trip
Plan your active adventure.View relaxed booking conditions.
2
Adventure touring
Activities
  • Adventure touring
  • Horseback riding
Accommodation
  • 7 nights ger camps
  • 3 nights hotel
  • 1 night homestay
Meals
  • 11 Dinners
  • 8 Lunches
  • 10 Breakfasts

12 Days$2990USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: ABG

Trip highlights


  • Witness the annual Naadam Festival
  • Hiking, horseback riding, and home cooking
  • Overnights in traditional ger camps
  • Meet local nomadic families and learn about their traditional way of life
  • Explore the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the Genghis Khan equestrian statue
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura fans, excited to explore all this unique destination has to offer

Mongolia is known as the land of blue skies, boasting vast and dramatic landscapes, from its sand dunes and snow forests to its famous steppe that stretches toward never-ending horizons. Come with us to explore unique national parks and a historic sporting festival—by road, on foot, and even on camel and horseback.

On this remote adventure, we'll be charting a path across large swaths of Mongolia's striking terrain. Along the way, we'll have the chance to visit with nomadic families and dive into the complicated history of the Mongol Empire. We'll stay in traditional ger camps and taste classic food and drink, including Airag, the fermented mare's milk that's a local favorite. Our journey will culminate with the annual Naadam Festival among thousands of other spectators, observing physical feats that pay tribute to Mongolia's warring history.


You'll be met and transferred from the airport to the group hotel. Our group will meet in the evening for a welcome dinner and trip briefing before spending our first night in Mongolia. Overnight in Ulaanbaatar

Meals:  D

After breakfast, we'll spend our day exploring the capital city. We'll visit the restored Gandan Monastery, a Tibetan-style Buddhist monastery home to several hundred monks. We'll also visit the National Museum of Mongolia and Sükhbaatar Square. After lunch, we'll test our brain power at the International Intellectual and Puzzle Museum, also known as the IQ Museum. Created by puzzle master Tumen Ulzii, it is a place dedicated to curiosity, logic, and riddles.This evening, we'll enjoy a dinner and a traditional folklore concert. Overnight Ulaanbaatar

Meals:  B,D

Today we drive to to Mongol els sand dune in Khogno Khan National park. Here, we'll visit the Mongol Els sand dune, nearly 50 miles long and set in the park's dramatic desert landscape. We'll then ride two-humped (bactrian) camels for one to two hours to explore the local Buddhist monastery. We’ll visit with the camel-breeding family and learn more about their nomadic life. In the evening we will take a leisurely walk in the sand dunes before spending the night in a ger camp. (about 300km driving about 5 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we continue our journey by road to Karakorum (also Qara Qorum), capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260. We'll visit the Erdene Zuu monastery, the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, adjacent to the ancient city ruins. We'll also stop by the Karakorum Museum, located in the modern-day town of Kharkhorin, to learn about the history of the town and the artifacts found in various nearby archaeological sites. This afternoon, we'll take some time to relax and absorb the views along the Orkhon River, the longest river in Mongolia. We'll spend tonight at a ger camp, which by now will feel just like home. (about 100km driving, about 2 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we depart the ancient capital and continue toward Ögii Lake, a freshwater expanse known for its fish and birdlife. We’ll stop along the way to discover more about the country’s history, zooming in on Turkish influences during the 7th to 8th centuries. Much of the territory of the original Turkish Empire encompassed major parts of modern-day Mongolia, and one of their main successors were the Uighurs, an ethnic group now concentrated in western China's Xinjiang Province that speaks a Turkic language and follows Islam. As we arrive at Ögii, any birdwatchers among you will not be disappointed. As the main source of fresh water in this region of the steppe, Ögii lake attracts many birds, including the beautiful Oriental Plover and the Bar-headed Goose. Tonight we'll stay in a ger camp on the shore of the tranquil Ögii. (approximately 150km driving, about 3 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

Wake up this morning and take in the beautiful lakeside view. After breakfast, we'll depart for our next destination: Khustain Nuruu National Park. Declared a Specially Protected Area in 1993, the park—whose name means Birch Mountains—is home to 44 species of mammals and 217 species of birds, including Mongolia marmots, Eurasian Lynx, and lammergeier (bearded vulture). The last wild horses, or Takhi, were reintroduced here in 1992 and the population has slowly been stabilized. Our group will settle into the ger camp. Then, in the late afternoon, we'll drive to the mountains for the best chance to see the Takhi as they gather close to sunset. Along the way, we might also see red deer, gazelles, ibex, foxes, badgers, and any one of 29 species of local grasshoppers. We'll have dinner at the camp and then settle in for the night under a blanket of stars. (about 300km driving, approximately 5 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at the ger camp, we'll drive to visit a local nomadic family, who will be our hosts for the rest of the day. Today, we hope to get a brief glimpse into the daily life of Mongolia's nomadic people. For lunch, we’ll have a cooking class and make buuz, a traditional Mongolian meal. During the day, you have several different options. You can horseback ride, or hike in the surrounding mountains and meadows. There will be ample opportunity to taste Airag—made from fermented mare's milk, it's a favorite drink of Mongolians. Our evening meal will be a traditional Mongolian barbecue, called Khorkhog. Overnight will be in our trusty ger camp, which will be set up right next to our host family. (about 50km driving, about 1 hour)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today after breakfast, we'll bid farewell to our nomadic hosts and continue our journey. Tonight, we'll be setting up our ger camp in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. On the drive to Gorkhi-Terelj, we'll stop just outside the park to see the impressive mounted statue of Genghis Khan. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, which is also home to a Buddhist monastery, is beautiful and has two famous rock formations whose nicknames will make a lot of sense when you see them: Turtle Rock (Mongolian: Melkhii Khad) and the Old Man Reading a Book (Praying Lama Rock). You'll have the chance for an evening walk before dinner, and a good night's rest at our ger camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is one entirely dedicated to exploring the park. Depending on what you're feeling, you can visit the monastery and meditation centre, set out for a hike, or go for a horseback ride. There is also a lake and hot springs, as well as a few small shops and restaurants, that you can roam around and check out. We'll come together over dinner and spend another night in ger.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today, we set out for the town of Zuunmod for the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival! It'll be an early start to the day for the drive to the center of Töv province. When we arrive, we'll head first to our ger camp to drop off our luggage and shake our legs after the drive. We'll then hop back into the vehicle for the shorter drive to the festival itself. The Naadam Festival, locally known as "eriin gurvan naadam" or "the three games of men"—wrestling, horseback riding, and archery—is the country's most widely watched festival and is held during Mongolia's national holiday. We'll spend the rest of the day viewing the "three games" in Zuunmod's local stadium. Tonight after dinner, we'll return to our ger camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning, we head back into Ulaanbaatar. Our first stop is the city's central stadium, where we'll see the archery competition and hopefully the ankle-bone shooting game. In the afternoon, we'll make a short tour to visit to Zaisan Memorial, a massive communist-era propaganda monument and mural, perched on a hill overlooking the city. Later, we'll also visit the Bogd Khan Palace Museum, also known as the Winter Palace. We'll celebrate our last night together with a farewell dinner, and raise our glasses to a trip packed with adventures. Tonight, back in a hotel, you might already begin missing our ger camp.

Meals:  B,D

Our trip concludes this morning. After one final breakfast together, we'll transfer you to the airport to depart home or onto your next destination.

Meals:  Nil


Inclusions

  • 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 11 dinners
  • Accommodation: 7 nights in ger camp, 3 nights in hotel and 1 night homestay
  • Private transportation
  • Airport transfers on day 1 & 12
  • Expert local guide and an Altas Obscura representative
  • All entrance fees, activities and excursion listed in the itinerary
  • Sleeping bag and mat for one night homestay

  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc

Departure dates


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Total Priceper person from

$2990USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Wander Mongolia: Blue Skies and Endless Steppe with Atlas Obscura trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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