This overland journey displays Mongolia’s unexpectedly wide variety of landscapes, from stunning sand dunes and beautiful forested valleys to plunging gorges and oceanic steppe. We begin with Ulaanbaatar sightseeing , then head west to Khustain Nuruu National Park to glimpse the world’s only truly wild horses, the stocky and handsome Przewalski. Next it’s on to the erstwhile capital of the Mongol Empire, Karakorum (the most important metropolis on the planet in its heyday), and the Buddhist monastery of Erdene Zhuu, evidence of a country enjoying a cultural and religious renaissance.
We then make our way to the heart of the Khangai Mountains for a moderate, yak-supported, four-day trek through breathtaking vales that see very few visitors. This region is gorgeous, even by Mongolia’s consistently gorgeous standards: forest-draped hills, grassy glens, and turquoise highland lakes. After the trek we travel south to Mount Ikh Bayan, whose rock engravings date from between 3000 BCE and 700 CE. We pause to visit with a hospitable nomadic family who introduce us to their still-vibrant culture and time-tested technologies. Onward to the wonderous Gobi Desert, where we contemplate the massive Singing Sand Dunes at Khongoriin Els and the red-hued Flaming Cliffs at Bayanzag. Lastly, we venture into the Yol Valley for some hiking and watching elegantly soaring lammergeyers.
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.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1: arrive in Ulaanbaatar
- Day 2: Ulaanbaatar sightseeing
- Day 3: drive to Khustain Nuruu to see Przewalski horses
- Day 4: drive to Karakorum and Erdene Zhuu Monastery
- Day 5: Orkhon Waterfall and Khangai Mountains
- Days 6–9: trekking (or horsebacking) in Khangai Nuruu National Park
- Day 10: end trek, drive to Bayankhongor Aimag, visit nomadic family
- Day 11: drive to Bayangobi
- Day 12: day excursion to Tsagaan Agui (White Cave)
- Day 13: visit Mount Ikh Bayan to see ancient rock engravings, drive to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park
- Day 14: explore Khongoriin Els (Singing Sand Dunes) on camelback
- Day 15: drive to Three Camel Lodge, visit Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)
- Day 16: excursion to Yol Valley
- Day 17: fly to Ulaanbaatar
- Day 18: depart Ulaanbaatar.