Tour Scope: Central Mongolia and Southern Mongolia Tour Route: UB-Ugii Lake-Battsengel soum -Karakorum-Ongi Monastery-Bayanzag-Khongoryn Els-Yol Valley-Tsagaan Suvarga-Baga Gazriin Chuluu-UB
Highlights: Ugii Lake, Karakorum, Ongi Monastery, Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs), Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes, Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley), Tsagaan Suvarga (White Stupa), Baga Gazriin Chuluu (Earth Stone)
Tour Season: 15 May- 15 September Tour Level: Moderate
Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
Day 2. Ugii Lake
Day 3. Battsengel soum/Nomad family
Day 4. Nomadic horse breeding family
Day 5. Karakorum
Day 6. Ongi Monastery
Day 7. Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)
Day 8. Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes
Day 9. Camel Breeder’s family
Day 10.Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley)
Day 11. Tsagaan Suvarga (White Stupa)
Day 12. Baga Gazriin Chuluu (Earth Stone)
Day 13. Ulaanbaatar
Day 14. Departure
Accommodations: 2 nights in hotel, 8 nights in ger camps, and 3 nights in nomadic family gers Meals: Inclusive meals are indicated in itinerary (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Transport: 4WD Japanese Minivan or 4WD Japanese Jeep Optional activities: Camel riding, Horse riding
Staffs: Visit Mongolia Team (Tour guide and driver)
DAY 1 ULAANBAATAR
A professional Visit Mongolia team will meet you at Chinggis Khan International Airport and transfer to the one of the best quality hotels. After relax, we start our first day exploring Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Sukhbaatar Square is at the heart of Ulaanbaatar and famous for its surroundings including Parliament House, National Opera Theatre, Cultural Palace and House of City Council. We will then visit Gandan Monastery to experience influence of Buddhism in Mongolia and see outstanding and impressive 24m golden plated statue of Megjid Janraiseg Buddha. From here we will head to the Zaisan Hill which offers great views of the Ulaanbaatar. Optional visit to Natural History Museum of Mongolia. In the evening, you will attend a performance of traditional dancing and khoomii (Mongolian throat singing). Overnight in a hotel. (L, D)
DAY 2 UGII LAKE
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 400 km, 5-6 hours
Drive to the direction of the Lake Ugii. Trekking around the lake, birdwatching, fishing and photographing. Overnight in ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 NOMADIC HORSE BREEDING FAMILY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 60 km, 2 hours
We will continue our journey to Battsengel soum of Arkhangai province, a place where you will experience and learn unique lifestyle of nomads staying with them for 2 nights. Overnight in nomadic family ger. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 NOMADIC HORSE BREEDING FAMILY
On this day with a nomadic family, we will have plenty of possibilities to explore their nomadic way of life by talking with people, learning and sharing their culture and customs, and their daily works. You will also have an opportunity to experience making “Airag”, the Mongolian traditional drink made with mare’s milk and riding a horse on a traditional Mongolian wooden saddle. For dinner we will enjoy “Khorkhog”, a real Mongolian barbeque, grilled with hot stones. Overnight in nomadic family ger. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 RUINS OF 12TH CENTURY CAPITAL CITY KARAKORUM
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 150 km, 3-4 hours
Travel to Karakorum, the ancient capital city of Great Mongolian Empire. Karakorum was established in the Valley of Orkhon River in 1220. It was one of the stops along the legendary Silk Road for 140 years. We will visit the oldest monastery, Erdenezuu, a main treasure of Mongolian Buddhism. Erdenezuu Monastery was founded by Avtai Sain Khaan, a descendant of Chinggis Khan, on the ruins of Karakorum in 1586. Look around little town Karakorum and see historical tower on the hill. Overnight in ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 ONGI MONASTERY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 260 km, 5-6 hours.
Travel to the ruins of Ongiin Khiid Monastery. We will visit the ruins of Ongi Monastery and a small local ger museum. Overnight in ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 BAYANZAG (FLAMING CLIFFS)
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 170 km, 4-5 hours
Today we will explore the place called Bayanzag, commonly known as the legendary “Flaming Cliffs”. In the afternoon, we arrive at the ancient red rock creation, Bayanzag, formed 60-70 million years ago. The famous “Flaming Cliffs” were named by Roy Chapman Andrews, an American explorer who visited Mongolia in 1920s. The striking red Bayanzag cliffs have dinosaur fossils, eggs and bones all over the. We will trek around the surrounding areas. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 KHONGORYN ELS SAND DUNES
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 160 km, 4-5 hours
Travel to Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes, Mongolia’s largest sand dunes, reaching heights of approximately 800 meters and known locally as the “Singing Dunes”. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 CAMEL BREEDER’S FAMILY
We spend the day visiting a family of nomadic camel-breeders, learning about their lifestyle and daily activities. You can try your hand at camel riding on Mongolia’s two-humped Bactrian Camels. Overnight in nomadic family ger. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 EAGLE VALLEY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 200 km, 4-5 hours
Travel to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan (Three Beauties of the Gobi) National Park where we will enjoy remarkable Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley), an exotic setting of green meadows and dense glaciers situated deep within the arid Gobi. The valley’s remnant streams create ice formations which you may find in the mouth of the valley as late as July. The mountains surrounding the valley also provide habitat for Argali wild sheep (one of the last wild great-horned sheep) and ibex, which may be spotted in the early morning as they walk along the mountain ridges. Visit Gobi museum and trekking through the valley. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 11 TSAGAAN SUVARGA (WHITE STUPA)
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 240 km, 5-6 hours
Travel to Tsagaan Suvarga (White Stupa). The scarp of Tsagaan Suvarga is located in Ulziit soum. It is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east, which from a distance seems to be the ruins of the ancient city. The cliff is 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. Over thousands of years the wind has created this amazing structure. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 12 BAGA GAZRIIN CHULUU (EARTH STONE)
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 230 km, 5-6 hours
Travel to Middle Gobi. Drive through the open lands to Baga Gazriin Chuluu (Earth Stone) little mountain of Middle Gobi. Excursion to Earth Stone, a sacred rocky mountain, 1,760 m above sea level, and is famous for its unique rock formations and beautiful natural environment. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 13 ULAANBAATAR
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 250 km, 5-6 hours
We drive to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, we will visit some interesting museums including Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan. The remainder of the day is free for shopping or independent touring. Farewell dinner. Overnight in a hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 14 DEPARTURE
As our adventure together ends, you will transfer to the airport or train station for your departure. (B)
Visit Mongolia’s policy is to provide top quality service to our customers at reasonable prices. We will pleased to provide detailed price quotes for those interested in specific tours.
Hotels are available in different ranges of quality and service. The package cost includes all services except accommodations in Ulaanbaatar (UB). We do give “choices” for our clients to pick their appropriate accommodations in Ulaanbaatar. However we encourage group travelers to pick the same property. We will provide hotel rates for Visit Mongolia customers for your selection. Please select hotel and room type and let us know.
In the Countryside:
– Ger Camps
While touring in the countryside, the most common accommodations outside cities on our tours are called ger camps. A ger is the traditional felt tent of nomadic herders. Accommodation in the ger camps is based on two people sharing one ger. Each ger is heated by a wood stove and has two wood-framed beds.
The camp restaurant and western-style toilet/shower facilities are located in the middle of the camp or close by. All camps supply towels. The ger camps provide all bedding and clients will not be expected to bring their own sleeping bags if they stay overnight in the ger camps. Staying in a ger is a memorable experience of Mongolian culture.
– Tented camping
We use tented camps on our adventure journeys to more remote areas. The tents are either 2 or 3 person tents. A sleeping mat will be provided to each person staying in a tent but clients are asked to bring their own sleeping bags. Our expedition staff sets up camps and prepares meals and takes care of all your needs. Tented camps allow you to interact more with the nature and visit the remotest areas of the country.
We use different types of vehicles depending on the nature of tours, destination and final number of travellers.
– For jeep overland adventure tours we use Japanese 4WD vans and SUV’s (Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan), which is the best available for its type
– A bus or mini-bus serves group tourists within Ulaanbaatar
– In some remote areas where we have to fly, we arrange local vehicles most of which are Russian 4WD jeeps or minivans. Daily driving distance will be appr. 200-250km.
– For sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar we use deluxe coaches, vans and sedans.
All Visit Mongolia drivers have many years of experience. They know their way around the Mongolian countryside including many places where they are no marked roads. They are all skilled mechanics which is crucial in remote places. Technical inspections on the vehicles are made regularly.
An English speaking Mongolian guide will accompany the entire time of your trip. The most of our guides have a wonderful and outstanding reputation among our clients. They have an in depth knowledge of Mongolian history, nomadic civilization, customs, traditions, and nature memories. After every tour we get feedbacks and emails about our guides.
Meals are included in the cost. Visit Mongolia provides the selection of the best available local restaurants on cities and popular destinations.
When you are in Ulaanbaatar, you can eat out in number of restaurants as serving Indian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, English, French, German, Russian, Latin American and of course Mongolian cuisines. FYI, basic foodstuffs for Mongolians are beef, mutton and noodles.
When you stay in tourist Ger camps, the most camps provide meals as western cuisine. During excursions to remote areas we provide services of professional chefs who normally accompany the group. Arrangements can be made for vegetarians and those with special dietary needs with advance notice.
Mongolia’s climate is continental and extreme. With more than two hundred days of full sun per year it has been given the nickname of ‘the’ Country of Blue Skies’.
The tourist season in Mongolia is between the months of May and September. The weather during this time varies considerably from region to region. The highest rainfall period is in July and August, however, there are still days of glorious sunshine during this time. The Gobi usually has the hottest temperatures. Summer evenings in the Gobi can be cool because of Mongolia’s high altitude. The best time to visit the Gobi is June and September. The spring is a time of strong winds, especially difficult in the sandy areas of the Gobi.
Most travelers come to Mongolia in mid-July for the annual National Naadam Festival.