Kaindy is a lake on Tian Shan mountain, about 130 km east of Almaty – the largest city in Kazakhstan. The 1911 earthquake caused a massive limestone landslide that resulted in a natural dam. Rainwater from the cliffs and surrounding valleys pouring here creates water sources forming Kaindy Lake at an altitude of about 2,000m. After hundreds of years the lake has a length of 400m and the deepest place is 30m.
The lake is famous for its white spruce trunks that seem to rise up in the middle of the lake, but the trees actually existed before the water flooded here. This spruce forest, together with the turquoise water of Kaindy Lake, creates an amazing natural spectacle that is rare anywhere in the world. And contrary to the barren above the lake, the spruce trees that live very well, create the dense forest just below the water surface.
Due to its high mountain location, Kaindy Lake water is cold year round, the highest temperature that can be measured is 6 degrees C in summer. Luckily for you, Kaindy Lake water is always clear, so it’s easy to stand on the shore looking at the bottom without necessarily swimming or diving.
If you come here in winter, the Kaindy lake water is completely frozen, spruce trees emerging on the water surface look like the masts of ghost boats. The scene is more magical and attractive when there is a light mist surrounding it. However, during the day reckless tourists can fish on the ice in the lake or travel, ski, or even scuba dive to admire the lake.
Surprisingly, this area is still little known to tourists despite being close to a city with 1.5 million inhabitants of Almaty. It is possible that Lake Kaindy is not as famous as other lakes in the same region as Bolshoe Almatinskoe and Kolsay. Moreover, Lake Kaindy is hidden in a canyon and visitors must go through a very bumpy, dusty road to reach.
You can move to the lake by self-driving car, park in the parking lot 2 km away from the lake and cross the dusty, rocky road. Although the last stage is difficult to go, you have a wonderful view of the two sides, the right is a forest and a green lake, the left will lead to a large area of land suitable for overnight camping.
Visitors to Kaindy to explore often only have the option to sleep tents, camp around the lake area. If you have self-sufficient transportation, you can stay at some homestay in Saty village 12 km from the lake. The price for a night is 9,44USD / person including breakfast, if you need both lunch and dinner, you will pay an additional 2,36USD/meal.
Before entering the lake, visitors have to pay 1,72USD/person and 2,36USD/car. If staying in Kaindy and sleeping tents, it costs an extra 0,83 USD/tent. Remember to ask for a bill to avoid losing money again and note that campfires near the lake are prohibited.