• NEW! Mongolia: Horses, Camels and Nomads

    Soak up the uniqueness of Mongolia, where little has changed since the days of Genghis Khan's empire

    Meet one of the world's last true nomadic cultures, where an age-old traditional way of life still endures. Here, a mere three million people inhabit a country the size of Western Europe (and more than twice the size of Texas), and half of them still pack up their felt gers several times a year to move with their livestock to seasonal pastures. And with sheep outnumbering people 23 to 1 and horses still far outnumbering cars, Mongolia truly feels like the back of beyond.  (This entire trip is below 6,000')

    best times to go: July - August

    departures: 2 scheduled datesview departures

    pricing: from $4,995 see detailed pricing

    Other Asia

    Moderate

Soak up the uniqueness of Mongolia, where little has changed since the days of Genghis Khan's empire

In this "Land of Blue Skies," the basic elements of nomadic life and culture have changed little over the centuries. Horses remain at the heart of Mongol culture, shamanic traditions endure, and ancient Buddhist monasteries reflect venerable spiritual traditions. Travel this immense, silent land from the forested taiga and alpine Lake Khovsgol in the north through seemingly endless rolling steppe to the ochre-colored sands of the Gobi Desert in the south. All along the way you'll marvel at the sheer expanse of untamed land, uninterrupted by roads or fences, where there is precious little evidence of human presence save for the nomads' white felt gers which dot the landscape.

Activities

Hiking, cultural encounters, camel rides

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Get a taste for the friendly and authentic Mongolian culture as you meet local nomads, ride horses, and overnight in classic felt dwellings called gers (Mongolian name for yurt)
  • Experience the golden sand dunes of the Gobi Desert atop a Bactrian camel
  • Trek on horseback through the larch tree covered taiga forest and meet Tsaatan reindeer herders
  • See a regional Naadam Festival up-close—Mongolia’s national games featuring the three manly sports: archery, wrestling, and horse racing
  • Take rewarding daily walks through desert, taiga and steppe environments

Duration: 14 days Start Location: Ulaanbaatar End Location: Ulaanbaatar

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • Ub_from_above
    Day 1 : Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (This entire trip is below 6,000')

    Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (Red Hero).

  • Main_sq_with_parliament_bldg
    Day 2 : Ulaanbaatar (Red Hero)

    Sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s largest city, followed by a welcome dinner this evening. (Total walking: 2-3 hours)

  • Day3_bigstock_horses
    Day 3 : Khustai Nuuru National Park

    Visit the Buddhist monastery of Gandan Khiid, then drive to Khustai Nuuru National Park—famous for the wild Przewalski’s horse locally called the Takhi. (Total driving: 2-3 hours)

  • Day4_bigstock_erdene
    Day 4 : Khogno Khan Natural Reserve to Kharakorum

    Drive to Khogno Khan Natural Reserve to visit remains of Khogno Tarnyd Khiid, a small Buddhist monastery tucked away in a well protected, horseshoe shaped valley. Then travel to Genghis Khan's capital of Kharakorum and the ancient monastery at Erdene Zhu. (Total driving: 4-5 hours, total hiking: 1-2 hours)

  • Regional_naadam
    Day 5 : Kharakorum

    Take part in a regional Naadam festival, where you'll witness games of strength and skill, and enjoy wonderful local food. (Total walking: 1-2 hours)

  • Day 6 : Kharakorum - Ongii Khiid

    Drive to Ongi Khiid, a large monastery complex known as the "Pearl of the Great Desert." Tour the monasteries and then hike in the neighboring hills before dinner. (Total driving: 4-5 hours, total hiking: 2-4 hours)

  • Day7_bigstock_dunes
    Day 7 : Ongii Khiid - Yolyn Am Valley

    Travel to Yolyn Am valley and hike. Continue to Khongor Els, part of the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan (Three Beauties) National Park. Walk to the top the towering sand dunes at sunset. (Total driving time: 6-7 hours, total hiking time: 3+ hours)

  • Day 8 : Yolyn Am Valley - Gobi Desert

    Sunrise hike to the dunes, visit a camel breeder's family and take a camel ride.  Then drive to Three Camels Lodge.(Total driving time: 3-4 hours, total hiking time: 2-3 hours)

  • Day9_123_flaming_cliffs
    Day 9 : Flaming Cliffs

    Take a day trip to the remarkable red-rocked Flaming Cliffs, where the first dinosaur nest ever to be discovered was found.  (Total driving time: 4-5 hours, total hiking time: 3-4 hours)

  • Day10_bigstock_edelweiss
    Day 10 : Gobi Desert to Dalanzadgad to Ulanbaatar to Terelj National Park

    Drive to Dalanzadgad, then fly to Ulaanbaatar. Drive to Terelj National Park, a hiker's paradise. (Total driving time 3.5 hours, total hiking time:  1 hour)

  • Day 11 : Terelj National Park

    After breakfast drive to the Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex, then to Tuul Riverside Lodge, where we see an archery demonstration. (Total driving time: 3 hours, total hiking time:  1 hour)

  • Ovoo
    Day 12 : Terelj National Park

    In the morning, take a horseback ride and visit a local family. The rest of the day is free to explore the area. In the evening, enjoy a traditional ‘Khorhog’ dinner, mutton chunks and vegetables cooked with hot rocks, followed by a bonfire under the stars. (Optional hiking today)

  • Day 13 : Terelj National Park to Ulaanbaatar

    After breakfast drive to the trailhead and begin to hike to reach Tsetse Gun (2200m), the highest point of Bogd Khan Mountain offering a great view of Ulaanbaatar. Visit the small monastery museum. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar by mid afternoon. (Total driving time: 2-3 hours, total hiking time: 5-6 hours)

  • Day 14 : Departure

    Depart Mongolia

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: July - August Departures: Jul 5 - 18, 2015 Aug 3 - 16, 2015

PRICING:

2015 Prices

$4,995 (10-15 members)
$5,495 (5-9 members)

$250 internal airfare – Dalanzadgad/Ulanbaatar
$600 single supplement

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

photo credits: MTS Photo File



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Itinerary for NEW! Mongolia: Horses, Camels and Nomads

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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Jul 5 - 18, 2015 Aug 3 - 16, 2015
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Emeryville, California 94608

Toll Free:1-888-831-7526