Tour Mongolia and discover two of the most fascinating regions, the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia, where Kazakh hunters celebrate their traditional culture and magnificent golden eagles, and the diverse ecosystems of the Gobi Desert.
This luxury journey through Mongolia begins in Bayan-Ulgii Province at the Golden Eagle Festival. The Golden Eagle Festival celebrates 20th anniversary in 2019. Coming off the biggest and best festival to date in 2018, with over a thousand visitors from all over the world descending on Western Mongolia to take in this singular event, the coming edition promises to be even better with what will surely be a record number of eagle hunters and some surprises up the organizers’ sleeves.
Golden Eagles have been used in the everyday lifestyle of nomadic Kazakhs for millennia for the purposes of hunting; both the Berkut Association and the Golden Eagle Festival were established in 1999 by Nomadic Expeditions’s Founder and CEO Jalsa Urubshurow to preserve this ancient tradition and protect this rare species. Each year, the region’s Kazakh hunters attend the festival with their golden eagles, entering them in competitions testing speed, agility, and accuracy. Ceremonies, dance performances, a parade in the provincial capital’s city square, and a Kazakh play are held in honor of the hunters and their eagles. This authentic Kazakh experience is a highlight of any visit to Mongolia.
Continuing the Mongolian expedition in the vast and dramatic Gobi, explore an incredible array of unforgettable landscapes, including the sand dunes of Hongoryn Els and the deep desert valley of Yol Valley National Park. Visit the Flaming Cliffs, the legendary site where the first nest of dinosaur eggs was discovered, and Tugregiin Shiree, where paleontologists unearthed the “Fighting Dinosaurs” fossil.
Day 1-2 | Ulaanbaatar
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Spend the following day at Gandan Monastery, the recently renovated Chenrezi and Kalachakra Temples, as well as the magnificent statue of Migjid Janraisig, “the lord who looks in every direction.” In the afternoon, visit the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum, named in honor of Zanabazar, the renowned 17th-century artist and politician, who was also the first Buddhist leader of Mongolia.
Days 3-5 | Gobi Desert
Fly to the Gobi, and upon arrival drive to Moltsog Els, one of the few regions of the Gobi covered by sand dunes. Explore the sand dunes on foot or on back of a Bactrian camel. In the upcoming days, continue exploring the diverse landscapes of the Gobi. Drive to the site of the Khavtsgait Petroglyphs, hundreds of stone carvings that date to the Bronze Age. Later, head to the legendary Flaming Cliffs, discovered by legendary adventurer Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews in 1923.
On your final day in the Gobi, visit Yol Valley. A remarkable landscape that is home to a wide range of wildlife, Yol Valley is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. Drive to the Three Camel Lodge, our award-winning ecolodge located near Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park.
Day 6 | Fly to Ulaanbaatar
Spend the afternoon at leisure in Ulaanbaatar and in the evening enjoy a performance featuring traditional dancers and khoomi throat singers.
Days 7-9 | Ulgii | Golden Eagle Festival
Fly to Ulgii and visit Lake Tolbo before enjoying two days of festivities surrounding the Golden Eagle Festival.
Day 10 | Return to Ulaanbaatar
Visit the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan. Built in the late 19th century, the Winter Palace was home to the monarch of the first independent Mongolian state for twenty years. In the evening enjoy a performance featuring traditional dancers and khoomi throat singers.
Day 11 | Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Visit Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, in the foothills of the Khentii Mountain Range, where you will embark on a hike to Aryabal Monastery, ride horses, and explore this magnificent landscape. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant.
Day 12 | Departure
Trip Dates & Pricing
Dates:Sep 28, 2019 - Oct 9, 2019
$7,550 per person/double occupancy