Selena Travel

The Gobi desert, Karakorum overland tour 2023

Gobi desert tour 2023 / 2024 | to travel to Mongolia camels at Khongor sand dunes


Tour grade: Easy

Style: Traveller

From: US$ 2,050
  • Explore the stunning landscapes of the Gobi Desert, including sand dunes, canyons, rocky formations, and oases.
  • Visit the Flaming Cliffs (Bayanzag), famous for their red-orange sandstone formations and dinosaur fossils.
  • Experience the traditional way of life of Mongolian nomads, who live in gers (yurts) and raise livestock.
  • Ride a Bactrian (two-humped) camel through the desert, and enjoy the serene and peaceful atmosphere of the desert.
  • Visit 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 150 USD/day or even less for this all-inclusive 14-day package - BEST VALUE!

Tour Overview

Experience the land of Genghis Khan on our Mongolia tour! Safari-style overland travel takes you to the best-preserved wildlife reserve in Mongolia, Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, for a chance to spot rare Argali sheep and bird species. Then, venture into the Gobi Desert for a three-day circuit featuring towering Khongoriin Els sand dunes, the glacial canyon of Yolyn Am, and Bayanzag's red cliffs with dinosaur fossils. Wrap up your adventure with a visit to Karakorum's ancient capital, including the 16th century Erdene Zuu monastery, Karakorum town museum, and UNESCO world heritage Orkhon River Valley. Join us for an unforgettable Mongolia journey!

Tour map

Gobi deset Karakorum tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, private transfer to hotel
  • Day 2: Ulaanbaatar City Tour
  • Day 3: Gun Galuut Nature reserve via Giant Chinggis statue
  • Day 4: Day in Gun-Galuut Nature reserve
  • Day 5: Baga Gazariin Chuluu
  • Day 6: Tsagaan Suvarga - White Stupa
  • Day 7: Yolyn Am Gorge - Lammergeier Gorge
  • Day 8: Khongor Sand Dunes - Singing Dunes
  • Day 9: Bayanzag, The Flaming Cliffs
  • Day 10: Ongi Monastery Ruins
  • Day 11: Nomadic Family in Khujirt, Uvurkhangai
  • Day 12: Elsen Tasarkhai via Karakorum
  • Day 13: Ulaanbaatar via Hustai National park
  • Day 14: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tour images

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Full Itinerary

Day 1:

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 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 Bogd Khan's palace museum and Zaisan Memorial hill. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here. 


Meals Included

  • Lunch 

Day 3:

Gun Galuut Nature reserve via Giant Chinggis statue

Meet at the hotel lobby at 9 am and we start our Mongolia discovery tour. We’ll visit Gun Galuut Nature Reserve with a 3-4-hour drive with a visit to Giant Chinggis Khan’s monument on the way. Arrive at Gun Galuut and set our tents at a scenic spot in the Kherlen River valley. Afternoon, visit to the nomadic family to get an orientation of their lifestyle. Short hiking to the badland for to spot endangered White Napped Crane (only 3000 left in the world).  Return to the campsite, enjoy dinner cooked by tour chief and overnight at tent. 



  • Tent 

Meals Included

  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 4:

Day in 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 Baits Mountain. Free time for leisure- optional hiking, fishing etc. In the evening, enjoy cooking session from our chief and learn to make Mongolian feast for dinner. Overnight at tent. 




  • Tent 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner


Day 5:

Baga Gazariin Chuluu

Breakfast and we continue our travel to Gobi Desert with stop at the Baga Gazariin 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

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 6:

Tsagaan Suvarga - White Stupa

Today we travel to Tsagaan Suvarga, a sedimentary structure which is considered as ancient seabed. Arrive at our next tourist ger camp and 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 colourful cliffs as you make your way toward the top. Return to the ger camp, dinner and overnight. 




  • Ger Camp

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 7:

Yolyn Am Gorge - Lammergeier Gorge

Today we travel to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Park in a drive that takes four to five hours, stopping for photography along the way. Our drive passes by Dalanzadgad, a Gobi town where we can stop for groceries or other necessities if you wish. 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 for the information of its flora and fauna. Transfer to ger camp, dinner and overnight there.




  • Ger Camp

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 8:

Khongor Sand Dunes - Singing Dunes

In the morning, we check out from the ger camp and travel to Khongor sand dunes. The road runs alongside the Khongor dunes after sometime as we make our way to Khongor river valley, bounded by last of Altai Mountain Range. Visit the beautiful sand dunes by the Khongor river streaming through the sands. Check in at the ger camp and lunch. In the afternoon, we take a tour to Seruun Bulag, a natural cool spring originates in between Khongor river and sand dunes. Then we visit Gobi family and camel ride (1 hour) through Singing dunes. Optional climbing to the dunes by the sunset and one will enjoy breath-taking scenery of the dunes and its surrounding landscape. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp.




  • Ger Camp

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 9:

Bayanzag, The Flaming Cliffs

The drive to the Bayanzag 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 colourful rocks and unusual minerals. This is the Gobi at its stark best - there are many opportunities to stop and take photographs of the landscapes and people. Arrive at the ger camp and lunch. Enjoy the wilderness and unique nature formations and explore the home to ancient dinosaur and walking in the rich saxaul forest. Enjoy the view of sunset over the Flaming Cliffs. 




  • Ger Camp

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 10:

Ongi Monastery Ruins

Breakfast and we 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 lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the ruins of the historical Ongi Monastery (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

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 11:

Nomadic Family in Khujirt, Uvurkhangai

Travel more north toward central Mongolia today. Today we overnight at Mongolian nomadic family ger for the authentic experience. Our drive takes 4-5 hour through the Gobi steppes to central Mongolia steppe. Arrive at our host family and enjoy typical Mongolian lunch. The rest of the day is spent with nomads taking part in their daily chores including, cooking, cheese and curd making, milking mares, making Airag, herding and many more. Enjoy your stay overnight at the nomads’ summer campsite.




  • Nomadic Family

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 12:

Elsen Tasarkhai 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. Farewell to the group and meet the guide and driver at the museum and head to Elsen Tasarkhai, located in Khugnu Khan nature reserve. Arrive and visit Elsen Tasarkhai dunes and then to Erdene Khamba Monastery ruins located in Khugnu Khan mountain. Transfer to the ger camp and rest.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.





  • Ger Camp

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 13:

Ulaanbaatar via Hustai National park

Today we drive toward Ulaanbaatar with the early start from the ger camp. Break our drive at Hustai National park, a safe haven for Takhi wild horses. Arrive at the Hustai resort and lunch. Visit information center and procced to the national park to view endangered Takhi horses. Continue to Ulaanbaatar in the afternoon. 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.  Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package. You can check suggested hotels here



Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 14:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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

Date & Price


Tour Dates:

June 6-19
July 12-25
August 3-16


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$ 2050 per person
Single supplement charge US$ 360
Naadam Festival add - on US$ 590 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 Chinggis Monument Complex
  • Private transfers (Comfortable van/bus + experienced driver) for city tour on day 2
  • 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
  • Twin shared good tents during tented camping nights – 2 nights
  • Shared ger during nomadic family stay – 1 night
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • 1-hour Camel riding fees in the Gobi
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive Gobi desert and Karakorum tour souvenir!

Not Included in the Service 

  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • 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 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 Selena Travel Mongolia tours do not include hotel accommodations in Ulaanbaatar, where clients are advised to take care of their own accommodations in Ulaanbaatar. Please refer to your tour program (Including the services and Exclusions section) for more details. Your Selena Travel advisor is happy to assist you with a hotel booking on your request. Below you will find some suggested hotels in Ulaanbaatar:  

  • Best Western Gobi Kelso ***
  • Springs hotel ***
  • Hotel 9 ***
  • Ramada Hotel ****
  • Kempinski Khan Palace ****
  • Best Western Premier *****
  • Shangri-La *****

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.



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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