CENTRAL MONGOLIA HIGHLIGHTS
Discover the highlights of the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian steppe. Breathtaking landscapes and the warm hospitality of the nomads remain unforgettable. At the beginning of the journey is a drive to the monastery: We drive through a green hilly landscape to the monastery "Amarbayasgalant" and a large See. The owned journey with a visit to the monasteries and into the desert -Gobi. Our journey is a mix of all-terrain vehicle tours and hiking days in central Mongolia and the desert Gobi.
Whatever time your international flight lands in city airport, our friendly staff will be waiting for you and will transfer you to the hotel in Ulaanbaatar. You will have time to relax and recover from the long-distance flight or possibly from jet-lag.
In the afternoon, your guide will collect you from the hotel and help you to immerse yourselves into the heart of Mongolian history in the wonderful National History Museum followed by a walk in the centre of Ulan-Bator where you will discover Gengis Khan Square and the House of Parliament. In evening there will be a Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh with folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing. /Dinner/If you feel like going for a walk and checking out places nearby, your hotel reception will be delighted to suggest suitable recommendations. Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Dinner.
In the morning we take the road towards Amarbayasgalant Monastery. It's the most important monastery in Mongolia, it was built in the 18th century in the memory of the first Bogd Gegeen Zanabazar who was at the head of the Mongolian religion. Located North in the province of Selenge, the monastery enjoys exceptional surroundings. Visit of Amarbayasgalant Monastery.(Hiking about 1 hours in the area) Accommodation: Tent camping or Ger camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We pass wheat fields and large cultivations and reach Erdenet. It's one of the most important economic centres of the country. It has one of the largest open cast copper mines in the world.
Erdenet - Uran Togoo national park
Journey to the Uran Togoo National Park. Uran Togoo is known as the most beautiful and most visited volcanos in Mongolia. A dormant volcano today, it was very active 20 to 25 million years ago. At this exact location we can find abundant flora and fauna making an exceptional site for nature's lovers. The lava that was present here thousands of years ago left a very rich soil that allows growth for a wide variety of plants. Accommodation: Tent camping or Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Uran Togoo National Park - Baibalik ruins
Hiking on the sleeping giant Uraan Uul, to enjoy the view on the volcanic area. We will hike on a very beautiful path through the woods, mostly made of Siberian larches before reaching the crater. There, numerous insects, species of birds and trees are visible. The inside of the crater itself is covered by thick vegetation with a small lake at its center.
We will go on to discover Baibalik. Its 2000-years old walls still defy time, they're the accounts of this intellectual centre dating from the Uighur dynasty.
We arrive at Lake Khuvsgul, one of the natural wonders of the world. This mountain covers an area of 2760 square kilometres, and its water is so pure that we can drink it! It's surrounded by many peaks culminating at more than 2,000 metres and covered with forests of pines and lush meadows where yaks and horses graze!(Hiking 2 hours in round of lake) Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Khatgal – Murun
We will stop in Murun to buy fresh supplies at the market.
We visit the site containing several deer stones at Uushigiin Uvur.
The afternoon is free for you to enjoy. Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We will Journey onwards towards centre. The track passes through many passes, we go deeper into remote valleys, and the landscapes quickly changes. The passes are more than 2,000 metres above sea level. The landscapes get more and more attractive and photo opportunities more and more numerous.
Camping on the banks of Lake Zuun, which is magnificently nestled in the heart of the steppe. Accommodation: Tent camping Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We will take the road to Khorgo – Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur Natural Park that is located 2,060 metres (1,28 mile) above sea level. This lake, is called "the great white lake" and its whole volcanic surroundings, are the emblematic of the area of the province of Arkhangai. The waters of the lake are full of fish and it's possible to fish if you wish. Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Hiking along the banks of the lake, we go towards the Southeast where Khorgo Volcano reaches its highest point at 2,240 metres (1,39 miles a.s.l.). It’s an easy ascent of the volcano. From the top, we enjoy a splendid view over the lake and the surrounding hills. Nearby the volcano with stunning lava flows form an original landscape never seen before.(Hiking 4 hours in the area of volcano) Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We will stop at Tsetserleg, a small lovely village nested in mountains of larches. We'll buy fresh supplies at the local market and visit Zayan Gegeen Museum.
We will arrive at Tsenkher hot springs, where you can relax in the hot springs at the camp. Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Tsenkher hot springs - Tovkhon monastery
Today we journey to Orkhon Valley. Celebrated on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The valley is a land of nomadism and many breeders set their summer camp there. We will visit a nomad family and experience their real nomad life.
We will proceed to visit Tovkhon Monastery. Vehicles can't go up to the top of Undur Ulaan Hill so we will walk there to discover Tovkhon Ermitage, where Zanabazar, the first religious leader of Mongolia, created the Soyombo alphabet. The monastery is located 2,312 metres (1,44 mile) above sea level and from that place we'll have a wonderful view of the whole Khangai range. We'll picnic in outstandingly beautiful surroundings, facing the Orkhon Valley.
This day we journey to Kharkhorin, the former capital of Mongolia. The legendary city of Genghis Khan was founded in 1220 and was one of the stages of the silk road. The Mongolian Empire was governed from this city, until Kubilai Khan set up the capital in Beijing. Today, there are only a few vestiges left of the former capital.
We visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, built in 1586 by a nomad prince. The Chinese and Tibetan-inspired buildings are surrounded with 108 sacred stupas, and we visit of the Museum of Kharkhorin. Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Kharkhorin - Ongi monastery
Day of transition between two ecosystems. We leave the green mountains of Khangai to go towards Gobi. Let's discover together this site, best known as Ongi Lamasery, and the museum. In 1937, the Soviets almost completely destroyed the homes and monasteries where one thousand lamas were living. In 2002, some lamas came back and began to rebuilt the monastery, with few resources but tremendous enthusiasm.
Today is the last day of trekking before reaching Great Gobi and its "Three Beauties", the three highest peaks of this part of the Gobi-Altai range : Baruun Saikhan, "the Western Beauty" ; Dund Saikhan, "the Middle Beauty" ; Zuun Saikhan, "the Eastern Beauty", the highest being (2,846 metres, 1,77 miles a.s.l.).
We will visit of the cliffs of Bayanzag, today best known as "flaming cliffs", owing to their ochre red colour, where "The cemetery of dragons" is located. The cliffs and the saxaul forests that surround them are the evidence of the time when Earth was still inhabited by huge creatures such as dinosaurs. Palaeontologist Roy Andrews Chapman was the first man to discover in 1922 some bones and eggs of dinosaurs that we can see today in the Natural History Museum of Ulan Bator and in other museums in the world. Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Bayanzag - Khongor Sand Dunes
We will ride towards the west of the park to reach Khongor sand dunes, "light bay sand". These dunes extend to the foot of the "Three Beauties"
We will visit of the dunes of Khongor. These dunes are the most spectacular ones of Mongolia, they extend more than 160 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide, and have an average height of 80 metres, the hightest one being 100 metres high. From the top, the view on the desert is quite amazing. From this place, it's also possible to hear the moving masses of sand, hence the name of "singing dunes". Beyond the dunes, the steppe extends for as far as the eye can see.
Khongor sand dunes - Dungenee canyon
We will Journey onwards on the track towards the east of "the Three Beauties" to reach an area of canyons. We will stop at Dungenee Canyon. We will leave the vehicle to start our first magic hike along the river that flows between huge canyons.
Hiking in the canyon of Yol, the bearded vultures canyon. We will walk in the bottom of the canyon that is covered with perpetual snow. The canyon is so steep-sided, that sunrays make the ice melt only in August. The rest of the year, there’s ice everywhere in the canyon.
Yoliin am canyon – Tsagaan Suvarga
After the breakfast let’s drive to Tsagaan Suvarga. The rocky formations of Tsagaan Suvarga, ”white stupa”, are located in the Southeast of the sum Ulziit, on the Southern border of the province of Dundgovi. These rocky formations eroded by the wind look like a ruined city if you observe them from a certain distance (about 85 kilometres or 52 miles). They are about 60 metres (196.85 feet) high and 400 metres (1312 feet) long.
Southwest Tsagaan Suvarga, another rock called Ulaan Suvarga, the "red stupa", has the same striking structure.(Hiking 2 hour) Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
The astonishing granitic formations of Baga Gazariin Chuluu, ”stone of the little place”, are located in the northwest of the province of Dundgovi,in the heart of the steppe, 250 km towards south of Ulaanbaatar, in the sum of Delgertsogt. At a height of 1,751 metres (1,09 miles). They form a granite canyon erected in the heart of the steppe. The erosion polished the rock faces of the cliffs. Some of the lateral entries of the canyon are not very accessible, but most of them permit you to enter and to make a wonderful hike in this rocky maze. You may manage to see on the rock the inscriptions written by two venerated monks who lived there in the 19th century. We can visit the site the ruins of an old temple dating from the 17th century. We can see there a deep narrow hole. The stagnating rainwater they say can treat the ocular illnesses. A little ladle has been put on the rock for the people to wash their eyes with the sacred water.(Hiking 1 hour) Accommodation: Ger-camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
All transfers for arrival/departure
English speaking tour guide at all times (Other languages upon request)
All transfer & Transportation + experienced drivers
20 nights’ accommodation;
- Good 4* hotel in the city – 2 nights, based on double/twin.
- Ger camps in countryside trip – 13 nights on share,
- Tent camps in countryside trip – 5 nights
All the meals as listed in the itinerary: Breakfast - 20, Lunch - 19, Dinner – 20
“Wonders of Mongolian Art” performance with Tumen-Ekh ensemble
Internal flights, free luggage allowance is 15kg
All sightseeing and entrance fees are mentioned as program
All service charge, local and Gov’t tax
Road & toll fees
Visa invitation letter if required
Complementary drink water during the tour
Museums and cultural performance
Included all taxes
Visa to Mongolia (Get in advance)
International flights & Mongolia visa fees
Hotel early check-in and late check-out
Tipping and other personal expenses
Other services not mentioned in the itinerary
Excess luggage charges – 1.5$ per kg for internal flights
Optional activity cost
Single room supplement