Mongolia Explorer

  • Buddhist temples of Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit with nomad family
  • 13 days, with mountains & desert
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure
Trip Length: 13 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour, Day Hiking, Horseback Riding
Trip Extensions: Mongolia & Siberia
Mongolia & Siberia Extensions

As you read about Mongolia on our web pages, you’ll notice our deep fondness for it. This active tour, lovingly crafted by our ranking Mongolia enthusiast Michael Steigerwald, gives us an unassumingly cushy experience of the country, with stays in some of the country’s best hotels and ger camps, taking in three of its highest lights: the Gobi Desert, magnificent Lake Khovsgol, and the Naadam festival.

We begin in the surprisingly cosmopolitan capital, Ulaanbaatar, visiting its resurgent Buddhist temples and proud museums (which stack up well against Lhasa’s). Then we fly to the heart of the Gobi. (“The heart of the Gobi” is the kind of phrase that got a lot of us itching to hit the road. You too?)

From our beautifully arranged ger camp, smack in the middle of the great desert’s ethereal landscapes, we’ll amble about looking for dinosaur bones (in the footsteps of the great Roy Chapman Andrews, who in the 1930s was the first finder of fossil dinosaur eggs in the famed Flaming Cliffs, which we’ll be sure to give a good amble). We’ll ride two-humped Bactrian camels, visit the wonderful Yol Valley in the Altai Mountains’ Gurvan Saikhan region, and take in Khongoriin Els (the “singing sand dunes”). After exploring the Gobi, we fly to Lake Khovsgol, set in a wilderness of clear lakes, lush meadows, and forested mountains. We’ll enjoy the serene environment around the shore, exploring by horseback and jeep, and perhaps meet some of the area’s Tsaatan people, nomadic reindeer herders who resolutely practice shamanism. We end with the very essence of Mongolia, the softly rolling, forest-draped hills of Gorkhi Terelj National Park, before flying back home.

Please note that Mongolia & Siberia can serve as a superb extension to this trip. We'd be more than happy to elaborate if you're interested.

Mongolia adventure travel map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 2: Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 3: fly to south Gobi, visit Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)
  • Day 4: drive to Khongoriin Els, camel riding and nomad family visit
  • Day 5: Naadam Festival (July departure)
  • Day 6: excursion to Yol Valley
  • Day 7: fly to Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 8: fly to Khovsgol Lake
  • Days 9 & 10: exploring Khovsgol
  • Day 11: fly to Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 12: Gorkhi Terelj National Park
  • Day 13: depart Ulaanbaatar.