Designed to give outdoor enthusiasts a desert experience like no other, this multi activity journey, starts off by giving your legs a workout as you hike the Bogd Khan mountain, outside the Capital Ulaanbaatar, before heading off to the Gobi.
In the mystical Gobi you traverse it’s inspiring landscape of sand dunes, rocky canyons, and arid valleys. Your journey continues on ancient desert routes past dramatic canyons and cliffs, and camp in the shadow of the Gobi Altai Mountains, experiencing the wash of purple, rose, and heather that defines the desert’s skyline at dusk.
Trekking by foot, riding bactrian (two humped) camels, mountain bikes and horses you journey deep into the Gobi, past saxaul bushes and the habitat of black-tailed gazelle and ibex. This multi sport adventure is an excellent option for families with older kids.
May - Oct, 2022 (11 Days)
From $6,200 Per Person
From $275 Per Person
From $1,730 Per Person
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS +
Inclusions & Exclusions
LAND PRICE INCLUDES:
Ground transportation in Mongolia as described in the itinerary
Transfers upon arrival and departure
All accommodations based on double or twin occupancy (hotel rooms and gers)
All meals in Mongolia including a camp cook while tenting
Bottled/filtered water throughout the trip and soft drinks at meals
All excursions, entrance fees, and visits as described in itinerary
Extensive pre-departure Travel Guide, reading list, important information about your trip, and luggage tags
Bilingual Nomadic Expeditions guide throughout your stay.
LAND PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare; internal airfare is quoted separately and subject to change by airlines
Passport and visa fees
Comprehensive medical and trip insurance
Excess baggage charges
Photography and video fees
Tips to guides and drivers
Food and beverages not included in the group meals
Items of personal nature, including alcoholic beverages, laundry, and telephone calls
Other items not specifically mentioned as included
The contrast between ancient traditions and a 21st-century democracy is most visible in Ulaanbaatar, where traditional gers and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern high-rises.
Upon arrival at the airport you are welcomed by your Mongolian guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel within walking distance of various museums and shops.
Day 2 - HIKING AT BOGD KHAN MOUNTAIN
Early in the morning, drive to Zaisan valley for a scenic hike through pine forested Bogd Khan mountain. A gradual 2.5 hour ascend through a narrow scenic pass brings you to the top of the mountain where you will be awarded with magnificent views of the surroundings. Along the way you will walk through the larch tree forest, on a narrow path that leads to the mountain top, the forest is home to many small birds such as woodpecker, finches a many more.
Most notably, the Bogd Khan mountain became the first ever mountain to be Nationally protected in the 13th century by the local duke. Even today the mountain is still protected by the state. After a picnic lunch, walk back to the base and return to Ulaanbaatar.
Late afternoon, visit Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Woven through Mongolia’s nomadic culture is a rich Tibetan Buddhist tradition in which ancient shamanist practices are still evident. Although Buddhist monasteries were either destroyed or converted into museums during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, Gandan Monastery continued to operate as a showpiece for government officials. However, in spite of the government’s efforts to suppress Buddhism and other religious beliefs, Mongolia’s spirituality persisted and a significant resurgence of Buddhism began in 1990 when Mongolia became a democracy. Monasteries across the country are again opening their doors to worshippers, and the few lamas who survived the purges are training.
In the evening, enjoy your welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant.
(Shangri-La Hotel; B, L, D)
Days 3 - FLY TO GOBI / AYALDAI VALLEY
Your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby for an early morning transfer to the airport for a flight to the Gobi (1.5 hours), the southernmost point of Mongolia. For the next few days, explore the stunning landscape of the Gobi, habitat for Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, goitered gazelle, golden eagles, saker falcons, jerboas (similar to kangaroo rats), and many endemic reptiles. The Gobi is also home to some of the Northern Hemisphere’s most rare and elusive mammals, such as the dhole, snow leopard, Gobi bear, and the wild Bactrian camel.
Upon landing at Dalanzadgad Airport, drive to Ayaldai Valley next to Hongoryn Sand Dunes (3.5 hours). Adjacent to the Hongor sand dunes, this particular area is well known for its unique features of both sand and mountainous topography. Many travelers, over the years have praised its scenic beauty and its isolation. Though hard to believe the sand looks somewhat similar to a towering wall. It is said that in the midst of a harsh sand storm this place stays relatively untouched. Just as the sun rises and sets, the golden yellow shades start to emerge on the silky sand dune, which makes it an ideal location for star gazing and a tent camp.
In the afternoon, hike into the Gyalaan valley, locally known as the shining valley, with its towering bright rock surfaces that shines as the light hits the surface (3 – 4 hours hike). Return to your campsite and enjoy your dinner and overnight.
(Tent Camp; B, L, D)
Day 4 - MARAAT PASS/ SERUUN US
Today, mount your Bactrian camel and begin your camel trek southwest to the Maraat Pass (10 kms/ 2-3 hours). Enjoy picnic lunch en route your and continue with your ride to Seruun Us, located just on the south side of the Hongor Sand Dunes (11 kms/ 2.5–3 hours). Along the way, you’ll have the Zoolong mountain range on your left side and the dune on the north side. You will ride partly on a sandy gravel soil. If you’d like you may stop by nomadic family along the way.
Seruun us, meaning cool water in Mongolian, the watering hall for locals the running water that comes from the mountain provides a cool temperature water for the locals, it is a common site to see wildlife such as mountain goats and mountain sheep on site. Late in the afternoon arrive at your campsite. Enjoy your dinner and overnight in tents.
(Tent Camp; B, L, D)
Days 5 - SERUUN BULAG
After a sumptuous breakfast, begin your hike to Seruun Bulag (6 hours), located on the north side of the Hongor sand dunes from the south side of the sand dune. Seruun Bulag literally translates to water well with a cool water. You will begin you’re your hike on an open area where you will walk for the first 4 hours after reaching the sand, you will go over the Hongor sand on the lowest height. Once over the sand, the Seruun Bulag will be visible. This small but impressive water opening is known to keep a cool temperature, no matter how hot the weather is. En route we will enjoy a picnic lunch at a scenic location.
Arrive at Seruun Bulag – a treasured water place by the local nomads. The Spring water is very cold in summer and warm in winter and believed to be good for the stomach due to its high content of brimstone.
(Tent Camp; B, L, D)
Day 6 - MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE
Today begin your drive north into the mountains of Hets (1.5 hours). Located in the middle mountain range, just north of the sand dune, this is ideal grounds for nomads to shelter. This area is sandwiched between two large mountains located on the south and the north. Begin your bike ride from here, due east to the opening of the Tasarkhai valley (42 km total of 7 hours ride). Upon arrival, you’ll see an ovoo, a stone marking. From its elevated location offers panoramic views of the region.
In the evening arrive at your campsite located at the south side of the Tasarkhai Valley, close to the Ovoo marking and enjoy your dinner. Overnight in tents.
(Tent Camp; B, L, D)
Day 7 - TASARKHAI VALLEY/ HORSE RIDE TO THREE CAMEL LODGE
Wake up with the sun and begin your horse trek north through the scenic Tasarkhai valley (12 kms/ 2.5 hours) from the south side to the north side. After crossing to the other side of the valley, enjoy your picnic lunch before reaching the Three Camel Lodge. You have two riding options:
Option 1 – Ride your horse directly north in a straight-line to the Three Camel lodge, (20 kms/ 3 hours).
Option 2 – For the more adventurous riders, ride due East to the sacred site of Lama ovoo. This hill top is sacred for the locals as the ancient warriors used to climb to the top for strength. However, women were not allowed to go to the top, as Mongols strongly believed that women should not see any battle or blood. Continue riding to the Valley of the Gate and onto the Three Camel Lodge. (35 km/ 5 hours)
(Three Camel Lodge; B, L, D)
Day 8 - HORSE RIDE TO HAVTSGAIT PETROGLYPHS
Begin the day with mounting your horse and riding to the Havtsgait mountain. And enjoy your picnic lunch on top of the Havtsgait mountain. Havtsgait Petroglyphs have gathered the interests of the archaeologists for decades, as it was discovered by the Soviet archaeologist A.P. Okladnikov. Dating back to the Pre-Bronze Age (2,500 BC) well into the Iron age (600 BC), most petroglyphs are dominated by the Bronze age rock drawings. Within the 300-meter radius, with 84 different rock faces visible. You may find different pictures of Ibex, deer, camel and so on. However, the most interesting of all, on one of the surfaces, clear images of camp site is clearly visible, a sight that is worth spending some time to discuss about the details, dating back to the 1 century BC.
You arrive at the base of Havtsgait mountain and begin your hike up the steep slopes to the top (roughly 30 – 45 minutes). While on top, spend and ample time exploring the rock faces for petroglyphs. As it is one of the largest collection rock carvings in the region. At the same time enjoy the large expansion of the desert to the north from the top of the mountain.
For your return to the lodge you have the option of riding or driving back. The afternoon is at leisure to simply relax in the lodge’s nature setting or take in one of the optional lodge activities.
(Three Camel Lodge; B, L, D)
Day 9 - NOMADIC FAMILY/ FLAMING CLIFFS
In the morning, visit a nearby nomadic family and spend an afternoon with the family to learn more about a nomadic way of life and help to herd the animals and milk them or perhaps learn how to prepare a milk tea and learn more about herding life. Mongolia is a home to one of the last remaining nomadic cultures in the world and often travelers compare Mongolia with traveling back in time to witness an old way of life that hasn’t changed for centuries. About 30% of Mongolia’s population still lead a nomadic way of life and move from a pasture to a pasture and live in harmony with nature and off the land. Distilled vodka is a favorite drink among many adults and making it is a good experience for many people. Followed by a session on how to make the dairy products. Spend ample time on site and return to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch, experience ger building firsthand. Join our lodge staff to learn the process of raising a traditional Mongolian Ger. Participating in building and setting up a traditional Mongolian ger will have you feeling immersed in the local culture.
In the late afternoon, head to the legendary “Flaming Cliffs” (1 hour), named for the red-orange sandstone which glows brilliantly at sunrise and sunset. It was here, in 1922, that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen. We will scan through the area with the assistance of a local Paleontologist and search for fossilized remains of dinosaurs.
(Three Camel Lodge; B, L, D)
Day 10 - ULAANBAATAR
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ulaanbaatar (1.5 hours). On arrival, drive to National Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture. The newly remodeled museum displays traditional implements of daily nomadic life including Stone and Bronze Age artifacts, historical costumes of Mongolia’s minority tribes, sacred religious relics, and agricultural, fishing, and hunting equipment.
Spend the afternoon shopping for Mongolian arts and crafts or at leisure or visit a museum, or an art gallery.
In the evening enjoy a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers, followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
(Shangri-La Hotel B, L, D)
Day 11 - DEPARTURE
After breakfast transfer to the airport for departure.