A Quick Summary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Mongolia

  • Day 2: Danshig Naadam Day 1

  • Day 3: Danshig Naadam Day 2

  • Day 4: Khuvsgul Lake

  • Day 5: Park Rangers and Nomadic Family

  • Day 6: Reindeer Nomads

  • Day 7: Shamans of Khuvsgul

  • Day 8: Khuvsgul to Ulaanbaatar

  • Day 9. Gorkhi Terelj National Park

  • Day 10. Gobi Transfer: Vulture Valley and Khavtsgait Petroglyphs

  • Day 11. Khongor Sand Dunes and Camel Riding

  • Day 12. Flaming Cliffs

  • Day 13. Gobi to Ulaanbaatar

  • Day 14. Departure

Your Itinerary

New Ulaanbaatar Airport to Khui Doloon Khudag

Land in Ulaanbaatar and take the one-hour drive straight to Khui Doloon Khudag 28kms west of the city • Check in to HS Khaan Resort and rest up • Khui Doloon Khudag, an expansive locale serves as a central hub for traditional horse-racing and is considered iconic grounds

Welcome Dinner

Tuck into a sumptuous welcome dinner at HS Khaan Resort’s Mongolian ger restaurant while getting to know your fellow travelers and adventurers

Mongol Khans and Khatans: Mongolian Traditional Clothes Fashion Couture

While enjoying dinner, feast your eyes on the timeless elegance of Mongolian traditional clothing. • From the flowing summer deel to carefully crafted accessories, each garment tells a story that echoes the cultural traditions, beliefs, and values of the Mongolian people. • Try on these exquisite Mongolian couture pieces yourself to understand the ancient lifestyle that crafted and refined them over centuries

Danshig Naadam Day 1

Danshig Naadam or Khuree Tsam Festival is an enchanting Buddhist religious festival that takes place in Mongolia every August • It honors Zanabazar, Mongolia’s first Buddhist leader who served as the head of state and religion • At the heart of Danshig Naadam, you’ll find mesmerizing Tsam dancing with performers adorned in striking masks and intricate costumes to portray demons and spirits. This visually captivating dance is believed to ward off evil and bring blessings • In addition to Tsam dancing, enjoy the spectacles of the three traditional sports that make up any Naadam in Mongolia: horse-racing, archery and wrestling 

Mongol Nomadic Camp – Nomadic Immersion

Next stop is Mongol Nomadic Camp • Spend a day with a nomadic herder family, diving into a lifestyle that spans over 10,000 years. • Experience firsthand what life is like on the Steppe as while engaging in daily tasks alongside the host family. From milking cows and processing dairy to collecting argali (dry cow droppings used for fuel and mosquito-repellent) and herding cattle and sheep, each activity is a snapshot of life as a nomad.

Ger Art Gallery

Step into an art gallery hosted inside a ger, where the rich inner world of modern Mongolian artists awaits.

Morin Khuur: Mongolian Horse Fiddle

After a long-day’s work, the family returns home to put up their feet and enjoy the soothing deep sounds of the Morin Khuur • Enjoy a folksong performance from one of the family members

Danshig Naadam day 2

Enjoy the thrill and adrenaline of the finals as the day concludes all the traditional sports competitions • Marvel at the skills of artisan lamas as they showcase their talent and skills in the balin-torma contest, crafting beautiful and intricate figures out of barley flour to serve as offerings. • Witness the art of debates and singing the Buddhist way, as lamas enter into friendly competitions from debating Buddhist logic to chanting mantras

Meet Mongolian Horseracing Champion Mr. Batkhuyag

Meet the legendary horse racing champion and multi-generational rider Mr. Batkhuyag, during the festival. •  See the world of horse-riding in a new light as Batkhuyag shares his insights on the intimate bond between rider and steed.

Tasting Naadam Khuushuur

No Naadam is complete without Khuushuur, delicious crispy deep-fried pockets of dough stuffed with minced mutton or beef and garnishes. • Tuck into a Khuushuur or two with bare hands, as Mongolians believe the heat of the khuushuur on the fingertips improves circulation and promotes well-being

Ulaanbaatar to Murun

Meet your guide in the morning at the hotel lobby.  • Transfer to the airport for the one-hour flight from Ulaanbaatar to Murun.

Next Stop: Khuvsgul Province

Land in Murun, the capital of Khuvsgul province • Lake Khuvsgul, also known as “the deep blue pearl” is stunning, both visually and environmentally, and has an ancient history dating back over 2 million years. • Visit the Murun Museum for a fabulous overview of the diverse peoples and animals of Khuvsgul province, both past and present. The museum’s exhibitions range from a 100-million-year-old mammoth tusk to ancient jewelry and Shaman divination tools.

Drive: Murun to Khatgal Village (Khuvsgul Lake)

The drive from Murun to Khatgal village (Khuvsgul Lake’s north shore) will take around 1.5 hours.

Khuvsgul Lake

To the locals, Khuvsgul Lake is simply “Ocean Mother”, the center of all life around its shores. It is the second largest in all of Asia and the largest in Mongolia, holding 70 percent of the entire country’s fresh water. The watery expanse and its surrounding lands are classified as a national park and also claim a spot on UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Boat: Khatgal to Ar Davkhar Peninsula Eco-Camp

In Khatgal village, transfer to a private boat for a 20-minute ride to Ar Davkhar Peninsula Eco-camp. • Feast your eyes on the deep blue pearl of Asia as you ride across the Khuvsgul lake. • Upon reaching the eco-camp, check in and enjoy the serenity!

Ar Davkhar Peninsula Eco Camp

Spend the next three nights in the presence of Mr. Tumursukh, a globally renowned lifetime park ranger of Darkhad Valley and the greater Khuvsgul region.

Exploring the Taiga: An afternoon with Mr. Tumursukh

Join Mr. Tumursukh on a guided walk through the untamed expanses of the Taiga. •  Stop by the strategically placed salt licks, essential for the survival of local deer in these lands. • Watch out for the local Taiga fauna and flora from the majestic moose, elusive bears, marmots, or wild boars. • Delve into the intricate ecosystem of the Khuvsgul region, guided by an expert in nature. • Mr. Tumursukh’s wealth of knowledge will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the remarkable Taiga and its diverse inhabitants.

Trek tour to Somoo Saridag (Wish Rock)

Set out on a two-hour trek from camp to Somoo Saridag, also known as “Wish Rock”, a geologic formation on the banks of Khuvsgul Lake. • Locals and visitors alike pay homage to this site to whisper prayers and wishes in hopes of fortuitous returns. •  On the way there, soak up the biodiversity of Khuvsgul.

Lunch: Khorkhog

Returning from Somoo Saridag, enjoy a truly local dish: Khorkhog, a local barbecue dish consisting of fresh mutton and vegetables cooked over hot stones. •  Roll or toss the hot stones from hand to hand, which is said to improve circulation and overall well-being. Give it a try – hot potato style, or in this instance, hot “stone”.

Exploring Mongolian Culture through Ger Building

Delve into Ger building to gain profound insights into the unique development of Mongolian culture and its distinctiveness from other societies. • Get to know your fellow travelers better by building a ger together as a team

Khuvsgul Lake Campfire Party

After a hearty dinner, gather around the campfire on the shore of the lake, ending the day with an unforgettable communal experience, sharing stories and songs.

Boat trip: Alag Tsar and Nomads

Take a two-hour ride along Alag Tsar, a beautiful shore along Khuvsgul Lake that is home to reindeer nomads.

Trek to a Darkhad Nomadic Family

Upon landing, trek for 10-20 minutes through the lush surroundings to reach a remote Darkhad Family.

Visit a nomadic Darkhad family

Spend the morning discovering the richness of a Darkhad traditional lifestyle in the untamed northern edge of Mongolia,.

Tsaatan Nomads

Transfer to the boat for a short 20-minute ride to visit Tsaatan (reindeer) nomads. Unveil a rich culture and tradition intricately tied to reindeer and wholly unique from other Mongols.

Double Lake Camp

Get back on the boat for a half-hour ride from Alag Tsar to Double Lake by Toilogt camp. Upon arrival, check-in and rejuvenate for the day.

Leisurely Morning & Lunch

Enjoy the morning at your leisure. Treat yourself to the freshest of lunches sourced straight from the abundant waters of Khuvsgul Lake, expertly prepared by the camp’s resident family.

Drive: Double lake to Shaman’s home

Take an hour’s drive to the Shaman’s home from Double Lake.

Shaman Visit

Darkhad Valley is home to powerful shamans, individuals who act as mediums between the living and the dead. A practice as old as mankind, Mongolian shamanism is the worship of Tengri, or “Eternal Blue Sky”, which is believed to be a higher spirit world. Sit down with a local shaman to learn more about the practices and beliefs.

Take the two-hour drive from Khatgal Village to the Murun airport.

Flight: Murun to Ulaanbaatar

The flight to Ulaanbaatar takes an hour. Sit back and enjoy the scenery along the way.

Ulaanbaatar city

Ulaanbaatar is a juxtaposition of nomadic felt gers, modern coffee chains, Soviet-era apartments, and thousands of ruggedized Toyota Priuses. It serves as a testament to the pace of modernization and the forces of urbanization. As you stroll through the city, you’ll notice a paradoxical blend of old and young elements: resident English-speaking entrepreneurs mingle in trendy cafes and cosmopolitan jazz bars, sharing the same streets with Buddhist temples and history museums.

Drive: Exp-Ulaanbaatar to Tsonjin Boldog

After enjoying a delicious breakfast at the hotel, hop on the bus and head towards Tsonjin Boldog, home to the famous Chinggis Khaan Statue. Take the elevator up the world’s tallest equestrian statue for a panoramic view of the surrounding hills.

Drive from Tsonjin Boldog to Gorkhi Terelj National Park

After visiting the impressive Chinggis Khaan statue, head to the stunning Gorkhi Terelj National Park. Along the way, soak in Mongolia’s vast beauty—rolling hills, mountains, and endless grasslands. After a 40-minute drive, step out into the mountain air

Aryapala Meditation Center

Take the one-hour scenic hike through the woods to the Aryapala Meditation Center, deep inside the national park. The final test will be the 108 stairs leading up to the entrance of Aryapala. At the top, a spiritual guide leads the ensuing meditation, while immersed in nature.

Drive: Gorkhi Terelj National Park to Ulaanbaatar

The drive from Terelj National Park back to Ulaanbaatar will take around two hours depending on traffic conditions

Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad

Transfer to the airport for your fligth to Dalanzadgad, the capital of Umnugovi province. Your new chauffeur will greet you and escort you to your vehicle in Dalanzadgad.

Gobi Desert

Welcome to one of the world’s largest deserts: the mystical Gobi, a landscape where undulating sand dunes give way to stretches of green shrublands teeming with diverse wildlife. Expect a medley of ecosystems, 33 to be exact, ranging from desert basins to low mountains to rocky terrains that stretch for miles on end, each with their own Mongolian name to boot.

Dalanzadgad airport to Dream Gobi Resort

The drive from Dalanzadgad to Dream Gobi Resort will take around 1.5 hours.

Drive: Yolyn am

The drive from Dream Gobi Lodge to Yolyn Am will take a total of around 1 hour.

Valley of the Vultures: Yolyn Am

Yolyn Am, on the edge of the rocky Gurvansaikhan National Park, translates to “Valley of the Vultures”. This sheer canyon in heart of the Gobi desert is famous for its year-round ice field and, as the name implies, the Lammergeiers, or “Bearded vultures”. Enjoy the scenery up close, on foot or on horseback, through the canyon’s grassy meadows, small streams, and wending valleys, the sunlight bouncing off wildflowers and desert plants with grazing sheep and ibex roaming the sheer facades.

The Khavtsgait Petroglyphs (optional)

Drive through the breathtaking expanse of the Gurvansaikhan National Park to a jagged ridge that harbors the secrets to the Gobi’s ancient past. Emblazoned on the flat surface of these black rocks are ancient drawings of animals and deities, etched by the hands of Bronze and Iron age peoples 4,000 years ago.

Drive: Dream Gobi resort to Khongor Sand Dunes

Take a thrilling 4-hour drive from Dream Gobi resort to the majestic Khongor Sand Dunes. •  Traverse sand dunes and mountains, including the scenic Gurvan Saikhan Mountain, immersing yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Gobi region. • Enjoy a rejuvenating wilderness lunch with the private chef along the way

Khongor Sand Dunes: Singing Sands

Khongor Sand Dunes is the largest stretch of dunes in the Gobi desert (nearly 1,000 square kilometers in reach). • Khongor Sand Dunes is also known as “Singing Sands” for the low-pitched groaning they emit, a result of the fine grains being brushed by the wind. • Take the scenic drive through the Gobi covering over 200kms of steppes and dunes including a pass through Dungenee Canyon and Gegeet Valley, the latter being home to the highly elusive desert residing snow leopard.

Camel ride/ Sand Slides

The star of this evening’s sunset sand dune ascension is none other than the two-humped Bactrian camel, also known as the Mongolian camel. These resilient creatures are the only species of camel still found in the wild and live only here, in the Gobi. Enjoy the ride up the silky dunes with the prismatic sunset on the horizon and the Khongor River below.

Visit to a Gobi Family

Spend some time with a nomadic family who call the harsh dry Gobi desert home.

Gobi delicacy Jimbii (Jimbee)

Jimbii is a famous Gobi traditional meat barbecue dish, made with beef ribs or mutton, but may also be made with camel meat. The meat is sauteed before being boiled and steamed with various herbs and spices, resulting in a tender and juicy meat dish that is hearty and satisfying.

Drive: Khongor Sand Dunes to Dream Gobi resort

Take a scenic 5 hour drive from Khongor Sand Dunes to Dream Gobi Resort.

Drive: Dream Gobi to Flaming Cliffs

The drive from Dream Gobi to Bayanzag will take a half-hour.

Bayanzag: The Flaming Cliffs

Behold one of the Gobi’s most dramatic and dramatically named sights at the otherworldly Bayanzag. The Flaming Cliffs, as they are known in English, are so called for the spectacular fiery glow of the red-orange sandstone bluffs at sunrise and sunset. It was here, in 1923, that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen.

Paleontology Expert

Meet up with a professor from the Institute of Paleontology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences who will be joining today’s excursion as an expert guide.

Fossil Site: VIP Access

Continue on to some of the richest dinosaur fossil sites in the Gobi desert, where creatures such as velociraptors have emerged from the dust and rock to captivate the world. Enjoy exclusive access to a dig site that is closed to the public and get up-close with one of the Gobi’s unearthed fossils.

Pop-Up Dinner Experience Beneath the Flaming Cliffs

Bask in the magical essence of the Gobi with a private dinner beneath the Flaming Cliffs curated and prepared by a top chef.

Drive: Dream Gobi to Dalanzadgad Airport

The drive from Dream Gobi to Dalanzadgad Airport will take around an hour and a half.

Flight: Dalanzadgad to Ulaanbaatar

Transfer to the airport for the 1.5-hour flight from Dalanzadgad to Ulaanbaatar. Your new chauffeur will escort you to your vehicle in Ulaanbaatar.

Special Dinner at Choijin Lama Temple Museum

An architectural masterpiece and one of the oldest structures to remain standing in modern Ulaanbaatar, Choijin Lama Temple is both a museum and a house of faith. Built in the early 20th century by the last lama-king of Mongolia, the Temple is a tranquil little spot in the beating heart of Ulaanbaatar city. Enjoy an exclusive farewell dinner in the temple museum to cap off your Mongolian adventure with a bang.

Depart for Home

You WildMongolia guide and driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to take you to the airport (~1.5 hours drive), help you check in for your departure flight home and bid you farewell.

Your Accommodations

Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar

Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar is located right in the heart of the city centre. It is an ideal base for both business and leisure travelers and within walking distance of the famous Government House, Great Chinggis Khaan Square and main offices and embassies. The hotel features 290 elegant and spacious guestrooms with a minimum of 42 sqm and contemporary and indigenous fusion design.

All guest rooms and suites overlook either Nairamdal Park to the south or Great Chinggis Khaan Square and panoramic vistas of the city to the north.

HS Khaan Resort

This unusual and quirky Japanese-owned resort is situated a one-hour drive west of the international airport and overlooks the National Naadam Race site. The slightly disheveled grounds of the resort reveal 26 surprisingly luxurious suites in individual ger-shaped cottages. Each cottage can sleep up to four people and has a large double bath, as well as a shower room, a small kitchen/bar area, and a seating area with views of the open steppe.

Double Lake by Toilogt

Double Lake by Toilogt Camp is a well-known tourist camp located in Mongolia. Situated in the picturesque Khuvsgul province, the camp offers visitors an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and nomadic culture of the region. Toilogt Camp provides comfortable accommodations in traditional Mongolian gers, houses, and teepees. The traditional ger dwellings consist of a round, felt-covered structure and offer a unique and immersive experience of a nomadic lifestyle. The gers are equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for guests. The camp offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Exploring the stunning surroundings is a highlight, with opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and fishing in the nearby lakes and rivers. Visitors can also engage in cultural experiences, such as participating in traditional Mongolian games, attending folk music and dance performances, and learning about local customs and traditions.

Ar Davkhar Peninsula Eco Camp

This remote eco camp is located on the beautiful Ar Davhar peninsula on the east shore of lake Khuvsgul Lake. When we say remote, we mean it –  there are no other settlers or tourist camps nearby, and the whole peninsula is surrounded by the pristine waters of  the lake, creating a private world of unusual geological interest, rich in the beauty of nature and an abundance of unique flora and fauna. The camp holds sustainability at the core of all it does, and at the helm is the camp owner, Mr. Tumursukh, a globally renowned, lifetime park ranger of Darkhad Valley and the greater Khuvsgul region. Expect a one in a lifetime experience, immersed in the local lifestyle of those who call Lake Khuvsgul their home.

Dream Gobi

Situated amidst the stunning landscapes of the Gobi Desert, the lodge offers a unique opportunity for visitors to the natural beauty of the region. The lodge provides comfortable accommodations, typically in the form of gers (traditional Mongolian nomadic tents), allowing guests to experience the authentic nomadic lifestyle while enjoying modern amenities. The gers are spacious, cozy, and tastefully decorated, providing a comfortable and peaceful retreat after a day of exploration. Dream Gobi Lodge offers a range of services such as spa and massage, swimming pool and activities to make your stay enjoyable.

Homestay in Gobi nomadic family

As many a seasoned traveler knows well, there’s no better way to immerse in local culture than by staying with the locals, and tonight’s stay is no exception. Tucked away in the Gobi remote family, this local family has opened their home to weary travelers looking for a place to lay their heads. Set your expectations in advance though, as this is a 100% no-frills stay. The bathroom is the same one that the family uses – an outdoor outhouse (your guide will have toilet paper and hand sanitizer for you to use). Prepare to get down to the basics in this quaint homestay and see how local Mongolians really live.

Additional Details

Recommended Seasons

  • Late Spring

  • Summer

What’s Included

  • WildMongolia English speaking guide

  • Private on the ground transportation with a 4X4

  • All accommodation costs, as noted in the itinerary, breakfast included
  • All admission fees and expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals highlighting local cuisine and as mentioned in itinerary
  • Bottled water and local snacks between meals

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Mongolian tourist visa, if requiered
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Other meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers

Book this journey

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY