Selena Travel

The Gobi desert, Karakorum beyond tour


Tour grade: Easy

Style: Traveller

From: US$ 2,050
  • UNESCO world heritage site ancient capital at Karakorum, Erdene Zuu monastery, Ongi monastery ruins, Khongor sand dunes, the Bayanzag, Yoliin Am Gorge and White Stupa Cliffs
  • Pay only 180 USD/day or even less for this all inclusive 11 day package - BEST VALUE!
  • 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

Join us on this Mongolia tour to the land of Genghis Khan! Travelling overland in safari style, you will visit the ancient capital Karakorum: legendary 16th century Erdene Zuu monastery, Karakorum town museum and the UNESCO world heritage Orkhon River Valley. Then you will travel to the Gobi Desert, where a three day circuit explores the lofty sand dunes of Khongoriin Els, the glacial canyon of Yolyn Am, and the red cliffs of Bayanzag, where the world’s richest deposits of dinosaur fossils are found. Afterwards, the Mongolia tour will take you to Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, one of the best preserved wildlife reserve in Mongolia, taking the opportunity to glimpse the rare Argali sheep and several rare bird species.

Tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 0: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel
  • Day 1: Ulaanbaatar City Tour
  • Day 2: Ulaanbaatar- Elsen Tasarkhai Sand dunes via Hustai National Park
  • Day 3: Elsen Tasarkhai - Karakorum
  • Day 4: Karakorum- Ongi Monastery
  • Day 5: Ongi Monastery- Bayanzag
  • Day 6: Bayanzag- Khongor Sand Dunes
  • Day 7: Khongor Sand Dunes- Yoliin Am Gorge
  • Day 8: The Gobi Desert- Ulaanbaatar- Gun Galuut nature reserve via Giant Genghis Monument
  • Day 9: Leisure day at Gun Galuut nature reserve
  • Day 10: Gun Galuut NR- Terelj National Park
  • Day 11: Terelj National Park- Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 00: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tour images

Full Itinerary

Day 0:

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, meet at the airport after custom formalities and transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is for you to get over jet lag and take a good rest before your wonderful journey across Mongolia. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here.

Day 1:

Ulaanbaatar City Tour

The city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the pricipal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 m 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 Bogd Khan's palace museum and Zaisan Memorial hill for the panoramic view of the city.  Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here. L

Day 2:

Ulaanbaatar- Elsen Tasarkhai Sand dunes via Hustai National Park

After breakfast at the hotel, we pack the vehicles and depart to the west toward Karakorum, the ancient capital city of Great Mongol empire. Drive to Hustai National park, view wild Przewalski horse Takhi. Transfer to camp near the Mongol Els sand dunes. Optional hiking in Khogno Khan with a visit to the Erdene Khamba monastery ruins. Ger camp L+D

Day 3:

Elsen Tasarkhai - Karakorum

Today, we head toward to Karakorum- the ancient capital of Mongol Empire from 13th century. Arrive in Karakorum and we visit legendary Erdene Zuu, the biggest Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia founded in 1586. Visit the newly established museum of Karakorum in the afternoon. Optional visit to town bazaar and then to Khaadiin Khoshoo on the hill to have a great view of Orkhon river valley. Ger camp B+L+D PS: Please kindly note that some travelers who wanted to extend this tour to Northern Mongolia will join you today for the rest of trip. You’ll have special dinner today to welcome new members.

Day 4:

Karakorum- Ongi Monastery

This morning we drive through the Gobi steppes to the south Ongi monastery ruins by the river Ongi. Visit nomadic family ger on our way. Have picnic lunch on the way in a scenic spot. Arrive and visit to historical Ongi monastery ruins. Transfer to tourist ger camp, full board and overnight at the ger camp. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 5:

Ongi Monastery- Bayanzag

Today we visit the Bayanzag- the Flaming Cliffs. Lunch, explore around for dinosaur remains and walking in the rich saxual forest. You can even find real dinosaur bones and eggs yourself! An optional short camel ride around the red cliffs. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 6:

Bayanzag- Khongor Sand Dunes

The drive to the dunes of Khongor takes four or five hours, passing through vast desert badlands that span out into the furthest distances, where remote mountains line the horizon. Transfer to tourist ger camp and lunch. In the afternoon, visit singing dunes and enjoy camel riding along the dunes. Ger camp B+L+D 

Day 7:

Khongor Sand Dunes- Yoliin Am Gorge

Today we drive through the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Park, stopping for photgraphy and possibly lunch along the way. Hiking around the horse and then transfer to ger camp, dinner and overnight there. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 8:

The Gobi Desert- Ulaanbaatar- Gun Galuut nature reserve via Giant Genghis Monument

Today, we say goodbye to the drivers and catch flight to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive and drive directly to Gun Galuut nature reserve in the valley of the Kherlen River across the green steppes via Giant Chinggis monument. Arrive and check in at eco friendly Steppe Nomads ger camp (Certificate of Excellence 2013 by Ger camp B+L+D

Day 9:

Leisure day at Gun Galuut nature reserve

Gun Galuut is a home to many endagered species including the Argali wild mountain sheep and many more. We hike or enjoy some optional horse ride to Mt. Baits to view the gorgeous Argali mountain sheep and the White Napped Crane, Whooper Swan and other birds. Visit a nomadic family and learn their ways to tend their livestock. Moreover, we will enjoy a presentation about Mongolian ger dwelling with a Ger construction show on one of the days. Optional fishing or Kayaking on the river Kherlen. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 10:

Gun Galuut NR- Terelj National Park

After breakfast, we drive to Terelj National park. Visit Aryapala temple, a temple of meditation and Turtle rock. Optional hiking, horse riding or archery at the park. Ger camp B+L+D

Day 11:

Terelj National Park- Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, we drive to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel. Optional souvenir or cashmer shopping if you wish. Enjoy traditional folklore concert by the magical Tumen Ekh ensemble. Farewell dinner. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here. B+L+D

Day 00:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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

Date & Price


Single supplement charge       US$360
Naadam add - on  US$550 per person

Included services

  • Full-time services of your English speaking local guide throughout the tour
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • Ticket to the Giant Genghis Monument Complex
  • Private transfers (4WD Japanese minivans + Experienced drivers) – 4 persons in 1 van
  • Twin share at good tourist camps
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • 2 hour Camel riding fees in the Gobi
  • Archery, ger construction show fee at Gun-Galuut nature reserve
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive Gobi and Karakorum souvenir!

Not Included in the Service 

  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar (please contact us if you need help with booking your hotel)
  • Travel insurance
  • 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 such as camel riding, archery, fishing etc

  • 5% off for departure of Jun 6th!
  • 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
  • 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. 


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.

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

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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