30 Main Sights of Kamchatka
Kamchatka tourists first of all associate Kamchatka with natural features. In this direction the region has a huge variety: waterfalls, hills, volcanoes, parks, hot springs and much more. They are scattered all over the region, so it is not easy to see everything in one trip.
People come to Kamchatka to enjoy the incredible views and clean air. But on the way to the picturesque geysers, beaches and bays, it’s worth making a stop at one of the museums. For the most part, they are a brief but succinct tour of Kamchatka. Thanks to the museum collections, you can cover several sights at once and choose the ones worth visiting later. The region is able to surprise even avid travelers.
The most interesting and beautiful places of Kamchatka
What to see and where to go? The best places for tourism and recreation!
It was founded in 1934. The area exceeds one million hectares. It is the successor of Soboliniy reserve. It is situated in the eastern part of Kamchatka. The main objects: volcanoes, including Kronotskaya Sopka, the Valley of Geysers, waterfalls, thermal lakes. Forests of stone birch cover the most part of the territory. Near the Kronotsky Lake the vegetation changes: larch, spruce, Japanese birch. Poplars, alders, and lindens grow near the rivers. Fauna: bears, moose, sable, whales and others.
Valley of Geysers
Part of the Kronotsky reserve. Geyser field – the only one in Eurasia. Territory is 6 square km with mud volcanoes, geysers, lakes, thermal springs, rivers and waterfalls. Landslides and mudslides are a common process in the valley, affecting the microclimate and the number of neoplasms, the number of which increases annually. Tourist access is limited. Helicopter tours are organized.
The reserve was founded in 1993. Occupies about 3.5 million hectares. It consists of 4 large and about 60 small islands. Flora is represented by 400 species of plants. Fauna: 25 species – mammals, 170 – birds, 250 – fish. White-fronted goose, sea otter, gyrfalcon and others are included in the Red Book. Historical place of interest – the grave of navigator Bering next to the camp of his expedition of the mid-18th century.
Active stratified volcano. It is situated in the east of Kamchatka. Belongs to the Eastern Ridge mountain system. The crater is 2,210 meters in diameter and 340 meters deep. The highest point is more than 4.8 thousand meters from the base. At the foot of the volcanological station works. The last eruption is dated 2017. One of the most active volcanoes in Russia. The highest volcano outside the Caucasus.
Maly Semyachik volcano.
Located in the east of the peninsula. Belongs to the Eastern Ridge. Layered volcano has been dormant for more than 60 years. The crater is oval, with a diameter of about 800 meters and a depth of 300 meters. The highest point is 1560 meters from the base. Volcanic lake of Small Semyachik is called Green. The reason is the coloring of the water of the corresponding color. Water acidity is one of the highest in the world.
Discovered in 1729. Part of the water area of the Pacific Ocean Gulf of the same name. It is located in the south-east of Kamchatka, with the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky standing on its shore. It stays ice-free all year round. Main port of the peninsula. Serves both fishing and cargo ships. It has a total area of 215 square kilometers and an average depth of about 9 meters. Can accommodate any existing ship in the world.
The Three Brothers Rocks.
Are located at the entrance to Avacha bay in the south-east of the peninsula, three hundred meters from the shore. They are three rocky pillars, protruding from the water. Near strong currents and the canyon at a depth of 13 meters with the cave. Known since the 18th century. The legend says that the three brothers-defenders did their duty to the bay – to save them from the big wave, and then petrified. Symbol of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Volcanic massif, part of the Klyuchevskaya group of volcanoes. It is located in the east of the peninsula. Refers to the shield-shaped type. The array includes Ostry and Plosky Tolbachik. The crater is about 3,000 meters in diameter. The highest point is 3,682 meters. The last eruption occurred in 2012. The top of the extinct volcano collapsed. Cracks can be seen on the surface and there is a glacier nearby.
Located in close proximity to Tolbachik and was formed after a large eruption of this volcano in the mid-1970s. Lava and rock eruptions turned the area into a scorched desert. The approximate area of the forest is 40 square kilometers. The layer of ash and slag is still mixed with the soil. Tree trunks were left standing lifeless and black. Now there are rare and small islands of greenery.
Located in the southern part of the peninsula. Refers to the territory of the preserve. First mention of the lake was in 1740. It has an area of 77 square kilometers with an average depth of about 195 meters. Several rivers flow into it, one flows out – the Ozernaya. The water level varies depending on the season. There are small islands. Here comes the seal for spawning. In the area is inhabited by brown bear: the population on the shores of the order of two hundred individuals.
A system of lakes, located in the south-east of Kamchatka. Belongs to a nature park. Three lakes are located in close proximity to each other, connected by streams, surrounded by hills. Their name comes from the color of the water during the melting snow: the level rises and the ice, which is flooded, reflects the light in a special way. Along the shores grow both large trees, such as cedar, and small bushes of blueberry, stonecrop and so on.
Uzon Volcano Caldera
Uzon Volcano Caldera is located on the territory of the Kronotsky Reserve in the eastern part of the peninsula. Its highest point is 1617 m. Caldera area is 100 km square. One of the craters is a place of formation of the Dalny lake. There are other lakes as well. Those in the western part are mostly swampy. There are about a hundred mineral springs. Some algae and bacteria found here are used to live in boiling liquids.
Located in the southern part of the Eastern Ridge. An active volcano, the highest point is 2,741 meters. The top is in the form of a cone; it is covered with layers of lava and slag. The diameter of the crater is 400 meters. On its surface there are many cracks and holes. Last time it was active in the early 1990s. There is a research station at the bottom. On the slopes grow stone birch and cedar shrubbery.
Refers to the Eastern Range. Active volcano, the highest point – 1468 meters. The top looks like a truncated cone. Formed in the basin of an ancient volcano of lava, ash and other components. Gases are emitted on a continuous basis. Active volcano, the last eruption occurred in 2014. The ash flies a distance of several hundred meters. Karymskaya Sopka also wakes up neighboring volcanoes by chain reaction.
Located in the southern part of the peninsula. The highest point of the active volcano is 2322 meters. The last eruption is dated 2000. At the same time gases and smoke periodically come out of the cracks and holes. Nearby there are hot mineral springs, dubbed the “little valley of geysers.” In 2018, a lake was discovered in the funnel, which is not typical for such volcanoes.
Nalychevo Nature Park.
Founded in 1995, is located in the valley of the river of the same name. The area – 287 thousand hectares. Around several large volcanoes. Features and remarkable places: mineral springs, both hot and cold, which have medicinal properties, unique flora and fauna – some species are included in the Red Book, museum of nature, monument to the Kalashnikov gun, center of environmental education.
Kliuchevskoi Nature Park
Located in the east of the peninsula. Refers to the territory of the forest fund. There are over ten volcanoes of different origins on its territory. The volcano of the same name is the most active in the world. Its height is unstable because of solidified lava. Each side of the towering park has its own characteristics. Vegetation is low. Fauna is sparse.
Bystrinsky Nature Park
Protected by UNESCO. Natural features: more than ten volcanoes, the highest – Ichinsky, mountain rivers, on which rafting is organized, meadows – the ideal place for horse riding, unique ecosystem with diverse flora and fauna. There is a Museum of Kamchatka people’s history. Peculiar festivals and events, like dog-sled races or the Day of Reindeer Breeder.
South Kamchatka Nature Park
Located on the lands of the forest fund along the Pacific coast. Complete absence of roads and economic activity, access for land transport is practically closed. The river network is meandering and extensive. Spawning ground for several subspecies of salmonid fish. The forests are varied in the type of vegetation. The topography is complex and difficult to traverse in some places. Minimal human influence allowed to multiply the representatives of fauna, including bears.
Malkinskiy hot springs
Located in the south of the peninsula. They belong to the Klyuchevka river valley; they gush from the soil and fill natural baths. Both locals and visitors bathe in them. The temperature varies and is not constant. Recorded maximum water in the springs +84 ° C. The mineral composition of each spring is different from the neighboring one. Nearby there is a factory that produces bottled water, as well as a sanatorium. Tourists camp nearby.
Khodutkin hot springs
Located in the south of Kamchatka on the left bank of the valley of the Pravaya Khodutka River. The number of springs is about twenty. They are used for recreational and preventive procedures. The mineral composition is almost the same in all of them, but there are some deviations in saturation. The maximum temperature of water is +88 ° C. The area of the protected zone is 6 hectares. Are part of the World Heritage of UNESCO.
The village is located in the southeast of the peninsula. It is located in the upper reaches of the river of the same name. The presence of thermal mineral springs makes it a resort. Although the weather here even in the summer is not high, the hills shelter the area from the winds, and the coolness is not so strong. There is a large sanatorium “Paratunka” built nearby. Tourist recreation centers, hotels and health resorts are operating.
It is located in the southern part of the peninsula on the slope of the volcano bearing the same name. Its height is 40 meters. It was formed because of a melting glacier. Road passes nearby, but you have to walk a part of the way to the natural landmark. The forest around is dense in some places, but not high. The landscape is adjusted depending on the season: come down the mudflows and erode some of the sand. In the winter, it is completely frozen.
The tract Aquarium.
Located on the Levaya Avacha River. Its name is received largely due to the peculiarities of the area: tectonic break and framing of the reservoir together with clear water, it looks like an aquarium from a distance. The tract has a great view, as from the observation deck, from a thirty-meter cliff. Numerous tourists have treaded the paths, so it is not difficult to navigate in place.
Located near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The water does not get warmer than +15 °С. Unsuitable for swimming. In the summer, some people sunbathe here. Fans of windsurfing meet, except for the temperature the conditions for this sport are ideal. Although there are many visitors, the services associated with tourism are undeveloped: no stores, rentals of swimming gear, entertainment and rides.
Bystrinsky Ethnographic Museum.
Founded in 1980, it began receiving visitors on a permanent basis in 1982. The complex is built in the style of Russian architecture of the XVII-XVIII centuries. The overall picture is complemented by the buildings associated with the indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. The museum’s exposition consists of original items of aborigines, dioramas and scenes reproducing the life of the Koryaks. Items made of fur, wood and bone are especially well represented.
Ski base “Krasnaya Sopka”.
It is located within Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The maximum height is 450 meters. Three descents have different types of complexity, so you can choose both for beginners and pro skiers. Three elevators are working. There are classes for snowboarding and skiing. Equipment for rent is available. Nearby there is a repair shop for making repairs and fitting equipment. From the top there is a view of the city and the Pacific Ocean.
Kamchatka Regional United Museum
It was founded in 1911. The permanent exhibition tells about the region as a whole and its indigenous peoples. The collection includes: rare books and unique documents, things from the Bering expeditions, things of Kamchatka natives, art objects created on the peninsula, or related to it. There is a section, devoted to nature. Temporary exhibitions with similar themes are held from time to time.
Museum of Volcanoes “Volcanarium”
Open since 2017. It is located in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a private museum. During the visit, tourists are immersed in the atmosphere of the peninsula at different stages of its development. Much is said about the indigenous peoples. The main exposition is devoted to the numerous volcanoes of the region. The collection consists of models of lava flows, samples of rocks, photographic materials on the subject, shootings, both general plans and in the immediate vicinity of the eruptions.
Monument “Here begins Russia”
Opened in 2011. It is installed at the exit from the airport. The monument is a natural stone pedestal with a corresponding inscription on one side and the name of the city on the other. On a raised platform stands a bear cub with a fish in her mouth. The animals are made in proportion and real size. All this against a panoramic backdrop.
Top 35: The main sights of Kamchatka worth visiting
Short Description The Kamchatka Peninsula is an amazing corner of Russia. Rare animals, unique vegetation, power, purity and pristine nature. There are thermal springs and volcanoes, volcanoes, volcanoes… active and extinct, big and small. The beauty of this northern region is impossible to describe in words. You have to go and see for yourself.
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What to see and where to go in Kamchatka?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos with descriptions.
1. Valley of Geysers
The iconic attraction of the Kamchatka Peninsula is the Valley of Geysers. One of the largest geyser fields on the planet. Outwardly, it is a large canyon, formed by the confluence of two rivers – Geyser and Noisy. There are two dozen geysers and many small springs. Rising periodically upward fountains of hot steam or boiling water are a stunning sight.
The unusual microclimate is a favorable environment for the emergence of life in all its diversity. The biosystem in this area is incredibly complex. Helicopter tours are organized in the valley.
2. Commander Islands
Commanders archipelago consists of four islands from the long Aleutian volcanic range. Located 200 km from the Kamchatka Peninsula. The two largest are Medny and Bering, where Commander Vitus Bering, who discovered the islands in 1741, is buried. They are washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Biospheric Marine Reserve “Komandorsky” is the largest in Russia. Here live dozens of species of cetaceans and pinnipeds, about two hundred birds. Vegetation is tundra low-grass. Terrestrial flora is scanty. It is mainly the blue fox. There are a lot of kinds of sea mammals: sea lion, sperm whales, harbor porpoise, dolphins and so on.
Kamchatka has a lot of natural sights. Commander Islands is undoubtedly one of the most interesting.
3. Volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Kliuchevskaya Sopka is one of the youngest, most beautiful and highest volcanoes in Europe and Asia. Due to the lava that hardens on the slopes, its height is constantly increasing. Volcano is incredibly spectacular, cone-shaped. The crater, with regular ash columns of emissions and lava flows, is covered with ice crusts and pure white snow.
The eruptions have been occurring for 7,000 years, with a frequency of one to five years. Once every 25 to 30 years lava erupts with incredible force. This event has serious consequences.
Many climbers dream of climbing Kliuchevskaya Sopka. To the volcano are organized sightseeing tours.
4. Maly Semyachik Volcano
Maly Semyachik volcano is located 20 km from the Pacific coast. Outwardly, it is a volcanic ridge, which consists of three merged cones. Its unusual attraction is the acid lake. It was formed in the crater Trinity, as a result of the last eruption (1952). The water there is an amazing turquoise color, not freezing in the winter, while everything around is covered with snow. If the weather is good, you can go down into the crater.
This is an active volcano. In periods of high activity, it is protected by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Steep walls of Small Semyachik have amazing striped color, due to the alternation of layers of tuff and lava.
5. Avacha Bay
The largest ice-free bay on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, is located on the south-east of Kamchatka. The area of the water surface is 215 sq. km, its length is 24 km, width at the inlet is 3 km. The bay is the main seaport of the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and a base of the Russian Pacific Fleet. In terms of size, it is the second largest in the world. Narrow entrance gates to the bay provide ships with protection from storms.
Its climate affects the weather, flora and fauna of the surrounding areas. There are huge rookeries of seals, which do not pay attention to people. In the sea waters there is a large number of large and small animals, various mammals and fish: from orcas, seals, to sea urchins and mussels. On the coastal cliffs nestled bird markets.
Having a special pass, you can visit the bay itself and take unique pictures of the surroundings. Also this place will suit fans of sea fishing or snorkeling.
6. Three Brothers Cliffs
Rocks Three Brothers is a symbol of Avacha Bay, a group of three pillar-like formations at the entrance to the bay. Around the Three Brothers there is a unique ecosystem. The water near the shore is inhabited by a variety of sea inhabitants: urchins, crabs, actinia. In these places is excellent fishing, the most popular hobby of the locals. On the rocks are nesting birds.
The view from the shores of Avacha Bay on the three rocks, as if coming out of the sea, is very picturesque. But it is difficult to catch a classic sunset here. There is a constant fog hanging over the bay. You can admire the panoramic view from the observation deck or take a boat ride closer to the rocks during the tour.
The area around the rocks since 1983 is an official natural monument and a special protected area in Kamchatka.
The Tolbachik massif consists of two stratovolcanoes that have merged. Extinguished Sharp Tolbachik is 3,682 m high, and the active Plosky Tolbachik is 3,140 m high. The lava, not completely frozen on the ashy slopes, is a reminder of its activity. The last eruption was in 1975. At the same time the disaster destroyed almost 500 square kilometers of vegetation.
Multi-day tours allow you to see the staggering effects of the volcanic explosion. Tourists cook among the “alien” scenery, make an ascent to the craters, and visit the Kliuchevskoi Nature Park.
Travelers get to the bottom of the volcano by shuttle buses. The strongest impressions of the excursion are guaranteed.
8. Dead Forest
Dead Forest was formed in the area of the volcano Tolbachik, after a powerful eruption in 1975. The catastrophe destroyed everything on an area of 500 km². Now this area is the perfect backdrop for surrealistic movies. Instead of 80 hectares of emerald forest, living rivers and lakes, blooming meadows – a black desert.
But life breaks through the thickness of the petrified earth. Here and there, green shoots and velvety mossy islands can be found. In some places, the smell of sulfur can still be picked up.
Perhaps, in the near future, the forest will accumulate the strength to recover. And there won’t be such an opportunity to see it dead. If there is a chance to see this unique landmark, you should not miss such a chance.
9. Kuril Lake
Kuril Lake, located in the basin of an extinct volcano, is the third largest lake in Kamchatka (77 sq. km), the second freshwater body of the peninsula and the world’s largest spawning ground for sockeye salmon. It is a part of the South Kamchatka Nature Reserve of the Russian Federation, and, as part of it, is listed by UNESCO.
Volcanic islands decorate the water mirror, reflecting in it and forming fantastic landscapes.
The lake is replenished by rain and meltwater. The temperature for most of it does not exceed +10⁰/+11⁰ C. But there are places with hot springs (up to +45 °C). In winter, there is a huge accumulation of large birds of prey, including eagles. Spawning of the seal attracts brown bears to the lake, which fish without noticing anyone around. You can watch the process from the watch towers.
10. Blue Lakes
The Blue Lakes are located about 800 meters above sea level in a glacial basin. The system is a natural park of regional importance. The three lakes are connected by a natural stream, which, flowing out of the latter, forms the source of the river Polovinki.
The ice covering the meltwater flowing down from the hills gives a unique bright blue color to the pure and transparent water. Picturesque slopes covered with shrubbery; wonderfully scented tundra plants surround the lakes in the warm season. The fauna around the Blue Lakes is not diverse. The water here is cold even in summer, there are no fish. But sometimes bears come. For tourists there is a 15 km long ecological trail.
11. Caldera of Uzon volcano
Caldera of the Uzon volcano – a huge depression with an area of almost 100 km ² with a flat bottom and steep ledges (200-800 m), passing into an outer plateau. It was formed almost 40 thousand years ago. On the surface of the caldera there are many small rivers and streams that form the source of the Shumnaya River. In the east, in the largest crater, lies Lake Dalney. In the western part, the largest lake is Central Lake.
Uzon Volcano Caldera is an area of landscape park, three federal nature reserves and 17 wildlife refuges. Colorful representatives of diverse flora and fauna are of great interest for scientific research. Tourist season is very short July-August.
12. Avacha Sopka
One of the active volcanoes in Kamchatka – Avacha Sopka. It is located north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (27 km). Its accessibility and proximity to the capital makes it the most popular tourist attraction.
In the upper part of Avacha Sopka lies snow and glaciers. On the lower slopes grows stone birch and shrubbery. In summer you can climb to the top of the volcano on a specially paved trail. It takes 6-8 hours and does not require any special training or equipment. In winter, snowmobile tours are organized. At this time, skiing and snowboarding are popular. Guests are offered accommodation in cottages heated by wood stoves, a Russian banya.
13. Karymskaya Sopka
Karymskaya Sopka is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. In the twentieth century, eruptions were recorded 20 times. It is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula. At the foot of the volcano, there is a lake and a river with the same name, on the shore of which a volcanological station is situated. The Karymskaya Sopka is permanently investigated by seismologists.
At nighttime it is a fantastic spectacle. The red glow illuminated by smoke rises from the crater. The volcanic eruptions are accompanied by flying sparks and flashes of light. The sight is, without exaggeration, fantastic.
14. Mutnovskaya Sopka
One of the active volcanoes in Kamchatka – Mutnovskaya Sopka. It is located 80 kilometers south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Not far from it is the Mutnovskaya hydroelectric power plant. The volcano is a merged several cones, which is clearly visible from a distance. The main activity is expressed in the emissions of volcanic gases and a lot of hot springs. The last, not too strong, eruption happened in 2000.
You can climb to the volcano from the geothermal station or along the bottom of the dried up lake. The first way is long (35 km). The second shorter but more difficult. However, it is definitely worth doing.
15. Nalychevo Nature Park
The nature park in the valley of the river Nalychevo is located 25 km to the north of the regional capital. The variety of fauna, the clearest lakes, rushing rivers, glaciers, rich fauna attracts tourists to join the primordial environment.
Everything is perfectly organized for the convenience of tourists. There are signs and places for camping everywhere. There are trails with the counting of the kilometers and their marking on special poles. Fascinating routes suggest hiking to the waterfall on the Shumna River, Vershinsky mineral springs, Aagsky narzans, etc.
The seaside part of the park is more visited for the purpose of scientific and cognitive study. There are horse and helicopter tours, as well as guided walking tours.
16. Kliuchevskoy Nature Park
Park “Kluchevskoy” is a cluster of natural park “Volcanoes of Kamchatka”. It is located 500 km north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Outwardly – it is a mountain island on the area of 371 thousand hectares. There is no territory similar to the Klyuchevskoi Park in the world. There are 13 volcanic formations of different ages here. Here is also the highest in Asia and the most active on the planet Kliuchevskoi volcano. Its height constantly changes due to lava streams that harden on its slopes. Each of its sides is distinguished by specific features.
The park is created for rational use of lands and preservation of the unique natural landscape. Limitless possibilities attract both tourists and representatives of the scientific world to this place. Entrance to the territory of the Kliuchevskoi Nature Park is possible with a prior permit.
17. Bystrinsky Nature Park
Natural Park “Bystrinsky” is one of the clusters of the park “Volcanoes of Kamchatka”. It was founded in 1995. On the biggest protected territory of 1325 thousand hectares there are dozens of volcanoes and a lot of springs: hot geothermal and mineral cold ones. The main part of flora is represented by the diverse mosses, some species are included into the Red Data Book of Russian Federation and Kamchatka Territory. The taiga forests are inhabited by the numerous representatives of fauna.
The park has developed ecological routes for tourists. In the winter, ski slopes are open. In the village of Esso, there is an ethnographic museum, where you can learn about the life of aborigines of Kamchatka.
18. South Kamchatka Nature Park
South Kamchatka Nature Park is located in the southeastern part of the peninsula, and covers 4,860 km². These places in Kamchatka began to be developed after the development of geology. In 1995-1996 the territory was officially declared a treasure of the region and was included in the list of UNESCO.
Active volcanoes of the South Kamchatka belt take the second place after the Klyuchevskaya group. There are no economic activities on the territory of the park. There are no roads on the difficult terrain, so it is impossible to get here by land transport. Conditions of the purest nature attract all species of salmon to spawn, and the rich forage base provides a large population of bears.
You can see the harsh nature of the park by booking a helicopter tour.
19. Malkinskie Hot Springs
Malki hot springs are located on the left bank of the Klyuchevka River, near the village of Malki. The site of the mineral springs is a pebble bed inside the river valley. Hot and active water should be used with caution, so as not to over-saturate and not to harm health.
All conditions for guests are created in the territory of the springs. There are parking lots, walking paths and a camping site. Changing rooms, restrooms, toilets and sites with barbecues are equipped. Cleanliness and order are strictly guarded by the administration of Malkinskie hot springs.
20. Khodutkin hot springs
South Kamchatka geothermal province is rich in fresh water springs. Two dozen of them are located on the left bank of the Pravaya Khodutka River. The hot mineral water in them is heated up to 88°C by the magmatic cauldron of two volcanoes – Khodutka and Priemysh. Hodutka hot springs form the beginning of the river Goryachaya.
Beautiful landscape, mild microclimate, a large natural pool is a popular place for bathing, both residents and visitors to the peninsula. There are no analogues on the peninsula in terms of hydrochemical indicators.