FROM DESERT TO STEPPE and LAKES

 

Duration:  18 days, 17 nights

Overland Tour:  distance 2950km

Activities: Horse and Camel riding to Khongor sand dune, discover lake Khuvsgul and Zuun lake, Enjoy at Tsenher hot spring, visit Amart monastery. hiking around Uran togoo mountain .

 Provide more than 2pax

Discount: 30% off for children under 2-6 years old

 General description


By joining our particularly this tour you will have opportunity cover most of the desired destinations of Mongolia. We will take to the land of dinosaurs, sand dunes, drive you on the rolling hills and endless plains of Mongolia and stopping over by crystal clear lake while you explore, discover, observe and learn history, culture, facts and traditions behind those thrilling natural beauties.

You will see there an eternally clear sky, blue mirages, golden sands and boundlessly expansive steppe lands, wild asses, ibexes camels, mountain sheep and gazelles flourish here, as do different types of flora. That’s the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and Waterfall, horse riding, hot spring, White lake. North Mongolia is especially known for its famous Lake Khovsgol, the smaller brother of the nearby Lake Baikal to the north in Russia. The clear crystal blue lake reflects the soaring mountains and sky, surrounded on all sides by massive green plain

 

 

  • Day 1. Granite formations of Baga Gazriin Chuluu  


Ulaanbaatar– Baga Gazriin Chuluu 250km Visit one of the few rocky mountains of Gobi, Baga Gazriin Chuluu where you will find gorgeous looking granite rock formations shaped in different forms eroded by wind and other violent elements of Gobi. During mid 18th century some high ranked and locally respected Buddhist monks lived in the area, as evidence of their existence we will see some temple ruins and inscriptions on the rock. According to some historical sources, Chinggis Khaan also had lived here. It’s a great location for some pleasant hike. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger (L+D)

  • Day 2. Great white stupa in the desert


Baga Gazriin Chuluu – Tsagaan Suvraga/White stupa 220km Today we will be driving thru vast and empty rocky desert and semi-arid steppe to reach out White Stupa. Mongolians always have admired and honored this unique natural formation of 30ms h, precipitous, stupa shaped slopes as White Stupa. The place definitely will remind travelers some lunar landscape with its mystery of fossils hidden underneath and stunning color combinations. The area deemed to be bottom an ancient ocean. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger. (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 3. Three beautiful mountains- Gobi Gurvan Saikhan


White stupa – Yoliin am 225km Today we will reach Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park which covers some chain of mountain ranges as the southern end of the Gobi-Altai Mountain range. Gurvan Saikhan literally meaning “Three Beauties” referred to the highest three peaks of the range which is almost over 2800ms. Hiking in the Yoliin Am or Bearded Vulture’s canyon. Regarding the snowfall and shade in the canyon, oftentimes there formed a high layer of ice cover which sometimes will stay till mid July. During our walk, we may either walk on top or bottom, or just see the parts of this ice. The canyon is surrounded with steep Rocky Mountains creating some shade which is pleasant to hike thru during hot days of Gobi desert. During out hike, you may notice some rodents such as pica and ground squirrel along with colorful wild flowers and plants. Although mountains are the home for wildlife like ibex, mountain goat and argali, the wild sheep, spotting these animals will purely depend on fortune. Continue driving towards to Dungenee canyon where we can start another beautiful hike along the stream in the canyon. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger / tents. (B+L+D)

 

  • Day4-5. Khongor Sand Dunes


Gobi Gurvan Saikhan - Khongor sand dunes 180km Continue driving to west of the park to Khongor sand dunes which are known as the highest and biggest dunes in the country. Stop at Khongoriin Els or Khongor sand dunes. These are the most astonishing dunes of Mongolia with extension of over 180kms length and around 3-15kms width and average h is 80ms. The highest dune is 200ms and from the top these dunes you will capture amazing view of Gobi with the most beautiful sunrise and sunset. When you climb the dunes they shift and cause a sound of vibration which very much resembles to the sound of an airplane hence it’s also called Singing Dunes. Overnight optional: A tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger (B+L+D)

  • Day 5 
    When you are in Gobi, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get on the Bactrian Camels. It’s obviously is one of the remarkable experiences to trek on the camels along the dunes, on the green lush down the foot of the dunes. Our camel riding will last until we reach a small oasis where there are some Gobi bushes and shrubs. Camels are great lovers of Saxaul shrubs and it’s considered as the most precious wood in the desert for its outstanding survival and growth on desert soil. You will surely enjoy the pristine nature and high mountains during the ride. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 6. Legendary Flaming Cliffs


Khongor sand dunes –Bayanzag 150km This beautiful alluring red cliff of sheer mud rocks are locally named “Bayanzag” is one of the world’s famous dinosaur site. Thanks to American explorer Roy Andrews Chapman Bayanzag became a cradle of ages old creatures and known to the rest of the world as “Flaming Cliffs”. During their expeditions Chapman and his team were the first to reveal dinosaur fossils and eggs in 1922 from Bayanzag and other neighboring localities which are today displayed in Mongolian dinosaur museums in Ulaanbaatar and other museums around the world. Not far from the cliffs there is a so called Gobi forest of Saxaul shrub. These trees are indigenous Gobi plants that are underground water fed and grow on the dunes. When its blossoms, it becomes a favorite vegetation for camels. Both of the above mentioned sites are ideal for hiking. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / local family ger (B+L+D)

 

  • Day6. Legendary Flaming Cliffs


Bayanzag - Ongi monastery 150km Today we gradually move from South to West, into the territory of Middle Gobi province. Our target destination of the day is Ongi Monastery ruins. Some 200 years ago, on the banks of the Ongi River, there was built huge complex of Buddhist temples. At its peak, it housed more than 1000 lamas and had religious institute, astrology center and traditional medicinal school. Unfortunately as same as many other monasteries, the place were heavily impacted by communist destruction. Later in the mid 2000s, a local with other private funding sources have restored a temple where a special occasion ceremonies are held. Take a short excursion around the ruins. Visit the small temple and a ger museum where some belonging and possessions of lamas found from the ruins are displayed. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 8-9. Historic Orkhon Valley


Ongi monastery – Orkhon valley 350km Today we will see Orkhon waterfall which is on the confluence of Ulaan and Orkhon rivers. Therefore occasionally locals would refer the Waterfall as Ulaan Tsutgalan, meaning Red Fall. The Orkhon waterfall is counted as the biggest waterfall in Mongolia due to its h and width. In the years of bountiful rainfalls, waterfall becomes majestic creating rainbows over its currents. You will have the opportunity to ride a horse in the valley Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger. (B+L+D) 

 

  • Day 9 

Morning at leisure. After lunch we will visit a yak breeding family and learn about their life and try some yak products. Hiking and horse riding opportunities. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger. (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 10. Tsenkher hot spring


Orkhon Valley –Tsenkher hot spring 150km Arrive at Tsenkher Hot springs. It is one of the biggest Mongolia’s hot springs, has a temperature of 86 degrees. It’s popular for its healing properties and high content of sulphur. The hot spring is mostly used for relaxing and restoring your health. Here we will have a hot tub outside and enjoy cold beer and beautiful scenery. Optional hiking and a great place for wild flower observers. You will be given a plentiful time to soak yourself in the hot pool. Stay at the tourist ger camp “Altan Nutag”. (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 11-12. Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park


Tsenkher hot spring – Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake 260km Road to Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park which is located in Arkhangai province and created by a volcanic eruption. The Lake is called White Lake by locals as a symbol respect to the nature and water. There are few kinds of fish were found in the lake. Hiking along the shore of the Lake. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger. (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 12


Visit to an extinct volcano Khorgo which is on the h of 2240ms. From the top of the Volcano you will enjoy the amazing lava flows covered with forest and splendid view of the lake. Some thousands of years old lava flow formed an original scene that has never seen elsewhere in Mongolia. During the eruption were also formed different sized caves which later were mentioned in local stories and legends. Stopover by Cave of the Yellow Dog. Horse riding opportunities. Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 13. Zuun Lake – Shine Ider


Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur – Zuun Lake 180km Our journey will continue with driving towards the North. Today we will drive over the forested mountains passes, fields filled with colorful wild flowers shifting from one to other beautiful landscapes. Overnight optional: Nomadic family ger / tents (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 14-15. Blue Pearl of Mongolia- Khuvsgul Lake


Zuun Lake – Khuvsgul Lake 270km Arrive at Khuvsgul Lake which respectfully referred as “Blue Pearl” or “Mother Sea “by locals. The Lake is one of the wonders and top destinations of Mongolia. Khuvsgul Lake is located in the northwest of Mongolia near the Russian border, at the foothills of the eastern Sayan Mountains. It is 1,645 meters (5,397 feet) above sea level, 136 kilometers (85 miles) long and 262 meters (860 feet) deep. Khuvsgul Lake is the deepest lake in Mongolia. It is the second-most voluminous freshwater lake in Asia, and holds almost 70% of Mongolia's fresh water and 0.4% of all the fresh water in the world. Almost hundred springs, rivers and streams flow into the lake when only Egiin Gol River flows out form this gigantic water pool. Plus its water factors, Khuvsgul National Park cover huge percentage of Mongolian forest and primarily Taiga.

 

  • Day 15


Day at leisure. Optional horse riding and hiking. The scenic fields of edelweiss and other colorful flowers, happily grazing yaks and herds of horses will definitely make to wonder around the lake. Upon the advanced request possibilities to visit a local shaman. Overnight optional : Tourist ger camp / nomadic family ger (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 16. Uran Togoo extinct volcano


Khuvsgul Lake –Uran Togoo Mountain 250km After breakfast, start our excursion around the monastery. To attend a morning chanting ceremony. Start to drive towards to Uran Togoo an extinct volcano crater which is located in Bulgan province on the way to Khuvsgul Lake. Uran literally meaning artistic is a crater almost looks like that its ridges has been carved in very fine craftsmanship. Diameter of circled crater ridge almost about 500ms with 15m depth and surrounded with trees will add color to the scenery. Optional climbing and hiking Pass by Khutag Undur, a small county and visit remains of ancient Uigur capital Baibalik, which existed during 9th century AD. Overnight optional: nomadic family / tents (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 17. Amart monastery


Uran Togoo Mountain – Amart 290km Continue our journey to one of the biggest and well preserved Buddhist Monastery Amart which means a place of “Tranquil Felicity”. This place of pilgrimage was built between 1727-1736 by the order Manchurian King as token of his respect for Mongolian religious leader Zanabazar. The complex consists of 30 temples. During the communist purges, the monastery was able to survive for its great contribution in Mongolian architectural art and invaluable cultural heritage. Upon arrival at the site you have opportunities to go for a short hike Overnight optional: Tourist ger camp / nomadic family / tents (B+L+D)

 

  • Day 18. Ulaanbaatar


Amart – Ulaanbaatar 365km Return to Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to your accommodation. (B+L)

  • Included
  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • English speaking guide at all times.
  • In the countryside, all lodging will be in ger camps and nomadic family’s Ger.
  • All meals are provided as stated in the itinerary.
  • Ground transportation: in the countryside by driven 4WD van, bus in the city area.
  • Park entrance fees
  • Horse and Camel ride
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • 1.5 liter of drinking water per day per person

 


Not included

  • Accommodation in a hotel or hostel in Ulaanbaatar
  • Hotel extras, such as telephone calls, bar bills, and laundry services
  • Travel insurance, medical insurance
  • Visa application fees
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses such as IDD call, internet, laundry, items of a personal nature
  • Gratuity to local guides and drivers
  • Airfare or train ticket
  • Airport taxes, excess baggage charges (over 44pound / 20kilo)
  • Changes in arrival/departure flights
  • Additional services
  • Any charges of major force beyond our control (e.g. imposition, quarantine restrictions, etc…)

 

Packing list

This is a suggested packing list, which you should feel free to adjust to suit your needs. Please refer to our travel guide for more detailed information.


  • backpack or soft bag
  • waterproof bag cover
  • day pack
  • head lamp/flashlight
  • spare batteries/bulb
  • personal medications
  • waterproof hiking boots
  • waterproof jacket with hood
  • waterproof over pants
  • fleece jacket or wool jumper
  • cotton t-shirts
  • long sleeve shirts
  • lightw trousers
  • shorts
  • socks
  • underwear
  • sun hat
  • sandals
  • sunglasses
  • sun cream
  • insect repellent
  • resealing (Ziploc) plastic bags
  • binoculars/camera
  • watch/ alarm clock
  • money belt/ pouch
  • insurance confirmation copy
  • emergency contact number
Number of days: 18
Covered regions:
Central Mongolia
Gobi Desert
Western Mongolia
Northern Mongolia
Eastern Mongolia
Included services:
Guide
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Accommodation (Hotel/Guesthouse)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Entrance tickets (e.g. museums, parks etc.)
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/Train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
Transport: Minivan
Tour season:
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Tour categories:
Private tours
Cultural tours
Adventure tours
Offroad tours
Sightseeing tours
Winter tours
Special Event tours
Wildlife tours
Highlight tours
Photo tours
Hiking tours
Horseback riding tours
Circle tours
Short tours
Budget tours
Languages:
English
German
French
Spanish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Russian
Other
Payment Method

For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.