“Mountains, Temples and Treasures” is one of our most comprehensive journeys. As one of the least industry affected regions left in the world, Mongolia is home to some of world’s most unique and diverse collections of wildlife. For centuries, explorers arranged quests to discover its wildlife and sought to traverse across its vast land on horse or camel. Our expedition begins in the remote Altai Mountains of western Mongolia, home to ethnic Kazakhs and Uriankhai people Our journey then continues across the Orkhon Valley down to the Gobi desert, which is home to the elusive snow leopard, the wild camels and world’s only desert bear, mazaalai. This expedition will take us through three distinctive ecosystems of Mongolia: The Altai Mountains, Orkhon Valley grassland and the Gobi Desert.

Brief Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – June 15. Arrival

Upon arrival at the Chinggis Khan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel.

After resting in your hotel room, enjoy a brief city tour including a visit to Zaisan Hill where you can get a magnificent bird’s eye view of the city. This old Soviet period relic is a popular place for locals to hang out and offers great panoramic views of the entire city. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at one of the city’s fine local restaurants. Overnight at hotel. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; D)

Day 2 – June 16. Ulaanbaatar

We will spend this day exploring sights and sounds of Mongolia’s capital. We will begin this morning with a private blessing with a Buddhist monk at Gandan, the country’s largest monastery. An imposing 90-foot-tall statue of Megjid Janraisag ( Avalokites – vara in Sanskrit) stands in the largest temple in the monastery. This statue is considered the religious symbol of Mongolia’s independence and democracy after the country’s democratic transition in 1990. When a Mongolian student in the mid-1990s discovered fragments of the original statue (which was destroyed by Soviet authorities in the 1930s) in St. Petersburg, a nationwide campaign began to collect money for rebuilding the Buddha. After years of hard work, this magnificent Buddha was resurrected and is now standing proud, making all Mongolian Buddhists happy. Next, we will visit the National History Museum located in downtown Ulaanbaatar. This museum offers an excellent introduction to Mongolia’s history from pre-historic times through the 13th century Mongolian Empire, and on to the democratic movement of the early 1990s, which overthrew the Communist regime.

After lunch, we will visit the Zanabazar’s Fine Arts Museum with its excellent collection of Mongolia’s arts, including golden Buddha statues of 17th century and some of the best preserved tankas in the world.

In the evening, we will enjoy a wonderful performance of traditional Mongolian music and dance, featuring Khoomii or “throat” singing, followed by dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 3 – June 17. Ulaanbaatar / Ulgii

Today, we will fly to Ulgii, the capital of Bayan-Ulgii aimag (province), home to Kazakhs and many other minority groups. The Kazakhs’ pastoral-nomadic lifestyle is similar to that of the Mongolians and they also hunt with Golden Eagles to subsidize their living.

Upon arrival, we will meet our wranglers and begin driving through mountain valleys to a Kazakh summer camp. Arrive at the home of the host Kazakh family in the evening and overnight in a private set up for us.

Visiting a Kazakh family is one of the highlights of our trip. Each ger is decorated with tapestries woven by Kazakh women and each tapestry is decorated with unique patterns designed by the family. Kazakh women are renowned for their handicrafts and tapestries, and the Kazakh men for their training of Golden Eagles for hunting, an age-old tradition that still remains amongst the Mongolian Kazakh population after the 20th century. Eagles are caught from the wild and used for hunting for over 10 years before they are released back into the wilderness. Kazakhs are happy to show you how eagles are trained and they generously offer food and shelter, like any other nomadic families in the country.

Enjoy a hearty Kazakh welcome dinner which is renowned for its taste and variety. (Ger stay, B, L, D)

Day 4 – June 18. Riding with Eagle Hunters

Enjoy riding with eagle hunters and learn how Golden eagles are trained for hunting. We will have a pack lunch and enjoy riding in the high mountains. Overnight in gers. (Ger stay, B, L, D)

Day 5 – June 19. Tsambagarav Mountain

In the morning, we will drive south to Tsambagarav, a worshipped mountain inhabited by ethnic Uuld people. Towering Tsambagarav mountain is a well known landmark in Mongolia and was believed to be home of “snowmen” in the early 20 century. Overnight in tents. (Tent camp; B, L, D)

Day 6 – June 20. Hiking at Tsambagarav Mountain

We will hike in this pristine mountain valley. Try climbing to the peak and get bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Mongolian dinner with our Uuld family. (Tent camp; B, L, D)

Day 7 – June 21. Khovd province / Ulaanbaatar

Early in the morning, we will drive to the city of Khovd, a provincial capital of Khovd province. In the afternoon, we will fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 8 – June 22. Ulaanbaatar / Kharakhorum

After early breakfast, begin your overland journey towards Kharakhorum (6 hours driving), stopping for a picnic lunch on the way. The construction of Kharakhorum City was completed during Ogedei Khan’s reign, Genghis Khan’s third son who inherited the empire his father created after his death in 1228. It’s located within a beautiful valley of the Orkhon River, which bears hundreds of historically and archeologically significant sites, awaiting its unlocking, including 2000 years old burials, deer stones (believed to be a form of burial) and ruins of cities pre-dating the time of Chinggis Khan (contrary to the popular spelling of “Genghis Khan” in the west, the correct pronunciation of his name among Mongolians is Chinggis Khan ). Unfortunately, it did not survive the battle period of the time and it was destroyed by Ming dynasty’s army in the 14th century after the collapse of Mongolia’s Yun dynasty in China. Its’ remaining were used in the construction of Mongolia’s largest Buddhist Monastery Erdenezuu, erected on its’ place, which stands today. Reach your ger camp in time for dinner and overnight. (Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 9 – June 23. Kharakhorum / Ongi Monastery

Today, begin your overland journey south to the Gobi desert via Ongi Monastery (5-6 hours driving). We will also have our first opportunity to stop along the way and visit a nomadic horse herder family. Mongolians are known for their hospitality offered in the form of food and shelter. Nomadic children, who often spend their summer school break with their parents, are found helping their parents. We continue driving until we reach Ongi Monastery, a ruin of monastery located on the northern tip of the Gobi desert. The Ongiin Monastery was once called the “Pearl of the Gobi” and was on the cross roads of Central Asian Silk road camel caravan merchants. We will explore the monastery ruins and surrounding hills on foot and stay at a ger camp located on the Ongi river banks. (Approx. 6 hours driving; Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 10 – June 24. Ongi Monastery / Khongoryn Els dunes

After breakfast, we will continue driving south until we arrive at the Khongoryn Els, Gobi’s largest of the dunes. In the late afternoon, we will enjoy climbing tallest of the dunes followed by an opportunity to ride Bactrian camels at a camel herder family. Over night in gers. (Approx. 6 hours driving; Ger Camp; L, D)

Day 11 – June 25. Khongoryn Els / Gobi Gurvansaikhan Park

After another of Gobi’s magnificent sunrises, we will head east to our next exploration. En route, stop at and explore the Havtsgait Petroglyphs, an amazing collection of early bronze age rock carvings located on the top of a mountain. Next, transfer to our ger camp near the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Overnight in gers. (Approx. 4 hours driving; Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 12 – June 26. Yol Valley / Flaming Cliffs

In the morning, drive to the Yol Valley located in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, named after the raptor bird the bearded vulture or lammergeier. Yol Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the park and strolling through the gorge could allow rare spotting of mountain wild sheep and the elusive bird named the wall creeper. Also we will visit the local Natural History Museum located on the entrance. In the late afternoon, we will drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs, red sandstone bluffs stretching about 3 km in width, where hundreds of dinosaur fossils have been found. Paleontological expeditions from many countries, including from U.S, Poland, Japan and Russia have worked here in the last 80 years. Each year rain and wind reveal yet more fossils and every summer new discoveries are made. Return to the ger camp in the evening. Overnight in gers. (Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 13 – June 27. Gobi Desert / Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for our return flight back to Ulaanbaatar for our last day of exploration. Spend the remainder of the day for last minute shopping and sightseeing. Enjoy dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 14 – June 28. Gorkhi Terelj National Park / Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue

This morning, we will visit the Gorkhi Terelj National Park and visit the Chinggis Khan equestrian statue.

In the evening, enjoy a cultural performance featuring the khoomii or “throat” singing followed by a hearty farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 15 – June 29. Departure

In the morning, transfer to the airport for departure.

Trip Highlights:

  • Explore Mongolian Altai Mountains and explore its flora and fauna Visit ethnic Kazaks and watch how Golden Eagles are trained for hunting;
  • Explore Kharakhorum, the 13th century Chinggisid capital of Mongolia and Erdenezuu monastery;
  • Enjoy hiking in the mountains and the desert, in search of saiga antelope, black tailed gazelles, the   wild horse takhi and wild mountain sheep and goats;
  • Explore the country from west to south, exploring one ecosystem transitioning to another;
  • Be one of the first to explore Mongolia’s most remote regions beyond the mountains and the deserts;


Trip Date:

June 15 – 29, 2024

2 travelers:

$4,270 per person, twin occupancy

3-5 travelers:

$4,120 per person, twin occupancy

6-9 travelers:

$3,930 per person, twin occupancy

10 and more travelers:

$3,800 per person, twin occupancy

Domestic flights:

$590 per person.

Optional single supplement:

$550 per person.


bayngol room

Hotel Bayangol

Located centrally in Ulaanbaatar, Bayangol Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with easy access to the city’s attractions. Accommodations at Bayangol Hotel cater to every need, from cozy standard rooms to luxurious suites, ensuring a comfortable stay for all guests.

camping night view mongolia

Field camps

In some areas, we will be staying expedition style tents. It is one of the best camping grounds in the entire country and be sure to watch for the northern stars and the entire Milkyway spanning over us!


Ger camps

Throughout the program, we will be staying at ger camps, rustic, eco lodges. Ger camps offer authentic Mongolian experience.

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Land Transportation:

Land transportation is provided by Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps seating  3 passangers per vehicle. Some roads can be bumby and hard but our drivers are some of the most experienced and reliable in the country.