Kamchatka, a peninsula comparable in size to Japan, is
washed by the Pacific Ocean and the Bering and Okhotskoe Seas. Russia's large
volcanic belt, made up of 28 active craters, stretches along its shore. Though
the flora and fauna, as is characteristic of northern regions, is not marked by
diversity, more than half of the world's Steller's Sea Eagles, as well as the
largest population of brown bears, are found here. On Kamchatka you also find
the last stretches of Siberian taiga.
The waters around Kamchatka are inhabitated by the rare gray whale and
approximately 300,000 seals, sea lions, otters and other sea creatures. In the
center of Kamchatka is found Eurasia's only Geyser Valley. More than 150 thermal
springs are scattered throughout the peninsula. Kamchatka is very sparsely
populated, averaging less than 1 person per square kilometer. Most of the
inhabitants live in the regional capital, Petropavlovsk, but a traditional way
of life continues in the peninsula's many scattered villages.