In the Land of Genghis Khan

Adventuring from Kharakhorum to Lake Hovsgol

In the Land of Genghis Khan route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4995  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Depart: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 11 nights ger camps
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Rugged road travel with light hiking


  • Magnificent scenery, vast steppes, carpets of wildflowers, spectacular sunsets
  • Hike and kayak at mystical Lake Hovsgol
  • Nomad families with their yaks, horses, and goats
  • Wild, prehistoric horses in Hustain Nuruu National Park
  • Optional extension to discover the Gobi Desert

This is a country on the cusp and on the move. I think you all do a great job exposing us to many of the terrains, the changes to a modern county, the hardships and joys of a nomadic life, the warmth and hospitality of the people, the culture, song dance, traditions, music, and art and religion of the people. Thank you for making it all possible.Sue Z.—San Anselmo, CA

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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Mongolia is a dreamlike landscape of magnificent grasslands dotted with the gers of nomads, thriving Tibetan Buddhist monasteries dating back centuries, and pristine lakes of surreal hues. We’ve created an utterly original­—and active­—journey across this epic land, exploring Kharakhorum, the ancient capital of Genghis Khan’s empire, and hiking in Arkhanghai, renowned as Mongolia’s most beautiful province, and along volcanic lakes and dinosaur fossil beds. Along the way, we share tea with nomad families in their gers, and at exquisite Hovsgol, hike and kayak at one of the largest and clearest lakes on the planet. Our July departure witnesses the Nadaam Festival, with its archery, Mongolian-style wrestling, and wild cross-country horse races, all in the authentic setting of a local village.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-5
Ulaanbaatar / Hustain Nuruu / Erdene Zuu Monastery / Kharakhorum

From Ulaanbaatar, we head into Mongolia’s vast grasslands to Hustain Nuruu National Park, home of the takhi, the world’s last genuine wild horse. In the Orkhon Valley, we explore among the splendid temples of Erdene Zuu, Mongolia’s oldest monastery, with its majestic setting atop the ruins of Kharakhorum, Genghis Khan’s 13th century capital.

Days 6-9
Tsetserleg / Great White Lake

Our journey brings us to Tsetserleg in the Khangay Mountains, where we stroll the market, stretch our legs on a hike, then cross a magnificent landscape where grazing yaks dot the grasslands. At crystal-clear Terkhiin Tsagaan (“Great White Lake”), we visit yak-raising families, hike amid spectacular rock formations, and meet traditional ger craftsmen at the hamlet of Jargalant Soum. One of our hikes brings us to the fortress known as the Black Ruin of the Uyghur Dynasty, and deeper in the heartland, we visit Zuun Nuur, a small mountain-ringed lake.

Days 10-16
Lake Hovsgol

We hike, kayak, and encounter nomads at Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia’s “deep blue pearl.” Our July departure witnesses the Naadam Festival at the village of Hatgal, a wonderful setting for watching the spirited archery, wrestling, and horseback events. Depart via Ulaanbaatar on Day 16 or join our Gobi Desert Extension.

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. Roads outside Ulaanbaatar are unpaved and often bumpy and dusty. In most cases, travel on these roads will be done in Russian four-wheel drive vans, which are not up to western SUV standards but are reasonably comfortable. In Ulaanbaatar, our overnights are in a well-located hotel with modern amenities. Our ger camps are simple two-person yurt-style tents with beds, sheets and blankets, and small stoves for heat. Toilet and shower facilities are separate from the gers and shared by all participants. The weather can be unpredictable. We’ll have many beautifully clear and sunny days with bright blue skies, but come prepared for at least some rain, wind, and some very cold nights and mornings. Nighttime temperatures can drop to 30F! A dusting of snow is not uncommon here at this northern latitude, even in the summer.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Jul 1-16, 2014  Naadam Festival

Aug 1-16, 2014  Azaa Choijoo

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$4995 (11-15 members)
$5395 (6-10 members)
Single supplement: $750
Forced single supplement: $550
Internal airfare: $310 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Xi'an Extension
   from: $1125
Gobi Desert Extension
   from: $2150
Beijing Extension
   from: $1595

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations (including hotels and gers) in Mongolia
  • All meals included
  • Entrance to museums and sites described in the itinerary
  • Land transportation and airport transfers as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, airport transfers for individual arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or 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.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: None
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Internal Airfare Payment, Change, and Cancellation Fee Schedule: Payment for Internal Air will be collected from each trip member approximately three to six months (or even more) prior to departure, depending on flight availability and seasonal ticketing deadlines. Once issued, internal air tickets are subject to a $100 per person fee for any changes or cancellation until 60 days prior to the trip. Within 60 days of the trip, all tickets are non-refundable. The name on your tickets must match your passport exactly, and any name changes are subject to these same fees. We therefore request that you send us a scanned copy of your passport photo page immediately upon reserving your trip. Internal Air payments and cancellation fees are in addition to Trip Cost payments and cancellation fees as noted above.

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Days 14 to 15 (2 nights), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

In Ulaanbaatar we stay at one of the following properties:

Mongolian Ger Camps

Mongolian Ger Camps

Days 3 to 13 (11 nights), Mongolia

Gers are the traditional yurt-like tents used by Mongolian nomads for centuries, and these simple fixed camps are specially built and ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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.

Azaa Choijoo

Azaa Choijoo was born and raised on the eastern steppes of Mongolia and has been a professional Trip Leader for 10 years. Fluent in English, Russian, and Kalkh Mongol, Azaa is a graduate of the Institute of Foreign Languages. During the school year, she teaches Russian and English at a Middle School in Ulaanbaatar. She describes her country as “a land with no fences, free and unchanged in millennia, with a magnificent culture where you are welcomed at every door.” Although she loves all of Mongolia, she has a particular fondness for the Gobi, with its vast open spaces, stillness, and variety of landscapes. A delightful leader with boundless energy and an incredible command of her country’s history, Azaa loves sharing Mongolia’s natural beauty and fascinating culture. When not leading trips, she lives in Ulaanbaatar with her husband and two children, or visits her parents at their ger in the countryside.

Upcoming Trips:

In the Land of Genghis Khan, July 1-16, 2014
In the Land of Genghis Khan, August 1-16, 2014
Lake Baikal to Mongolia, August 16-29, 2014
Golden Eagle Festival and the Great Gobi Expedition, September 29-October 11, 2014

Client Testimonials:

Azaa was amazingly patient and unfailingly calm and professional, while also perfectly friendly. A simply wonderful guide in every way! Alan R., Santa Cruz, CA
In the Land of Genghis Khan
Azaa was the best trip guide I have ever experienced. She was helpful, resourceful, patient, attentive, and unflappable. Without her, the trip would not have been as great. What a pleasure to travel with her! Phebe J., Escondido, CA
In the Land of Genghis Khan
An intelligent, knowledgable, personable, skillful, tactful, competent guide—A1. Sue Z., San Anselmo, CA
In the Land of Genghis Khan
Aaza was an excellent guide. Our wonderful interaction with the people was facilitated by her warm manner. Jean B., Carmel, CA
In the Land of Genghis Khan

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


Gobi Desert Extension

Exploring the Heart of Asia’s Most Remote Hinterland

Cultural Adventures, Walking
5 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

This is a country on the cusp and on the move. I think you all do a great job exposing us to many of the terrains, the changes to a modern county, the hardships and joys of a nomadic life, the warmth and hospitality of the people, the culture, song dance, traditions, music, and art and religion of the people. Thank you for making it all possible. Sue Z., San Anselmo, CA
I loved the music and dance events, which were all extraordinary, and I loved the visits to family gers at their camps and other interactions with people. We had some really lovely encounters. I loved the scenery and wildflowers, and enjoyed some birdwatching along the way. Hala A., Oakland, CA