Selena Travel

Ancient Capital of Mongol empire tour


Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 1,300

Style: Traveller

  • Ancient capital at Karakorum, legendary Erdene Zuu monastery and Karakorum Museum, Elsen Tasarkhai small sand dunes optional camel riding
  • Tsenkher Hot springs & Lake Ogii
  • Hustai National park – wild Przewalski horse Takhi
  • Meet people and make friends! You will be part of a group of 4-8 people during the tour as it is a group departure.

Tour Overview

You'll visit historic sites from 13th century and the UNESCO world heritage Orkhon River Valley to introduce Mongolia from historical and cultural perspective! Mongolia is famous for being the homeland of Genghis Khan, his mighty Mongol Empire and a nomadic people whose lives are not changed in many ways from the days of the Mongolian Empire. And this fantastic Mongolia tour will take you on the paths of Great Mongol Empire to the historic sites from 13th century and the UNESCO world heritage Orkhon River Valley to introduce Mongolia from historical and cultural perspective: you will visit the first Buddhist monastery Erdene Zuu and the ruins of the capital city from the renowned empire and will also travel several sites from Mongol-Turkic states.

Moreover, you will also meet and interact with real nomads everywhere you go. Enjoy hot bath time in Tsenkher hot springs and visit to Lake Ogii. The tour will end at beautiful Hustai National Park home to the world’s only wild horse Takhi aka Przewalski horse, and you will enjoy a perfect relaxing day in wilderness before last your day in Ulaanbaatar. 

Tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, Tour of the City
  • Day 2: Elsen Tasarkhai
  • Day 3: Karakorum
  • Day 4: Tsenkher hot springs
  • Day 5: Lake Ogii
  • Day 6: Hustai national park
  • Day 7: Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 8: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
go to detail

Tour images

Erdene Zuu monastery at Karakorum
Khugnu Khan Nature Reserve
Monkh at Erdene zuu Monastery in Central Mongolia
the UNESCO world heritage site Orkhon river valley

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, Tour of the City

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, meet at the airport after custom formalities and transfer to the hotel (standard check in time applies). Afternoon city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, Genghis Khan Monument on the Sukhbaatar square and the Museum of National History. Welcome dinner at Mongolian restaurant. Centrally located excellent hotel 3* D

Day 2:

Elsen Tasarkhai

After breakfast at the hotel, we pack the vehicle and depart to the west toward Karakorum, the ancient capital city of Mongolia. Transfer to camp near the Mongol Els Sand Dunes. Optional hiking in Khogno Khaan with a visit to the Erdene Khamba monastery ruins. Enjoy camel ride for 1 hr along the sand dunes. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 3:


Breakfast and we drive to ancient capital Karakorum. We visit legendary monastery Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia founded in 1586. In the afternoon we will visit the newly established Museum of Karakorum which gives a good introduction to Central Mongolia, its’ history and the UNESCO world heritage site Orkhon river valley. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 4:

Tsenkher hot springs

Breakfast and we drive to Tsenkher hot springs. On the way, we’ll visit to nomadic families who are residing along Tamir river, experience their way of nomadic lifestyle and try dairy products. Lunch at the family and we continue toward Tsenkher hot springs. Arrive in hot springs, here you spend a night away from your road, in lodgings near the healing hot springs. Relax and reinvigorate. And enjoy hot bath in the evening. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 5:

Lake Ogii

This morning, we’ll head to the north for Lake Ogii via Khoshoo Tsaidam monument which is archeological findings of ancient Turkic empire in VI – VIII century. Arrive in Lake Ogii, check into ger camp, and enjoy 2 hr of horse riding along the lake shore. Optional boat tour or fishing at the lake available. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 6:

Hustai national park

After breakfast we drive to Hustai National Park, one of the most popular national parks of Mongolia through the rolling steppes.  Arrive in Hustai view the wonderful Takhi wild horses and other wildlife. Optional hiking around the hill. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 7:


After breakfast we drive back to Ulaanbaatar for 2 hours. Then we visit the Bogd Khaan’s Palace Museum – the residence of the last king of Mongolia and the Buddha Park. Enjoy traditional folklore concert by the magical Tumen Ekh ensemble. Farewell dinner.  Centrally located excellent Hotel 3* B+L+D

Day 8:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

You are transferred to the airport/train station after breakfast. End of service. B 

Date & Price

Tour Price:

Pax 1 US$ 2950 per person
Pax 2 US$ 1800 per person
Pax 3-4 US$ 1600 per person
Pax 5-8 US$ 1500 per person
Pax 9-12 US$ 1300 per person
Single supplement charge        US$ 210 







Included Services

  • Full-time services of your English speaking local guide(s) throughout the tour
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • Private transfers (4WD Japanese minivan + Experienced driver)
  • Airport transfers (Van or bus)
  • Twin/double share at good 3-star hotel - 2 nights
  • Twin share at good tourist ger camps – 5 nights
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • 1 hour camel riding fee in Elsen Tasarkhai
  • 2 hour horse riding fee in Lake Ogii
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive Mongolia tour souvenir!

Not Included in the Service

  • International Airfare/train tickets + Tax
  • Travel insurance & Visa fees
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc. 
  • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
  • Optional activities: Kayaking & fishing etc.



  • Children under 3 years old are allowed to stay in their parents room for free (not including an extra bed).
  • Children aged 4 to 11 years old receive a 40% discount on accommodation per night, inclusive of bed and breakfast.
  • Children 12 and above will be charged as adults.


Tour Background

Accommodation info on your Mongolia tours 

Ulaanbaatar: Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, offers a variety of hotels ranging from basic guesthouses to high-end 5* hotel.

Some of our Mongolia tours do not include the hotel stays in Ulaanbaatar in the tour package, where clients can choose a hotel that suits their needs and budget. Please make sure to check your tour program`s Inclusions and Exclusions section to confirm if your hotel stay is included in the package.

If you wish us to book your hotel for you, your travel consultant will be happy to recommend and book an ideal hotel for you. 


Here are hotels that are recommended by us:  

  • Springs hotel (3*)
  • Holiday Inn (4*)
  • Best Western Premier (5*)
  • Shangri-La Hotel (5*)


Outside Ulaanbaatar: Outside of Ulaanbaatar where there are no hotels, tourist Ger (yurt) camps are the best accommodation for travelers. A Ger is Mongolian traditional dwelling made of felt layers and wooden construction, and the Mongolians have lived in Gers for thousands of years. Tourist Ger camps offer comfortable Gers with 1-3 beds with good bedding (1 Ger equals 1 hotel room), and also offer well-maintained public western style showers and WCs on their grounds. Some Ger camps offer en-suite bathroom facilities at additional charge, please ask your Selena Travel advisor for further details when booking your Mongolia tour. 


Food on Selena Travel tours 

In the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, a great variety of restaurants can be found and you will be eating at some of the best restaurants of Ulaanbaatar on your Mongolia tour while in the capital. Once you are outside the capital, Ger restaurants in Ger camps, local cafes in the small towns and sometimes nomadic families will be the places where you will be eating most of your meal. Ger restaurants often offer set continental breakfasts, set menu lunches and dinners consisting of salad or soup, main course and dessert.


 While on the tour, during your longer driving days you will take packed lunch from Ger camps, often vegetable salad, main course such as fried chicken/noodles/dumplings and a small dessert, while hitting the road. Most of the food restrictions and allergies such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and many others, can be accommodated with easy on your Mongolia adventure.


 Luggage allowance on Selena Travel tours 

If you are on an overland only tour across Mongolia, the recommended weight of your luggage is 20kg per person (max). However, kindly note that domestic flight luggage allowance per person is 15 kg (10 kg for the check in luggage and 5 kg for the carry on luggage). It is possible to purchase extra luggage space which costs US$2 - 5 per 1kg.




The Karakorum was flourished in the IV-IX century by the Kirgis tribe and in 1220 the great Emperor Chinghis Khaan declared it as the capital city of his vast Empire. Many other Mongolian Khaans used Karakorum as the capital of Great Mongolian Empire, however, the Chinese Ming soldiers burnt the city several times in 15-17th century. Today there are many interesting sites left to visit; the legendary turtle rock sculptures, Buddhist stupas and the ruins of this once great city to name a few. This is one of the best place for Mongolian cultural tours. 

Erdenezuu ("One Hundred Treasures") was the first Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian Empire. It was established in 1586 on the orders of Abtai Sain Khaan, a direct descendent from Genghis Khaan. The monastery has a massive square wall, 420 meters in length each side, a total of 108 Stupas and 17 temples. Today Erdenezuu monastery still shows its glory with collections of many priceless religious objects and incredibly beautiful Mongolian arts.

"Elsen tasarhai" is a part of the Great Mongolian Sand dunes and extends about 80 km. The scenery is a perfect combination of desert, picturesque mountains, river and green grassland and makes you feel like you are in heaven.
Hustai National park is the place where the wild Takhi- Przewalski horses have lived peacefully since 1993 when they were reintroduced to their native land Mongolia. Here we are able to see and photograph these beautiful wild horses at pasture and Red Deer, Wolf, Asian Marmot, various species of waterfawls and prey birds etc., as well. 

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

Jul 19, 2024.  The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer

Aug 10, 2012. Gobi & Karakorum Explorer tour Our recent "The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer" tour with you was excellent, everything exceeded our expectations! It was a super trip in our lives and we loved our Mongolia holiday so much. Our guide Joe was kind, well organised, accurate and informative, polite and caring and always provided us with timely information. And our driver Jack is super, very friendly, professional and always on time. We are wild travelers, having been to many places in the world - but Mongolia is still truly unspoiled and uncontaminated. Selena Travel's services were perfect right from the very first email. We would like to thank Selena Travel, our guide and our driver for having made this Mongolia experience a truly beautiful one with so many wonderful memories.

by Rafaella, Benedetta, Lidia

Aug 08, 2012.  Gobi & Karakorum customized 11 days tour

Sending you some of our nicer pictures. Some are chosen for their beautiful scenery while the rest are just us happily playing and goofing around. There are a couple of shots of us doing some Mongolian wrestling, as suggested by Oyuna since we missed out on the mini-Naadam festival. She said since we missed it, we might as well organise our own festival by playing some Mongolian games. Haha... We had so much fun playing those games!!! :)OK, I hope you like the pictures we send you. Best regards to everyone at Selena Travel and thank you once again for all your assistance.

by Margaret Suganda

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