Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

Iconic Mongolia (14 days)

Nomadic Expeditions

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia To Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar None

The contrast between ancient traditions and a 21st-century democracy is most visible in Ulaanbaatar, where traditional gers and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern high-rises. Upon arrival at the airport you are welcomed by your Mongolian guide and transferred to a centrally located hotel within walking distance of various museums and shops.

Day 2
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

lake hovsgol After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight north to Murun (1.5 hours), the capital of Hovsgol Province, and continue overland to Lake Hovsgol (2.5 hours), passing through the Mongolian steppe and forested mountains with a visit to the Uushgiin Deer stones. Mongolia’s largest lake by water volume, Lake Hovsgol extends 85 miles in length and 18 miles in width, and is fed by over 90 streams and rivers. Water exits the lake through only one river, the Egiin, whose waters eventually reach Lake Baikal in neighboring Siberia. Known as Mongolia’s “dark

Day 3
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lake Hovsgol After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight north to Murun (1.5 hours), the capital of Hovsgol Province, and continue overland to Lake Hovsgol (2.5 hours), passing through the Mongolian steppe and forested mountains with a visit to the Uushgiin Deer stones. Mongolia’s largest lake by water volume, Lake Hovsgol extends 85 miles in length and 18 miles in width, and is fed by over 90 streams and rivers. Water exits the lake through only one river, the Egiin, whose waters eventually reach Lake Baikal in neighboring Siberia. Known as Mongolia’s “dark blue pearl,” this crystal-clear alpine lake remains untouched by industry, and is situated among some of the most pristine forests, mountains, and meadows in the world. Bird life and wildflowers abound and there will be ample time to discover the lake’s secrets in the following days. Overnight in a ger.

Day 4
Muren, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lake Hovsgol Spend this day exploring the lakeshore and surrounding mountains and meadows. Travelers can enjoy nature walks, kayak on the lake, or sample Mongolian-style horseback riding. Those who are interested will also have the opportunity to visit local nomads’ dwellings, and experience the ancient nomadic culture first-hand. Overnight at a ger camp on the lakeshore.

Day 5
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch

Ulaanbaatar After breakfast, return to Murun for an afternoon flight to Ulaanbaatar (1.5 hours). Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch at Lake Irkh, a small saline lake in the midst of the steppe that is popular with a variety of birds. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar in the late afternoon, transfer to the hotel. Dinner is independent.

Day 6
Orkhon, Mongolia
Munkhtenger Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Kharakhorum After breakfast, drive to Kharakhorum. En route stop at Hustain Nuruu National Park, home to the last remaining species of wild horse, the takhi - commonly known as Przewalski’s horse. Twenty-five years after becoming extinct in the wild, the takhi was reintroduced to the Mongolian steppe from zoo populations by the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of Przewalski’s Horse. Sixteen horses were flown from the Netherlands to Mongolia in 1994, and around 280 now roam the re-introduction sites in Hustain Nuruu. Learn about current conservation efforts and the status of the herds found within the reserve at the visitor’s center before trying to spot these beautiful horses in their natural habitat.. Continue your drive to Kharakhorum and overnight at a local ger camp.

Day 7
Orkhon, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Kharakhorum Today we will explore Kharakhorum, site of the 13th-century capital of the Mongol Empire. The empire created by Chinggis Khan and his descendants was the largest contiguous land empire in recorded history, and Chinggis Khan’s son, Ogedei, created the legendary city of Kharakhorum to serve as the capital of this monolithic empire. Once a bustling multi-cultural city, Kharakhorum was later abandoned by Khublai Khan for his new capital in Beijing and eventually fell into ruin. Mongolia’s largest monastery, neighboring Erdene Zuu, was reputedly constructed from the ruins of Kharakhorum in the 16th century. Surrounded by over 108 stupas, Erdene Zuu has been a place of Buddhist activity for centuries.Begin with a stop at Shankh Hiid, a monastery within a short driving distance of Erdene Zuu and Kharakhorum, which was once frequented by Zanabazar, the influential Buddhist artist. Locals also tell stories of how the spiritual banner of Chinggis Khan, the black sulde, was hidden at Shankh Hiid monastery for safekeeping during the communist period.Continue to Erdene Zuu Monastery and explore the surrounding area, including the former site of the city of Kharakhorum. Visit the monastery grounds and observe monks as they perform their prayers and rituals. Enjoy lunch on the banks of the Orkhon River before returning to the ger camp in the late afternoon. Overnight in gers.

Day 8
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ulaanbaatar Drive back to Ulaanbaatar (5-6 hours), stopping to visit a nomadic horse-breeding family and experience the warm hospitality offered to passing travelers in the form of food, shelter, and friendship. The afternoon in Ulaanbaatar is free for independent sightseeing or shopping. Dinner is independent. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9
Bulgan, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gobi Gurvansaikhan | Yol Valley In the morning, fly over the vast steppe to the Gobi (1.5 hours), Mongolia’s southernmost province of semi-arid desert. Contrary to the sameness that the word ‘desert’ suggests, the Gobi is a fascinating and diverse region, and includes sites of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th century. For the next few days, explore the stunning landscapes of the Gobi, habitat for Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, goitered gazelle, Golden Eagles, Saker Falcons, jerboas (similar to kangaroo rats), and many endemic reptiles. The Gobi is also home to some of the Northern Hemisphere’s most rare and elusive mammals, such as the dhole, snow leopard, wild camel, and Gobi bear.Upon arrival drive to Yol Valley National Park, cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. An ancient river carved this surprisingly green valley, and its remnant streams create ice formations at the base of the valley that sometimes persist as late as July. A hike through the valley leads to the habitat of indigenous vulture-like Lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks, and Argali mountain sheep. Next drive to the award-winning Three Camel Lodge, an eco-lodge located near the Gurvansaikhan Gobi National Park. The Three Camel Lodge has been chosen as one of the 50 Best Eco-Lodges by National Geographic Adventure.

Day 10
Bulgan, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gegeet Valley | Hongoryn Els Begin another day of exploring the spectacular panoramas of the world’s northernmost desert with a drive to Gegeet Valley (2 hours), habitat of the elusive snow leopard. After a picnic lunch, continue driving (2 hours) to the towering dunes of Hongoryn Els, which run 60 miles alongside the Gobi Altai Mountain range. Reaching upwards of 600 feet, these are the most magnificent sand dunes in the Gobi. Explore the area on foot and enjoy the beautiful Gobi sunset over the dunes. Overnight in gers.

Day 11
Bulgan, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hongoryn Els Begin today exploring the dunes known as the “Singing Sands” for the remarkable low-pitched groan that is emitted when the surface is disturbed by wind. We will have the opportunity to visit a camel-herding family and those who are interested can explore the area on the back of a Bactrian camel. Drive back to the Three Camel Lodge after lunch.

Day 12
Bulgan, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tugrugiin Shiree | Flaming Cliffs After breakfast, drive to Tugrigiin Shiree (1.5 hours), first explored by Polish expeditions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Tugrigiin Shiree is best known for the famous “Fighting Dinosaurs,” a fossil of a Protoceratops and Velociraptor locked in combat. In the late afternoon, drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs (1 hour), named for the red-orange sandstone that glows brilliantly at sunrise and sunset. It was here in 1923 that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen. To the trained eye, the dramatic formations of the Flaming Cliffs are rich with fossils, and paleontological expeditions continue to make significant discoveries at this site. Return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 13
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ulaanbaatar Fly to Ulaanbaatar in the morning and visit Bogd Khan Winter Palace museum, home of Mongolia’s last theocrat, Bogd Jabzan Damba Hutagt VIII. The museum displays elaborate ceremonial robes and other personal effects of “Mongolia’s 8th Living Buddha.”In the evening enjoy a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers, followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 14
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
None None

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your departure.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing

Description

From verdant fields dusted with wildflowers to forested mountains bordering alpine lakes and sandstone cliffs towering above the sands of the Gobi, the wild beauty of Mongolia is awe-inspiring. This journey provides a quintessential glimpse of Mongolian life and landscapes, and is one of our most popular introductions to the unique biodiversity of this vast country located at the crossroads of Asia’s three major ecosystems.

Experience the hospitality of Mongolia’s nomads while exploring the country’s extraordinary contrasts, from Lake Hovsgol near the northern border with Siberia, to the mountains and grasslands of Central Mongolia, and south to the semi-arid Gobi Desert.

The journey begins among the mountains, forests, and unusual rock formations of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, followed by a flight north to pristine Lake Hovsgol, believed to be the cleanest freshwater lake on the planet.

Then travel overland to the former site of Kharakhorum, the 13th-century capital of the Mongol Empire, and nearby Erdene Zuu Monastery.

The adventure concludes in the legendary Gobi Desert, exploring the red sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, and deep desert valleys of this diverse region.

About Us

Nomadic Expeditions is an award-winning tour operator that has been crafting trips of a lifetime to Mongolia, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Siberia, Sri Lanka, and India for 25 years. Founded by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions pioneered luxury adventure travel to Mongolia shortly after its democratization in 1990. As developers and owners of the Three Camel Lodge, Nomadic Expeditions continues its commitment to providing exceptional experiences coupled with sustainability in this hidden corner of the world.

Insider Tip

Ask us about the remote luxury private camp in remote corners of Mongolia

Terms & Conditions

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Nomadic Expeditions. Cancellation charges are based on the number of days from the date we receive the written cancellation notice until the main trip departure date.

Cancellation charges:

  • 90 days or more Full Deposit
  • 89-60 days 25% of land
  • 59-30 days 50% of land
  • 29-0 days No refund
  • After trip departs - No refund

In addition, any unrecoverable charges or fees imposed by suppliers or vendors on advance payments will be assessed. Airfares are refundable in accordance with the policy of the airline carrier being used, subject to a $50 handling charge. If full payment is not received 90 days prior to departure, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to consider this a cancellation. A Late Payment Fee will apply to all payments made less than 90 days prior to departure. Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to cancel or postpone any travel services prior to departure for any reason, including insufficient number of participants. In the event that a trip cannot depart on the dates specified due to unforeseeable events that render the itinerary inoperable or inadvisable, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to postpone services until such time as it is deemed appropriate by Nomadic Expeditions. Trip payments will be held by Nomadic Expeditions, and subject to the same conditions as for the original scheduled trip. Nomadic Expeditions is not responsible for any unrecoverable expenses incurred by trip participants due to trip cancellation or postponement, including non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses and visa fees, or additional arrangements, made either through Nomadic Expeditions or another provider, purchased to coincide with this scheduled departure. This trip is subject to the cancellation, refund, and other policies set forth on our Departure Guide. We urge you to read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions.



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Highly Recommended

By: CW


Reviewed on: 02 May 2014

The tour group offered helpful advice about Mongolia and organized a VIP immigration service on arrival in Ulaanbaatar. The guide was experienced and very friendly and worked hard to get me to see all the sights I wanted to see (quite a feat as I tend to want to see everything).
Travel Advisor:  Ilana Valo