For years, the rugged Kamchatka Peninsula was off limits to tourism since it was the home base for Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet. But after the end of the cold war, many visa restrictions were lifted, and Russia is starting to give U.S. outfitters permits to operate here.
“Very lately tourism (in particular fly fishers in the summer) have started to return to this untouched wilderness, and the Russian government is allowing summer flights directly from Alaska to Kamchatka in order to foster the area's tourism development,” says Ted Martens, of Natural Habitat Adventures.
Starting this year, Nat Hab will be offering an intensive new expedition to the region: 100 miles of hiking and kayaking from the foot of the active Karimsky Volcano, across the Siberian taiga to the headwaters of the Zhupanova River, through valleys with steaming geysers and roaming brown bears, ultimately reaching the Bering Sea. Also, Frontier Travel is introducing a salmon fly-fishing trip to the Ponoi River on the Kola Peninsula.