Discover the inspiring landscapes of Mongolia, from the legendary Gobi to the high altitude grasslands from which Genghis Khan created the largest land empire ever. In this heart of Mongolia, visit families in their gers, ride horses (and camels!), and experience the traditional hospitality of one of the world’s last nomadic cultures. We also offer an optional Gobi Desert Camel Trek extension to experience the scenic wonder of this epic desert, along with an extension to Mongolia’s sacred Lake Hovsgol.
Ulaanbaatar, Hogno Han Mountains, the Cultural Heart of Mongolia
In Ulaanbaatar, visit Gandan Monastery, the most important monastery-temple complex in the country, and the National History Museum, with its displays of Mongolian nomadic life. Head into the high steppe, an amazing vast landscape of open plains and rolling hills sprawled beneath the revered “Great Blue Sky” and dotted everywhere with horses and gers (nomadic dwellings). Below the Hogno Han Mountains, enter a world incredibly different from your own as you visit a nomadic horse-breeding family, experience their warm hospitality, taste airag (fermented mare’s milk), and ride horses with our Mongolian wranglers.
Erdenezuu and Hustain Nuruu National Park
Head through the open grasslands of the Orkhon Valley, the cradle of Mongolian civilization, to Erdenezuu Monastery, the oldest in Mongolia, built in the 16th century when Tibetan Buddhism was introduced to Mongolia. Constructed from the stone ruins of Kharakhorum, the ancient capital of Genghis Khan, it is surrounded by a wall of 108 stupas and is a strong symbol of Buddhism’s resurgence in Mongolia. Head to Hustain Nuruu National Park, home to the only remaining species of wild horse, the takhi, known as Przewalski’s horse, and search for these beautiful horses in their natural habitat.
Gobi Desert and Yol Valley
Visit Ulaanbaatar’s Natural History Museum, showcasing the spectacular fossil finds of the Gobi desert, then head to the Gobi itself. Explore the Flaming Cliffs, where in 1922, Roy Chapman Andrews discovered a nest of perfectly preserved dinosaur eggs, the first ever to be found. Visit local families, ride Bactrian camels, and walk in the Yol Valley, nestled in the mountains of Gurvan Saikhan National Park. (Our optional camel trek extension begins on Day 9.) Return to Ulaanbaatar on Day 10 and depart on Day 11.