Tour Scope: Western Mongolia Tour Route: UB-Khovd Province-Bayan-Olgii Province-Uvs Province-UB
Highlights: Khurgan and Khoton Lakes, Altai Mountains, Tsambagarav Mountain and various ethnic groups Tour Season: 01 June- 15 September Tour Level: Moderate Total Driving km: 2,200 km (1,400 miles)
Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
Day 2. Flight to Khovd
Day 3. Black Water Lake and Tsenkher Cave
Day 4. Travel to Bayan-Olgii province
Day 5. Khurgan and Khoton Lakes
Day 6. Khurgan and Khoton Lakes
Day 7. Altai Mountains/Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
Day 8. Altai Mountains/Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
Day 9. Olgii Town
Day 10. Yamaat-Turgen Mountain
Day 11. Yamaat-Turgen Mountain
Day 12. Uureg Lake
Day 13. Ulaangom
Day 14. Flight to Ulaanbaatar
Day 15. Departure
Accommodations: 2 nights in a hotel in UB, 5 nights at local hotels in the countryside and 7 nights in tent 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
Upon arrival at the Chinggis Khan international airport in Mongolia, you will meet Visit Mongolia crew and transfer to the hotel, conveniently located downtown Ulaanbaatar. After freshening up from your flight, we start our first day around Ulaanbaatar starting from 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 a hotel. (L,D)
DAY 2 KHOVD PROVINCE
Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Khovd province. Overnight at local hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 BLACK WATER LAKE & TSENKHER CAVE
After breakfast, drive 100 km to Tsenkher cave, called as Rock Gallery. Visit beautiful scene of interesting cave and explore its famous 15,000 years old rock paintings. On the way visit to ethnic family for introduces their traditions and culture. This is the home of Khoomii throat singing, one of the most enigmatic arts in Mongolia. It is highly valued throughout country. The unique art of throat singing includes songs of praise and sacred music. Also, you will see Black Water Lake that lies at an altitude of 1,157 m and length of 72 km. This is a fresh water lake and has a low mineral content. Back to the town. Overnight at local hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 BAYAN-OLGII PROVINCE
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 220 km, 3-4 hours
Travel to Olgii town, capital of Bayan-Olgii province, the only Muslim province in Mongolia. It is a remote and unique geographical area with a population of Kazakh nomadic people equally as interesting and diverse as the land they inhabit. On the way you can see Tolbo Lake and Tsambararav Mountain, a large mountain with eternal snow on the border of Khovd and Bayan-Olgii provinces. Overnight in a local hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 KHURGAN AND KHOTON LAKES
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 180 km, 5-6 hours
Drive to picturesque alpine lakes of Khurgan and Khoton. There are two lakes in the area Khoton and Khurgan which are connected by a stream and fed by rivers and streams originated in Altai Mountains. The surrounding countryside has captivating scenery with snow peaked mountains and glaciers and white water rivers flowing down the mountains into the lakes. Green meadows littered wild flowers and forested hills surround the lakes. Both of these amazing lakes offer wonderful opportunity for fishing and hiking around the area. Visit a Kazakh family and learn more about their unique lifestyle.(app. altitude 2100m above sea level). Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
DAY 6 KHURGAN AND KHOTON LAKES
After breakfast, we will have a drive to a mountain gorge and then out of the vehicle to start trekking to Baga Turgen Waterfall. Late afternoon, we will visit local Kazakh families and watch how they live their traditional ways in the modern world. It will be hottest part of this trip. The Mongolian Kazakhs use female eagles for hunting as they are bigger than males and more aggressive. These eagles are trained to hunt foxes, wolves, rabbit and wild cat. Every day will go with Eagle hunter to hunt mostly fox. We learn and enjoy this unique customs of the Mongolian Kazakhs. We have the chance to visit some Kazakh families and feel their hospitality. (app. altitude 2200m above sea level) Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
DAY 7 ALTAI MOUNTAINS/ALTAI TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 250 km, 7-8 hours
This morning we will continue our travel to the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, the pristine wilderness of western Mongolia. This is border area of three countries – Mongolia, China and Russia. On our way we will enjoy ancient deer stones and burial sites. Upon arrival we will pitch our camp nearby Tsagaan River which originates from ice glacier of the majestic Altai Mountain. (app. Altitude 2600m above sea level). Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
DAY 8 TREKKING ON ALTAI MOUNTAINS
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 16 km, 6-7 hours trekking
In the morning after having hearty breakfast, we start trek to the Holy Mounts Altai Tavan Bogd. We will reach the hill. Enjoy an extraordinary view of the mountains and glacier. If time allows us, we will visit a Tuvan family who are a minority ethnic of Mongolia. (app. altitude 3100m above sea level) Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
DAY 9 OLGII TOWN
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 200 km, 7-8 hours
Travel to Olgii town which will be quite a long driving day. Overnight in a local hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 TRAVEL TO YAMAAT VALLEY STRICTLY PROTECTED AREA
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 150 km, 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we drive to the next camp site in Yamaat Valley, a half day of driving. The Yamaat Valley is located “Turgen” Strictly Protected Area (SPA). This area represents unique features and characteristics of natural zones, has preserved its original conditions and is an area of a special scientific and cultural significance. Overnight in tent.(B,L,D)
DAY 11 TREKKING ON TURGEN MOUNTAINS
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 40 km, 4-5 hours hike
Full day of hiking in the valley, here you will find some marks of snow leopards. The valley itself is home for Ibex, the biggest wild goat in the World. We will come back to our based camp late afternoon. For dinner we will enjoy “Khorkhog”, a real Mongolian barbeque, grilled with hot stones. Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
DAY 12 UUREG LAKE
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 100 km, 2-3 hours
Today we will drive to Uureg Lake. This lake is in a beautiful setting surrounded by small hills. It is a salt-water lake with crystal blue water, perfect for bird and nature lovers. We will make camp by the edge of the lake for this evening. Hiking and fishing. Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
DAY 13 ULAANGOM
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 100 km, 2-3 hours
Travel to Ulaangom, Uvs province center. Overnight in a local hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 14 ULAANBAATAR
Flight to Ulaanbaatar. The flight takes about 3 and 1/2 hours. Shopping for souvenirs and cashmere is optional. Farewell dinner.Overnight in a hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 15 DEPARTURE
After breakfast, transfer to 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.