminating the possibility of interception by third parties, the online booking process is thus 100% safe.
No. You pay only 30% of the total price when booking, the remainder is to be paid during 21 days before the departure. In the event that the tour begins in a period of time not exceeding three weeks, you have to pay the full price when booking. We invite you to see the "Departures and prices" tab and the "Booking options" in the tours’ pages. For more information, please read our "Terms & Conditions ".
We accept MasterCard, VISA, JCB, Diners Club.
The procedure of payment involves several steps:
The cost of additional services (transfers from the airport to the hotel, interpreters, etc.) that you have subscribed to will be added to the price of the tour and included in the amount of money to pay contained on the page "payment for special services."
All payments made on BaikalNature.com will appear as "Booking Services" paid to “www.BaikalNature.com”
Your personal information that you report about yourself when using the BaikalNature services is confidential and is not to be disclosed to the third parties. Also, we will never use your email for spam or obtrusive advertizing. To find out more, please, read our “Terms & Conditions”.
5. Cancellation terms
The cancellation policies are as follows:
For more information, please refer to "Terms & Conditions"
Indeed, for travel in Russia and Mongolia you must obtain a visa from the consulates of the corresponding countries.
First, you have to obtain a letter of invitation. BaikalNature offers visa support and has created the "BaikalNature invitation letter” package to that end. If you buy a BaikalNature tour, this package is absolutely free; when you buy any other BaikalNature service, you will have to pay to this package. For more information, visit our "Visa Support " page and "Russia Invitation Letter."
For 30 days’ stays, you do not need a letter of invitation. For a stay longer than this period, please contact us.
On Russianembassy.net you can find information on all Russian embassies and consulates of the world.
Specialized agencies located in your country also offer their services online, and can make the process of obtaining a visa for you for some remuneration. You can easily find their contact information by searching the internet.
For further information, please consult our “Visa Support” page.
Yes. In Russia, Mongolian visas are obtained from the consular department of the Mongolian Embassy in Moscow and four consulates in Saint Petersburg, Kyzyl (Tuva), Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude. In Mongolia, the consular services of the Russian embassy issue Russian visas in Ulan Bator. If you wish, you can extend your stay and cross borders to discover one of these countries. Please keep in mind that the process of obtaining visas requires a significant delay (sometimes a week) and that during this time you will not have your passport with you. For more information, please contact us.
A certificate of insurance and repatriation issued by your insurance company and covering the entire period of travel will be required to obtain a Russian or Mongolian visa. Please, visit the websites of the Russian Embassy and the Mongolian Embassy in your country and your insurance company for details.
it is imperative to register with local authorities within 7 working days in each Russian city where you stay. This is usually done by the host. At a hotel, the cost is low, 2-3 rubles per day, at a homestay the price can vary from 300 to 600 rubles for the whole stay. For further information, please see our “Visa Support” page.
for stays of 30 days, it will not be necessary for you to register. For stays longer than 30 days, you will need to register with local authorities within seven days.
Concerning tick-borne encephalitis, it is present in areas where ticks bite since May till July. As of August, they are not aggressive any more. If you do not get vaccinated, you should follow the basic precautions. It is also possible to get special insurance.
7. Transport to Russia and Mongolia
A lot of different airlines offer direct and change-of-plane flights from different countries and cities to Russia.
MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Aero Mongolia and other airlines offer flights to Ulan Bator. However, MIAT also offers a flight from Beijing, good for people who want to discover Mongolia from China.
To help you in your search, we made a list of Russian and Mongolian airlines with the cities of departure and destination as well as the airports. Almost all companies and airports have their websites. So you can click on each name to open the English page of the site.
In case if you buy tickets for flights from your city to Moscow and land at the international airport Sheremetyevo 2. Domestic flights, themselves, are made at the national airport Sheremetyevo 1 (see "airport map"), although since the construction of new terminal D at Sheremetyevo 2 that tends to change. Therefore it’s quite possible that after your arrival to Moscow, you will have to deplane, go through passport control, collect your luggage, go through customs, go from Sheremetyevo 2 to Sheremetyevo 1 (see "Transfer between Terminals ") and to re-register your luggage ... which takes a significant delay. Therefore, please, make sure, that you will have minimum 3-4 hours between your landing at Sheremetyevo and taking off. However, if you make all your travel with the same company, you may be exempt from change of terminals, but you may need to collect your luggage and re-register. Please, do not forget to read your e-ticket and do not hesitate to contact the airlines or the company issuing the electronic ticket.
Since April 30, 2011, Irkutsk is served from Munich by Yakutia airlines which means that it is not necessary to travel through Moscow any longer, and that customs examinations will be done directly after the arrival to the International Airport.
If you like adventure and take your time, it is perfectly possible to come to Russia either by train or by coach:- Train :
SNCF site does not allow the purchase of train tickets to Russia, however the Deutch Bahn (German railway company) permits. You can search on their website, unfortunately without being able to book online. For information and tickets, you should call 01 44 58 95 40 (opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). You can also visit the website of the RZD (Russian railway company) where you can book tickets online, but unfortunately not from the pages in English. Once in Russia, you will be able to buy tickets for Russian trains at the stations and a lot of agencies selling train tickets, identified by the words «ЖД КАССА». We can help you in your process of buying a train ticket, please review the “ Is it possible to book air or train tickets through BaikalNature?”- Coach:
Eurolines, a European coach company, allows you to depart from your country and reach Russian cities of Moscow, Pskov, Smolensk and St. Petersburg after a change of a coach in Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus.
These two means of transport have the advantage that you can take more baggage with you, but are not only slower than the aircraft but also more expensive in general. In addition, you should keep in mind that going by train or by coach, you will pass through the Republic of Belarus, which involves being in possession of a Belarus transit visa. For more information, please visit the website of the Consular Department of the Embassy of Belarus in your country.
Please, refer to the following question.
All departure cities of our tours are accessible by the famous Trans-Siberian Railway or the equally famous Trans-Mongolian Railway except Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of Kamchatka:
- Barnaul: a daily train leaves from Moscow (Kazan Station) and arrives to the capital of Altai in 59 hours. You can also follow the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Novosibirsk (Yaroslavl Station or Kazan Station in Moscow) and take another train Novosibirsk-Barnaul,
- Irkutsk: several trains go to these destinations (from Yaroslavl Station or Kazan Station in Moscow), but the most comfortable are trains number 2 and 10 which leave Moscow in the evening. Travel time can vary from 74 to 87 hours,
- Ulan-Ude: as Irkutsk, depending on the package you choose, comfort and travel time will vary (from 82 to 95 hours).
Important: Time, indicated on the train tickets is Moscow time.
You can get to Ulaanbaatar by train directly from Moscow (the trip lasts from 4 to 5 days) or by visiting Ulan-Ude to take your train (allows one day). Besides, a daily bus can help you to save your time as it goes from Ulan-Ude to Ulan-Bator much faster (about 10-12 hours depending on border crossings) and it’s more economical than the train. We can book bus tickets for you, please contact us to do that.
Whether you book a BaikalNature tour or no, you can purchase or book the following tickets through us without any problems:
- Domestic Russian flights,
- the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway,
To proceed with the booking of air or train tickets, please contact us.
Most Russian trains have four classes:
In the first three classes, the hire of sheets and towels is included in the price of train ticket and "provodnitsa” (a conductor) will provide you with them. Before boarding the train, you have to show your passport. Even the first class is not equipped with shower and there are usually 2 toilets in the coach (one in the front of it, the other in the back). They are systematically closed by a "provodnitsa" before the arrival to the stations and passengers try to burst into the toilets while long stays.
8. Practical Issues
There is no good or bad season. Each season is suitable for travelling and has something special to offer. In spring, nature revives, it's time when ice floats on Lake Baikal and icebergs drift. Horseback riding through Mongolian steppe in the summer will allow you to smell and enjoy all the fragrances of different flowers. Fall was dear to Alexander Pushkin, you can also share this love and admire the thousands of colors that adorn the nature of the Altai in this season. Kamchatka is covered with a thick layer of snow in winter and makes you appreciate bathing in hot springs. BaikalNature has been designing tours for these destinations in such a way to offer the best possible conditions. To determine the type and departure dates or periods of availability of each trip, please read the header from the descriptive page devoted to it and click the "Departures & Prices" tab.
Russian currency is ruble. In all cities and many large villages of Russia, it is now easy to withdraw rubles using a Visa or MasterCard from ATMs located in banks, department stores or hotel lobbies, some of them operate 24 hours a day. If you travel with euros, exchange offices will allow you to change them easily in the cities, rarely in the countryside. However, it can be tedious to exchange traveler’s cheques, even in cities.
The Mongolian currency is Tugrik. In Ulan Bator, you can safely withdraw tugriks using a Visa or MasterCard from ATMs located in banks, department stores or hotel lobbies. Also a lot of exchange offices will allow you to change easily your euros. However, it can be very tedious to exchange Traveler’s Cheques. Outside Ulan Bator, and even in cities, foreign exchange and withdrawal of money are much more difficult.
Whether in Russia and Mongolia, do not hesitate to consult your guide before you move away from a big city.
No. The sockets used in Russia and Mongolia, are the same as in Europe, although they may look different. They operate on 220 volt, so you do not have to provide an adapter.
From the outside a banya looks like a little wooden cottage in the countryside. It seems to be the last social stronghold in Russia where all the social barriers disappear. The banya is a traditional Russian bath composed of at least two parts. The first part is where we get undressed, take a rest, talk, eat and have a drink. The second is the banya itself, strictly speaking: a room containing a hot stove where the stones are laid. The heat increases as the water is poured over the stones. Generally, the Russians "flog" the body with branches of birch (venik) to increase the benefits of banya. Some Russians in winter come out of banya and wallow in the snow to cool down. In the region of Lake Baikal in summer, it is possible to dive into the lake. Men and women can take their banya separately and it is not obligatory to be naked.
All persons who compose the BaikalNature travel team (guides, drivers, cooks, etc.) are paid a decent wage for their services and do not expect any tips from you. So you have no obligation to leave anything. If you really want to express your satisfaction by leaving a gratuity, and if it is in foreign currency, be aware that torn or glued coins and banknotes cannot be exchanged. Anyway, thank you for your tips, left at your discretion in envelopes.
People in Russia and Mongolia, who you will meet during your trip, unlike people in other countries, don’t expect gifts from you and it is not customary to pay a bribe. Anyway, nothing prevents you from leaving a trace of your visit, such as in the family who will welcome you with open arms in their house or in the yurt, and leave a little souvenir from your country, which will be like a piece of exotic for them.
3. Other Services
4. Booking and payment
5. Cancellation terms
7. Transport to Russia and Mongolia
8. Practical Issues