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12 Day Mongolia & Gobi Desert - Saturday Departure

12 Day Mongolia & Gobi Desert - Saturday Departure


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Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Mongolia

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Mongolia
Depart for Mongolia

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's spiritual and economic center. The city was founded as a monastic center for Buddhism in 1639, and it changed locations 28 times before settling in its present spot in 1778
Overnight: Ulaanbaatar

DAY 3, Monday - Fly to Moron, Discover the Tsaatan Reindeer People & Enjoy Cultural Events
This morning, fly from Ulaanbaatar to Moron near the northern border with Russia. From here, drive to Lake Khovsgol, the largest freshwater lake by volume in the country. Remarkably, it holds 70% of Mongolia's fresh water. Here, stand amidst a magnificent tableau, a national park area of soaring peaks and pristine forest that is larger than Yellowstone. After a scenic drive, settle in to your simple camp accommodations. This afternoon, meet the Tsaatan known as Reindeer people, one of the last groups of nomadic reindeer herders in the world. Tonight, attend a Welcome Dinner and orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at a camp restaurant
Overnight: Lake Khovsgol
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Tuesday - Explore Khovsgol Province, Meet Yak Family
You're in one of the world's most remote areas, and just above the northern border over the Ulaan Taiga range, Siberia stretches into forever. A highlight of the day is your visit with a local Yak family in their ger, where you learn about their nomadic life. In the afternoon, perhaps join the optional boat trip to Lake Khovsgol one of the largest lakes in Mongolia, surrounded by the Khoridol Saridag and Bayan Mountain Ranges. Your boat tour will take you to the shore on the other side of the lake and the entire excursion will offer beautiful views and wonderful photography opportunities. Back at the camp, there'll be free time to recount your incredible day amidst this glorious wilderness. After dinner tonight, join your fellow travelers, for drinks at a lakeside campfire
Optional: Lake Khovsgol Boat Trip (PM)
Overnight: Lake Khovsgol
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Wednesday - Fly to Ulaanbaatar, Transfer to Mt. Khogno Khan
Fly back to Ulaanbaatar where you'll begin your journey by land over the Mongolian steppe, a wide-open space of nomadic horsemen and shepherds, clusters of gers, and endless wild plains. A box lunch will be provided en route to Mt Khogno Khan. Later, arrive at your lodge and have dinner at a camp restaurant
Overnight: Mt. Khogno Khan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Thursday - Explore Karakorum and Erdene Zuu Monastery
This morning journey towards the Erdene Zuu monastery area. Arrive in Karakorum, the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire and visit the Karakorum museum. The exhibits include artifacts from the immediate area, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, plus prehistoric stone tools. You’ll also see pottery, coins, religious statues and stone inscriptions. After lunch at a camp, visit a local market. Continue with a visit to the Erdene Zuu monastery, built in 1585, the oldest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. During communist rule, it was allowed to exist, only as a museum. Today is an active place of worship once again. Stop to see some temples, stupas and glittering gilded Buddhas. Time for some souvenir shopping before departing for camp for dinner
Overnight: Mt. Khogno Khan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Friday - Explore Ulaanbaatar
This morning, return back to Ulaanbatar. En route, stop to share a simple lunch with a nomadic family in their home, and learn about this unique culture that still relies on the horse for commerce and trade. Upon return to Ulaanbaatar, embark on a city tour. What makes Ulaanbaatar so remarkable is its pre-settlement history. For its first 140 years, it operated as a mobile ger, or yurt, monastery. Its leaders were able to relocate the capital as the needs of its residents required. This afternoon you will see Sukhbaatar Square in the heart of the city. Its centerpiece is the statue of Damdin Sukhbaatar astride his horse, the heroic leader that led the 1921 revolution against the Russians and founded the Mongolian People's Republic. Several important buildings line the square, including the Government Palace, the National Theater of Opera and Ballet, and the Culture Palace. You'll also see a statue of Mongolia's most noted figure, Genghis Khan, the 12th century founder of the great Mongol Empire. Visit the National History Museum. Here, view exhibits featuring Mongolia’s geography, flora and fauna. You will see an outstanding collection of costumes hats and jewelry, representing Mongolia’s ethnic groups. Tonight, dinner is at a local restaurant
Overnight: Ulaanbaatar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Saturday - Fly to Gobi, Hike the Eagle Valley
Fly to the Gobi Desert today. Its landscape and legends truly are the stuff of dreams. This is where the double-humped Bactrian camel roams, and where many famed cities along the ancient Silk Road prospered. After landing in Dalanzadgad, head to South Gobi Natural History Museum. Afterwards, set out for Yolyn Am, also known as Eagle Valley, and experience its starkly beautiful setting up-close during a hike down into the deep and narrow gorge, habitat of the lammergeier, an old world vulture. You might also see wild goats and sheep high on the cliff walls. Continue to Khanbogd camp for lunch. Tonight, have dinner at Goviin Naran camp
Overnight: Gobi Desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Sunday - Journey to "Singing Sand Dunes", Camel Ride and Dune Climb
Today take a breathtaking drive to the Khongoriin Els "Singing Sand Dunes." From the grass-green steppe, the golden dunes are a wonder to behold as they roll to the horizon. But they're even more of a wonder to listen to. Marco Polo was among the first travelers to tell of these desert sands that sing. Today, scientists believe that the dunes' curves and slopes form a gigantic musical instrument for the wind. During the visit to this spectacular site, board some Bactrian camels for a thrilling ride, and later tighten your hiking shoes for a dune climb. Afterward transfer to your lodge located right near these impressive dunes and enjoy the evening at leisure
Overnight: Khongor Sand Dunes
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Monday - Khuushurr Cooking Lesson, Visit Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs
This afternoon after lunch learn about khuushuur fried dumplings during a cooking lesson. Later, visit a treasure trove among paleontologists: Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs. Here, in the 1920s, American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews led expeditions that uncovered specimens of Velociraptors, Tyrannosaurids, and dinosaur egg fossils at the foot of these red bluffs. The Flaming Cliffs, which stand alone amidst this vast landscape, got their name from their red-orange hues, especially prominent at sunset. They are protected by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Afterwards, continue to the camp for dinner
Overnight: Gobi Desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, Tuesday - Fly to Ulaanbaatar, Genghis Khan Complex, Gandantegchinlen Monastery
Fly back to Ulaanbaatar today and depart to Genghis Khan Complex. Visit the museum and see exhibits relating to the Bronze Age and Xiongnu archaeological cultures in Mongolia. Enjoy lunch inside the statue. Continue the tour with a visit to the fascinating Zanabazar Museum, a sky-blue gem of Russian architecture. Its holdings include paintings and sculptures by Zanabazar, considered the "Michelangelo of Asia". Afterwards, visit the revered Gandantegchinlen Monastery. This Tibetan-style monastery is home to more than 150 monks. Communist rule closed its doors through the 20th century, and it was lucky to have escaped the destruction that most other monasteries suffered. It reopened in 1990. This evening, attend a Mongolian cultural show with folk dances, traditional music, featuring morin khuur (horse head fiddle), and throat-singing, the two-toned music locally known as "hoomii." You'll also enjoy some traditional "long song," in which each note is drawn out, and experience an authentic tribal shaman dance and contortion. Afterward, join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight: Ulaanbaatar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Wednesday - Depart Mongolia
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Inclusions

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights New York-Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar-New York
  • Other departure cities available.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Ulaanbaatar-Moron, Moron-Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar-Dalanzadgad, Dalanzadgad-Ulaanbaatar
  • 10 nights accommodations
  • 3 nights Ulaanbaatar
  • 2 nights Lake Khovsgol
  • 2 nights Mt. Khogno Khan
  • 2 nights Gobi Desert
  • 1 night Khongor Sand Dunes
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners (including a lunch with a nomadic family, and welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Wine with all dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  •  

    Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Meet the Tsaatan, known as Reindeer people, one of the last groups of nomadic reindeer herders in the world
  • Share in the local love of music during performances of throat singing, long song and a shaman dance
  • Meet a Yak family in their ger and learn about their nomadic life
  • Explore the mysterious "Singing Sand Dunes" at Khongoryn Els by camel and on foot
  • Learn to make khuushuur fried dumplings during a fun cooking lesson
  • See Bayanzag's Flaming Cliffs, noted for the dinosaur fragments uncovered here in the 1920s
  • Explore the ancient Mongol capital of Karakorum
  • Meet a nomadic family when they invite you into their ger, or yurt, for lunch
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    *Not Included:
    Optional tours and gratuities


    Additional Information:

    Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.

    Domestic air travel in Mongolia is subject to flight delays and schedule changes on short notice. This may require changes to the order of your itinerary or flight segments being replaced with lengthy drives. Any adjustments needed will be communicated as soon as possible. Luggage restrictions for intra-Mongolia flights differ from international flights, please refer to Trip Preparation for more information.


    Accommodation Details:

    At the camps in Gobi, electricity is limited and not available overnight, making operating large electronic devices like CPAP machines impossible.

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    Accommodations

    Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in the historic centre of Ulaanbaatar.

    Ashihai Lake Camp
    This superior tourist class camp is located on the western shore of Lake Khovsgol with scenic mountains in the distance.

    Hoyor Zagal Camp
    This tourist class camp features spectacular views.

    Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in the historic centre of Ulaanbaatar.

    Gobi Mirage Camp
    This tourist class camp is situated in the Gobi Desert.

    Goviin Naran Camp
    This tourist class camp is located at a junction between the Yolyn Am gorge and the Flaming cliffs, each approximately 31 miles away.

    Goviin Naran Camp
    This tourist class camp is located at a junction between the Yolyn Am gorge and the Flaming cliffs, each approximately 31 miles away.

    Gobi Buren Camp
    This tourist class camp is about three miles away from the famous Khongoryn sand dunes.

    Gobi Buren Camp
    This tourist class camp is about three miles away from the famous Khongoryn sand dunes.

    Gobi Erdene Camp
    This tourist class camp is situated nearby the Khongor sand dunes.

    Gobi Erdene Camp
    This tourist class camp is situated nearby the Khongor sand dunes.

    Gobi Erdene Camp
    This tourist class camp is situated nearby the Khongor sand dunes.

    Goviin Naran Camp
    This tourist class camp is located at a junction between the Yolyn Am gorge and the Flaming cliffs, each approximately 31 miles away.

    Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in the historic centre of Ulaanbaatar.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Gate1 Tours Customer Reviews

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    Accommodations
    4
    Itinerary
    4.4
    Professional Staff
    4.5
    Repeat with Operator
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    Value for Money
    4.2

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