Above all, Altai is a land of contrasts containing a multitude of unique and varying microclimates. You can pass through Siberian coniferous forest, blooming grasslands and imposing mountain peaks in a single day. Siberia's tallest peak, Mt. Belukha 4,506 m (14,783 feet) , can be found in Altai, as well as Russia's deepest cave, Ekologicheskaya 345 m (1131,89 feet). It also has the country's third deepest lake, Teletskoye.
No visit to Altai is complete without an appreciation of its rich and pristine animal and plant life. Unfortunately, today many of the species face the threat of extinction and are protected under law. The diversity of Altai's rare species impresses even the most travelled zoologist: freshwater species, insects, various mammals, etc. Altai contains a total of over 500 different kinds of animals, including 17 endangered mammals including the snow leopard, manul cat, Mongolian gazelle, Altai argali and several types of wild boar and bear.