Rafting on the Katun

An adventure in the Altai Mountains of Siberia! Begin with the sites of Moscow: the Red Square, Kremlin, and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Travel to rural Siberia for a homestay and cultural exchange. 8 days of rafting the high volume, big waves of the Katun River as it winds through the Altai Mountains
Quick Facts
Tour Season: Summer
Trip Length: 16 Days
Trip Price: From $3100.
Activity Level: Moderate
Arrival City: Moscow, Russia
Meeting Place: Moscow, Russia
Questions? 1-800-246-7238
  • Explore Moscow’s famous sites: Red Square, Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and more..
  • Hotel within walking distance of the Red Square
  • Travel to Barnaul – the capital of Siberia’s Altai Region
  • Homestay with a local Siberian family – a unique look into the culture of rural Russia
  • Drive to the put-in of the Katun River, camping along the way and visiting villages
  • Put-in on the big volume Katun River (often considered the “Colorado River” of Russia)
  • 8 full days of rafting – many Class 3 and 4 rapids, rolling wave trains, and side hikes
  • Camping each night on big, sandy beaches surrounded by beech and pine forests. Russian folksongs in the evening around the campfire.
  • One lay-over day where we can hike to ancient petroglyphs and enjoy a traditional Russian river sauna Russian guides accompany our trip and teach us about their culture
  • Return to Barnaul for a festive farewell dinner before transferring back to Moscow and home.

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Rafting on the Katun River

Some of the most remarkable misconceptions exist about Siberia. Siberia is definitely not purely ice fields and salt mines! The gorgeous Altai mountain range feeds many glacial rivers on their journey to the artic and the foothills are thickly forested with pine and alder. Siberians welcome us with open arms on Bio Bio Expedition's Katun River Explorer. We are very fortunate to have many close contacts in Siberia and can intimately show you the unique and authentic heart of this amazing place. Our itinerary also includes time to explore one of the most fascinating and dynamic cities in the world: Moscow. In 1995 we were there right after the first McDonald's opened! Now modern attractions are endless, as the city also maintains its grandeur and historic roots.

The Katun River is born in the southern ice slopes of Mt. Belukha (4,506 m) in the Altai range of southern Siberia. The river winds its way through the Altai Mountains, to the confluence of the Ob and eventually meanders all the way north to the Arctic Circle. It is a large volume (6000 CFS at put-in) playful river with plenty of Class 3 and 4 rapids. We have a variety of crafts in our flotilla for you to navigate including paddleboats, oar boats, and also Russian style paddle-catarafts. The Katun is similar in style to the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with huge, safe wave trains and big recovery pools. Unlike many Nordic rivers, the Katun has very few mosquitoes. However, what really makes this trip so special is the genuine cultural immersion and interaction. We spend lots of time with local Siberians, cooking traditional meals, drinking vodka and singing songs with them around the campfires. We will not miss out on a favorite Siberian river tradition, the "Banya," also known as a sweat lodge, or river sauna! We'll visit private farm plots and meet people seldom seen by "westerners." They welcome us into their homes to experience true Russian hospitality as they proudly share their culture and heritage. Join us for a perfect combination of culture and outdoor adventure.
View the Detailed Itinerary


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