Selena Travel

Karakorum & Bayangobi desert gateway (4 days)

Nomadic herder in Mongolia


Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 680

Style: Join in Group Tour

  • UNESCO world heritage site ancient capital at Karakorum, legendary Erdene Zuu monastery and Karakorum Museum, Hustai national park featuring wild Przewalski horse
  • Authentic culture experience: by visiting real nomads and interacting with them
  • Meet people and make friends! You will be part of a group of 2-8 people during the tour as it is a group departure.
  • Tour Status: Active

    *Active: This tour is currently open for new bookings and will be guaranteed to proceed once it reaches the minimum number of participants.

    *Guaranteed: This departure is open for new bookings, and it is confirmed to proceed without needing to reach the minimum number of passengers required. 

Tour Overview

This fantastic trip will take you to the historic sites from the Great Mongolian Empire (13-15th century AD) in the heart of the world. It will be our pleasure to introduce these sites to you from their historical and cultural perspective and share our glorious histories with you.


You will visit the first center of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia - the Erdene Zuu monastery and the ruins of the capital city from the ancient empire and will also enjoy the beautiful marble monuments from the Turkic state 5-7 Century AD and its stories. On the way back to Ulaanbaatar we will stop at beautiful Hustai National Park to see the only living wild horse in the world- the Takhi aka Przewalski horse. 

Tour images

Takhi wild horses in Hustai National Park | khustai National Park in Mongolia
Local herder
Stay at a nomadic Family | under starry sky in mongolia
Lama s at Erdene zuu Monastery in Karakorum | Karakorum and Bayan Gobi itinerary

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Bayan Gobi aka Elsen Tasarkhai

Meet your guide at the hotel lobby in Ulaanbaatar city and drive to Bayan gobi (Elsen Tasarkhai) where the gorgeous rocky mountain and mini version of sand dunes are. Upon arrival, we will visit to a camel breeder family which is a great way to learn more about nomadic lifestyle and people of Mongolia. Enjoy one hour camel riding by the sand dune areas. Subsequently, explore the Erdene Khamba Buddhist temple, a resilient survivor from the turbulent 1930s. Nestled in the serene Hogno Khaan Nature Reserve, this temple provides the perfect backdrop for trekking and hiking, unveiling panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings. Conclude the day with an overnight stay at a nomadic family nearby, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the Mongolian wilderness.


Accommodation: Nomadic Family





Day 2:


Breakfast and we drive to the historic capital of Karakorum. Explore the legendary Erdene Zuu Monastery, a pivotal center of Buddhism in Central Mongolia since its establishment in 1586. In the afternoon, we will visit the newly established Museum of Karakorum This museum provides a comprehensive introduction to the region's heritage and offers a glimpse into the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Orkhon River Valley. Overnight at local a ger camp nearby. 


Accommodation: Ger camp





Day 3:

Hustai National Park

After breakfast, we will drive to Hustai National Park, a haven where the iconic Takhi wild horses roam freely alongside other captivating wildlife. Arrive there by the afternoon. Afterwards, we will watch a short documentary about the national park, and then we head into the national park to spot the wild horse known as Takhi, birds and other wildlife. Dinner and overnight at a ger camp.  


Accommodation: Ger camp





Day 4:


After breakfast, we’ll drive to Ulaanbaatar and our guide and driver take you to your accommodation. End of service.


Accommodation: Hotel booked by client



Date & Price

Tour Dates: available from May to September

   May 12 -  May 15

   September 14 - September 17

   September 29 - October 02


*If the listed group dates don't align with your plans, click "Customize this tour" or make a private booking. Our travel advisors will respond promptly to accommodate your preferred dates.


Tour Price:

   1 Pax          1630 USD

   2 Pax          990 USD per person

   3 Pax          790 USD per person

   4 Pax          700 USD per person

   5-8 Pax       680 USD per person

   9-12 Pax     660 USD per person

   Single supplement charge   100 USD



Included in the price
  • Full-time services of your English-Speaking local guide throughout the tour
  • Sightseeing and cultural show admissions according to the itinerary
  • Private transfers with car/minivan equipped with AC – 4WD Japanese minivan
  • Twin/triple share at good tourist camps
  • Share ger with Nomadic Family
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Meals as listed & bottled water 
Not included in the price
  • International Airfare/train ticket
  • Travel Insurance
  • Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar (please get in touch with us if you need help with booking your hotel)
  • 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


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. 


Meals while you are on Selena Travel tours in Mongolia

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 

If you are on an overland only tour across Mongolia, the recommended weight of your luggage is 20kg per person (max). However, kindly note that domestic flight luggage allowance per person is 15 kg (10 kg for the check in luggage and 5 kg for the carry on luggage). It is possible to purchase extra luggage space which costs US$2 - 5 per 1kg.



Elsen Tasarkhai, aka Mongol Els: Elsen Tasarkhai is located on the border of 3 provinces, namely Tuv, Uvurkhangai and Bulgan provinces and stretches over 80 km long territory. The dune is divided by the main road into Mongol Els on the south of the road and Khugnu Tarniin Els on the north side. Due to its location in Central Mongolia, the dunes contrast with green steppes and Rocky Mountains in the background which makes it one of the most beautiful destinations in central Mongolia. The proximity to the capital Ulaanbaatar, also makes it among the most visited sites. A state protected national park Khugnu Tarna is also located in the area where one can visit the Erdenekhamba monastery and ruins of Uvgun Monastery which was destroyed during the political purge.

The city of Karakorum: The ancient capital of Mongolia was established by Genghis Khan in 1220 in the Orkhon valley. For 140 years Kharkhorin served as the capital of the United Mongol tribes until it was destroyed by the Chinese troops in 1391. The remains of the capital that stood at the crossroads of the Silk Road are extensive underground archaeological assets and two granite turtles that once stood at the main gate to the city. Four of these turtle sculptures used to mark the boundaries of ancient Kharkhorin, acting as protectors of the city (turtles are considered symbols of eternity). 

Erdene Zuu monastery: In 1586, Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia was built on the ruins of the 13th century capital. Vast walls of 400 m in length with 108 stupas surrounding the monastery are the symbol of Karakorum. Time and history were not merciful to Erdene Zuu Monastery but it still carries the traces of its former glory and provides a great insight into the rich religious and cultural past of Mongolia.

Hustai National Park: The Mongolian Government declared Hustai National Park as a Specially Protected Area in 1993, one year after the initiation of the reintroduction project of the Takhi to the Hustain Nuruu. Przewalski's horse is the last surviving subspecies of wild horse, and it was once extinct in the wild. Hustai National Park is home to diverse flora and fauna typical of the Mongolian steppe ecosystem. Visitors can encounter various species of birds, mammals, and plants while exploring the park.

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

Jul 19, 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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