Join Nomadic Expeditions on this classic journey which offers a fascinating introduction to the people and culture of Mongolia. Explore the cliffs and canyons of the Gobi, cross the steppes in search of the world’s last wild horses, and discover the ruins of ancient cities and temples on our most popular itinerary. As part of this exceptional journey, take part in the celebrations surrounding Naadam, Mongolia’s national games. Wrestling, horse racing, and archery are the three age-old competitions traditionally used to measure the courage and strength of nomads and warriors. Contemporary Naadam Games showcase the abilities of local men, women, boys, and girls, and are also a time when family and friends get together to celebrate the short, joyful summer season.
Day 1-2 Ulaanbaatar
Day 3-4 Lake Hovsgol
Mongolia’s largest lake by water volume, Lake Hovsgol extends 85 miles in length, 18 miles in width, and is fed by over 90 streams and rivers. This crystal-clear alpine lake, known as Mongolia’s “dark blue pearl,” remains untouched by industry and is situated among the most pristine forests, mountains, and meadows in the world. Travelers can enjoy nature walks, kayak on the lake, or sample Mongolian-style horseback riding. Those who are interested will also have the opportunity to visit local nomads’ dwellings, and experience the ancient nomadic culture first-hand.
Day 5 Ulaanbaatar
Return to Ulaanbaatar and spend the day at leisure.
Day 6 Naadam
Wake early in the morning to attend the Naadam Festival, the most popular festival in Mongolia. Observe as the celebrations begin with a colorful parade of marching soldiers, athletes, musicians, and people dressed as ancient warriors. True to its name, the festival is dedicated to the “Three Manly Games.”
Day 7 Gun Galuut Nature Reserve
We will spend a full day exploring the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve and in the evening drive to Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1.5 hours). Comprised of the southern Khentii mountain range, this mountain, forest, steppe region provides habitat for a variety of bird and plant life. Also sheltered in this protected area are endangered musk deer and moose, brown bear, roe, elk, wolf, fox, and badger.
Day 8 Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Spend the day exploring the park on an adventurous hike or by horseback. Later, visit the Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue on your way back to Ulaanbaatar.
Day 9 Fly to the Gobi
Set off in the morning across the vast steppe to the Gobi. Explore the stunning landscape of this region, habitat for Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, goitered gazelle, golden eagles, saker falcons, jerboas, and many endemic reptiles.
Day 10 Yol Valley
Drive to Yol Valley National Park (1 hour), cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. An ancient river carved this surprisingly green valley, and its remnant streams create ice formations at the base of the valley that sometimes persist as late as July. A hike through the valley leads to the habitat of indigenous vulture-like Lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks, and Argali mountain sheep.
Day 11 Moltsog Els | Flaming Cliffs
Explore the dunes at Moltsog Els. If you are interested, you will have the opportunity to ride a Bactrian camel. In the evening, drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs (1 hour), named for the red-orange sandstone that glows brilliantly at sunrise and sunset. It was here in 1923 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.
Day 12 Ulaanbaatar
Fly to Ulaanbaatar and discover the Bogd Khan Winter Palace, home of Mongolia’s last theocrat, Bogd Jabzan Damba Hutagt VIII. The museum displays elaborate ceremonial robes and other personal effects of “Mongolia’s 8th Living Buddha.”
Day 13 Departure
Trip Dates & Pricing
Dates:Jul 6, 2018 - Jul 18, 2018
Jun 30, 2019 - Jul 12, 2019
$6,695 per person/double occupancy
$8,550 per person/double occupancy
$8,200 per person/double occupancy