In the Land of Genghis Khan route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5695  
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 on several days
3

Highlights

  • Magnificent scenery, vast steppes, blankets of wildflowers, spectacular sunsets
  • Hike and kayak at mystical Lake Hovsgol (with Naadam Festival in July)
  • Meet nomadic families with their herds of horses, yaks, and goats
  • Witness wild, prehistoric takhi horses in Hustain Nuruu National Park
  • Extend your adventure in the fascinating 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.

References

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 vast and magnificent land, its immense grasslands dotted with the gers of nomads and thriving Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. On our active journey across seldom-visited regions, you’ll explore ancient Karakorum, capital of Genghis Khan’s empire, and hike alongside volcanic lakes and dinosaur fossil beds in the exquisitely beautiful Arkhanghai province. Along the way, you’ll stop to share tea with nomad families in their gers, hike and kayak at ethereal Hovsgol, one of the largest and clearest lakes in the world, and in the company of local villagers, attend the Nadaam Festival (July departure), with its archery, Mongolian-style wrestling, and wild cross-country horse races. Our optional extension brings you to the petroglyphs and Flaming Cliffs of the legendary Gobi Desert.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

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

From Ulaanbaatar, we head across the unfenced grasslands to Hustain Nuruu National Park for sightings of prehistoric wild horses. In the Orkhon Valley, our hike gives you sweeping views over ancient Karakorum, and we’ll explore the splendid temples and frescoes of Erdene Zuu, Mongolia’s oldest monastery.

Days 6-9
Tsetserleg / Great White Lake

Grazing yaks and Bactrian camels dot the grasslands on our discovery of the Khangay Mountains. We’ll stroll the market in welcoming Tsetserleg, and at crystal-clear Terkhiin Tsagaan (“Great White Lake”), visit yak-herding families and hike amid spectacular rock formations and to mysterious “Reindeer Stones,” standing stones dating to the Bronze Age. Carved with elaborate shamanic symbols, their true purpose is still unknown.

Days 10-16
Lake Hovsgol

Hike, kayak, and try Mongolian horseback riding at exquisite Lake Hovsgol (5,000’), set among pristine forests and known as Mongolia’s “Dark Blue Pearl.” Our July departure includes the Naadam Festival in the village of Hatgal, where we’ll see spirited archery, wrestling, and a thrilling horse race across the steppes. Depart on Day 16 via Ulaanbaatar 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 very 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

2015
Jul 1-16, 2015  Naadam Festival

Aug 28-Sep 12, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$5695 (10-15 members)
$5995 (5-9 members)
Single supplement: $1195
Forced single supplement: $995
Internal airfare: $255 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Xi'an Extension
   from: $1115
Gobi Desert Extension
   from: $2395
Beijing Extension
   from: $1195

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Accommodations in rustic gers and a comfortable hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • All meals included
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites described in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing, land transportation, and airport transfers as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders, staff, and ger camps, any additional hotel nights that may be needed due to your international travel schedule, 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% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 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

Ulaanbaatar Hotel

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

The Ulaanbaatar Hotel has an ideal location within walking distance of the city’s great museums, restaurants, and shopping. Although ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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.

Optional Extensions

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

China

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

Mongolia

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