Tour grade: Easy
Join us on this epic tour through Mongolian untouched wilderness, sleep under millions of stars and meet real Mongolian nomads. On this 20-day tour, you will visit the highlights of Central, Southern & Northern Mongolia, and explore their jaw-dropping natural wonders, ancient historical sites and local people.
Some of the best features of this fantastic Mongolia trip include:
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, dealing with jet lag
Upon arriving in Ulaanbaatar, you`ll be welcomed by your guide & driver & transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to get over jet lag and take a good rest before your wonderful Mongolia tour. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package, but you can check our suggested hotels here.
Ulaanbaatar city sightseeing day
The city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 meter high gilded statue of the Buddha. Welcome lunch in a Mongolian restaurant. Your tour also takes you to the Sukhbaatar square, Museum of National History and Zaisan memorial hill where you can get a panoramic view of the whole city. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package, but you can check our suggested hotels here. L
Gun Galuut Nature Reserve via Giant Chinggis Statue
Early morning on this day, we will hit the road to start our great Mongolia adventure. Today`s destination is Gun Galuut Nature Reserve, located 3 hour drive from the capital. On the way, you`ll visit the Giant Chinggis Statue, one of the must-see sights in Mongolia.
Arrive at Gun Galuut and set our tents at a scenic spot in the Kherlen river valley. Afterwards, pay a visit to nomadic family and have a first-hand experience in nomadic lifestyle, followed by a short hiking to the wetlands to spot endangered White Napped Crane (only 3000 left in the world). Return to the campsite, enjoy a delicious dinner cooked by tour chef and stargaze in the Mongolian wilderness. Tented camp L+D
Gun Galuut Nature Reserve
Gun-Galuut is a home to many endangered species including the Argali wild mountain sheep and many more. In the morning, we hike through the Baits Mountain or optional horse ride to try viewing Argali wild sheep. Lunch at our new campsite, south of mighty Baits Mountain. Free time for leisure-optional hiking, fishing etc. In the evening, attend a cooking session by our chef and learn to make Mongolian dish for dinner. Overnight at tent. Tented camp B+L+D
Baga Gazariin Chuluu Mountain
Breakfast and we continue our travel to Gobi Desert with stop at the Baga Gazriin Chuluu, a picturesque granite mountain in the steppes. Although far from the forest steppe zone, the area is rich in asp, birch, white wicker and elm tree. Upon our arrival in the ger camp, enjoy lunch. Free time. Ger camp B+L+D
Tsagaan Suvarga - White Stupa
Today we travel to Tsagaan Suvarga (White Stupa) in Central Mongolia, a natural wonder which is considered to be an ancient seabed. Arrive at our next tourist ger camp and have lunch. In the afternoon, we take a tour around and visit to Khevtee Bosoo cave. The cave has wider entrance and it gets narrow as it is closer to the other end. Continue to Tsagaan Suvarga scarps and enjoy hiking around the colorful cliffs as you make your way toward the top. Return to the ger camp, dinner and overnight. Ger camp B+L+D
Yolyn Am Gorge - Lammergeier Gorge
Today we travel to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Park with a four to five hour drive, stopping for breathtaking views and photo opportunies along the way. Arrive at our next tourist ger camp (2050 m above the sea level) in Gurvan Saikhan Mountain. In the afternoon, we visit Yolyn Am gorge and enjoy hiking in the beautiful gorge for 1-2 hours. Visit local natural history museum to learn about Gobi Desert endemic flora and fauna. Transfer to ger camp, dinner and overnight there. Ger camp B+L+D
Khongor Sand Dunes - Singing Dunes
In the morning, we check out from the ger camp and travel to Khongor sand dunes, aka Singing dunes by the locals. Visit the beautiful sand dunes by the Khongor river streaming through the sands. In the afternoon, we take a tour to Seruun Bulag, a natural cool spring between Khongor river and sand dunes. Then we visit Gobi family and ride 2 humped Bactrian camel through Singing dunes (1 hour). Optional climbing to the dunes by the sunset and one will enjoy breathtaking yet surreal scenery of the dunes and its surrounding landscape. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp. Ger camp B+L+D
Bayanzag - The Flaming Cliffs
The drive to the Bayanzag, aka the Flaming cliffs due to its fierce reddish color at sunrise or sunset, takes between 3 and 4 hours, passing through vast desert badlands that span out into the furthest distances, where remote mountains line the horizon. Lone gers and nomads on camel or horseback hang suspended in the mirages, whilst the desert floor is strewn with a range of colorful rocks. Arrive at the ger camp and enjoy lunch (and a cold beer if you wish!). Rest of the day will be spent enjoying the wilderness and unique nature formations of this strange land where the ancient dinosaurs roamed freely. Try and view the sunset over the Flaming Cliffs and you`ll be rewarded with an unforgettable sight to last you for a lifetime. Ger camp B+L+D
Ongi Monastery Ruins
On this day, we will drive north to Ongi Monastery ruins by the Ongi river. Our drive takes 4-5 hour, passing through wide open Ongi steppe. Arrive at our ger camp and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the ruins of historical Ongi Monastery (built in 18th century) with some short hiking. Return to the ger camp and rest. Optional sauna or massage available. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp. Ger camp B+L+D
Nomadic Family in Khujirt, Uvurkhangai
Today, we will become guests at a Mongolian nomadic family for authentic experience and interaction. Our drive takes 4-5 hour through the Gobi steppes to central Mongolia steppe. Arrive at our host family and enjoy a Mongolian countryside lunch. The rest of the day is spent with nomads and participating in various unique activities, such as making cheese and curds, milking mares, making Airag (the fermented mare`s milk), herding the lifestock and many more. Enjoy your stay at the nomads’ summer campsite. Nomadic family stay B+L+D
Tsenkher hot springs via Karakorum
Say farewell to our host family and we drive to ancient capital Karakorum. We visit legendary monastery Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia, founded in 1586 and its surroundings, including the Turtle Rock and the Phallic stone etc. In the afternoon we will visit the newly established Museum of Karakorum which gives a good introduction to Central Mongolia and its’ history as well as the UNESCO world heritage site Orkhon river valley. Continue our travel to Tsenkher hot springs where we will stay overnight. Arrive at our ger camp after 3-4-hour travel. Enjoy relaxing in the natural curative hot spa. Ger camp B+L+D
Khorgo Terkh National Park via Tsetserleg
Check out from our camp and we continue our journey to the northwest. Visit historical Zayiin Gegeen temple museum at Tsetserleg town. Next stop is at mythical Taikhar rock which keeps around 150 inscriptions engraved on the cliff written in Turkic, Uyghur, Mongolian, Tibetan, Manchu and Chinese, but most of them are barely visible now. Picnic lunch along the way.
Our afternoon drive brings us into Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan - the 'Great White Lake’ area. The lake lies calmly in the arms of tall hills, its water extremely clear and lined with long sand beaches. The road winds along the shoreline, past Shamanic piles of black lava, before it cuts a short distance inland towards the Khorgo Volcano. At around 10,000 feet up, the volcano is now extinct, but still revered by the nomads of the region. A short walk takes you to the crater rim, where red-stained rock descends into a deep chasm surrounded by sacred Ovoo mounds. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp by the lake shore. Ger camp B+L+D
Five Rivers valley
Today we take a path northward, passing Orookh pass and continuing into the astounding Huvsgul Mountains. The mountains themselves vary in character, from stark outcroppings of dun-colored rock to steep green slopes that rise far over the river valleys and isolated ger encampments. The drive takes 6-7 hours with picnic lunch along our way. Our next stop is the amazing & off-beaten Five river valley, a confluence of 5 rivers: Delgermurun, Bugsei, Chuluut, and Ider river combines into Selenge river. Arrive at our ger camp by the riverside. Short hiking toward to Borivt mountain where you will have panoramic view of the surrounding including the view of the river confluence. Optional fishing or kayaking are available on the river. Overnight at this piece of tranquil heaven in a cozy Mongolian yurt, Ger camp B+L+D
Lake Huvsgul - Blue Pearl of Mongolia
Enjoy breakfast, then drive towards Lake Huvsgul. We visit Uushig Deer Stones before heading to Lake Huvsgul, known as Blue pearl of Mongolia. Lunch at the ger restaurant and in the afternoon, we continue our journey toward the lake. The drive from Murun to Lake Huvsgul covers slightly more than 150 kilometers, passing across a landscape of green hills studded by rock outcroppings, river valleys with braided channels which crisscross the lush valley floors and skies dominated by fierce raptors. The road can get bumpy as it passes the settlement of Khatgal and enters the forests surrounding the lake, before emerging on the banks of Lake Huvsgul itself with your ger camp close at hand. Remainder of the day at leisure on Lake Huvsgul. Ger camp B+L+D
Leisure Day in Lake Huvsgul
In the morning, enjoy 2-hour horseback riding along the lake shore. The rest of the day is spent in leisure activities and sightseeing on Lake Huvsgul and its surroundings - there are a number of ways to spend the day, including optional boat journeys, gentle walking, visit to Darkhad family or fishing. Enjoy 2-hour kayaking on the calm lake and find your inner peace. Ger camp B+L+D
Uran Togoo Volcano
We depart from Lake Huvsgul and start our journey toward the Khangai region where one can truly admire the nature beauty of northern Mongolia. Khangai region is beautiful mountainous area rich in forest, wildlife and rivers. Picnic lunch along the way and optional nomadic family visit. We arrive at our ger camp near Uran Togoo Mountain (extinct volcano). Short drive to Uran Togoo and enjoy hiking into the ancient volcano that was active 20-25 thousand years ago. Return to the ger camp, dinner and overnight. Ger camp B+L+D
Today we head to the east to magnificent Amarbayasgalant monastery located in Baruun Buren, Selenge. Our road trip, passes by Bulgan town as well as the industrial town of Erdenet where one of Mongolia’s largest copper mines is located. In the afternoon, we visit renowned Amabayasgalant monastery, established between 1727 and 1736. The monastery was dedicated to Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, a well-known religious leader and genius artist. Return to the ger camp, dinner and overnight. Ger camp B+L+D
Today we drive toward Ulaanbaatar with the early start from the ger camp. Our drive takes 7-8 hours with lunch along the way at the local restaurant. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar in the late afternoon and check into your hotel. Optional shopping for souvenir if time allows. In the evening, enjoy a traditional folklore concert by Tumen Ekh ensemble where you will see Mongolian traditional performances such as contortion, throat-singing, long-song, horse-fiddle performance and much more. End the day with a delicious farewell dinner with your travel companions in a local restaurant. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package, you can check suggested hotels here. B+L+D
Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
This morning, you will conclude your once-upon-a-lifetime journey across Mongolia and will be transferred to the airport/train station.
If you wish to take this tour as a private tour, just click the "Customize this tour" button at the bottom of the page and tailor-make the itinerary in anyway you wish. Upon receiving your request, one of our travel advisors will get back to you shortly with a proposal and quote.
Not Included in the Service
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:
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.
DESTINATION & ATTRACTIONS BRIEF INFO
Lake Huvsgul - The Blue Pearl of Asia: Lake Huvsgul, the second largest freshwater lake in Asia after the Lake Baikal in Russia, is a popular destination for its pristine water, awesome Alpine-like landscapes, wonderful wildlife and many different ethnic groups living in the area. Lake Huvsgul region is so vast and offers variety of activities and diverse landscape, therefore your entire Mongolia tour could be devoted to this specific part in northern Mongolia.
Khorgo -Terkh National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Mongolia with its crystal clear Terkh Lake and the Khorgo Volcano. With its jaw-dropping natural beauty, the area is a great fit for hiking, horse riding and cultural immersion tours.
The city of Karakorum: In 1220, the Great Genghis Khan declared Karakorum as the capital city of his vast Mongol Empire. Today there are many interesting sites left to visit in this historically important area, including the legendary turtle rock sculptures, Buddhist stupas and the ruins of this once great city to name a few. Moreover, Erdenezuu - the 1st Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, was established in 1586 in Karakorum. Today Erdenezuu monastery still shows its glory with collections of many priceless religious objects and incredibly beautiful Mongolian arts. It has a massive square wall, 420 meters in length each side, 108 Stupas & 17 temples.
The Gobi Desert is the one the most mysterious and unique places in Mongolia. Known as the cradle of dinosaurs, the region is famous for its dinosaur fossils and its unique natural formations as well as numerous endemic flora and fauna. There are many mesmerizing places of interest in the Gobi desert with main three being the Flaming cliffs, the Singing dunes and Lammergeier Gorge.
Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs) is internationally famous for its fossilized dinosaur remains and its bright red colored clay formation. This is where world`s first-known complete fossilized dinosaur egg was discover by Roy Chapman Andrews back in 1920s. Visit the Flaming cliffs in early sunrise and one will be reward with a breathtaking view to last for a lifetime.
The Khongoriin Els sand dunes extend along the northern side of Sevrei and Zuulun mountain ranges in Southern Mongolia. These dunes are 180 km long, 15-20 km wide and up to 200m high, and when the wind blows, the dunes makes a spectacular sound similar to humming, hence these dunes are also known as the Singing dunes of the Gobi Desert. The scenery here is simply spectacular with a green oasis at the foot of the dunes and a small stream running through the area, providing much needed water for the fauna and flora of the area.
Yoliin Am (Lammergeier Gorge) is a narrow valley located in the Zuun Saikhan Mountain range, with thick pieces of ice almost all year around hidden in its depths. This area is home to rare animals such as the Argali (wild sheep) and Ibex as well as Lammergeier, Vultures and other large raptors.
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.
Rafaella, Benedetta, Lidia
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.
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