Gobi and Central Mongolia – 10 days

From

/ per person

  • 10 Days 9 Night
  • 15/09/2024
  • Tsagaan Suvarga Flaming Cliff
  • People

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.

What’s included:

  • 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
Day1: Epic Journey to the Enchanting Tsagaan Suvarga Cliff

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.

Day2: Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit in Yol Valley and Bayanzag Flaming Cliff

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.

Day3: Oasis Adventure at Khongor Sand Dune

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.

Day4: Camel Trekking Adventure at Khongor Sand Dune

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.

Day5: Explore the Mystical Ongi Monastery Ruin

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.

Day 6: Majestic Horse Trek and Camping Adventure at Eight Lakes

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.

Day7: Horseback Adventure to Majestic Orkhon Waterfall & Tuvkhun Monastery

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.

Day8: Discover the Historical Treasures of Karakorum, the Former Capital of Genghis Khan

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.

Day9: Encounter Wild Horses and Nomadic Hospitality in Khustai National Park

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.

Day10: Bid Farewell to the Wilderness as You Return to Ulaanbaatar

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.

(5 Review)
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    Kathi Schnatti

    Horse trekking
    05/08/2023 Helpful

    If you were always dreaming of an amazing, unforgettable, very special and very intense journey – Bataa from Taiga Nomadic Travel is your man to help you out!!
    Why? Because he is responsible for a super well organized trip with:
    x landscapes that let you feel being directly in the scenario of “lord of the rings”
    x top powerful and brave horses, that will steal your heart forever
    x super friendly, generous and diligent team members of horse-men and eagle-hunters, who are making you feel like a champion on the horse and survive every challenge on the way
    x excellent talented cooks, letting you discover the varied culinary of Mongolian food
    x a loooot of fun and laughing, after you probably could have belly soreness
    x huge adventures, which you will tell your grandchildren for sure

    And probably many many many things more!
    I am so thankful for every second during this time and so happy about experienced this with this people!

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    Stephanie D

    Horse trekking
    18/10/2023 Helpful

    Bataa is an amazing Guide. You feel safe at every time. He takes care of his clients and make them always feel very comfortable. I can recommend him without exception. When you’re looking for a great time in Mongolia, Bataa should be your Guide. Thanks for everything! See you next year.

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    Meli

    Short tour
    20/10/2023 Helpful

    It was a dream for me to discover Mongolia on horseback. The experience was even more incredible than I had hoped, and one thing’s for sure, Bataa had a lot to do with it. Thanks to him, we got to know the traditions and people of Mongolia. He was available 24 hours a day to help us communicate with our guides and helped us, explaining what we should and shouldn’t do. He was there for the laughing, the good times but also when we were having a hard time. Perfect guy-de😃 ! I’ll definetely do my next trip with him again !

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    Alessandro C

    Horse trekking
    28/11/2023 Helpful

    That was the most exciting experience of my life. Our guide Bata was always very helpful and helped us with every problem imaginable.
    I will never forget this trip.
    Thank you for everything.

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    Leonie M

    Events & Festivals
    19/10/2023 Helpful

    Where should I start – I had an an indescribable and amazing experience from the beginning until the end and further.

    I was on a very well-organized nine-day riding tour with a small group of people. Bataa from Taiga Nomadic Travel accompanied our group and did incredible work to provide us with unforgettable experiences (for example feeding eagles, eating traditional Mongolian food, galloping bareback through the Mongolian steppe and heading camels).
    Always helpful and friendly, he enabled communication with the Mongolian horsemen, took us to Gers and introduced us to nomadic families and their way of living. Further, he spontaneously organized an additional three-day stay with a family of Kazakh Eagle Hunters – another once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Bataa was always available, helping with several issues and did his very best to fulfill all desires. My expectations were more than satisfied and for certain it wasn’t my last tour with Taiga Nomadic Travel.

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