An Astonishing Overland Expedition Across Mongolia

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10 Days - Group sizes: 2-6+/prices per person; ask for solo prices
Ulaanbaatar
Multiple Destinations

DAY 1

Overland Trip Across Mongolia to the Gobi Desert’s Vulture Canyon (L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp)

In the morning we fly to the southern part of the Gobi Desert, landing next to the Goviin Gurvan Saikhan which translates as ‘The Three Beauties of the Gobi’ National Park, and then transfer to the “Khanbogd“ tourist camp. After lunch, you will start an overland trip to Yol Valley (Vulture Canyon) National Park. The area is an oasis, attracting wildlife from the area all around with water, good grazing, and sheltered canyons. The wonder of this beautiful valley is the river of ice stretching across the canyon floor, which survives the desert heat well into the month of August of every year; better known as the Gobi Glacier. A hike down the valley offers us a great opportunity to observe wildlife, and enjoy the cool waters of the stream that emerges from just under the glacier. In the evening we will return to the camp for evening dinner and overnight in nomadic gers.

DAY 2

Overland Trip Across the Southern Gobi Desert to the famed Khongorin Els Sand Dunes (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger Camp) 

In the morning you will begin your overland trip to the internationally famous Khongor Sand Dunes that stretches an extraordinary length of 180 kilometers by 15-20 kilometers wide. The huge sand dunes are apart of the desert zone, which makes-up 2.7% of the Mongolia’s territory. Upon arrival at the desert camp, you will have a late lunch before we begin our exploration the towering dunes on foot. The rugged desert plants of the Gobi at the edges of the sands are beautiful in their own sculptural way, and if the breeze is blowing just right, we may hear the dunes singing to us.

DAY 3

Overland Trip Northwards towards the Gobi Desert’s Bayanzag “Flaming Cliff” made famous by the Early American Explorer Roy Chapman Andrews  (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger Camp) 

After breakfast we will continue our overland trip to Bayanzag that is internationally famous for the discovery of dinosaur fossils, dinosaur eggs and hatchlings, of the Cretaceous Period. Bayanzag is also famed for its’ red sandstone cliffs which take on a beautiful red and orange hues during sunset, and its Sculptural Saxaul trees that grow in the arid rocky soil.

In 1921, the American Explorer, Roy Chapman Andrews had made the internationally famous Paleontological discoveries of the last century in Bayanzag. Since then, hundreds of archeological expeditions have come to this remote desert location in search of dinosaur eggs with a diameter between 10 to 15 centimeters; eggs found in Mongolia were the first ever discovered in their record size. Upon arrival in Bayanzag, we will visit a desert camp nearby where we will have lunch before starting the excursion that will last until the evening.

DAY 4

Overland Trip Across the Gobi Desert to Trek and Explore the Largest Monastery Ruins in Gobi Region (B, L, D – Overnight at Mongolian Ger Camp)

Visit the Largest Monastery Ruins in Gobi Region (B, L, D – Overnight at Ger Camp): After breakfast we will begin our overland trip to Ongi Monastery where we will have our lunch near the monastery at a local desert ger camp. After your meal, the afternoon excursion into the ancient ruins of Ongi Monastery where you will be transported back in time some 300 years ago. The Ongi Monastery was the largest monastery throughout the Gobi Desert Region that didn’t survive the repression of 1930s to which it was completely destroyed, and around 300 monks were killed by revolutionists.

DAY 5

Overland Travel Northwards to Mongolia’s Orkhon Waterfalls (B, L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp) 

After breakfast, we will say our goodbyes to family before continuing the overland trip to the Orkhon waterfall. Ulaan Tsutgalan, a waterfall on the Ulaan River, cascades from an impressive height of 20 meters and has a width reaching is 10 meters, and extends for 100 meters from the Orkhon River. The Orkhon River flows through basalt rocks from Gyatruu Range to Karakorum.

On the way we will stop by Arvaikheer town for lunch before reaching the ger camp located near the Orkhon waterfall. Today you will have a wonderful opportunity to pull out your camera during the 10-15 kilometer round-trip trek to waterfall and back – before returning in the evening for dinner at the camp

DAY 6

Overland Trip to Mongolia’s Tuvkhun Monastery followed by an afernoon of Trekking around the Ancient Mongol Empire Karakorum (B,L,D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp) 

After breakfast we will continue our overland trip to Karakorum, the ancient capital city of the Mongol Empire. On the way, we will stop by Tuvkhun Monastery that is located on the peak of Undur Shireet at an altitude of 2312 meters above sea-level in-between Arkhangai and Uvurkhangai Provinces. It was established by Zanabazar in 1654 and erected on the south slope surrounded by steep angle rocks ranging 20 meters high with 14 small temples. In 1680s at this location is where he created the famous letter “Soyombo”, and the temple has enjoyed state protection since 1998 and has been registered by UNESCO as a world heritage site “The most wonderful valuable object” in 1996. After lunch at the ger camp, you will visit the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire known as Karakorum and Erdenezuu Monastery that was established within its protective walls. Karakorum was established in 1220, and served as the capital of Mongolia for 140 years and the capital of the Mongol Empire for 32 years. Erdenezuu Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery erected at the initiative of Abtai Sain Khan in 1585

DAY 7

Overland Trip Across Central Mongolia to the famed White Lake (B, L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp)

After breakfast, you will continue the overland trip to White Lake which is an astonishingly beautiful lake that expands 20 kilometers long and reaches a width of 16 kilometers. This region of Mongolia supports Pike and other fish as well as rare birds species can be found here.

Upon arrival at Mr. Batbold’s ger camp they will prepare and serve you with lunch to which afterwards you can take a short rest in your own Ger before the 5 kilometer walk along the lake. Along the way, you will visit the legendary “Uvgun Had” rock formation that is a representation of an old man who is the guardian of the Lake and the locally worshipped Black Stone where guests and locals make small offerings of rocks to the Ovoo. In the evening, you will begin to make your way back to the ger camp where you will have your dinner and overnight.

DAY 8

Overland Trip to Mongolia’s Galt Hot Springs (B, L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp) 

After breakfast, you will continue your overland trip through the forested slopes of Khangai Mountain Range across high mountain passes. Along the way, you will have a picnic lunch before arriving at Galt Hot Springs where you can relax in properly outfitted hot springs and overnight at their ger camp.

DAY 9

Overland Expedition to Mongolia’s famed Lake Khuvsgul for Trekking and Horseback Riding Trip (B, L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp) 

Lake Khuvsgul is truly a destination highlight of Mongolia and today you will the overland trip northward to its crystal clear waters. Lake Khuvsgul is renown as Central Asia’s deepest lake with measurements reaching an amazing depth 262 meters. The reflections of larch forests and majestic mountains around the lake are truly amazing, its 96 rivers and streams feed into Khuvsgul Lake while the Egiin River exits from it. On the way we will pass through Murun township which is the capital of Khuvsgul Province before reaching the overnight destination at the ger camp located near to Lake Khuvsgul.

DAY 10

Horseback Ride Trip to visit Mongolia’s Reindeer People (B, L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp) 

Khuvsgul Lake Region beyond being an environmental and geographical gem is also home to the Tsaatan or “The Reindeer People” which roughly translates as “with reindeer”. The Tsaatan people are originally from Siberia’s Tuva Region; historically they inhabit this border region between Russia and Mongolia. The Tsaatan Livelihood is centered on the domesticated reindeer for nearly all of their basic needs, such as milk for food, skins for clothing and antlers for tools. Today you will trek around the lakes beautiful scenery, if the Reindeer People are nearby, you can make a day trek to go and visit them. Keep in mind that as Tsaatan are nomadic and are often found in the high mountain ranges, there is no guarantee that you will be able to meet them – but the scenery of the area is well worth the exploration time!

DAY 11

Trekking Trip along Mongolia’s Khuvsgul Lake (B, L, D – Overnight in Mongolian Ger Camp)

After your breakfast, you can spend the day trekking around the lake’s beautiful scenery. You can also travel by boat on the Lake with the camp as they organize full and half day boat trips, at your own cost before heading by to the camp for your last overnight in a nomadic ger near the lake.

DAY 12

Return to Trip to Ulaanbaatar via Khuvsgul, Murun (B,L,D – Overnight in Hotel)

Today you will be driven to Murun where you will board the airplane back to Ulaanbaatar (1 1/2 hour flight). Upon arrival and after checking in at the hotel, you will have free time for shopping before your evening farewell dinner.