Kanchalan is located 70 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of the regional capital, Anadyr, in Russia’s Far East on the Kanchalan River. The village is in the Chukotsk Autonomous Region. Chukotka’s landscape is primarily tundra with some low mountains. The population of Kanchalan is around 730, more than 90% Chukchi. The Russian name “Chukchi” comes from the Chukchi word “chauchu” which means “rich in reindeer.”
With great distances, few good roads, and no railways, transportation within Chukotka is difficult and expensive. Travel options are, helicopter, by Caterpillar all-terrain vehicle or by boat. Traditional harvest includes reindeer, fish, birds, marine mammals (including whales and walrus), berries and mushrooms.