ger yurt nomad dwelling mongolia

Yurts, known in Mongolia as gers

Portable and warmed by wood stoves, Mongolian gers make convenient and comfortable homes for nomad families as they travel with their herds of camels and yaks. About 40 percent of Mongolians live as nomads.

Photo by Bill Abbott

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Mongolia Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5295  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Depart: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 4 nights ger camps, 2 nights Three Camel Lodge
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Overland travel, light day hikes, altitudes between 5,000-7,000 feet
2

Highlights

  • Visit Mongolian families in their traditional gers
  • See a remote and still intact horse-based nomadic culture
  • Erdenezuu and Gandan monasteries
  • Optional mid-trip camel trek in the Gobi Desert

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.

Discover the inspiring landscapes of Mongolia, from the legendary Gobi to the vast steppe from which Genghis Khan created the largest contiguous land empire in history. In this heart of Mongolia, visit thriving Buddhist monasteries, ride horses (and camels!), and experience the traditional hospitality of one of the world’s last nomadic cultures.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
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.

Days 5-6
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.

Days 7-11
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.

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 2, Easy to Moderate, due to the light hiking as well as the remote locations of our camps, simple accommodations in ger and tent camps, and rough roads. The trip is an overland journey by 4WD vehicle with some long drives across the historic heart of the country. 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.

The optional camel trek covers a variety of terrain, mostly hard-packed desert, rocky washes, and dry river beds. Our camels are led by their own individual handlers. Most people choose to alternately ride and walk, as camel riding can be uncomfortable for long periods.

Trip members should be aware that camels, though docile, can sometimes be unpredictable animals. Camels cannot be saddled as securely as horses, and there are no stirrups, which increases the possibility of a fall caused by a camel’s erratic movements. Therefore, it's important to hold on well and to stay alert while riding! Anyone participating in this optional activity must acknowledge the inherent risk in riding and perhaps falling from the saddle, and agree to accept any and all responsibility. Alternative activities, such as hiking or riding in the support vehicles, are usually available for those who want a break from riding or prefer not to ride at all.

It is expected that each participant be in excellent health and physical condition. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in good shape for the trip. Daily walking or hiking, jogging, stair-climbing, etc., are excellent preparatory exercises.

Accommodations
We stay in a variety of accommodations on this adventure. In Ulaanbaatar, our overnights are in a comfortable, well-located hotel with modern amenities. On six nights we enjoy cozy ger camps, simple two-person yurt style accommodations, equipped with beds, sheets and blankets, and small stoves for heat. Toilet and shower facilities are separate from the gers and shared by all participants, except at Three Camel Lodge, where gers have private bathrooms with toilet and sink. Meals will be served in central dining areas, and bottled water will be provided in the gers. On the optional camel safari, we’ll sleep for two nights in mountain-style camping tents, equipped with ground pads and sleeping bags rated to 15ºF. At camp, conditions are comfortable but basic. Our staff cooks and serves the meals, and there is a shared toilet tent at camp, and on some nights, a field shower. Treated drinking water is distributed each day.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

When to go

May to October

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$5295 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $695
Internal airfare: $495 (subject to change)

Call for discounted rates for groups of four or more.

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Gobi Desert Camel Trek Mid-Trip Extension
   from: $1145

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a local guide
  • Accommodations in Mongolia
  • All meals included
  • Entrance to museums and sites described in the Full Trip Brochure
  • Land transportation and airport transfers as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, any activities described as optional, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature.

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*

More than 90 days prior to departure: $250 per person
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

Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 7 (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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Mongolian Ger Camps

Mongolian Ger Camps

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Hogno Han Mountains,
Day 5 (1 night), Kharakhorum,
Day 6 (1 night), Hustain Nuruu National Park, 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

Three Camel Lodge

Three Camel Lodge

Days 8 to 9 (2 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 ...
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 Camel Trek Mid-Trip Extension

Camel Supported Trek in the Sand Dunes of the Gobi

Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
5 days  -  Level 3

hovsgol lake mongolia

Lake Hovsgol Extension

Exploring Mongolia’s “Dark Blue Pearl”

Cultural Adventures, Walking
5 days  -  Level 2