The trip begins in eastern Mongolia, in the footsteps of the founders of the 13th century Great Mongolian Empire. The journey takes you to the lesser-known historical sites directly linked with the rise of Genghis Khan. This will be a unique opportunity to learn about the secret ways of early Mongolian noblemen and the mysteries surrounding them. The trip continues to western Mongolia, where Mongolia’s Altai Mountains loom. The Altai Mountains have been one of the cradles of Mongolian nomadic civilization and are home to the most scenic national parks in the country. With historical heritage from ancient burials to rock paintings and pristine national parks from snowcapped mountains to crystal clear lakes, the Altai mountains have long been considered one of Mongolia’s most beautiful areas and a hidden jewel. You will learn about the traditional nomadic way of life up close by visiting authentic nomadic families here. The journey then continues to the Gobi Desert, the land of dinosaurs and snow leopards, focusing on natural history. Dr. Atwood’s special presentations and talks throughout the journey will enrich this trip like no other. There will also be opportunities to fish, trek, and ride horses and camels on this trip while staying on both expedition-style tents and traditional gers throughout.



Day 1- Arrival in Ulaanbaatar city

Upon landing at Chinggis Khan International Airport, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Rest, then embark on a city tour, exploring Zaisan Hill for panoramic views. Evening welcomes a dinner with Dr. Atwood at a local gem. Overnight at Hotel Kempinski or similar. (D)

Day 2, Jun 28- Drive to Sukhbaatar province

Morning drive to south-eastern Sukhbaatar province (approx. 590 km), famed for dormant volcanoes, 13th-century “man” statues, vast grasslands, and historical significance in Mongolia’s early 20th-century independence. Picnic lunch en route, arriving in the late afternoon. Check into a local hotel. (Local hotel; B, L, D)

Day 3, Jun 29- Ongon soum, Sukhbaatar province

After breakfast, travel 60 km to Ongon soum in Sukhbaatar province, known for its flat grasslands and prominent 13th-century “man statues” like Hurugt, Shiveet Shartyn Had, and Tavan Tolgoi, situated around Ongon sand dunes. These archaeological sites attest to the area’s historical ties to the 13th-century Mongolian rise of the Great Mongol Empire. Overnight at Mongolia Quest field tent camp. (Field camp; B, L, D)

Day 4, Jun 30- Dadal soum, Khentii province

Drive northwest to Dadal Village in Khentii province, Genghis Khan’s birthplace. Arrive in the late afternoon at a scenic campsite overlooking the Balj river valley. Explore historical sites, followed by dinner with a local Buriad family. Overnight in tents. (Approx. 450 km driving; Field Camp; B, L, D)

Day 5, Jul 1- Baldan Bereeven Monastery,Binder soum, KHentii

This morning, drive to eastern Khentii province via Binder soum, where the Onon and Khurkh rivers converge. Arrive at the beautiful Baldan Bereeven monastery grounds, set by a larch forest. Camp and explore the monastery, surrounded by Buddhist relics, providing a deep dive into Mongolia’s Buddhist history. Overnight in tents. (Approx. 5-6 hours driving; Tent Camp; B, L, D)

Day 6, Jul 2- Drive back to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, begin driving back to Ulaanbaatar, enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Upon arrival in UB, check-in to your hotel. Dinner is independent.(Approx. 400 km driving; Hotel Kempinski or similar; B, L)

Day 7, Jul 3- Fly to Hovd province in Western Mongolia

After breakfast, begin driving back to Ulaanbaatar, enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Upon arrival in UB, check-in to your hotel. Dinner is independent.(Approx. 400 km driving; Hotel Kempinski or similar; B, L)

Day 8-9, Jul 3-4 : Explore the nomadic way of living

Experience nomadic life in Hovd province, spending time with herders as they move their summer homes to Baatar Khairkhan, a sub-range of the Altai mountains. Learn about their ancient lifestyle and witness traditional Mongolian vodka-making. Enjoy a one-day hiking trip along the mountain ridge for stunning views. Overnight in tents. (Tent camp; B, L, D)

Day 10, Jul 5 : Dorgon lake

After breakfast, we will continue our journey and drive down to the valley to the Dorgon Lake, ranked as the 7th largest lakes the country. Enjoy walking along the lake shores in the afternoon and overnight in tents.(Tent camp; B, L, D)

Day 11, Jul 6 : Fly back to Ulaanbaatar

After an early morning breakfast, drive back to Khovd city for your return flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, check-into your hotel and the remainder of the day is free for resting. Dinner is independent. (Hotel Kempinski; B, L)

Day 12, Jul 7 : Fly to Gobi Desert/ Yol Valley

Early morning flight to the Gobi Desert, arriving at 05:20 am. Transfer to your ger camp, then after lunch, explore the picturesque Yol Valley in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, known for its unique wildlife, including Ibex, Argali sheep, and Snow leopards.

Day 13, Jul 8 : Explore Dinosaur Fossils at Tugrigiin Shiree/Flaming cliffs

Morning drive to Tugregiin Shiree, famed for the “Fighting Dinosaurs” fossil. Explore the white sandstone escarpment for dinosaur fossils. Afternoon visit to the Flaming Cliffs, where paleontological expeditions have uncovered significant discoveries for 90 years. Walk in the footsteps of Roy Chapman Andrews and enjoy a sunset view before returning to the ger camp. (Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 14-15, Jul 9-10: Gobi Desert / Ulaanbaatar/ Departure

After breakfast, we will drive to Dalanzadagad for our return flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel. The afternoon is free for lunch minute sightseeing and shopping.In the evening, enjoy a traditional Mongolian cultural performance followed by a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant.(Hotel Kempinski; B, L, D)


10-15 travelers, standard twin occupancy
$5,800 per person
Optional single supplement $750 per person;
6-9 travelers, standard twin occupancy
$6,100 per person
Optional single supplement $750 per person;
  • Domestic flights & land transportation using Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Accommodations
    • in a standard room at hotels,
    • gers in the countryside based on a twin occupancy
    • expedition style camping in the countryside;
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers
  • Sleeping bags and mats
  • All meals indicated as B, L or D
  • All entrance fees
  • Guest lecturer’s Mongolia land expenses and participation
  • English speaking national guide
  • Bottled water and unlimited supply of boiled waters
  • International airfare;
  • Personal laundry;
  • Drinks not mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Medical evacuation costs;
  • Excess baggage charges;
  • Visa fees;
  • Gratuities;
  • Photography and video fees
  • Any other item not mentioned as included.


Dr. Christiopher Atwood- Since his first visit in 1989, he has been a frequent visitor to Mongolia and enjoys traveling through the countryside during his free time. He is the Chair and Professor of the Mongolian and Chinese Frontier and Ethnic History Department at the University of Pennsylvania.  His current research focuses on applying source-critical methods to reconstruct lost Mongolian sources of the Mongol empire and developing a new, non-“tribal” framework for the social history of Central Eurasian nomads. He has published notable works, including Young Mongols and Vigilantes in Inner Mongolia’s Interregnum Decades, 1911-1931, The Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, and an English translation of The Secret History of Mongolia.


My husband Joe and I participated in a Mongolia Quest / university trip/expedition/adventure in May/June 2024. We had a fantastic experience that words cannot do justice. Wild horses, gers, wildlife, sand dunes, camels, landscapes, and endless skies. And the Mongolia people with their hearts and smiles that lend such incredible warmth, authenticity, and genuine sincerity. The Mongolia Quest guides and drivers were outstanding! We were well taken care of from the time we landed in Ulannbaatar, Mongolia until we departed. Traveling with Mongolia Quest is an immersive experience. The hotels, gers, transportation, and meals were first rate, authentic, professional, kind, friendly, clean, safe, and tasty as well as we were provided insight into the authentic Mongolia surrounded by Mongolia’s impressive history, ecology, and culture. Many thanks to Badral, Odon, and Otgo, our wonderful drivers, the Mongolia families who opened their homes during our visit, and the caretakers of the parks and museums that we were fortunate to visit. Mongolia Quest’s planning and attention secured for us so many sights, sounds, and memories that we will hold dear forever. Joe and I highly recommend having Mongolia Quest lead your life changing experience in Mongolia.