For awe-inspiring scenic beauty, Mongolia has few rivals, and this journey is one of our most popular introductions to its extraordinary biodiversity. Experience the hospitality of Mongolia’s nomads while exploring a wide variety of landscapes, from the clear waters of Lake Hovsgol in the far north to the magnificent Gobi Desert in the south.
Begin this small group tour in Mongolia’s dark blue pearl, Lake Hovsgol, believed by scientists to be the cleanest freshwater lake on the planet, before traveling overland to the former site of Karakorum, the 13th-century capital of the Mongol Empire. Mongolia’s largest monastery, Erdene Zuu, was built nearby during the 16th century, reputedly from the remnants of this once-thriving city. The adventure concludes in the Gobi Desert, where towering sand dunes can be explored from the back of a Bactrian camel. A special offering on this year’s trip, travelers will attend a local Nadaam Festival in the Gobi, the traditional “Three Manly Sports” festival which includes competitions in wrestling, archery, and horseracing.
Days 1-2 Ulaanbaatar
This Mongolia group tour begins with your arrival in the capital. Explore Gandan Monastery, as well as Ulaanbaatar’s top sites, including the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum, National History Museum, and Zaisan Memorial.
Days 3-5 Lake Hovsgol | Ulaanbaatar
Spend two days at Lake Hovsgol exploring the mountains, meadows, and lakeshore by foot or on horseback. Return to Ulaanbaatar and visit Lake Irkh, a small saltwater lake in the midst of the steppe that is a habitat for a number of birds.
Days 6-8 Kharakhorum | Ulaanbaatar
Travel to Kharakhorum, site of the 13th-century capital of the Mongol Empire, stopping along the way at Shankh Hiid and Erdene Zuu Monastery. Return to Ulaanbaatar and visit with a nomadic horse-breeding family.
Day 9 Gobi Gurvansaikhan | Hongoryn Els
Travel to the Gobi, Mongolia’s southernmost province of semi-arid desert. Drive to the towering dunes of Hongoryn Els, the most magnificent sand dunes in the Gobi. Visit a camel-herding family and explore the area on foot, or on the back of a Bactrian camel.
Day 10-11 Three Camel Lodge | Nadaam
Spend another day exploring the dunes known as the “singing sands”due to the remarkable low-pitched groan that is emitted when the surface is disturbed by wind. Next, begin your drive to the award-winning Three Camel Lodge. On the way, stop at Gegeet valley, habitat of the elusive snow leopard. The next day, witness a local Nadaam Festival, which includes competitions in the “three manly sports”: wrestling, archery and horseracing.
Day 12 Yol Valley | Flaming Cliffs
Visit Yol Valley in the foothills of the Altai Mountains, a surprisingly green valley. Hike through the valley as you observe the habitat of indigenous vulture-like Lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks, and Argali mountain sheep. In the late afternoon, drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs, 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 team found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen.
Day 13 Ulaanbaatar
End your tour of Mongolia with a visit to the Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum. In the evening, enjoy a traditional throat singing and dance performance at your farewell dinner.
Day 14 Departure
Trip Dates & Pricing
Dates:Jun 10, 2020 - Jun 23, 2020
Aug 5, 2020 - Aug 18, 2020
Land cost 2020:
$7,725 per person/ double occupancy
Internal Airfare: $550 per person (subject to change by airlines)
Single Supplement: $2,085