Photo-journey to Kolyma and Yakutia in Autumn 2017

26 Aug - 10 Sep, 2017
Group Size: from 6 to 8 people
16 days, from 3000 USD

Applications closed

This adventurous photographic tour from Magadan to Yakutsk was created for those who wish to get acquainted with Yakutia and Kolyma, to feel the taste of hard and severe life on Far North, and to produce high quality images of the North!

Kolymskaya Route lies in a permafrost zone, it is the most northern federal highway connecting two big regions in the Far East of our country - the Magadan region and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Almost completely dirt road 2032 km long passes through lands of gold miners, through taiga and mountains, crosses four huge waterways, Kolyma and Indigirka - by bridges, and Aldan and Lena by ferry, as well as two great mountain ranges – Suntar-Khayata Range and Chersky Range. It is the main Far East transport artery, which keeps in itself both a sad story of this land exploration, and its tremendous beauty.

Drivers cover this distance in 3-4 days, but the goal of our trip is to see in details everything that is instantly rushing behind the windows of the cars. Our itinerary will last for 12 days, not counting our stay in Magadan and Yakutsk during which we will have a chance to get in touch with the history of exploration of gold Kolyma, to submerge ourselves into ancient traditions of Yakutia. We will push hard to maximize
every photographic opportunity to capture the beauty of the authentic local nature through the curves of the Kolyma Route.

Sometimes within walking distance or directly from the road there will be stunning views on the rivers and lakes with forests  and ridges on  the background. I invite you  to reveal the beauty of northern nature - unique landscapes in the times of Indian summer. We will be shooting frost ice debris with an autumn background, collect mushrooms and berries and enjoy the silence, and once we are lucky, we will see reindeers, the Yakut horse and the Northern Lights. We will visit an auriferous cradle of the Far East – the Kolyma River, and will get as far as the real Cold Pole – in the Oimyakon village on Indigirka river.

A lot has been written about those amazing places, and we suggest you to join us and to see it all with own eyes. This photographic trip is dedicated on landscapes  - we will be constantly focused on shooting sunset and sunrises. Therefore we will be rising early and sleeping late at night, we’ll be arriving at villages and setting off at dusk when staying overnight there. We will have long day car rides shooting historical sights.

You will have two passionate, professional photographers leading this safari – Ekaterina Vasyagina and Kirill Uyutnov, who will work side-by-side with you, giving informal instruction throughout the safari to help you capture dramatic images that go beyond the traditional landscape photographs. They will be  there to assist you and will be available for any questions on any photographic topics.

In any case – sitting around the campfire under the starry northern sky, summing up the day and talking about photography is an integral part of photographers’ life.

This expedition focuses on getting quality images. This trip is all about the photography.

Day 1. August 26, 2017

Departure from Moscow on Saturday evening. The following airlines perform regular flights to Magadan: Aeroflot (Rossia airlines), Pegas Fly, Vim-Avia and S7 (if you fly to Magadan from another city, advise about beforehand). Direct flights are usually more expensive.

Day 2. August 27, 2017

Arrive  at Magadan Airport at around 12 a.m.. We will meet you and show you around the town. You will get on the neighboring hills, visit two sea bays between which the city lies, go to the fish market and the souvenir shop and take pictures from a giant Ferris wheel. You will also have an opportunity to buy additional equipment in a tourist shop.

Day 3. August 28, 2017

 9:00 - Departure from Magadan taking "Kolyma" highway. You will have the opportunity to shoot the city surroundings, "Magadan" stella, picturesque Dukcha river. We will cover about 200 km from Magadan, shooting meanders of the Hasyn river on the way. Then we will quit the highway and continue to the Kheta River. We will go deep into ravine to catch the soft sunset light and shoot beautiful mountain landscapes in the valley of the river. In case you enjoy the place we may stay overnight there.

Day 4. August 29, 2017

We will rise early to catch the dawn shooting the river Kheta if we stayed overnight in the neighbourhood. In case we decide to move further the previous night we head on to the Lake Grand not far from Kheta to catch the sunrise. At daytime we’ll try to reach the frost on the Yama River on foot (boots are a must!). If the frost is inaccessible or uninteresting, we will investigate the neighboring lakes and get on a hill to the north of the Lake  Grand to shoot the sunset. We’ll spend the night on the lake in a tented camp.

Day 5. August 30, 2017

We will have one last early morning shoot  on the Lake Grand from the positions chosen the previous day, before heading off to  the mouth of the river  Gerba for about 150 km. Then we take the road to Omsukchan, make several kilometres to a picturesque stream, we get on a hill following the watercourse to shoot another amazing sunset. We’ll spend the night at the bottom of a hill. However, if after the evening shooting we realize there’s nothing more to shot, we will head off to Debin on Kolyma river (130 km) without waiting for the sunset. Then we  turn right and go to the mouth of the river Taskan. The road goes high along a hill slope with dramatic panoramic views. We will be camping in the Kolyma River valley.

Day 6. August 31, 2017

 We will meet the sunrise on Kolyma and Taskana, and head passing Yagodnoe for about 250 km towards Susuman, one of the gold-mining centers of the Magadan region. After a lunch in a café we will have our first afternoon photo shoot of landfill mining gold placers along the road and dredges.  We might have time to look at the ruins of Dalstroy camps and huge dumps of Tal-Yuryakh coal mine. Then we take an almost non-stop ride to the river Nera and the mouth of a Triasovyi stream around Ala-Chubuk (about 300 km). We photograph some landscapes in the soft evening light and stay overnight there. If we fail to reach Triassovyi due to the lack of time, we take pictures and stop near Artyk (there might still be some ice on the river)

 Day 7. September 1, 2017

We will have early morning shoot on the Nera river and set off to the Ust-Nera settlement where we’ll get acquainted with one of the largest rivers of the North – Indigirka. There we will buy  some food  and some fish. We will photograph Indigirka river and numerous creeks of  the Nera falling into it , neighboring ravines, combes and hills. We may take a short climb on the northern slopes of the hills behind the settlement to shoot the sunset if weather allows. In the evening we’ll enjoy Russian banya (sauna), fish soup and will have a rest in the guest house. We’ll also get together to sum up the results of passing the first half of the distance.

Day 8. September 2, 2017

We will catch the sunrise to shoot on Indigirka river, then we’ll head off to the  Kyubyum village (about 250 km). We will be looking for interesting sights, shooting the remains of ice and yellow larches as well as the Kyubyume river and its multiple inflows. Then we move to the nearby Ulu lake to have an evening shoot on the lake or on the river. We sleep overnight on the the lake.

Day 9. September 3, 2017

Morning shoot at the lake Ulu, heading off then to  Oimyakon following the old Kolyma route (about 170 km). On the way we pass the Uchugey and Tomtor settlements looking for photographic opportunities. In Oimyakon we will visit Yakut cattle farm and the administration of the villages where it will be possible to get your certificate of being on the "Cold pole". From this moment on for the next couple of days you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself into ancient traditions and specific life of Even reindeer breeders, photograph the daily activities of the people living in one of the most severe places of the planet. Sunset shooting on one of the meandering Indigirka channels.

Day 10. September 4, 2017

We’ll enjoy the sunrise on shallow lakes in the forest-tundra, setting off then back to Tomtor. We will be seeing one more unique, adapted for severe climate, domestic animal - the Yakut horse.  If there are more calm and quiet horses the ones who wish will have a chance to have a ride. Once there, we can’t ignore a small, but very unusual local museum. We will head out for an exciting evening shoot to Kuidusun River with an old bridge across, then we will reach the Indigirka River and if the bridge across is still open, we will stay overnight on the other bank of the river.

Day 11. September 5, 2017

We take advantage of the soft morning light to shoot either Indigirka channels or pebbly spits of Kuidusong – It’s up to us. Then we head towards Uchugey where two reindeer-breeding farms are located. If we are lucky enough, and the herd or a part of it are somewhere near the village, we will try to find them, feed the deer and picture them. We will definitely buy some fresh meat and make an ethnic cuisine party. We will spend the night in a guest house with a sauna. For the sunset we’ll go to some picturesque lakes nearby with an amazing creek meandering along the valley.

Day 12. September 6, 2017

In the morning we will climb a hill not far from the old Kolyma route. As an option we might go to lake Ulu and the Kyubyume river. If so we will have to get up earlier than usual. Then we take again the Kolyma highway, cross the Suntar-Khayata Ridge in its central part. We will pass through a so-called Chiornyi Prizhim (Black Snuggle) — a road made through the rocks at a height of hundreds of metres, from where there will be a breathtaking view of the river Serpentine down below and the peaks of high mountains covered with snow. We will drive for about 250 km that day and depending on what we have seen we will choose the best place for sunset shooting and staying overnight.

Day 13. September 7, 2017

After we photograph the sunrise in the very same place we spent the night, we drive for 200 km and arrive in the Khandyga settlement on the Aldan River. We have lunch in a café and take the ferry to cross the Aldan. Then we drive for another 300 km on a partly waterlogged plateau overgrown with the forest-steppe and separate trees. We stop for the evening shoot and spend the night amongst multiple tiny lakes between the Churapcha and Tyungyulu settlements.

Day 14. September 8, 2017

It will be a spare day reserved for bad weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances. At the end of the trip we may stay another day in the place we enjoyed most during the expedition.

Day 15. September 9, 2017

In the morning we will photograph the flat forest-steppe and then head off towards the capital of Yakutia. After a 150 km drive and the ferry across the Lena River, in Yakutsk you will enjoy a short walk around the city, visit the jail and the embankment, join the excursion to the ethnographic Chochur-Muran complex with an opportunity to visit the underground permafrost Kingdom. After this you will be offered some hot tea and you will have a chance to feed reindeer with reindeer moss. Finally, we will visit the market and handicraft shops selling local goods.

Day 16. September 10, 2017

Transfer to the Yakutsk airport and departure to Moscow (if you are travelling from Yakutsk to another city, please advise in advance).

Private hotel

The price of this unique photographic expedition is $3000 per person.

This cost of this safari is based on a minimum of 6 participants. If there are less than 6 participants a small supplement fee may apply.

Payment Terms:

To secure your spot a 20% deposit is to be paid. Final payment/balance is due July 15, 2017. A 20% deposit of the total trip price is due, should you decide to cancel your trip after July 15, 2017; the total amount of the trip price will be charged in case you decide to cancel your trip one week or less before departure. If we manage to find another participant for your spot, 100% of the deposit will be refunded. The payment can be made onto the Sberbank account or using PayPal payment service.

Attention! Please be aware that 1 month prior to the beginning of our trip we might not reply to you or get in touch with you very quickly, as we will be organizing the trip in remote areas of Magadan region. You are required to have patience and to contact us by e-mail.


  • tourist standard vehicles according to the programme, including ferries and airport transfer
  • outdoor meals (cooking on a fire or a gas stove for campside cooking, snacks available in the morning or in the afternoon)
  • meals in roadside cafes and villages along the way.
  • entry fees to all excursions and museums according to the program.
  • accommodation in private houses in Ust-Nera and Uchugey (4-6 px occupancy, with Russian banya) as well as  in guest houses in Magadan and Yakutsk (double or triple occupancy). 

Not included:

  • Airfare to Magadan and from Yakutsk
  • Meals in Magadan and Yakutsk
  • Personal purchases (souvenirs, spirits, shopping).

Contacts for registration are listed below.

1) E-mail:

2) PM in Facebook:

3) PM in whatsapp: +7910-482-10-53, +7926-765-22-77

First two options are more preferable, as the connection may be limited in the remote places.

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