Selena Travel

The Gobi Desert and Karakorum beyond tour 2024

Camel riding in the gobi | Gobi desert tour  2024 / 2025 | to travel to Mongolia | Mongolia tour |

10days/9nights

Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 1,750

Style: Traveller

  • Explore Karakorum, the historic capital of the formidable Mongolian Empire under Genghis Khan's rule.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Orkhon Valley, steeped in cultural and historical significance.
  • Embark on an adventure in the enigmatic Gobi Desert, home to unique endemic flora and fauna.
  • Experience an unforgettable camel ride atop two-humped Bactrian camels amidst the rolling sand dunes.
  • Uncover the secrets of the Flaming Cliffs, renowned as the ancient birthplace of dinosaurs.
  • Immerse yourself in genuine cultural exchanges with local nomadic families.
  • Enjoy the comfort of staying in Mongolian Traditional Ger/Yurt accommodations

Tour Overview

Embark on an extraordinary journey that takes you through the highlights of Southern Mongolia. Explore the towering sand dunes of Khongoriin Els, venture into the breathtaking Yolyn Am glacial canyon, also knows as the Lammergeier Gorge, and marvel at the crimson cliffs of Bayanzag, home to the world’s richest trove of dinosaur fossils.

 

Your expedition will lead you across diverse landscapes, from the arid Gobi Desert to the vast central Mongolian steppe. Along the way, forge connections with the nomadic Gobi camel herders, and central Mongolian nomads, immersing yourself in their unique ways of life.

 

Each day promises new experience and adventures, from serene hikes in the wilderness to intimate encounters with local nomadic families. Feel the exhilaration of riding camels in the vast expanse of the Gobi Desert as you journey deeper into the heart of Mongolia.

Tour map

Gobi desert and Karakorum Mongolia tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel
  • Day 2: Tsagaan Suvarga
  • Day 3: Yolyn Am gorge, Gurvan Saikhan National Park
  • Day 4: Day trip to Khongor sand dunes, Camel ride
  • Day 5: Khavtsgait Petroglyph and Bayanzag, The Flaming Cliffs
  • Day 6: Ongi Monastery
  • Day 7: Karakorum
  • Day 8: Hustai National Park
  • Day 9: Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 10: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tour images

Gobi desert and Ancient capital Karakorum tour
Stargrazing Mongolia trip  | Best tour in Mongolia
Stargazing Mongolia trip  | Best tour in Mongolia

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel

Upon your arrival in Ulaanbaatar, our team will greet you at the airport after you’ve completed the necessary customs formalities. You’ll then be transported to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is dedicated to allowing you to recover from any jet lag and to enjoy a well-deserved rest in preparation for your exciting journey through Mongolia. Later in the evening, at 7 pm, we’ll convene in the downtown area for a delightful welcome dinner at a local restaurant. During this gathering, your guide will provide you with a comprehensive tour briefing, ensuring that you’re fully prepared and informed for the adventures that lie ahead.

 

Accommodation: Hotel booked by clients

Meals:

Dinner

 

 

Day 2:

Tsagaan Suvarga

Today’s expedition leads us to Tsagaan Suvarga, a remarkable sedimentary formation that harks back to an ancient seabed. Our journey spans approximately 6-7 hours, punctuated by a refreshing lunch break in Mandagovi town. Upon our afternoon 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: Ger camp

Meals:

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3:

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. Our expedition includes a pit stop in Dalanzadgad, a charming Gobi town, where we’ll explore the newly constructed Umnugovi province museum and savor a delightful lunch. Following our visit to Dalanzadgad, 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 transfer to the Gobi Mirage camp, where we’ll spend the next three nights, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay.

 

Accommodation: Ger camp

Meals:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4:

Day trip to Khongor sand dunes, Camel ride

Rise and shine at 5 am as we set off on an unforgettable journey to the Khongor sand dunes. Witness the mesmerizing sunrise in the heart of the wilderness while savoring a picnic breakfast paired with freshly brewed coffee. 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. Upon arrival, 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. A sumptuous lunch awaits you at our ger camp, and in the afternoon, we'll return to our base at the Gobi Mirage camp. As the day ends, settle in for a cozy dinner and a peaceful overnight stay.

 

Accommodation: Ger camp

Meals:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

 

Day 5:

Khavtsgait Petroglyph and Bayanzag, The Flaming Cliffs

The morning is yours to enjoy at your leisure, with no scheduled activities. After a satisfying lunch at the ger camp, 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. Continuing our northern journey, we head towards the renowned Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs. Upon arrival, we'll visit the information center, which features informative exhibits and a brief 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, where a delicious dinner awaits, followed by a comfortable overnight stay.

 

Accommodation: Ger camp

Meals:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6:

Ongi Monastery

After enjoying breakfast, we embark on a northbound journey towards the Ongi Monastery ruins, situated by the scenic Ongi River. This picturesque drive spans approximately 4-5 hours, traversing the expansive and breathtaking Ongi steppe. Upon arrival at our ger camp, we gather for a satisfying lunch. In the afternoon, we explore the remnants of the historic Ongi Monastery, which dates to the 18th century. This excursion includes some brief hiking adventures amidst the ancient ruins. Later, we return to the ger camp to unwind and relax. For those interested, there's the option to indulge in a rejuvenating sauna or a soothing massage. As the day comes to a close, we come together for a delightful dinner at the ger camp, followed by a restful overnight stay in this tranquil setting.

 

Accommodation: Ger camp

Meals:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7:

Karakorum

Today, our journey takes us further north into central Mongolia. We'll embark on a scenic 4-5 hour drive, crossing the vast Gobi steppes before reaching the central Mongolian steppe. Along the way, we'll pause for lunch along the main highway leading to the western province. Afterward, we'll continue for another 1-2 hours, possibly making a stop to visit a nomadic family, before reaching Karakorum. In Karakorum, we'll explore the Museum of Karakorum, offering insights into Central Mongolia's history and introducing us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Orkhon River Valley. Upon arrival at our ger camp, we'll check in and prepare for a satisfying dinner. The evening will conclude with a comfortable overnight stay, immersed in the rich cultural and historical heritage of this region.

 

Accommodation: Ger camp

Meals:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8:

Hustai National Park

Following breakfast, our day begins with a visit to the renowned Erdene Zuu Monastery, a historic landmark founded in 1586 and Central Mongolia's very first Buddhist monastery. From there, we will continue our journey to Hustai National Park, with a brief stopover at Elsen Tasarkhai and a lunch break at roadside restaurant. Upon reaching our ger camp in Hustai, you'll complete the check-in and settle. In the evening, we'll venture into the park, keeping our eyes peeled for sightings of the Takhi wild horses peacefully grazing in their natural habitat, alongside other fascinating wildlife. Following our exploration, we'll return to the ger camp, where a satisfying dinner awaits, capping off the day with a restful overnight stay.

 

Accommodation: Ger camp

Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch 

Dinner

Day 9:

Ulaanbaatar

Check out from our camp and travel to Ulaanbaatar with 2–3-hour drive. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and start our city sightseeing tour. Your journey begins with a visit to the Gandan Monastery, a sacred site that houses a remarkable 26-meter-tall, gilded Buddha statue. Transfer to the hotel for check in followed by a lunch at local restaurant.  In the afternoon, you'll proceed to the Genghis Khan monument, an iconic symbol situated on a prominent square. Afterward, 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 the Evseg cashmere factory will offer a firsthand look at the cashmere manufacturing process, from raw wool to the finished product. If time permits, you can engage in some optional shopping for cashmere and souvenirs. 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. The day concludes with a heartfelt farewell dinner, a fitting way to celebrate the end of your journey.

 

Accommodation: Hotel booked by clients

Meals Included

Breakfast

Lunch 

Dinner

Day 10:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Following breakfast, we will arrange your transfer to the airport or train station. This marks the conclusion of our services. Safe travels, and we hope you had a wonderful experience!

Date & Price

 

Tour Dates:

25th June - 4th July 2024  
23rd July - 1st August 2024  
10th August - 19th August, 2024  
10th September - 19th September, 2024  

 

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$ 1750 per person
Single supplement charge US$ 250
Naadam Festival add - on US$ 590 per person

 

 

 

 


Included services

  • The continuous services of your English-speaking local guide throughout the entire tour
  • All sightseeing activities and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary
  • Private transfers using 4WD Japanese minivans, with experienced drivers. Typically, there will be four passengers sharing one van
  • Convenient airport transfers
  • Twin share accommodation in traditional Mongolian gers at well-regarded tourist ger camps for a total of 7 nights
  • All meals as indicated (B for breakfast, L for lunch, D for dinner)
  • Fees for a 1-hour camel ride in the Gobi
  • Three 0.5-liter bottled waters per day
  • Visa support invitation letter, where applicable /company invitation letter only; if needs consulate invitation letter, then additional cost shall be covered by the traveller/


Not Included in the Service 

  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • Travel insurance & Visa fees
  • Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar
  • Personal expenses, including but not limited to laundry, beverages, and camera or video fees at various sites
  • Tips for your guide and driver (at your discretion).
  • Optional activities not covered in the package (yak riding, archery etc.) 

DISCOUNT CONDITIONS:  

  • 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 

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

The city of Karakorum: In 1220 the 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 is the first Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian Empire, established in 1586. 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, a total of 108 Stupas and 17 temples.

The Gobi Desert

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. Ride the 2 humped Bactrian camels and discover the Gobi!

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.

 

 

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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