The beauty of Mother Nature meets nomadic culture in this 12-day tour of Mongolia! Spend your days exploring the Singing Dunes of the Gobi desert, dining al-fresco at the Flaming Cliffs, exploring the ancient Mongol capital of Kharakhorum, staying next to a yak herder family in the UNESCO listed nomadic heartlands of the Orkhon Valley, and surveying the majestic landscapes of the southern and central Mongolia. This tour takes you to the best and most spectacular locations in the country and includes accommodation in our hand-picked, characterful ger camps. The Treasures of Mongolia is a tour that is well-paced with plenty of free time in the afternoons for walks, interaction with the locals and relaxation and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
TRAVEL TO THE ROCK FORMATIONS OF BAGA GAZRIIN CHULUU
After meeting your at 08:30 at your hotel or another Ulaanbaatar location of your choice, board the vehicle and the drive south towards the Gobi. Rock formations of the Baga Gazriin Chuluu, located 300km away, are your first stop. After a 5 hours drive enter first your ger camp where you will be staying tonight and have lunch, then venture to explore the caves, streams and shrines that dot this sacred site. The scenery is beautiful and the area has an abundant wildlife unique to Gobi, both flora and fauna. In the evening return back to the camp, have dinner settle into your ger in the peaceful wilderness of the Gobi.
Stay overnight in a standard ger at the Erdene Ukhaa Ger Camp. Lunch and dinner are included.
EXPLORE THE CLIFFS OF TSAGAAN SUVARGA
In the morning it’s back on the road – today you head further south to imposing cliffs of Tsagaan Suvarga, translated into English as “White Stupa”, named that after its looks. Drive there will take 4 hours (210km), and after arriving, have lunch and venture to the rock formations for some great opportunities for photography. There may be an opportunity to visit a nomadic family that spends the summers nearby, and sample homemade curds and milk tea.
Overnight stay in standard ger at Tsagaan Suvarga ger camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
DALANZADGAD & ICE WALK IN YOL VALLEY
After a leisurely breakfast continue your drive south, after 2 hours (100km) first stopping at the important mining outpost of Dalanzadgad. Take a short tour of the city, including the Aimag museum and visit the local market. Have lunch and then continue for 50km to the Yol Valley. The vehicle will be left at the gorge’s entrance, from where you will need to venture on foot. Yol Valley is notable for a deep ice field, which is several meters thick by the end of winter and is several kilometers long. In the summer there is usually less ice, but you should still be able to walk on it. The area is also a habitat of ibex and birds of prey and you may be able to spot wildlife on top of the cliffs. After returning to the vehicle, head to tonight’s ger camp, have dinner and enjoy stargazing of the the clear Mongolian skies.
Overnight you will stay in the Gobi Mirage ger camp. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.
OFF-ROAD JOURNEY TO KHONGOR ELS SAND DUNES
Today you leave the paved road and venture deeper into the Gobi desert, to the largest sand dunes of Mongolia, Khongor Els. Keep a lookout for gazelles and birds of prey as you drive – the scenery is beautiful and populated by a plethora of wildlife. The 130km drive will take good 4-5 hours, but you will stop for picnic lunch and photos on the way. On arrival to the camp have short rest and venture out to the sand dunes for a spectacular view from the top.
Overnight you will stay in Gobi Erdene ger camp. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.
VISIT NOMADIC FAMILY AND RIDE A BACTRIAN CAMEL TO THE DESERT SAND DUNES
Before breakfast, if you didn’t see the sunset last night, drive a short distance to the dunes for the spectacular sunrise. Otherwise, enjoy home breakfast in the camp’s restaurant and afterwards drive a short distance to visit a nomadic family of camel herders who spend the summers near the water springs close to the dunes. Enter one of the gers, sample camel milk and learn about the traditional way of life in those harsh desert regions. Your camels will be then prepared outside and mount up for 2-hour ride alongside the dunes. In the afternoon the schedule is flexible: You can have a cooking lesson in the authentic ger setting – learn how to prepare Huushuur (fried meat pastry) or Buuz (steamed dumplings). Alternatively, you may want to go for a longer hike in the area, along the river or to the dunes and take amazing photos, or just rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery – discuss your preferences with your guide.
Overnight stay in Gobi Erdene ger camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
EXPLORE ANCIENT PETROGLYPHS AND DINE ALFRESCO IN BAYANZAG
After breakfast, travel 5 hours (150km) off-road to Bayanzag. During the scenic drive, you are likely to see wild gazelles as they run along – it’s difficult for vehicles to catch up with them! On the way, you will stop at an ancient sacred site of Khavtsgait, where on top of a rocky hill there are hundreds of ancient stone engravings, called petroglyphs. Some of them are as old as 3000 BC and were painted by hunters while waiting for prey. The site also offers wonderful views over the desert. Have lunch in a village of Bulgan and soon after you will arrive at Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs. It was here that the first dinosaur eggs were discovered by an American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, and the area remains one of the most famous paleontological dig sites in the world. Stroll for an hour or two among the flaming-red cliffs and explore this unique area where the dinosaurs once roamed. In the evening, weather conditions permitting, enjoy the an alfresco dinner with wine at the foothills of the Flaming Cliffs with the spectacular sunset backdrop bringing out the red hues from the rocks.
Stay overnight in Mongolian Gobi ger camp. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.
TRAVEL NORTH TO ONGII RUINS
In the morning board the vehicle for a long drive north towards central Mongolia. You will stop at the Ongii temple ruins, which are located roughly at the mid-point to Kharakhorum. Have picnic lunch en-route and stop for photography – the 5-hour-long drive (350km) is scenic, but you still remain surrounded by the landscapes of the Gobi. You will arrive at the Ongii temples in the afternoon – after refreshing at the ger camp take a walk among the ruins and see the reconstructed temples. Ongii is a ruined and partially rebuilt monastery founded in 1760 to commemorate Dalai Lama’s first visit Dalai Lama to Mongolia, and it was destroyed in 1939 with 200 monks killed in purges. You can see the stupa displaying with the names of the victims and perhaps meet the local monks.
Stay overnight in Ongiin Nuuts Ger Camp. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included.
NOMADIC HEARTLANDS OF THE ORKHON VALLEY
Today’s drive will take you away from the Gobi plans and into the rolling steppes and pastureland of the Orkhon Valley. On the way have lunch stopping at the the Temeen Chuluu burial stones that date from first millenium BC. In the afternoon you will arrive in Orkhon Valley, which is a UNESCO listed heritage site and the ancestral nomadic heartland of Mongolians. Arrive at a local yak herder family where you will be staying tonight in an authentic guest ger a just mile from to the Orkhon Waterfall. Enter the gers and experience the nomadic hospitality – you will have the opportunity to try your hand at traditional Mongolian cooking, learn how to prepare Buuz (steamed dumplings) or Huushuur (fried meat-filled pastry), and socialize with your hosts over mare’s milk and milk tea in the evening.
Overnight stay in a guest ger next to a nomadic family. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
HORSE RIDING AND NOMADIC FAMILY STAY IN ORKHON VALLEY
Have home cooked breakfast, and if you are up for it, saddle up on a horseback excursion to the nearby Orkhon Waterfall. If you would rather walk – it’s fine too. Mongolian horses are small and if you don’t have horseback riding experience your horse will be led by an experienced wrangler. Orkhon waterfall is a scenic cascade on the Ulaan Tsuutgalan river, 20m high and 10m wide. After exploring the area return to the family encampment for lunch. In the afternoon get involved in the activities of your family – help with milking yaks and watch the nomads making curds and yogurts. There will be also time for games and perhaps a cooking lesson, discuss your preferences with your guide.
Overnight stay in a guest ger next to a nomadic family. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
EXPLORE KHARAKHORUM AND VISIT ERDENE ZUU MONASTERY
After an early breakfast, part with your hosts, perhaps exchanging gifts, and drive off-road for 3 hours to reach the ancient Mongol capital of Kharakhorum. Upon arrival, enter the Erdene Zuu Monastery, the most important monastery complex in the country, built in 1586 by Altai Khan. Take a guided tour of the temples and hear the monks chanting, which takes place in the late morning. After that have lunch at the ger camp where you will be staying tonight (summer) or at a local eatery (winter), and visit an interesting local museum which showcases Mongolian past. In the afternoon take a stroll along the Orkhon river or explore the local market. There will also be time to visit the Monument of the 3 Kings on top of a hill.
Overnight stay in a characterful Munkh Tenger ger camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
WILDLIFE TRACKING AND TAKHI HORSES IN HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK
After leisurely breakfast board the vehicle for the journey back east to Hustai. The drive will take 3 hours (190km) and on arrival visit first the park’s information center where you will learn about the plethora of wildlife roaming the National Park. Have lunch in the ger camp where you will be staying tonight, located right at the park’s entrance, then venture into the park to see the wild Takhi horses. Your guide will be in contact with the park rangers who will relay the animals’ location, and you have high chances of seeing them close. You can also venture deeper into the park on foot if you wish, perhaps to track other animals, such as wild deer or foxes – Hustai offers wonderful wilderness hiking opportunities. In the late afternoon return by vehicle to the camp, take hot shower and enjoy hearty dinner, before settling into your gers for the night.
Overnight stay in a standard ger at Hustai ger camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
HIKE IN THE BOGD KHAN RESERVE, AMONG THE MANZUSHIR RUINS AND CLIMB MT. BOGD KHAN
After breakfast travel 2 hours (110km) on a scenic off-road route to the Bogd Khan reserve. The drive will take approximately 2 hours and you will have a chance to stop for photography. At the entrance to the park stroll around the ruins of the Manzushir Monastery, visit the small temple museum (if open), and then hike the trails to the peak of Mt. Bogd Khan behind the temple. The hike up normally takes 2-3 hours and picnic lunch will be served on top. After lunch, come back down to the vehicle and return to Ulaanbaatar (1hr/52km), where you will be dropped at a location of your choice.
Breakfast and lunch are included.
|Price Per Person:||$1,595|
Private tour: This trip is available as a private tour too, and you can book it on any day of your choice for you and your family or friends. Just email us with your proposed dates and your group size for pricing.
Occupancy: you can stay in a single, twin or double room/ger/tent (where applicable). Single occupancy may not be possible during the Naadam festival (July 5th -15th) at ger camps. At community-based camps and ger homestays, single occupancy is subject to availability. Single and twin/double occupancy at ger camps require an extra supplement as shown in the above table.
Discounts*: Our clients can take an opportunity to get following discount options:
*Discounts are not cumulative, only one discount is available per client/group.
Travel arrangements: We are happy to book your international or domestic flight/train tickets or accommodation in Ulaanbaatar at discount prices, please contact us for availability.
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org