CULTURAL EXPLORATIONS

The Secret History of Mongolia

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TRIP SUMMARY

We invite you to join us on this exclusive departure to discover Mongolia with one of our expert national guides. With a focus on history, nomadic heritage, flora and fauna and geography, this is one of our most comprehensive quests for discovering Mongolia. Our trip begins with a flight north to Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia’s “mother ocean” which contains 1% of the world’s fresh water. The lake is considered to be the headwaters to Lake Baikal located not far away, in Siberia, and is one of the oldest lakes in the world. The journey then continues overland to the 13th century Mongolian capital site of Kharakhorum in Orhon Valley, then south to the Gobi desert where our trip concludes. This ambitious, off-the-beaten-path quest will take us through some of the most diverse ecosystems of Mongolia. We will examine ancient burial sites, historical landmarks, Buddhist monasteries, nomadic families and paleontological localities with a series of interesting talks provided by our expert national guide. You will also have the opportunity to fish, trek and ride horses and camels while enjoying meeting local nomads along the way.

Brief Daily Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2. Ulaanbaatar sightseeing

We will spend one full day exploring the city’s best museums and Buddhist temples. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3. Ulaanbaatar / Lake Hovsgol

This morning, we will fly north to the magnificent Lake Hovsgol, which is considered to be the headwater to the Lake Baikal. Overnight in gers.

Day 4. Horseback riding

After breakfast, enjoy a full day of horseback riding along the lake-shore. We will start riding south and return to the camp from its northern direction by making a large loop. Overnight in gers.

Day 5. Lake Hovsgol

Enjoy a full day at the lake, relaxing or trekking in the hills. Overnight in gers.

Day 6. Muron / Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, drive back to Muron, stopping at Lake Erhel for a quick bird watching stop. Fly back to Ulaanbaatar and check into your hotel. We will enjoy dinner at a fine local restaurant in the evening. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7. Hustain Nuruu National Park

In the morning, we will head west to Hustai Nuruu National Park, one of three sites where the wild horses, known as the Takhi or Przewalski’s Horse have been reintroduced during the last two decades. Overnight in gers.

​Day 8. 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, Chinggis Khan’s third son who inherited the empire his father created after his death in 1228. Overnight in gers.

Day 9. Erdenezuu and Tovkhon Monasteries

After an early morning breakfast, we will begin the morning with a visit to the magnificent Erdenezuu Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most beautiful temple grounds. Next, we will drive to the amazing Tovkhon Monastery, located on the top of one of the Khangai Mountains. It was originally built by Mongolia’s first religious leader and a renowned sculpture Zanabazar as his retreat for meditation. Overnight in gers.

Days 10. Ongiin Hiid Monastery

Today, begin your overland journey south to the Gobi desert via Ongiin Hiid Monastery (5-6 hours driving). We will also have our first opportunity to stop along the way and visit a nomadic horse herder family. Overnight gers.

Day 11. Hongoryn Els Sand dunes

After breakfast, we will continue driving south until we arrive at the Hongoryn 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.

Day 12. Havtsgait Petroglyphs

After another of Gobi’s magnificent sunrise, 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. Overnight gers.

Day 13. 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. Overnight in gers.

Day 14. Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for our return flight back to Ulaanbaatar for our last day of exploration. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15. Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

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Trip Highlights:

  • Explore Mongolia’s secret with the expert knowledge of Dr. Atwood
  • Visit some of Mongolia’s best known natural and cultural heritages
  • Enjoy meeting ordinary Mongolian people and learn about their culture
  • Explore Mongolia’s ancient city ruinsand archeological sites
  • Witness Mongolia’s diverse and rich flora and fauna
  • Enjoy an unique interpretation of the country by one of world’s leading Mongolia experts

Post-Trip Altai Mountains Extension

Why not extend your journey and visit Altai Tavan Bogd National Park? On this western Mongolian journey, we will visit Mongolia’s highest peaks and trek amidst stunningly beautiful peaks. We will visit local Kazakh hunters’ camps to learn how golden eagles are trained and meet talented Kazakh women who are renowned for their skill of making colorful embroideries.

DATES & PRICING

Trip Date:

June 10 – 25, 2019

Prices:
2-9 travelers:

$4,450 per person, twin occupancy

Single supplement:

$780 per person

ACCOMMODATIONS & TRANSPORTATION

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Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Hotel Ulaanbaatar is conveniently located in downtown Ulaanbaatar and is a well established accommodation with its 20th century characte-ristics and friendly staff. All major attractions of UB are located within walking distance from the hotel.

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Ger camps

During the rest of the expedition in Mongolia, we will be staying at tourist class, cozy ger camps with western bathroom and restaurant facilities. Most visitors find staying in gers as one of the highlights of their trip to Mongolia.

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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.