Getting There & Away
A shared taxi to Saty (2500T, six hours) normally leaves Almaty’s Sayakhat bus station between 6am and 7am. The return journey departs from Saty at 5am. Alternatively, take a taxi to Saty for around 12,000T from Sayakhat, or find a shared taxi to Zhalanash (2500T; ask at Sayakhat a day or two before you plan to go), then take a taxi to Saty (25km) or the first lake. Taxis from Saty to the first lake cost 1000T.
Many people visit the lakes on two-night tours or multiday tours that take in the Charyn Canyon and Altyn-Emel National Park as well. Outfitter KZ arranges two-day trips that involve hiking to Kaiyndy Lake on the first day, then two of the main Kolsai Lakes on the second day for around 40,000T.