Adventures with Purpose: Mongolia

Suggested Itinerary

14 Days From $5,194

Overview

The remote wilds of Mongolia are an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Blessed with breathtaking vistas of vast open steppes, rocky mountains, towering sand dunes and forested valleys, the country is perfect for remote exploration, by vehicle, foot, kayak and horse, where you can really escape the distractions of modern life and contribute to conservation and community-based tourism efforts throughout the region.

After a chance to take in the culture and history of Ulaanbaatar, the country’...

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy a 4-day trek between the famed eight alpine lakes of Naiman Nuur and sleep under the vast Mongolian star-lit skies
  • Learn how to make traditional Mongolian dumplings with ger camp host Naraa, a nomadic herder, and his family
  • Kayak down the Tuul River in Terelj National Park and explore the Buddhist monasteries of Ganden and Erdene Zuu
  • Visit the remote landscapes of Gun Guluut, where your stay will support local conservation and the work of its park rangers
  • Explore Hustai National Park to support the breeding programme of the rare and endangered wild Przewalski’s horses
  • Travel through the Orkhon River Valley, dotted with camps of nomadic herders, inscribed by UNESCO as an important cultural landscape

Suggested Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ULAANBAATAR CITY TOUR

DAY 1: ULAANBAATAR CITY TOUR

Arrive early in Ulaanbaatar and transfer to your own private apartment. Staying in this low-rise Soviet apartment block allows you to not only enjoy modern comforts and additional space, but also adds a bit more local flavour to your stay in the capital. After freshening up, take a tour around the temple complex of Gandan Monastery, one of the most complete monasteries in Mongolia today, where you may perchance encounter monks chanting their daily, mid-morning rituals. A light lunch is followed by a visit to the National Museum and a walk across Sukhbaatar Square, both of which provide a good introduction to the history of Mongolia. Enjoy an early evening traditional folk show before sitting down to dinner at a local restaurant.

Local Apartment
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR - TERELJ NATIONAL PARK

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR - TERELJ NATIONAL PARK

Depart the city this morning and head for the nearby Terelj National Park, the country's first national reserve. Home to forested hills, mountains and river valleys, its stunning rock formations and spectacular views make this a popular day trip from the capital. From your picturesque base in the valley beyond the Tuul River, this afternoon you can hike or ride out to the ruins of the Gunjin Sum temple to visit one of the few Manchurian-influenced temples left in Mongolia before retiring to your ger camp next door to Naraa, a nomadic herder, and his family, for an evening of nomadic hospitality. Following a fun cooking lesson, where you will learn how to make traditional Mongolian dumplings, you will sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour for dinner.

Nomadic Homestay (Naraa's Family)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: TERELJ NATIONAL PARK - GUN GULUUT

DAY 3: TERELJ NATIONAL PARK - GUN GULUUT

After breakfast, head to the water for a three-hour kayak down the Tuul River to visit the great Chinggis statue standing at 40-metres high and visible for miles around. It is possible to climb the statue to enjoy sweeping views across the countryside. After your visit, continue on through the remote steppe landscapes of Gun Guluut. Your stay at the camp here helps contribute towards the local conservation programme, general maintenance of the park and gives financial support to the park rangers.

Steppe Nomads
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: GUN GULUUT - HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

DAY 4: GUN GULUUT - HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

Heading out early this morning, you'll take a walk across the vast open steppe of Gun Guluut in search of some of the region's wildlife including marmot, argali wild mountain sheep, bearded vultures and grey wolf. Heading back towards Ulaanbaatar, you'll then continue on to the Hustai National Park, home to the rare and endangered wild Przewalski’s horses, where an early evening drive through the park provides the opportunity to see them in their native habitat. Your visit here again helps contribute to the conservation efforts in the area and the breeding programme for the horses. This evening you will be staying alongside a park ranger and his family in guest gers for the possibility to experience traditional archery and pay a visit to the Bronze Age and Turkic Unguut stones nearby.

Sanjaa's Homestay
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK - ORKHON VALLEY

DAY 5: HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK - ORKHON VALLEY

Today's drive into the rolling hills and forests of the Orkhon Valley takes you past herds of sheep, goats and horses grazing by the roadside. Fed by the waters of the Orkhon River, this beautiful river valley was inscribed by UNESCO as one of the country's most important cultural landscapes and the journey is dotted with tiny encampments of nomadic herders. Later this afternoon walk to the deer stones, which are ancient burial markers believed to date back to the Bronze Age.

Ursa Major Ger Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: EIGHT LAKES TREK

DAY 6: EIGHT LAKES TREK

This morning, drive to the Buurgiin Valley to begin preparations for your trek and meet your packhorse and the team, all of whom are local to the area. The first hike sets off this afternoon, heading into the Khangai Hills and on towards Shireet Lake, one of the famed Eight Lakes of Naiman Nuur.

Eight Lakes Trek Camping
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: EIGHT LAKES TREK

DAY 7: EIGHT LAKES TREK

Over the next three days you will trek between the lakes, camping by Shireet Lake on the first night, Huis Lake on the second night and White Stallion Lake for the final night. Created by volcanic eruptions centuries ago, the lakes sit at around 2,400 metres above sea level lying amidst a landscape of alpine meadows, pine forests and barren mountains. The hikes between each of the lakes will take an average of six hours a day, covering some 15-20 kilometres daily, and the evenings will be filled with the peaceful sounds of this remote wilderness as you sleep under the stars.

Eight Lakes Trek Camping
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: EIGHT LAKES TREK

DAY 8: EIGHT LAKES TREK

After breakfast overlooking the river at the camp, you will head out to continue the trek for a third day to reach today’s destination of White Stallion Lake.

Eight Lakes Trek Camping
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: EIGHT LAKES TREK

DAY 9: EIGHT LAKES TREK

The final day of the trek sees you exploring the area surrounding White Stallion Lake.

Eight Lakes Trek Camping
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: EIGHT LAKES TREK - ORKHON NOMADIC HOMESTAY

DAY 10: EIGHT LAKES TREK - ORKHON NOMADIC HOMESTAY

Heading away from the Eight Lakes area today, the journey then takes you towards the confluence of the Orkhon and Uliastai Rivers, where you can stop at the Orkhon Khurkree Waterfall, one of the country’s most beautiful falls. After heavy rains, especially around late July and August, this becomes arguably one of Mongolia’s most spectacular sights and a short walk downstream brings you to a 22-metre deep gorge. Continue from here to tonight's homestay.

Nomadic Homestay (Galaa's Family)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: ORKHON NOMADIC HOMESTAY - KHARKHORIN

DAY 11: ORKHON NOMADIC HOMESTAY - KHARKHORIN

Hidden away on a hillside, surrounded by pine forests, lies the tiny and peaceful Tovkhon Khiid Monastery. Stroll to the temple this morning for beautiful views across the valley, before continuing through the high passes to Kharkhorin, built on the site of Karakorum, briefly the capital of the Mongol Empire during the 16th century. This afternoon grants time to visit the local museum which provides an excellent insight into the local history of the region. There will also be a chance to visit a local sea-buckthorn farm – these distinct orange berries have many health-giving properties and you will be able to try some of the juice made from them.

Monkh Tenger Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: KHARKHORIN - ELSEN TASARKHAI

DAY 12: KHARKHORIN - ELSEN TASARKHAI

A morning visit to the Erdene Zuu Monastery (probably the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery in the country) provides an opportunity to watch the mid-morning ceremony and chanting before you continue on to Khogno Khan National Park, home to a rich mix of historical sites, wildlife and spectacular scenery, where you can enjoy an afternoon walk going in search of ibex and wolf.

Sweet Gobi
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: ELSEN TASARKHAI - ULAANBAATAR

DAY 13: ELSEN TASARKHAI - ULAANBAATAR

There will be an opportunity, if you wish, to take a final early morning walk before heading back to the capital today. Alternatively, you may choose to head straight back to Ulaanbaatar to enjoy some time at leisure there for your final day.

Local Apartment
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: DEPARTURE TRANSFER

DAY 14: DEPARTURE TRANSFER

After checking out of your hotel, you will be taken back to the airport for your return flight home.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

14 days from $5,194

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Clem

Clem is our Central Asia expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Clementine by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Mongolians are some of the most welcoming and open people you will ever meet and will invite you into their gers for snacks and meals. Leave your Western uptight-ness at the door of the ger and get stuck in!

OTHER ITINERARIES IN MONGOLIA