Gobi and Central Mongolia – 10 days
/ per person
- 10 Days 9 Night
- Tsagaan Suvarga Flaming Cliff
The Gobi is a vast desert region in southern Mongolia, known for its arid landscapes, sand dunes, and unique flora and fauna. It covers parts of both Mongolia and China.
Central Mongolia, on the other hand, is a diverse and picturesque region in the heart of the country. It features rolling hills, grassy steppes, and nomadic traditions. The central region includes iconic landmarks such as the Orkhon Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the ancient capital of Kharkhorin, making it a cultural and historical hub within Mongolia.
- Accommodation: Ger camps and tented camps
- Guiding: Expert interpretation and navigation
- Meals: Full board with local and international cuisine
- Transport: 4×4 vehicles or minivans
- Horse Guide and Horses: For an authentic horse trekking experience
- Entrance Fees: To protected areas and national parks
- Camping Equipment: Provided for a comfortable outdoor stay
What’s not included:
- International & Domestic Airfare: Arrange separately
- Personal Equipment: Bring your own gear
- Optional Activities: Additional costs outlined
- Excess Baggage Charges: Check airline policies
- Single Room Supplement: Available for an extra fee
- Alcoholic Drinks: Not included
- Travel Insurance
Get ready for an extraordinary adventure as we pick you up from your accommodation in the morning and set off on an exhilarating 470 km drive to Tsagaan Suvarga Cliff. Brace yourself for a mesmerizing display of nature’s artwork—a colorful earth wall adorned with ancient rock drawings. This sheer slope, once an ancient seabed, boasts a sedimentary structure sculpted over millions of years, showcasing a kaleidoscope of colors that represent different eras.
Rising over 50 meters at its highest point and extending 400 meters, the cliff resembles an ancient ghost city when viewed from a distance. Explore the mysterious Khevtee Bosoo Cave in the vicinity, adding a touch of intrigue to your journey. There’s no clear date on the geographical research, making this a unique spot to take a break on our journey to South Gobi. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscape and spend the night surrounded by the wonders of Tsagaan Suvarga.
After a delightful breakfast, join us on an unforgettable drive to Yol Valley (195 km) on well-paved roads. Translating to “bearded vulture” in Mongolian, Yol Valley begins its breathtaking journey from Zuun Saikhan Mountain, stretching over 10 kilometers. Witness the valley’s narrowest section, where only 3 or 4 people can pass at a time, shaded by towering cliff walls. Marvel at the spectacle of ice that persists from winter to the end of July, created by a small stream that defies the summer heat.
Enhance your experience with a thrilling horse ride through the valley, or opt for an hour of invigorating hiking if horseback isn’t your preferred mode of exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the local natural museum of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, enriching your understanding of the region’s unique ecosystem.
Continuing our journey, we’ll drive 101 km to Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs. Discover the saxual forest and striking red cliffs shaped by millions of years of water and wind erosion. This area has historical significance, as it was here that American zoologist Roy Chapman Andrews made groundbreaking dinosaur discoveries, including Protoceratops and dinosaur eggs. As the sun sets, the cliffs ignite with a fiery hue, creating a captivating spectacle. Take an evening stroll around the site, immersing yourself in the magic of one of the world’s most renowned paleontological sites. Spend the night surrounded by the mysteries and wonders of Bayanzag.
Kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey to Khongor Sand Dune, the Gobi Desert’s crown jewel, just 152 km away. Brace yourself for a mesmerizing spectacle as you witness the largest sand dune in the Gobi, stretching 5 to 10 km in width and nearly 100 km in length. The crests rise dramatically, reaching heights of 80 to 300m, creating an awe-inspiring landscape.
Listen to the melodious hum of the Singing Sands, a natural symphony produced by the movement of the massive sand dunes on windy days. At the northern edge, discover Khongor Oasis near the Khongor River. Take a leisurely walk on the meadow and savor mineral water from the sandy terrain. Immerse yourself in the serenity of the oasis, making it a perfect spot for an overnight stay.
Fuel up with a delightful breakfast before embarking on an exhilarating full-day camel trek. Experience the comfort of riding the two-humped camels, moving at a leisurely and gentle pace. Supported by the humps, enjoy a scenic journey to the sand-dunes, immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscape.
As part of this adventure, visit a local camel herder family residing around Khongor Oasis. Indulge in the rich flavors of camel milk and traditional milk tea, experiencing the warm hospitality of the nomadic lifestyle. Spend the night in the embrace of the camel herder family, creating lasting memories under the starlit Gobi sky.
After a delightful breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Ongi Monastery Ruin, located 299 km away. Dating back to 1660, this Buddhist monastery was tragically destroyed in 1937 during communist purges. Positioned along the Ongi River, it was once among the largest monasteries in Mongolia.
Witness the raw beauty and historical remnants of the destruction, palpable even after many years. Explore the ruins with a hike, visiting a local ger museum that showcases surviving objects from the destroyed monastery. Encounter a small yet charming and active Buddhist temple, making this a poignant and insightful overnight stop between Central Mongolia and the Gobi.
Rise and shine to a delightful breakfast as we gear up for an extraordinary day filled with adventure. Our journey takes us 250 km off-road to the renowned Eight Lakes, nestled in the caldera depression of the Khangai Mountain at an elevation of 2400 meters.
These eight small lakes, born from volcanic origins, create a unique Crater Lake that stands out for its pristine clarity. Fed solely by falling rain and snow, this natural wonder boasts no inflow or outflow at the surface, making it one of the clearest lakes on the planet. Enveloped by towering coniferous trees and a lush black forest, the habitat of exotic birds and wildlife, Eight Lakes promises a picturesque and untouched oasis.
In the afternoon, the real adventure begins with a horse trek through timbered ridges and mountain meadows. Whether you’re a seasoned horseback riding enthusiast or a beginner, our horse pack trips cater to all ages and abilities, offering rides of varying lengths. Immerse yourself in the southern Siberian wilderness as you journey between Orkhon Waterfall and the stunning Eight Lakes area.
As the day unfolds, experience the magic of the landscape, and as night falls, settle into a tent for a camping experience under the starlit Mongolian sky. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with nature and make lasting memories in the heart of this untouched wilderness.
Start your day with a delightful breakfast before saddling up for an unforgettable horseback journey to the awe-inspiring Orkhon Waterfall. Towering at over 25 meters in height and 10 meters in width, this natural wonder is the largest waterfall in Mongolia, nestled within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Orkhon River Valley. The surrounding landscape, shaped by volcanic activities some 20,000 years ago, features a captivating lava layer with unique bubble formations, giving rise to smaller waterfalls of 4-5 meters in height.
Once we reunite with our car, we’ll embark on a scenic 55 km drive along dirt roads to Tuvkhun Monastery. Perched on the peak of the lush and picturesque Shiveet Mountain at an elevation of 2000 meters, this monastery, built in 1653, was a place of meditation and artistic expression for Zanabazar, Mongolia’s first Bogd (head of Buddhism). Explore meditation caves, Zanabazar’s footprints on the rock, and the first drawn version of the Soyombo, Mongolia’s independence symbol. Hike from the bottom of the mountain to the top or the monastery and spend the night under the starry Mongolian sky in comfortable tents.
After a scrumptious breakfast, embark on a 265 km drive to Karakorum, the once-great capital of the Mongolian Empire founded by Genghis Khan in 1220. Though now a small local township, Karakorum holds a rich history, having been sacked and ruined by invaders in 1388. Visit the Karakorum Museum, Karakorum Ruin Open Museum, and the Erdene Zuu Monastery Complex, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, built in 1586 with materials salvaged from the ruins of Karakorum. Spend the night immersed in the history and spirituality of this ancient site.
Indulge in a hearty breakfast before embarking on a 340 km drive to Khustai National Park, home to the wild takhi horses, also known as Przewalski’s horses. These magnificent creatures, the last wild horse subspecies, have been reintroduced to the Mongolian wilderness since 1992. At the research center, venture further into the park to observe and capture images of these incredible animals. Enjoy lunch at a nomad’s ger, immersing yourself in the nomadic way of life. Participate in daily activities, from milking cows to helping with chores, and spend the night in the warm hospitality of a nomadic family.
After a leisurely breakfast, embark on a scenic 75 km drive back to Ulaanbaatar city, marking the end of your epic Mongolian adventure. Once in the city, you’ll be transferred to your accommodation, concluding this unforgettable journey filled with natural wonders, cultural gems, and the warmth of Mongolian hospitality.