May 22 - May 31 2023

The Beauty of Mongolia Tour

Explore the wilds of Central
Mongolia and the Gobi Desert

9 Nights in Central

From 2,100 USD per person

Please apply by 1st May, 2023.

The Beauty of Mongolia Tour

Explore the wilds of Central
Mongolia and the Gobi Desert

9 Nights
in Central

From 2,100 USD per person

  • Overall

    This 9-night adventure starts in Mongolia's bustling capital Ulaanbaatar and strikes out into the country's rolling heartland; calling at the ancient former imperial capital of Karakorum and the sacred Orkhon Valley, before heading south to Mongolia's famed Gobi Desert - a remote region synonymous with adventure and excitement

    Once the stomping ground of explorers, fossil hunters, and invaders, this part of Mongolia now welcomes modern travellers searching the Gobi for the experience of a lifetime

    So, travel with us as we glimpse once-nearly-extinct horses, temples dating to Kublai Khan's grand empire, roaring waterfalls, rolling dunes, and flame-coloured cliffs.


    Orkhon Falls are situated in the stunning Orkhon Valley in Central Mongolia - a majestic cascade of water spilling into a deep canyon which cuts through the valley floor like a scar on the land - albeit a very beautiful scar!

    Camel Riding on the Khongor Sand Dunes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience - not only will you get the chance to ride these gentle beasts, accompanied by local camel herders, but you will ride them into the stunning surroundings of the Khongor Sand Dunes - these towering cliffs of sand seem out of place amidst the rest of the, less sandy, Gobi Desert; but this only makes them all the more intriguing and amazing.

    Bayanzag (The Flaming Cliffs) are the site of the first-ever discovery of fossilised dinosaur eggs, on top of that, the stunning red sandstone cliffs sit in the middle of the Gobi desert with nothing else for miles around. The opportunities for precarious photos and clambering over red rocks are endless!

  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 10
    1. Once you've had a chance to relax, we'll head out into the city for a bit of light exploration. Visiting the nation's heart, Sukhbaatar Square,  surrounded by important buildings such as the government palace, central banks, theatres, and the post office, all in their original Soviet design. There is an equestrian statue of Sukhbaatar and a massive bronze monument of Genghis Khan flanked by two of his many sons and two of his most important generals.

      After a brief look around the city centre, it's off to dinner for our first group meal.


      Meals | Dinner

      Overnight | Hotel 9, Ulaanbaatar

    2. This morning the adventure begins as we leave Ulaanbaatar and drive out into Mongolia’s beautiful countryside, making our way to Hustai National Park.

      Hustai National Park (Khustain Nuruu) has been a protected area since 1993 - a unique landscape containing both mountains and steppe within a relatively small area. The national park is home to the rare Mongolian wild horse known as Perzevalski or Takhi; once extinct in the wild, the Perzevalski Horse is a true conservation success story with captive breed horses released into, and then surviving in, the wild.

      On the way to the park, we'll visit a local herder family and pay a visit to an area known as the ‘Mini Gobi’: a collection of exotic rolling dunes that look evocatively out of place surrounded by green steppe.

      Once we arrive at the park, we'll check into our Gers before grabbing a spot of lunch at the camp restaurant.

      Following a hearty welcome meal, we'll have a little time to view the onsite visitors centre to learn a little more about the region, the horses and various other flora and fauna native to Hustai National Park.

      Mid-afternoon offers us the best time to catch a sighting of the beautiful Takhi horses. So we'll pile into our trucks, drive out into the rolling terrain, and spot these amazing beasts coming down from the mountains for water at the nearby river. As well as the famed Perzevalski horse, it is also possible to see foxes, red deer, roe deer, eagles, and other native animals in this area.

      Once we've finished our Mongolian safari, it's back to the camp for dinner and to spend our first night under canvas in an authentic Mongolian Ger.


      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Hustai National Park

    3. After breakfast, we’ll continue the adventure with a drive to the ancient capital of Karakorum and Erdenezuu Monastery.

      Karakorum was the capital of the Mongolian Empire at its height. It was from Karakorum that Genghis Khan's son, Ogedei Khan, would rule the largest land empire the world has ever known.

      During Karakorum's golden age, much of the city was comprised of tents, and, as the Mongolian Empire went into decline, the city's decay was rapid. These days, all that remains of this once-great settlement is the impressive Erdene Zuu Monastery, as well as a few scattered but not unimpressive archaeological finds.

      Once we arrive at Karakorum, our first stop will be Erdene Zuu Monastery; impressive even if a shadow of its former self. We'll see the resident monks in their afternoon prayer rituals here. Following our monastery visit, we will visit the unique archaeological museum to see some recent historical finds.

      These days Karakorum has a real melancholic feel to it, and before we head to our Ger camp for the evening, we'll be sure to cut through its centre so that you can gain a snippet of life in this once grand settlement.


      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Ger Camp

    4. Today we depart our Ger camp early, stopping at a nearby shop to stock up on supplies for the journey. We continue south, following Mongolia's ever-changing scenery trailing the famed Orkhon River and its UNESCO-listed valley.

      The drive to Orkhon takes us through the Khangai mountain range, offering beautiful landscapes comprised of gorges, river valleys, and green steppe.

      We leave the main track for a small mountainous trail that leads to the Tovkhon Monastery.

      Perched atop the sacred Shireet Ulaan Mountain, Tovkhon Monastery is only reachable on foot. It is from this monastery in 1686 that the first religious leader of Mongolia, Zanabazar, composed the Soyombo script, what we know as the traditional Mongolian writing system that is present on the Mongolia flag today and is the source of much national pride (bonus: can also be used to write Tibetan and Sanskrit!)

      At 2312 meters above sea level, the monastery offers breathtaking views of the Khangai mountain range and the surrounding area.

      From the monastery, we continue the adventure with a final visit of the day to the Orkhon Waterfalls.  Theses were formed more than 20,000 years ago by a combination of earthquakes and volcanic activity; these 16-meter-high waterfalls are Mongolia's largest, and are rarely visited and simply magical.


      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Ger Camp

    5. Today, we move from the green mountains of Khangai into the Gobi landscape. As we journey, the scenery still impresses as we pass lush green winding river valleys that transition into the Gobi region's scrub-filled desert region.

      We pass into Saikhan Ovoo, a small province in Mongolia's heartland patchworked with green steppe, rugged rock formations and almost Martian terrain.

      Our destination? A place of quiet solitude on the Ongiin Gol river known Ongi Temple. The ruins of two monasteries, Barlim and Khutagt, remain on the north and south shores of the river. We visit this site, commonly collectively known as the Ongii Lamasery and its little museum.

      Ongi used to be one of Mongolia's most extensive monasteries and home to over a thousand monks, until its destruction in 1937 by the Soviet army. In 2002, some monks returned and began restoration work with a small budget, making up for what they lacked monetarily with inspiring spiritual fervour.

      This evening, our Ger camp is located only a stone's throw from the temple and offers a chance for serene relaxation, further hiking, or exploration.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Secret of Ongii Camp

    6. After breakfast, we depart our Ger camp and head into the Gobi Desert proper. We journey past the "Three Beauties", mountain range derived from the three subranges, the easternmost ‘Zuun Saikhan', the central ‘Dund Saikhan' and the westernmost ‘Baruun Saikhan'.

      The Gobi Desert is vast, and our foray onto its plains today only gives us a snippet of its actual size; for the Gobi Desert reaches into six Mongolian aimags (provinces) and also crosses into China. The Gobi is the sixth-largest desert globally and the second in Asia; a wide-open place of extremes; our first stop is one of the signature sights of this incredible region.

      Bayanzag – (the Flaming Cliffs), is stunningly beautiful, with its flame-coloured sandstone cliffs and canyons. Aside from its obvious wow factor, Bayanzag is also where American palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the world's first-ever recorded dinosaur eggs and a mighty haul of various other fossils. A walk along the cliffs here is a walk in the footsteps of the man on whom Indiana Jones was modelled!

      Once we have finished our exploration, it's off to the nearby Ger camp where we can relax, drink, and maybe return to the cliffs to catch the changing colours as sunsets, making a perfect end to an exciting day.


      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Gobi Oasis

    7. The adventure continues as we bid farewell to the Flaming Cliffs, board our vehicles and journey onwards through the wilds of the Gobi Desert to the Khongor Sand Dunes (Khongoryn Els) also known as the Singing Sands.

      Along the route, we pass some of the typical Gobi terrain, a loose mix of pebbles, gravel and fine sand; however, we will cross a fertile area of steppe where we'll visit one of the traditional nomadic families who call this desolate region home.

      The Khongor Sand Dunes, as the name suggests, are a dune system found within the Gobi; as only around 3% of the Gobi desert is covered in sand, the sight of these 300-metre-high gigantic dunes is something to behold. The shifting sands of Khongoryn Els stretch out for over 180 km, although we arrive in the most impressive area and stay at a Ger camp with views across these giants.

      Once we have eaten lunch and waited for the day to cool a little, we'll continue our adventure and visit one of Khongor's resident camel herder families., We can think of no better way to approach these monstrous sand dunes than atop a camel. After arriving, we will have time enough to climb and explore the dunes; a tiring, but incredibly rewarding, effort when one reaches the top!

      If you are fortunate, you may also experience why the Khongor Dunes are known as 'the singing dunes' - when the wind blows across the sand's surface in the right direction, an eerie sound is emitted, sounding like an aircraft to some, and a sinister monstrous being to others.

      Another day nears its end, but as with much of the Gobi Desert's natural scenery, the Khongor Dunes come alive at sunset. View them from the top of the dunes themselves, or from the comfort of our relaxing Ger camp while enjoying a cold drink after dinner.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Gobi Erdene Ger Camp

    8. After enjoying a filling breakfast in our Ger camp, it's back aboard our vehicles as we continue the adventure.

      This morning it's bumpy going as we leave the Khongor area, making our way to the Yol Valley.

      As we travel, we will stop for photos along the way as the landscape transitions from a typical sandy desert, hard clay, rock, stone and steppe; summing up how diverse the Gobi Desert really is.

      We'll eventually arrive at the Gurvansaikhan Mountains heading into the Yolyn Am Gorge. Meaning 'Vulture's Gorge' Yolyn Am is a magnificent mountain valley 40 km long and offers an exciting path to anyone willing to experience part of its length on foot.

      We begin at the valley's wide entrance, following the small river into the canyons, with cliffs narrowing around us. As the steep-sided walls cut the sun from the canyon's bottom, we will catch a glimpse of the locally famous frozen river. Over the winter months, the river builds up a thick layer of ice, which thaws slowly and often remains long into the summer months. As you follow the winding path, eagles rise to circle in the thermals high above the canyon, whilst wild goats can be seen perched on the high valley walls and pikas (a desert rodent) scurry through the rocky terrain.

      For those who may have used all of their energy climbing the dunes yesterday, or who wish to make the walk a bit easier, there are plenty of horses for rent at the entrance of the canyon.

      Once we have finished at the Yol Valley, we will drive to our accommodation for tonight - another well-appointed Ger camp where we will have a chance to chat about our adventures over a drink or two.


      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Gobi Oasis 1

    9. After an early morning start, we say a fond farewell to the Gobi Desert and board a flight returning to Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar.

      However, our tour isn't over as we're off into the city to explore some of Ulaanbaatar's must-see sites - the first stop is the Gandan Monastery.

      Gandan Monastery is Ulaanbaatar's largest and most impressive Buddhist monastery; a complex comprising temples from different periods and eras; one particular highlight is viewing the 26-meter-high gold-coated indoor buddha.

      From temple to museum, we head further into the city and stop at the National Museum of Mongolian History to see artefacts from Mongolia and Central Asia dating as far back as the Stone Age. Very useful for understanding the context of this fascinating region as well as the depth of its geological and human history.

      In the evening, we have one last visit, the " Wonders of Mongolia" folklore show fronted by the locally famous Tumen-Ekh ensemble. One of the country's most famous and successful folk art groups, performing traditional Mongolian music.


      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Hotel 9, Ulaanbaatar

    10. Today, it's time to bid goodbye to Mongolia. We'll head to Genghis Khan International Airport to see you off. Although the tour is over, you'll be flying home with a head full of memories and stories to share with your friends and family!


      Meals | Breakfast

      Overnight | N/A

  • What is / is not included?

    • All Listed Meals
    • All Listed Accommodation
    • Internal Flights
    • Local Guide / Tour Leader
    • Visa Assistance
    • Transport & Driver
    • Water
    • Flights to/from Mongolia
    • Travel Insurance
    • Snacks/Drinks/Extra Expenses
    • Tips for Guides / Tour Leader

Please apply by 1st May, 2023.

[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
Room A409, Jucai Building. No. 76 Caoyuan Hutong.
Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

中国北京市东城区草园胡同76号聚才大厦A 座409 室,
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