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Treasures of Mongolia

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12 days / 11 nights
Availability : 20May - 30Oct
Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar
Min Age : 5
Max People : 12

Operated By Tour Mongolia

Tour Details

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 Karakorum, 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.

Departure & Return Location

Ulaanbaatar

Price Includes

  • Accommodation as specified
  • Local Guide
  • Surface transportation
  • Meals as specified
  • Additional Services
  • Museum & park entrance fees

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Laundry
  • Laundry
  • Bar bills
  • Air fare
  • Tips for your tour guide and driver
  • Visa arrangement
Itinerary

Day 1BAGA GAZRIIN CHULUU-HIKING

Meet your guide at a prearranged location 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 abundant wildlife unique to the 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.

Travel details: 5-6h/ 300km to Baga Gazriin Chuluu
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Lunch; Dinner

Day 2GOBI DESERT-TSAGAAN SUVARGA-ROCK FORMATION

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.

Travel details: 4-5h/ 210km to Tsagaan Suvarga
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 3DALANZADGAD-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.

Travel details: 4-5h/200km
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 4KHONGOR SAND DUNE

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 at the camp have short rest and venture out to the sand dunes for a spectacular view from the top.

Travel details: 4-6h/ 150km
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

 

Day 5KHONGOR ELS-CAMEL HERDER VISIT-CAMEL RIDE

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 afterward 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 a 2-hour ride alongside the dunes. In the afternoon the schedule is flexible: 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.

Travel details: 2hrs Camel Ride
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 6KHAVSGAIT PETROGYPHS, BAYNZAG FLAMMING CLIFFS

After breakfast, travel 5 hours (150km) off-road to Bayanzag. During the scenic drive, there might be a possibility 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.
Travel details: 4-5h/150km to Flamming Cliff
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 7ONGI TEMPLE 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.

Travel details: 5-6h/350km
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 8TEMEEN CHULUU BURIAL STONES, ORKHON VALLEY, YAK HERDER FAMILY

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.

Travel details: 4-5h/250km to Orkhon Valley
Accommodation: Guest ger next to a local family
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 9ORKHON VALLEY-WATERFALL-HORSE RIDING

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.

Travel details: 2h horse riding
Accommodation: Guest ger next to a local family
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 10KHARAKHORUM-ERDENEZUU-KHARAKHORUM MUSEUM

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.

Day 11KHUSTAI NATIONAL PARK-WILD TAKHI HORSES-WILDLIFE TRACKING

After leisurely breakfast board the vehicle for the journey back east to Hustai. The drive will take around 3 hours 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.

Travel details: 3-4h/ 250km to Khustai National Park
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

Day 12CHINGGIS KHAAN STATUE COMPLEX-ULAANBAATAR

After breakfast travel to the remarkable Chinggis Khaan Statue complex near Erdene soum for 200km. Once you arrive, climb up inside until you reach the exterior staircase which runs up the mane of the horse to a viewpoint overlooking the Tuul River, Terelj & the hills of the Khan Khentii. Then have lunch in the complex’s restaurant. After lunch, board the vehicle and drive back to Ulaanbaatar for 120km, where you will be dropped at a location to suit you (we can do multiple drop-offs if required).

Map
Photos