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Road of bones Expedition

Destination: Yakutia
Easy - nothing more than normal walking while sight-seeing
Moderately Easy - 1-3 hours of physical activity daily
Moderate - 3-5 hours of physical activity daily
Challenging - 5-7 hours of challenging physical activity daily
Extreme - 7+ hours of challenging/extreme physical activity daily
Difficulty
Basic — most of nights in tents or rooms with shared WC, some nights in comfortable rooms.
Standard — most of nights in comfortable rooms, some nights in tents or rooms with shared WC.
Upgraded — all nights in comfortable rooms.
Comfort
Minimum age of the participant of this trip
10 Days
July
Highlights
  • Ghost town visits
  • Visit of the GULAG camps
  • Travelling through the permafrost and the Road of Bones
  • Meeting with the indigenous people of Russia
Tour Overview

Road of the bones Expedition, expedition on the Kolyma highway, expedition Magadan-Yakutsk or the Pole of Cold… None of the names we could have thought about would have been able to reflect the richness of this tour.

During this trip, you will visit the port town of Magadan, the popular Kolyma highway (or “Road of Bones”), the hydropower station of the Kolyma, ghost towns, the Pole of Cold, the capital city of Yakutia, the road of permafrost.

This route is the short version of the Moscow-Magadan expedition and was designed for those who have already discovered the European part of Russia, or simply those who have less free time for such a trip.

The Kolyma highway links Yakutsk and Magadan (after that there is no road left, only the Kamtchatka region). We are going to the world’s end and the length of this part of the road is 2032 km long. Its nickname “The Road of Bones », comes from the time of its construction under Stalin’s dictatorship by the prisoners exploited by the Far-Eastern Russian mining operators. The entire process was made in awful working and living conditions, in the cold, while working hard and under the sadistic temper of the guards of this terrible enslavement working system. Needless to say that the mortality rate was very high and digging tombs was too hard for the already abused and tired prisoners who had to bury their fallen comrades under the same road they were trying to build. According to the legend, they actually became a part of the road themselves and the Kolyma became a mass grave for thousands of people, which inspired this terrible and mournful name…

The expedition route is already known but can also change (which is the spirit of an expedition) according to the weather, the state of the road or any unforeseen events and cases of force majeure.

And as adage says: we know where it starts, we know where it ends, and in between, there is only the adventure!

Tour programme
  • Day 1
    Aquaintance with Magadan
    Magadan
  • Day 2
    Kolyma - Road of Bones
    Magadan — Susuman
  • Day 3
    Ghost town Kadykchan
    Susuman — Kadykchan
  • Day 4
    Day on the journey
    Kadykchan — Ust-Nera
  • Day 5
    Tomtor - land of the cold
    Ust-Nera — Tomtor
  • Day 6
    Oymyakon - Pole of Cold
    Tomtor
  • Day 7
    Continuation of the road
    Tomtor — Khandyga
  • Day 8
    Siberian rivers Lena and Aldan
    Khandyga — Yakutsk
  • Day 9
    Aquaintance with Yakutsk
    Yakutsk
  • Day 10
    End of the programme
    Yakutsk
  • 12:05
    Arrival to Magadan
    Transfer to the hotel. check-in and meeting with your guide for discussion of the programme.
  • 14:00
    Visit of Magadan
    Visit of the city centre. Program of the visits: Regional History Museum of Magadan with its 5 halls reserved for the GULAG history.
  • 15:00
    Discovery of the monument “Mask of Sorrows" Not included
    If the group wants, you can take the taxi* and go for “Krutoy” hill, where is located the “Mask of Sorrows”. It was built by Ernst Neizvestny and dedicated to the victims of political repressions. Panoramic view on the city and the two bays of Nagaev and Gertnera. *Payment on site in cash
  • 19:00
    Dinner Not included
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Magadan
Accommodation
Accommodation in the Magadan hotel
Twin standard room
  • 08:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 09:00
    Starting of the road
    Today we take the Kolyma road up north and west to the town Susuman. The road of Kolyma, joining Magadan and Yakutsk (2032 km long), is considered as one of the most difficult. The building of the road was started in 1932 and lasted more than 20 years. The road was built by the prisoners. The entire process was made in awful working and living conditions, in the cold and the mortality rate was very high. and the Kolyma became a mass grave for thousands of people, which inspired this terrible and mournful name - Road of bones.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in the road cafe Not included
    Payment on site in cash (not included).
  • 14:00
    Continuation of the itinerary
  • 19:00
    Arrival to Susuman
    Accommodation in the local mini-hotel.
  • Overnight in a hotel along the road
Photo of the day
Route
Magadan — Susuman
Note

8 h transfer  (627km)

  • 10:00
    Départure to Kadykchan
    Before, 7000 people lived in the town located near two coal mines, in which all the citizens were working. But in 1996, an incident in one of them killed 6 workers and the mines were declared too dangerous to work in anymore and got closed. All the private sector was burnt so the citizens wouldn’t come back to the city. Today, only a man with his two dogs still lives there.
  • 15:00
    Visit of Kadykchan
    Visit of the ghost town: parks, schools, libraries, hospitals...
  • Overnight under the tent
Photo of the day
Route
Susuman — Kadykchan
Accommodation
Camping
Note

1 h 4x4  (91km)

  • 10:00
    Continuation fo the way
    Today we will go to Ust-Nera town, the administrative center of Oymyakonsky District. Gold mining is the main occupation.
  • 16:30
    Arrival to Ust-Nera
    Accommodation in the hotel. Time at leisure.
  • Overnight in a hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Kadykchan — Ust-Nera
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel "Solnechnaya", Ust-Nera
Twin room
Note

4 h 4x4  (305km)

  • 09:00
    Departure to Tomtor
    Early transfer to the village of Tomtor, a challenger for the “Pole of Cold” title. Its main competitor is currently Oymyakon. Besides, since 2001, the village has reunited hundreds of people every year for the “Pole of Cold” festival, which welcomes all the most important Santa Clauses in the world. From the Finnish “Joulupukki” to “Ded Moroz” from Veliky Ustyug, the most popular Russian Father Christmas, they are all present for this event. “Chyskhaan”, the terrible Yakoutian “Keeper of the Cold” is also there, but only by default, because he lives here, in a sacred cave in the mountains Ebe-Khayya.
  • 19:00
    Dinner Not included
  • 19:00
    Arrival to Tomtor and accommodation
  • Overnight in the homestay
Photo of the day
Route
Ust-Nera — Tomtor
Accommodation
Accommodation in the homestay in Tomtor
Bed in the twin room
Note

10 h 4x4  (395km)

  • 11:00
    Visit of the Oymyakon village
    Visit of the Chyskhaana cave (museum of ice sculpture) and the “Pole of Cold”, the village of Oymyakon, 40 km away from Tomtor. According to non-official data, the record minimal temperature of -77.8°C was registered in 1938.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in the cafe en route
  • 16:00
    Return to Tomtor
  • Overnight in the homestay
Photo of the day
Route
Tomtor
Accommodation
Accommodation in the homestay in Tomtor
Bed in the twin room
Note

cultural exploration  (40km)

  • 09:00
    Transfer from Tomtor to Khandyga
    Khandyga is the ancient central point of the GULAG and became a marina in 1983. The village was built in 1939 along with the road between the river Aldan and Oymyakon.
  • 20:00
    Arrival to Khandyga
  • Overnight in teh homestay
Photo of the day
Route
Tomtor — Khandyga
Accommodation
Accommodation in the homestay Khandyga
Bed in the homestay
Note

10 h transfer  (472km)

  • 10:00
    Transfer from Khandyga to Yakutsk
    The city was built in 1632 and is the capital city of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). Yakutsk is the biggest and oldest city in Yakutia, as well as one of the oldest in Siberia. During the trip, we will cross some of the greatest Siberian rivers: Lena and Aldan.
  • 16:00
    Arrival to Yakutsk
    Arrival in Yakutsk in the afternoon. Rest after the long journey on the road.
  • 19:00
    Dinner Not included
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Khandyga — Yakutsk
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel Pole star
Standard twin room
Note

8 h transfer  (419km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 10:00
    City tour and Mammoth Museum
    Visit of the city centre. “The Old Town” is an historic architectural complex, a district in the city centre, in which the buildings looks like the old Yakutsk. Besides, we will visit two legendary museums: The Mammoth Museum and Kingdom Permafrost. The World’s Mammoth Museum was created in 1991 on the initiative of Petr Alexandrovitch Lazarev, specialist of mammoths. The word “world” is indeed necessary, because the paleontological exhibit of unique objects as a worldwide significance and is a part of a priceless heritage for humanity.
  • 13:00
    Lunch Not included
  • 15:00
    Excursion to the museum Kingdom Permafrost
    The Kingdom Permafrost opened in 2008. Behind a simple door on a mountain slope is hidden a real miracle made of ice. In summer, the temperature in the museum does not rise above -4°C, but in winter, it goes under -10°C.
  • 19:00
    Festive dinner
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Yakutsk
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel Pole star
Standard twin room
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 10:00
    Transfer to the airport
    End of the programme.
Photo of the day
A Yakut Family in Traditionnal Dresses
Route
Yakutsk
Detailed description
New departures available soon
Price includes
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Transport as per itinerary
  • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
  • Transfer from airport / railway station on first day
  • Transfer to airport / railway station on last day
  • Letter of invitation
  • Camping outfit rental
  • Meals according to the program
  • English-speaking guide services
Price does not include
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Visa fees and travel insurance
  • Optional activities
  • Sleeping bag rental
  • Airline tickets
For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.
Note

The departure is guaranteed for the group of 4. Of there are less than 4 persons in the group, the price will be recalculated. The itinerary of the expedition can be changed according to the road or weather conditions as well as unforeseen events. the camping equipment is included to the price, except the sleeping bag. Supplement for the sleeping bag rental is 1000 roubles / per person.

Reviews
No reviews anymore or no reviews at all for this tour. Below reviews for destination:
4.67
4.67
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
4.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Francis
From 22 March 2018 to 19 July 2018
Destination: Yakutia
Custom tourDécouverte de l'Extrême Orient Russe
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Hôtels excellents, à l'exception de l'hôtel de Iakoutsk ORTO DOYDU. Personnel très bien mais hôtel en mauvais état général (chambre et espaces communs) et petit-déjeuner très médiocre. Transferts excellents, sauf trajet Tommot - Iakoutsk : véhicule inconfortable et en très mauvais état, et chauffeur fumeur peu amène. Les trois parties du voyage du voyage nous ont enchantés. Nous avons été ravis par
  Read more
BaikalNature's reply
Bonjour Francis, Merci beaucoup pour ces détails très important pour un voyage tellement grand! Ces commentaires nous aiderons à revoir la qualité des services proposés en Yakoutie.
4.33
4.33
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
4.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
4.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Eric
From 27 January 2018 to 3 February 2018
Destination: Yakutia
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Voyage original au coeur de l' hiver Sibérien hors des sentiers touristiques. Dommage qu' il y ai eu un manque d'informations et d 'explications de la part du guide. Les "aventuriers" choisissant ce voyage ont tous soif de découverte, d'une part, du pays et d'autre part de la culture russe, ce qui nous a sensiblement manqué. Néanmoins ce voyage est à recommander pour son authenticité. Eric
BaikalNature's reply
Merci beaucoup pour votre remarque. Nous le prendrons en compte pour nos futurs voyages !
4.00
4.00
Total score
4.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
3.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
4.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Serge
From 27 January 2018 to 3 February 2018
Destination: Yakutia
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
This guest did not leave a comment.
4.17
4.17
Total score
4.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
4.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
4.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Serge
From 27 January 2018 to 3 February 2018
Destination: Yakutia
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
beau voyage; l'organisation est bonne dans son ensemble et le programme est bien respecté; une remarque au niveau du guide: il devrait donner au groupe plus d'explications sur l'histoire de la yakoutie, les coutumes du peuples yakoutes et la vie d'aujourd'hui; sinon le point très positif est que le guide parlait très bien le Français..... en conclusion, continuez donc à organiser des beaux voyages
  Read more
5.00
5.00
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
5.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Pierre
From 19 June 2016 to 28 June 2016
Destination: Yakutia
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Nous sommes rentrés de voyage ce jour mardi 28 juin 2016. Beaucoup de découvertes, de péripéties, mais tout dans la bonne humeur. Pour les fêtes, le samedi, départ à 10:00 et 2,30 heures de trajet. Arrivée à 12:30. Bien évidemment nous ne sommes pas rentrés à 14:00. Le dimanche, le trajet a été beaucoup plus rapide, 45 minutes. Le dernier jour, retour à l'aéroport. Un taxi est venu, une
  Read more
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