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About Kamchatka
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Geography of Kamchatka

Tourism in Russia > Kamchatka > Geography of Kamchatka

Geography of Kamchatka

The Kamchatka Peninsula is located in the East of Russia. The peninsula stretches over 1,500 km (932 miles) from the south-east to the north-west between the Kuril Islands and Chukotka. Kamchatka is surrounded by the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk in the west and by the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea in the east. The total area is about 470,000 sq. km (or 292,000 sq. miles). This land and the adjacent Komandor Islands together form the Kamchatka Region and the Koryak Autonomous Region. The largest city and the center of the territory is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, with population of about 200,000. Overall, the population of Kamchatka is no more than 300,000, including about 5,000 aboriginal people.

Kamchatka is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The area is seismically very active, prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The natural topography of the peninsula includes a succession of mountain ranges and lowlands.

The West-Kamchatka lowland, characterized by swamps and swampy tundra with some wooded hills, stretches along the Sea of Okhotsk. To the east lies the Middle Mountain Range, the peninsula's largest mountain system, crisscrossed by river valleys and ravines that outline the system's distinct mountain ranges, peaks, and volcanic plateaus.

A deep canyon stretching for 500 km (about 310 miles) from east to west lies beyond the Middle Mountain Range. The valleys of the peninsula's two largest rivers, the Kamchatka River, carrying on to the Pacific Ocean, and the Bystraya (Swift) River, flowing into the Sea of Okhotsk, form the canyon.