Selena Travel

Discover True Mongolia (September)

Discovering the real Mongolia | Explore Mongolia's landscapes.

15days/14nights

Tour grade: Medium

From: US$ 3,600

Style: Traveller

  • Explore the capital city of Ulaanbaatar with a visit to local museums, an explanation of the city’s history, and key sites, including Gandan Monastery, Genghis Khan Monument, and Zaisan Memorial Hill
  • Visit a UNESCO world heritage site Uushgiin Uvur, a remarkable bronze age complex with deer stones. Explore the towering sand dunes of Khongoriin Els, venture into the breathtaking Yolyn Am glacial canyon, also known as the Lammergeier Gorge, and marvel at the crimson cliffs of Bayanzag,
  • Discover the pristine beauty of Huvsgul Lake and the enchanting Khoridol Saridag Mountains where you will have the opportunity to, hike, kayak and meet with nomadic families!
  • Embark on an adventure in the enigmatic Gobi Desert, home to unique endemic flora and fauna where you will uncover the secrets of the Flaming Cliff, renowned as the ancient birthplace of dinosaurs.
  • Experience an unforgettable camel ride atop two-humped Bactrian camels amidst the rolling sand dunes.
  • Immerse yourself in genuine cultural exchanges with local nomadic families and experience stays in Mongolian Traditional Ger/Yurt accommodations.

Tour Overview

Join us on this epic Mongolia tour through this wonderful country of ancient history, unique Mongolian nomadic culture, and rare wildlife species, untouched beautiful landscape, Gobi Desert and hospitable Mongolian people whose lives are not changed in many ways since the days of mighty Genghis Khan and his empire. This fantastic Mongolia trip is specially designed to bring you all these unique features nowhere else to be experienced.

 

Landscape and cultural sightseeing blend easily in Mongolia - you will have the chance to visit families of nomads, remote Buddhist monasteries and traditional events, and to take part in horse-riding or guided walking if you wish - there are also endless opportunities for photography.
 

Tour map

Discover true Mongolia tour map | Discover Mongolia with Selena Travel Mongolia

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Sep 14. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 2: Sep 15. City sightseeing tour of Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 3: Sep 16. Day trip to Terelj National Park
  • Day 4: Sep 17. Ulaanbaatar- Murun- Lake Khuvsgul
  • Day 5: Sep 18. Lake Huvsgul
  • Day 6: Sep 19. Lake Huvsgul
  • Day 7: Sep 20. Lake Khuvsgul- Murun- Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 8: Sep 21. Ulaanbaatar- Dalanzadgad- Bayanzag via Khavtsgait Petroglyph
  • Day 9: Sep 22. Khongor sand dunes, Camel ride
  • Day 10: Sep 23. Yolyn Am gorge, Gurvan Saikhan National Park
  • Day 11: Sep 24. Tsagaan Suvarga
  • Day 12: Sep 25. Tsagaan Suvarga- Baga Gazaryn Chuluu Mountain
  • Day 13: Sep 26. Baga Gazaryn Chuluu - Hustai National Park
  • Day 14: Sep 27. Mongol Nomadic camp- Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 15: Sep 28. Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
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Tour images

The Khongor Sand Dunes, also known as the "Singing Sands," stretch majestically across the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia.
Khuvsgul Lake, nestled amidst the Mongolian wilderness, presents a serene spectacle of pristine beauty.
Vast and golden Khongor Sand Dunes in Mongolia, stretching across the horizon under a clear blue sky.

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Sep 14. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Upon your arrival in Ulaanbaatar, our team will greet you at the airport, after you’ve completed the necessary customs formalities, we will transport you in a private car to your hotel for check-in (drive is approximately 90 minutes). For those arriving prior to 4 PM, an early check-in can be arranged.

The remainder of the day is dedicated to rest, allowing you to recover from any jet lag.

For those with extra energy it is suggested you visit the Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum, a 10–15-minute walk from the hotel.   Dinner is on your own, but we will provide a list of local recommended restaurants.

 

Accommodation

  • Best Western Tuushin Hotel /standard check-in time is 2 pm/

 

Day 2:

Sep 15. City sightseeing tour of Ulaanbaatar

Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel, and then gather at 9 AM  in the hotel lobby to meet your English-speaking local guide. You will have a full day of sightseeing the key sites in Ulaanbaatar. We will visit Gandan Monastery housing 26m statue of a Buddhist deity and see the morning chanting at one of the temples. From there, you'll proceed to the Genghis Khan monument, an iconic symbol situated on a prominent square. A delectable lunch awaits you at a local restaurant, providing a taste of Mongolian cuisine.

 

After lunch, you'll have the opportunity to explore Bogd Khaan's Winter Palace Museum, offering insights into the history of Mongolia's monarchy. Following this, a visit to Zaisan Memorial hill for the panoramic view of the capital city. As the day draws to a close, immerse yourself in Mongolia's rich cultural heritage with a traditional folklore concert at the Tumen Ekh ensemble. Dinner is on your own. 

 

Accommodation

  • Best Western Tuushin Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 

Day 3:

Sep 16. Day trip to Terelj National Park

Meet at the hotel lobby at 9 am and start the day trip to beautiful Terelj National Park. We travel in a car for 1-2 hr and visit Giant Chinggis Khan statue at Tsonjin Boldog. Afterwards, we continue traveling to Terelj National Park. Upon arrival, lunch at the tourist ger camp. In the afternoon, we pay a visit to Aryapala meditation temple with a short stop by the Turtle Rock. Return to Ulaanbaatar in the late afternoon. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Dinner is on your own.

 

Accommodation

  • Best Western Tuushin Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 4:

Sep 17. Ulaanbaatar- Murun- Lake Khuvsgul

Catch a morning flight to Murun town today. Upon landing, meet our local driver and visit the Uushig Deer Stones, a UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Site. Following this intriguing visit, we'll have our lunch at a restaurant. In the afternoon, our path takes us on a picturesque drive from Murun to Lake Khuvsgul, covering a distance of just over 150 kilometers. Along the way, we'll traverse a landscape characterized by lush green hills punctuated by rugged rock formations. We'll encounter river valleys with intricate networks of braided channels meandering through the fertile valley floors, while the skies above are graced by the presence of majestic birds of prey. As we approach the settlement of Khatgal and enter the forested terrain surrounding the lake, the road may become a bit uneven. However, our journey will reward us with the breathtaking sight of Lake Khuvsgul, with our ger camp conveniently located nearby.  We expect to arrive at the camp around 3-4 pm in the afternoon. The remainder of the day offers leisure time by the serene shores of Lake Huvsgul, allowing you to unwind and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

 

Accommodation

  • Ashikhai Resort

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 5:

Sep 18. Lake Huvsgul

Start your morning with an optional two-hour hike along the picturesque lakeshore. In the afternoon, relish a two-hour kayaking adventure on the tranquil waters of the lake, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of this remarkable natural landscape.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Ashikhai Resort

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 6:

Sep 19. Lake Huvsgul

Today is a leisure day at Lake Khuvsgul. In the morning, we will arrange an opportunity to meet a Darkhad family the Tsaatan nomads, also known as the Reindeer People and learn about their nomadic life.  After lunch there will be an afternoon of horseback riding.  For those wishing to skip the horseback riding, this is a good opportunity for meditative thinking and strolling by Mongolia’s largest freshwater lake (by volume).

 

Accommodation

  • Ashikhai Resort

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 7:

Sep 20. Lake Khuvsgul- Murun- Ulaanbaatar

We leave behind the scenic Lake Khuvsgul and make our way to Murun town, where we'll board a flight bound for Ulaanbaatar. The flight duration is approximately 1.5 hours. Upon landing at the airport in Ulaanbaatar, you will be smoothly transferred to your hotel.

 

In the afternoon, we will have a short walk to visit the National History Museum. Free time for visiting Galleria Ulaanbaatar shopping mall for the world-famous Gobi cashmere brand store. 

 

Optional Mongolian cooking class in the evening hosted by Breanna Wilson.

 

Accommodation

  • Best Western Tuushin Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 

Day 8:

Sep 21. Ulaanbaatar- Dalanzadgad- Bayanzag via Khavtsgait Petroglyph

Early morning transfer to the airport for catching a flight to Gobi Desert (07:00-07:55). Upon arrival, meet our driver(s) and start our journey in the arid Gobi Desert. Our journey takes us to the Khavtsgait Petroglyph, nestled within the Dund Saikhan Mountain. Here, we embark on a trek to the mountain, where a captivating natural gallery of rock paintings from the Bronze Age awaits. Continue to our tourist camp and lunch. In the late afternoon, we head towards the renowned Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs. Upon arrival, we'll visit the information center, see informative exhibits and a documentary to enhance your understanding of the area. Then, immerse yourself in the wilderness and explore the unique natural formations as you hike along a designated trail. As the day draws to a close, we'll return to our camp in the evening, for a delicious dinner and comfortable overnight stay..

 

Accommodation

  • Gobi Mirage camp or similar

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 9:

Sep 22. Khongor sand dunes, Camel ride

Breakfast at the camp and we head to Khongor sand dunes. Our expedition continues as we make our way to the Khongor sand dunes, renowned as Mongolia's longest dunes. The drive to reach these dunes will span approximately 3 to 4 hours, traversing vast desert badlands that stretch as far as the eye can see. Along the way, remote mountains silhouette the horizon, and solitary gers dot the landscape as nomads travel on camelback or horseback, creating surreal mirages. The desert floor itself is adorned with an array of colorful rocks and rare minerals. It's the Gobi at its most rugged and striking, offering countless opportunities to pause and capture the stunning landscapes and the people who call this place home. Arrive and settle at our next tourist camp and lunch. Later in a day, we'll explore the magnificent sand dunes nestled alongside the Khongor river, gracefully flowing through the sands. You'll even have the chance to enjoy a one-hour camel ride amidst this breathtaking desert backdrop. As the day ends, settle in for a cozy dinner and a peaceful overnight stay.

 

Accommodation

  • Gobi Erdene camp or similar

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 10:

Sep 23. Yolyn Am gorge, Gurvan Saikhan National Park

Today, we embark on a picturesque journey to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a drive that spans approximately four to five hours, allowing us ample opportunities for scenic photography stops. Arrive at the camp and settle. In the afternoon, we’ll embark on a brief drive to reach the enchanting Yolyn Am gorge. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to partake in a one-hour hike from our parking spot, immersing yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty. Eventually, we’ll return to the Gobi Mirage camp, where we’ll spend a night. 

 

Accommodation

  • Gobi Mirage or similar 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 11:

Sep 24. Tsagaan Suvarga

Today’s expedition leads us to Tsagaan Suvarga, a remarkable sedimentary formation that harks back to an ancient seabed. Our expedition includes a pit stop in Dalanzadgad, a charming Gobi town, where we’ll explore the newly constructed Umnugovi province museum. From there our journey to Tsagaan Suvarga spans approximately 4-5 hours, punctuated by a short pit stop along the way. Upon our arrival at the camp, you’ll check in and settle in for a rewarding adventure. We’ll embark on an excursion to the Tsagaan Suvarga scarps, where you can revel in a captivating hike amidst the vibrant cliffs, ascending toward the summit for breathtaking views. After this invigorating exploration, we’ll return to the ger camp to savor a delicious dinner and spend the night in comfort.

 

Accommodation

  • Tsagaan Suvarga ger camp or similar 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 12:

Sep 25. Tsagaan Suvarga- Baga Gazaryn Chuluu Mountain

Our today’s destination is Baga Gazaryn Chuluu, a picturesque and legendary granite mountain. Arrive at Baga Gazaryn Chuluu Mountain and transfer to the tourist ger camp where you stay overnight today. After lunch, discover the area and take a tour around to visit Surtiin Am for the ruin of stone temple, 20 m long cave, as well as ger stone nearby. Return to the ger camp, dinner and overnight.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Khurkhree camp or similar 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 13:

Sep 26. Baga Gazaryn Chuluu - Hustai National Park

Wake up bright and early as we set out on our journey to the north, heading towards our next destination, the Mongol Nomadic Camp. Arrive and check in at the tourist ger camp. In the afternoon, we travel to Hustai National Park, a home to endangered Takhi wild horses. Visit the information center by the entrance of the park and start the excursion to the park to spot Takhi horses grazing peacefully in their homeland.  Return to our camp, dinner and overnight.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Mongol Nomadic camp or similar 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 14:

Sep 27. Mongol Nomadic camp- Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, we'll see a captivating 'nomadic show' that highlights the customs of traditional Mongolian nomads, including their seasonal moves, milking livestock, and dairy product production. After the show, we'll have lunch at the ger camp, and travel back to Ulaanbaatar.

After the show, your driver will bring you back to the Ulaanbaatar hotel arriving around 3 pm. This would be a good opportunity to do some last-minute shopping.

 

For those desiring a Friday departure from Mongolia, there will be the option of going directly to the airport from the tourist camp, but please do not book a flight which departs before 6 PM so we can be sure to get you there in time.

 

Accommodation

  • Best Western Tuushin Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 

Day 15:

Sep 28. Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Following breakfast, we will arrange your transfer to the airport or train station. This marks the conclusion of your tour as you depart with what we hope will be lasting wonderful memories of your adventure.  Of course, we hope to see you return, but until we meet again, we wish you safe travels.

 

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Date & Price

2024 Tour Dates:

September 14-28

The price is based on the total group size registered as of July 15th 2024 

2 participants US$ 5120
3 participants US$ 4200
4 participants US$ 3800
5 participants US$ 3600

 

 PAYMENT:

  • $1,500 per person to register and hold your spot (there are four remaining spots)
  • On 7/15/2024, Selena will invoice the full tour cost based on the number of people registered as of that date. Full Payment is due by 8/1/2024.

REFUNDS:

  • All requests for refunds must be made in writing via email.
  • Cancel by 7-1-2024; your deposit will be refunded less $250 per person.
  • If you cancel between 7-1-2024 and 7-31-2024, your deposit will be refunded less than $500 per person.
  • Cancel between 8-1-2024 and 8-15-2024, and your payment will be refunded less $500, and 20% of the invoiced tour cost.  i.e., if the tour costs $4,200, you would forfeit $500 plus (20% of $4,200 = $840), so the forfeiture would be $ 1,340.
  • There are no refunds after 8-15-2024, as Selena AND other travelers will rely on your participation.

Included Services:

  • All participants will have a single room at the Best Western Ulaanbaatar hotel (five nights) and a single occupancy yurt at all tourist camps (nine nights).
  • The continuous services of an English-speaking local guide throughout the entire tour, from pick up through departure.
  • Experienced driver in addition to the guide.
  • All transport by private, reliable vehicle. If two people, a Toyota Land Cruiser will be used. For three,  four or  five people, a 4WD Japanese minivan will be used.
  • Pickup and delivery to the airport or train station as desired.
  • All sightseeing activities and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary.
  • A round flight ticket from Ulaanbaatar to Murun, including taxes (with a baggage allowance of 10 kg for checked luggage and 5 kg for carry-on). Excess luggage can be stored at the Best Western Hotel.
  • A flight ticket from Gobi to Ulaanbaatar, including taxes (with a baggage allowance of 10 kg for checked luggage and 5 kg for carry-on)
  • Meals as indicated including:  14 breakfasts (B), 13 lunches (L), and 9 dinners (D)
  • Guide Accompaniment on the morning hike at Lake Huvsgul
  • Fees for 2-hour kayaking adventure in Lake Huvsgul
  • Fees for a 2-hour horseback ride near Lake Huvsgul
  • Fees for a 1-hour camel ride in the Gobi
  • Three 0.5-liter bottles of water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter, where applicable
  • Exclusive Mongolia Tour souvenir!

Not Included in the Service:
  • International Airfare/train tickets and associated taxes
  • Travel insurance and visa fees
  • Personal expenses, including but not limited to laundry, beverages, and camera or video fees at various sites.
  • Cooking class fee
  • Tips are at your discretion, but as clients have asked us in the past what to budget, we suggest for a 15-day tour $300 USD to be shared with the guide, driver and a small amount should go to the hotel/ger porters who will assist you.  for a two-week tour approximately

 


OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

FIRST NIGHT (Saturday, September 14th) EARLY CHECKIN at the Best Western Hotel

  • Check in between 00:00 am and 05:59 am = $189
  • Check in between 06:00 am and 09:59 am = $95
  • Check in between 10:00 am and 14:00 price per room = $57,

 

MONGOLIAN COOKING CLASS (Friday, September 20th)

Provided two or more participants wish to take a Mongolian Cooking class, this can be arranged.

2 participants

3 participants

4 participants

5 participants

150 USD

130 USD

130 USD

100 USD

 

Tour Background

Accommodation on Selena Travel tours 
Ulaanbaatar: Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia has many hotels ranging from basic 1* to high-end 5*. Some international hotel chains have opened such as Kempinski, Ramada, and Best Western to name a few. Some of Selena Travel Mongolia tours do not include hotel accommodation in Ulaanbaatar, where clients are advised to take care of their own accommodation in Ulaanbaatar. Please refer to your tour program (Included services and Exclusions section) for more details. Your Selena Travel advisor is happy to assist you with hotel booking on your request. Below you will find some suggested hotels in Ulaanbaatar:  
  • Best Western Gobi Kelso ***
  • Springs hotel ***
  • Ramada hotel ****
  • Kempinski Khan Palace ****
  • Best Western Premier *****

Outside Ulaanbaatar: Please take in mind that traveling in the countryside of Mongolia is often tough, a trip is conducted in remote areas where there’s no hotel and paved roads exist.

Outside of Ulaanbaatar, tourist Ger camps are the best accommodation for travelers. A Ger is Mongolian traditional dwelling made of felt layers and wooden construction, and the Mongols have lived in Gers since the time immemorial. Tourist Ger camps offer comfortable Gers with 1-4 beds with good bedding, and also have western style showers and WCs (mostly shared). A few Ger camps offer en-suite Gers at additional charge (please ask your Selena Travel advisor for this). Due to remoteness some tourist Ger camps may not excel in service, so travelers may not always expect high pressure showers, bubble baths or gourmet food etc. 
 
Food on Selena Travel tours 
During your tour in Mongolia you will be eating in good restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, we have a great variety in restaurants in the capital city. Once you are outside the capital, Ger restaurants in Ger camps and local cafes in the small towns and villages will be the places where you will be eating. Ger restaurants often have set menu, but their food is usually very good (Ger camps provide mostly continental breakfast, lunches consist of salad, soup, main course and dessert, whilst, dinners are usually salad, main course and dessert).
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 chocolate bar etc). Vegetarians are well taken care of both in Ulaanbaatar restaurants and tourist Ger camps.
 
Luggage allowance on Selena Travel tours 
When you travelling overland in a vehicle (minivan & jeep), it would be suitable if you have 20kg luggage per person (max). However, please kindly note that domestic flight luggage allowance per person is 15 kg (10 kg for the check in luggage and 5 for the carry on luggage). For 1kg extra luggage you pay US$2 - 5. 
 
DESTINATION & ATTRACTIONS BRIEF INFO
 
Lake Huvsgul - The Blue Pearl of Asia: Lake Huvsgul, the second largest freshwater lake in the world after Lake Baikal in Buryatia, is popular for its pure water, awesome Alpine-like landscapes, wonderful wildlife and the different ethnic people living around it. Lake Huvsgul region is a destination in itself and an entire tour could be devoted to this specific part of Mongolia.


The Gobi Desert is the most mysterious place on earth The Gobi invites you to reveal its secrets. This region is famous for its unique natural formations, many places where you can dig and find real dinosaur fossils, flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the world. There is plenty to photograph- impressive herds of gazelles & sightings of the rare Khulan(Asiatic wild ass). 

Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs) is internationally famous for its fossilized dinosaur remains. Dinosaur nests with eggs were found here as well as whole fossilized skeletons.
 
The Khongoriin Els sand dunes extend along the northern side of Sevrei and Zuulun mountain ranges. These dunes are 180 km long, 15-20 km wide and up to 200m high. There is a small oasis near Khongoriin gol stream, which flows along the northern edge of the dunes. The scenery here is simply spectacular.

Yoliin Am (Vulture's 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 Vultures and other large birds.

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

May 24, 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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