Wild Mongolia route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6195  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Depart: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Lodging: 3 nights ger camps, 4 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Rugged road travel, walking and light hiking, cultural adventures


  • The annual Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia’s “wild west”
  • Kazakh eagle hunters on horseback with their magnificent golden eagles
  • Three Camel Lodge, an award-winning ger camp in the heart of the Gobi
  • The famous Flaming Cliffs

The festival was fantastic. The locations of the eagle camp and Three Camel Lodge were beautiful. We were thrilled to experience the mini-Nadaam in the Gobi, and we really enjoyed the hike to see the petroglyphs in the Gobi.Becky H.—Chandler, AZ

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Our rare “back of beyond” adventure brings you from the fascinating Kazakh culture of the Altai Mountains in Mongolia’s wild west to the epic setting of the vast Gobi Desert in the south. In the Altai, you’ll witness the thrilling Golden Eagle Festival as Kazakhs come from afar on horseback to attend this friendly competition and show off the skills of their majestic trained eagles—a truly spectacular sight. The opportunity to meet and mingle with them, watch their amazing horsemanship, and visit local families is an unforgettable experience. Heading to the Gobi, you’ll walk on the golden Moltsog Els sand dunes and in the glacier-carved Yol Valley, and watch a blazing sunset at the legendary Flaming Cliffs, where the first dinosaur eggs were found.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2

In Ulaanbaatar, explore the temples, courtyards, and chanting halls of Gandan Monastery, get a “behind-the-scenes” tour from a local paleontologist at the Paleontological Laboratory, where scientists study the findings of dinosaur fossils in Mongolia, and visit the National History Museum to see its Stone and Bronze Age artifacts.

Days 3-7
Ulgii / Golden Eagle Festival

Heading out to the grasslands and snow-dusted peaks of the High Altai, surrounded by a stunning arid wilderness under Mongolia’s endless “great blue sky,” we witness the Golden Eagle Festival, with Kazakh men parading on horseback dressed in their traditional hunting finery, accompanied by magnificent golden eagles on their arms—it’s an unforgettable spectacle! We watch as the eagles, in full hunting mode, fly down from cliffs to attack decoys dragged along on horseback as the Kazakhs gallop across the steppes. While here, we have wonderful opportunities to saddle up and ride a Mongolian horse, visit nomadic families in their gers, and explore deep valleys sheltering hidden archaeological sites with amazing petroglyphs.

Days 8-13
Gobi Desert / Three Camel Lodge

After an overnight in Ulaanbaatar to freshen up, we fly down to the epic Gobi, a diverse region that was the site of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th century. With overnights at the award-winning Three Camel Lodge, we climb the dunes in the stunning Moltsog Els, explore some of the most precious petroglyphs in the desert, and hike in Yol Valley National Park, habitat of Argali mountain sheep and soaring lammergeiers. For a grand finale, we head to the legendary Flaming Cliffs, named for the orange glow of the rock at sunset. It was here in 1923 that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen. Scientific expeditions continue to make significant discoveries here, and we have a chance to experience an unforgettable sunset that paints the cliffs in soft colors. Depart on Day 13 via Ulaanbaatar.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 3, Moderate. Although there is only minimal hiking, this trip involves rugged travel conditions in remote locations, simple accommodations in gers (yurts), and rough roads.

A Special Note on Travel to Mongolia
Mongolia is an exciting destination, and while tourism is growing rapidly, the infrastructure remains limited. The country is modernizing quickly from its Soviet-era standards, but they are not yet up to the level of many countries (particularly felt by travelers on the bumpy roads!). Essential requirements for travel in Mongolia are flexibility, a sense of humor, curiosity, enthusiasm about new peoples and places, and an openness to the unexpected.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Sep 23-Oct 5, 2016  Reverse Itinerary

Sep 27-Oct 9, 2016  Azaa Choijoo

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$6195 (10-15 members)
$6595 (5-9 members)
Single supplement: $1150
Forced single supplement: $950
Internal airfare: $735 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Beijing Extension
   from: $1195
Xi'an Extension
   from: $1215

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Accommodations in rustic gers in Ulgii, the Three Camel Lodge, and a comfortable hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • All meals included
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary, including entrance fees for museums and sites
  • Land transportation and airport transfers

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day, optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (airport code ULN)
Suggested arrival time: by 3:00 p.m.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (airport code ULN)
Suggested departure time: anytime

Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 12 (1 night), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The newly-opened Shangri-La Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is set within walking distance of the Genghis Khan Square and the famous Government House, and is ...
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Mongolian Ger Camps

Mongolian Ger Camps

Days 3 to 7 (5 nights), Mongolia

Gers are the traditional yurt-like tents used by Mongolian nomads for centuries, and these simple fixed camps are specially built and ...
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Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Day 8 (1 night), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The Ulaanbaatar Hotel has an ideal location within walking distance of the city’s great museums, restaurants, and shopping. Although ...
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Three Camel Lodge

Three Camel Lodge

Days 9 to 11 (3 nights), The Gobi Desert, Mongolia

This premier expedition camp of 20 gers, set in a peaceful hillside spot in the Gobi Desert, offers great comfort and is strategically close to ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Undrakh Batchuluun

Departure Dates: September 23-October 5, 2016

A native of Ulaanbaatar, Undrakh has led expeditions throughout Mongolia for the past decade. Her favorite regions include the epic South Gobi Desert and legendary Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia’s "Dark Blue Pearl." Undrakh has a gift for facilitating cultural exchange and conversation, and loves ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Azaa Choijoo

Departure Dates: September 27-October 9, 2016

Azaa Choijoo was born and raised amid the rolling hills and grasslands of Mongolia’s eastern steppes, and has been a professional Trip Leader since 1998. Fluent in English, Russian, and Kalkh Mongol, Azaa is a graduate of the Institute of Foreign Languages in Ulaanbaatar. During the school ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


great wall china

Beijing Extension

The Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Summer Palace

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

terra cotta warriors xian china

Xi'an Extension

Explore the Cradle of Chinese Civilization

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

The festival was fantastic. The locations of the eagle camp and Three Camel Lodge were beautiful. We were thrilled to experience the mini-Nadaam in the Gobi, and we really enjoyed the hike to see the petroglyphs in the Gobi. Becky H., Chandler, AZ This was a fantastic trip, and not one we could have managed on our own. John S., Laurel, MD
The trip was amazing. I'm already thinking about my next one! Mary W., Crosby, TX