Tour Scope: Southern Mongolia and Western Mongolia Tour Route: UB-Dalanzadgad-Bayanzag-Khongor-Yol-Dalanzadgad-UB- UB-Olgii-Sagsai soum, Bayan-Olgii province-UB-Tsonchinboldog-Terelj-UB
Highlights: Khongoryn Els Sand Dune, Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley), Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs), Chinggis Khaan Statue, Terelj and Altai Eagle Festival in Bayan-Ulgii. Altai Eagle Festival features about 60 eagle hunters and their eagles. They show off their skills in several events starting with chasing a fox skin and calling their eagle from a distance
Tour Season: 08 September -19 September Tour Level: Leisure
08-Sep: Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
09-Sep: Day 2. Flight to Gobi and travel to Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)
10-Sep: Day 3. Khongoryn Els Sand Dune
11-Sep: Day 4. Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley)
12-Sep: Day 5. Flight to Ulaanbaatar
13-Sep: Day 6. Flight to Olgii and drive to Sagsai area
14-Sep: Day 7. Kazakh Family
15-Sep: Day 8. Altai Eagle Festival
16-Sep: Day 9. Altai Eagle Festival
17-Sep: Day 10. Flight to Ulaanbaatar and Terelj
18-Sep: Day 11. Chinggis Khan Statue and Ulaanbaatar
19-Sep: Day 12. Departure
Accommodations: 3 nights in hotel in UB, 4 nights in ger camps and 4 nights at family Meals: Inclusive meals are indicated in itinerary (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Transport: 4WD Japanese Minivan or 4WD Japanese Jeep Optional activities: Bus or minibus in Ulaanbaatar and 4WD minivans in the countryside
Staffs: Visit Mongolia Team (Tour guide and driver)
DAY 1 08-SEPTEMBER. ULAANBAATAR
Upon arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport in Mongolia, you will meet your professional Visit Mongolia crew and transfer to a 4* or 4*+ hotel, conveniently located in downtown Ulaanbaatar. After freshening up from your flight, we start our first day around Ulaanbaatar at Gandan Monastery, the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia with 500 monks. From here we will go to the National History Museum which tells the rich history of Mongolia. The heart of Ulaanbaatar, Sukhbaatar Square, is just a short walk away. Here we will see the Parliament House, National Opera and City Hall. Afterwards, we will visit Zaisan Hill, which offers great views of the city. In the evening, you will attend a performance of traditional dancing and khoomii (Mongolian throat singing). Overnight in hotel. (L,D)
DAY 2 09-SEPTEMBER. BAYANZAG (FLAMING CLIFFS)
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 1.5h flight and 100 km, 2 hours drive
Flight to Dalanzadgad, the center of South Gobi province. From the Dalanzadgad Airport, we will start our journey in the famous Gobi Desert driving toward Bayanzag, more commonly known as the legendary “Flaming Cliffs”. Through the journey we will see arid steppe landscape with many camel herds and herding families. Bayanzag is a red rock creation, formed 60-70 million years ago, made famous by an American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews’s discovery there of complete dinosaur skeletons and eggs in 1920s. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 10-SEPTEMBER. KHONGORYN ELS SAND DUNES
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 180 km, 4-5 hours
Travel to Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes, Mongolia’s largest sand dunes, reaching a height of 800 meters in its highest areas and known as the ‘Singing Dunes’. Evening visit to a camel-breeder’s family with a chance to go camel riding. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 11-SEPTEMBER. YOLYN AM (EAGLE VALLEY)
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 200 km, 4-5 hours
Travel to Yolyn Am, or ‘Eagle Valley’, located in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. The valley’s remnant streams create ice formations which one 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 the Gobi Museum and trek through the valley. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 12-SEPTEMBER. FLIGHT TO ULAANBAATAR
Drive to Dalanzadgad for a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon, we will visit some interesting museums including the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan and the Choijin Lama Temple Museum. Overnight in hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 13-SEPTEMBER. OLGII CITY/SAGSAI AREA
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Olgii, center of Bayan-Olgii province, the only muslim province in Mongolia. About 90% of its population are kazakhs. The flight takes 3 hours. Our local team will meet you at the Olgii airport. We drive to the Sagsai soum for 40 km, Sagsai area, home of Kazakh nomads. Overnight in Eagle hunter’s family. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 14-SEPTEMBER. KAZAKH FAMILY
We will spend the day travelling throughout the surrounding area visiting nomadic Kazakh families to experience their lifestyle, the Kazakh ger with its spacious yet cozy interior and many colorful handmade rugs. Overnight in Eagle hunter’s family. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 15-SEPTEMBER. ALTAI EAGLE FESTIVAL-1ST DAY
The first day of the festival features the fascinating history and techniques of traditional Kazakh eagle-hunting. We will enjoy the opening ceremony, the parade of all participants, eagle-call competition (tests hunters’ ability to call eagle to their horse from a distance), fox-skin, archery, Tiyn Teru (a race to pick a coin off the ground from horseback), Kyz Kuar (“woman chase,” a man and woman racing with the woman whipping the man), and the highlight, Kokpar (tug-of-war while on horseback). Overnight in Eagle hunter’s family. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 16-SEPTEMBER. ALTAI EAGLE FESTIVAL-2ND DAY
The second day of the Altai Eagle Festival has events showcasing the diversity of local traditions including a camel race of 6 km. The Festival concludes with an exotic Kazakh traditional dress event, followed by the Closing, Awards Ceremony and group dinner with traditional Kazakh folk performances. Overnight in Eagle hunter’s family. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 17-SEPTEMBER. FLIGHT TO ULAANBAATAR AND TERELJ
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 3,5h flight and 70 km drive
Flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, travel to the Terelj National Park, one of the most visited sites near Ulaanbaatar. Terelj is set in the picturesque valley of granite mountains and the beautiful Terelj River. Transfer to tourist ger camp. We will then visit the Turtle Rock and the Temple of Meditation “Aryabala”. Hike around. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 11 18-SEPTEMBER. GIANT STATUE OF CHINGGIS KHAN AND ULAANBAATAR
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 90 km drive
After breakfast, visit the Tsonchinboldog, Giant Statue of Chinggis Khan. Drive to Ulaanbaatar. The remainder of the day is free for shopping for cashmere or independent touring. Farewell dinner. Overnight in hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 12 19-SEPTEMBER. DEPARTURE
Transfer to airport for return flight. (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.