Selena Travel

North & Central Mongolian Explorer 2023

North and central Mongolia tour | Khuvsgul lake


Tour grade: Easy

Style: Traveller

From: US$ 1,725
  • Khorgo-Terkh national park, Tsenkher Hot Spa, ancient capital Karakorum, Uushig Deer Stones, Lake Huvsgul, Reindeer People
  • Authentic culture experience: by visiting real nomads and interacting with them
  • Soft adventures: Horse/camel riding, and kayaking
  • 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

In between the giants China and Russia the fascinating country of Mongolia really is something else. This overland driving trip takes you to natural and cultural wonders in the Northern and Central Mongolia. The Asian Blue Pearl Lake Huvsgul - a home to Tsaataan the Reindeer people, hidden pristine lake Terkh and the stunning Khorgo volcano, the legendary capital city Karakorum, Khogno Khaan and Hustai National Parks. The country of glorious history, amazing culture and tradition, fascinating nature beauty and hospitable people, is wonderland in today's world.

Tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel
  • Day 2: Ulaanbaatar city tour
  • Day 3: Elsen Tasarkhai via Hustai National park
  • Day 4: Tsenkher hot springs via Karakorum
  • Day 5: Khorgo Terkh National park via Tsetserleg
  • Day 6: Five Rivers valley
  • Day 7: Lake Huvsgul - Blue Pearl of Mongolia
  • Day 8: Leisure Day in Lake Khuvsgul
  • Day 9: Uran Togoo Volcano
  • Day 10: Amarbayasgalant Monastery
  • Day 11: Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 12: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tour images


Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, our guide and driver will meet us at the airport and aid with check-in at the hotel. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here.

Day 2:

Ulaanbaatar city tour

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 Genghis Khan monument on the Sukhbaatar square and the Museum of National History. Then we visit the Zaisan Memorial hill where you can have a view of entire city.  Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here. L

Day 3:

Elsen Tasarkhai via Hustai National park

After breakfast at the hotel, we pack the vehicles and depart to the west toward Elsen Tasarkhai also called Bayangobi, a semi-Gobi area with 80 km long dunes. Visit Hustai national park, view wild Przewalski horse Takhi. Enjoy optional hiking. Transfer to camp near the Mongol Els Sand Dunes. Travel to Khogno Khaan with a visit to the Erdene Khamba monastery ruins. Enjoy 1-hour camel riding on the dunes. The rest of the day is spent with nomads taking part in their daily chores including, cooking, cheese and curd making, milking, herding and many more. Enjoy your stay overnight at the nomads’ summer campsite. Nomadic Family Stay  L+D

Day 4:

Tsenkher hot springs via Karakorum

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 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, its’ history and the UNESCO world heritage site Orkhon river valley. Continue our travel to Tsenkher hot springs where we 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 


PS: Please kindly note that some travellers who’ve chosen to join with Northern Mongolia part will join today, and some of group members who joined for Southern Mongolia will leave today.

Day 5:

Khorgo Terkh National park via Tsetserleg

Check out from our camp and we continue our journey to the north west. Visit historical Zayiin Gegeen temple museum at Tsetserleg town. Next stop 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 appeared now. Picnic lunch along the way. Our afternoon drive brings you into the volcanic surrounds of Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan - the 'Great White Lake'. 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. Look back towards Lake Terkh Tsagaan - there is an excellent view over the lake through a small hill pass. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp by the lake shore. Ger Camp B+L+D

Day 6:

Five Rivers valley

Today we drive 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 beautiful 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 on the river. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp.  Ger camp B+L+D

Day 7:

Lake Huvsgul - Blue Pearl of Mongolia

Breakfasts, we drive toward Lake Huvsgul. We visit Uushig Deer Stones before heading to Lake Huvsgul. 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 filled with hunting birds-of-prey. 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

Day 8:

Leisure Day in Lake Khuvsgul

In the morning, enjoy 2-hour horseback riding along the lake shore. The rest of the day is spent in leisurely 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 and a visit to the Tsaatan nomads – the 'Reindeer People'. Enjoy 2-hour kayaking on the lake. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 9:

Uran Togoo Volcano

We depart from Lake Huvsgul and start our journey toward the Khangai region of Mongolia; here one will definitely admire the nature beauty. Khangai region is beautiful mountainous area that is rich in wood, wildlife and rivers. Picnic lunch along the way and optional nomadic family visit. We arrive at our ger camp near Uran Togoo Mountain. 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

Day 10:

Amarbayasgalant Monastery

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 industrial town Erdenet which has one of Mongolia’s largest copper mines. Arrive at our ger camp and lunch. In the afternoon, we visit renowned Amabayasgalant established between 1727 and 1736. The monastery was dedicated to dedicated to Undur Gegeen Zanabazar. Return to the ger camp, dinner and overnight.   Ger camp B+L+D

Day 11:


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 in at the hotel. Optional shopping for souvenir if time allows. Enjoy traditional folklore concert at Tumen Ekh ensemble. Farewell dinner.   Ger camp B+L+D

Day 12:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

You are transferred to the airport/train station after breakfast. End of service. Ger camp B+L+D

Date & Price


Tour Dates:

June 14-25
July 20-31
August 11-22

If you would arrange a private or customized tour just click the "Customize this tour" button at the bottom of the page. One of our travel advisors will get back to you shortly regarding your booking.

Tour Price:

Pax 4-12 US$ 1725 per person
Single supplement charge US$ 180 
Naadam add - on US$ 590 per person




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 minivans + Experienced drivers) – 4 tourists in 1 van
  • Airport transfers
  • Twin share in traditional Mongolia ger at good tourist ger camps – 7 nights
  • Shared ger during nomadic family stay – 1 night
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • 1-hour Camel riding fees in Elsen Tasarkhai
  • 2-hour Horse riding fees at Lake Huvsgul area
  • 2-hour kayaking fees in Huvsgul
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive North and Central Mongolian Explorer souvenir!

Not Included in the Service

  • International Airfare/train tickets + Tax
  • Travel insurance & Visa fees
  • Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar
  • 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 


  • For children of a family (0 – 3 years old) is 100% free of charge
  • For children of a family (4 – 12 years old) is 40% free of charge
  • Discount for courier bringing min 3 pax
  • More attractive prices for groups of 12 and more people!
  • 1 free space for every 16 PAX 


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. 



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.

Khorgo-Terkh National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Mongolia with its crystal clear Terkh Lake and the Khorgo Volcano. The nature beauty is awesome here and is a great place for hiking, horse riding and relaxing. You can visit the Hell of Yellow Dog, Ice Hole and the Youth Cave that are pretty impressive!
The city of Karakorum: In 1220 great Chinghis Khaan declared it as the capital city of his vast Empire. 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. 

Erdenezuu was the first Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian Empire. It was established in 1586. 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.
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 can view and photograph these beautiful wild horses at pasture and Red Deer, Wolf, Asian Marmot, various species of waterfawls & prey birds.  

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

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.

Margaret Suganda

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