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ESSO - the heard of Kamchatka

The Administrative center of the Bystrinsky Region which is called "Kamchatka's Switzerland" is the settlement Esso, which in the language of the native people, means "larch".

This is a very accurate name. This settlement, one of the cosiest places in Kamchatka, is surrounded by evergreen forests, sculptured cliffs, and ridges. Not far from the town, two clear mountain rivers cross: the Uksichan and Bystraya.

A little further on, the inactive Dygeren-Olengende volcano rises to 1950m. Local residents and tourists enjoy climbing here to see the fantastic panorama of the region- a mosaic of forests, mountains, winding rivers, lake cascades, and thermal spring steams.

Horse and hiking trails will bring you to the north from Esso. After only 4km you will see the Esso (Uksichan) thermal springs with a temperature of 56C.
Silica and small amount of arsenic and carbone dioxide in the water will give comfortable relaxation to your body. Doctors consider these springs highly therapeutic. It is really great to bathe here and to drink this water.

The Uksichan River, on the bank of which you can see these springs, comes from the crater of an extinguished volcano. Its slopes are decorated by smaller volcanoes, winding rivers and valleys.

The most ancient Sredinny volcanic ridge has one active volcano Ichinsky(3621m). Its dimensions, unusual shape, beauty and outcrops of the volcanic glass( the obsidian) attract tourists’ attention. But the approaching routes to it are of high difficulty and available only to the experienced mountain – climbers.

Esso is heated by thermal waters. Thermal sources also heat greenhouses, where even southern vegetables have been grown. In the center of the village there is a large swimming pool.You will have a great meal at the cafe; food here is fresh and natural. As in every regional center, you may find here mail and telegraph services, stores, a Culture club, and TV receiving Moscow programs and if by some awful luck, you get sick, qualified doctors from the local hospital will help you.

The longest international dog sled race,” Beringia –91”, which starts in Esso, was put into the Guiness Record Book. The indigenous people of Kamchatka relied on sled dogs for transportation during winter months for thousands of years.

The native population is made up of the Evens. You can learn about their original traditions in the Museum of Local Lore and at the concerts of their folklore group.

Music played an exclusive role in the life of Evens. Steller wrote that "one can say without violating the truth that this lively people were more than others attached to music"... The life of the Evens and Koryaks was reflected in their dances. They were excellent improvisers and could entrance for hours a stranger or the voices and movements of animals.

Special attention in the dances was devoted to bears. Bear was the king of the local animal world, the strongest beast in Kamchatka. At the same time it represented a valuable catch for the ancient hunter. Thus the bear hunt was always accompanied by a ritual dance.
The dancers would imitate the gait of the males, females and cubs. Sharp shouts rang out during the dances. At the end people would turn to the bear with a request not to be angry and to tell its kin about the fine reception it had been granted.

The aboriginals put children asleep using the traditional drum, they make funeral fires, and hang dried fish along the banks of rivers, organise traditional holidays. The Northern people still keep so many features of their old way of life and culture. The distinctive Evens culture is being revived in the dances and songs of "Nulgur" folk ensemble, which despite its youth is known far beyond the borders of Kamchatka and is a laureate of several festivals. Esso has its own folklore group "Nulgur", keeping alive the tribal traditions: reindeer breeding, fishing, hunting, sewing the national dress and footwear from the skin of deer, wild animals as well as salmon skin and grassy material.

Our village library is a member of the UNESCO libraries network. It contains a wide range of literature: references, children's and adult's departments, science-fiction, poetry, fiction, adventure, romance. The lovers of poetry may join "The Poetry Club".
Those who want to protect Nature attend ecological club "Sapsan" for children. The unique part of the library is the "Museum of Bear" where the rarest material about bears is collected.
The local branch of the Rotary International, Rotary Club Esso helps to provide sustainable development of the village and community of which it is a vital part.

Friendly, sincere and kind-hearted atmosphere attracts more and more people from all over the world to our tiny but marvellous mountain settlement with a poetic name Esso.

Our tours:
  • Rafting on the Bystraya River
  • Lake Ikar
  • Lake Galyamaki
  • In the wilderness with a trapper
  • 2004
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    Address: Hotel "ALTAY", Esso, Kamchatka, Mostovaya street 12à
    webmaster: Yuri Ivanov
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