Moderate: Hotels, lodges, or full service tent camping. Hikes of two to four hours on some days. Easy physical activities. May include one to three longer driving days.
This is a suggested packing list, which you should feel free to adjust to suit your needs. Please refer to our travel guide for more detailed information.
See our packing tips for detailed information.
Day 1. Arrival in Mongolia/ Terelj National Park (D)
We arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, we meet our driver and guide, and take a 1.5 hours’ drive to Gorki-Terelj National Park. The park features unique rock formations, scenic valleys, a winding river, and restful groves of trees. Many nomads live in the park itself, where they find good grazing for their animals. We will visit nomadic families and take the opportunity to learn about their unique way of life. After lunch we take an easy horseback ride across the mountains to the Terelj River and back to the ger camp. Overnight in a ger camp.
Day 2. Terelj National Park/ Khustauin Nuruu SPA (B,L,D)
Today we drive back in time, to a place that recreates the lives of Mongolian nomads during the beginning of the 20th century, the time when Mongolia has gained its independence from the Qing Dynasty, and established itself as a reemerging nation, under the reign of a living-god king. We shall attend a demonstration of the way the nomads have lived their lives during this era, as well as stunning performance of Mongolian horsemanship. In the afternoon we arrive at Khustaiin Nuruu Strictly Protected Area (SPA). The SPA was established as part of a unique project to reintroduce the world’s last surviving wild horses back to their natural environment. On the brink of extinction during the last century, only a very few Takhi or Przewalski’s horse were left in zoos around Europe. This graceful steppe horse was returned to Mongolia, and today, thanks to this special project, two herds again roam the Mongolian steppes. Overnight in a ger camp.
Day 3. Khustaiin Nuruu SPA/ Khar Bukh Balgas/ Ugii Lake (B,L,D)
We Leave Khustaiin Nuruu, and continue our journey west as we arrive at Khar Bukh Balgas. Built during the Kitan Period, at about 1000 AD, this was a part of a chain of fortresses that were used to govern and control the northern region and borders of the Khitan (Kidan) State. Upon arrival to the site, we will explore the ruins, and learn about the various kingdoms that dominated Mongolia at that era. In the afternoon we arrive at the shores of Ugii Lake, where many nomadic families spend the summer. We will take a walk around the lake shores, and spend the afternoon with a nomadic family, learning about their unique way of life. Overnight in ger camp.
Day 4. Ugii Lake/ Kultigen Monument/ Khar Balgas/ Tsenkher Hot Springs (B,L,D)
Leaving the lake’s shores, we drive to Khultigen monument. The massive stone tomb was built in honor of a Turkic prince and warrior killed in a battle that took place not far away. The stone is engraved in both Chinese and Runic scripts. From here we continue to Khar Balgas. Built at about 744 AD, Ordu Baliq has flourished as the capital of the Uyghur Empire until 840 AD, when it was destroyed by the Yenisei Kyrgys. Though not much is left to date, this city has spread over 25 sq. km, and ruled an area that spread over the majority of now days Mongolia, the Chinese Xingjian Province, and Manchuria, at total of 5,500,000 sq. km. Late in the afternoon we reach the region the Mongolians call the ‘paradise of the horse herders’ for its lush grasses and open valleys. We drive through thick pine forests to the Tsenkher hot springs, where water flows out of the ground at 82 C, and where we can enjoy a relaxing soak. Overnight in ger camp.
Day 5. Tsenkher Hot Springs/ The Red Waterfall/ The Orkhon Valley (B,L,D)
Today we drive through the south-eastern slopes of the Khangai Mountains, Mongolia’s second largest mountain range. Here we will drive along river banks, and through vast flourishing meadows. Around noon we arrive at a beautiful volcanic canyon through which the Orkhon River flows. Here we will take an easy hike along the canyon floor, and end up at the pool at the bottom of the Red Waterfall. For the brave at heart, a cool swim awaits! From here we take another hour’s drive to a beautiful observation point over the Orkhon River canyon, where we stay for the night. Overnight in a ger camp.
Day 6. The Orkhon Valley/ Tuvkhon Monastery/ Kharkhorin (B,L,D)
Driving north along the Orkhon River, we will visit one of Mongolia’s most impressive monasteries, where we take a 2.5 hours hike. Located at the top of a high hill with a view of endless pine forests, Tuvkhon Monastery was established during the 1650’s by Zanbazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. Fleeing the Manchu Emperor, the Zanbazar built a monastery in this hidden place, using a natural system of caves and adding small wooden buildings. In the afternoon we keep on driving up the river to Kharkhorin. Overnight in ger camp.
Day 7. Kharkhorin/ Ulaanbaatar (B,L,D)
Built by Chinggis Khan about 800 years ago, Kharkhorin, better known as Karakorum, was famed throughout Asia as the capital of the Mongol Empire. Within the walls of this spectacular city kings were chosen, laws made and the fate of the next city to be conquered were determined. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery and other historical monuments in the area. After lunch we take the 5 hours’ drive back to the Mongolian capital. If time permit, we will pay a visit to the National History Museum, which holds a permanent exhibition on the different civilizations that have inhabited the territory of Mongolia from prehistoric times to the present, including a significant display of objects from the era of the Great Mongol Empire. In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner followed by a visit to Zaisan Hill, to enjoy the view of the city at night. Overnight in a 4-star hotel.
Day 8. Departure from Mongolia (B)
After breakfast at our hotel, we drive to Chinggis Khan Airport, for the international departing flight.