Mongolia: Land of Chinggis Khaan

From fossilized dinosaur bones to wild horses thundering across grassy steppes, you’ll soon understand why Mongolia adventure travel is a journey to the “Land of Blue Sky.” The recreational and anthropological pursuits are countless, from horseback and camelback treks to visits with local families to learn about their traditions and customs, and the fragility of their nomadic lifestyles. This Mongolia expedition includes hiking to high camps in search of the Siberian ibex, fly-fishing in the Onon River, searching for treasures in the Gobi Desert, and more, so conjure up your sense of curiosity and adventurous spirit!

Itinerary

Day 1: USA

Depart the USA on an independent flight to South Korea.

Day 2: Seoul-Incheon, Korea

Arrive in Seoul and transfer to the Hyatt Regency Incheon Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Seoul-Incheon / Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, transfer to the Kempinski Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Ulaanbaatar / Hustai National Park

Today, visit the Mongolian Museum of Natural History with an excellent exhibit on dinosaur fossils, many of which were recovered from the areas you are about to explore. Then make the way to Hustai National Park to search for the wild PrzewalskiÂ’s horses that call the park home. This rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse was at one time extinct in the wild, but has been successfully reintroduced to its native habitat throughout Mongolia. Dinner and overnight at Hustai Ger Camp.

Day 5: Hustai National Park / Ulaanbaatar

Rise early this morning to seek out Mongolia’s abundant wildlife—including more Przewalski’s horses, Amur falcon, red deer, and wolves—on either a leisurely nature walk or half-day hike to Moilt Camp. Reconvene and drive to the southern steppes to see the Neolithic Ongut graves. Late this afternoon, return to Ulaanbaatar for dinner and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.

Day 6: Ulaanbaatar / Dalanzadgad / Gurvansaikhan National Park

After an early breakfast, fly to Dalanzadgad and travel in 4x4 vehicles through the mystical Gobi Desert. Upon arrival at the Dungenee Ger Camp, spend an afternoon at leisure, followed by dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Gurvansaikhan National Park

Accompanied by naturalist guides, hike through the stunning Yol Valley to learn more about the GobiÂ’s resident wildlife. After a picnic lunch, take a guided tour of the Valley of Yol Museum. Dinner is followed by a performance from local Mongolian entertainers. Overnight at a ger camp.

Day 8: Gurvansaikhan National Park / Singing Sands

The caravan of 4x4 vehicles trek farther west through the amazing Gobi landscape and concludes at Hongoriin Els or “the Singing Sands.” These giant white sand dunes rise like a mountain range from the desert floor, reaching hundreds of feet, and continuing for miles in every direction. A short climb to the top of the dunes rewards with stunning views at sunset. Dinner and overnight at Singing Sands Ger Camp.

Day 9: Singing Sands / Flaming Cliffs

Rise early this morning to capture the spectacular sunrise above the waking desert. After breakfast, visit a traditional camel-herding familyÂ’s home and take an optional camel ride across the desert plains. Then drive to the Three Camel Lodge for check-in and lunch, and venture out to visit the Flaming Cliffs, famous for their concentration of dinosaur fossils. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 10: Dalanzadgad / Ulaanbaatar

Today, return to Ulaanbaatar, via Dalanzadgad, and spend the afternoon touring MongoliaÂ’s capital and largest city. Dinner and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.

Day 11: Ulaanbaatar

This morning, continue the tour of Ulaanbaatar with a visit to the Winter Palace Museum and the Gandan Monastery. After lunch, Mongolian athletes, clad in colorful costumes, treat you to a private outdoor display of two nationally-celebrated traditional sports—wrestling and archery. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Ulaanbaatar, followed by an overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Ulaanbaatar / Onon River

Today, fly to the Onon River region, most famous as the land where Chinggis Khaan was born and where the Mongolian empire was established. Upon arrival, board rafts for a float down the calm, crystal clear waters of the Onon to a private river-side ger camp where you enjoy dinner and overnight for the next two nights.

Day 13: Onon River

Explore the Onon River’s incredible environs, choosing from a variety of activities: float, fly fish, ride horses, hike, or search for birds—this remote region offers chances to see the black-billed capercaillie, Baikal teal, whooper swan, and great bustard. This evening, visit the log homes of the Buryat people, a distinct Mongolian tribe, and join them around an evening campfire to be enchanted by their unique costumes and songs.

Day 14: Onon River / Jalman Meadows

This morning, fly to Jalman Meadows. Visit local herding families for a firsthand glimpse into the daily lives of Mongolian nomadic pastoralists. Dinner and overnight in a cozy ger camp for the next two nights.

Day 15: Jalman Meadows

Take full advantage of the last day in the Mongolian countryside with horseback riding, floating down the Tuul River, and hiking. Enjoy a lecture from a local guide on Chinggis Khaan, followed by a candlelit dinner and drinks under the stars.

Day 16: Jalman Meadows / Ulaanbaatar

Drive to Ulaanbaatar this morning and, after lunch, visit the monastery-museum of Choijin Lama. This magnificent five-temple complex houses the best tsam masks in the country, among other artifacts. Dinner and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.

Day 17: Ulaanbaatar / Seoul-Incheon, Korea

After breakfast, board your flight to Seoul-Incheon. Spend the day at leisure, enjoy dinner together, and overnight at the Hyatt Regency Incheon Hotel.

Day 18: Seoul-Incheon / USA

Transfer this morning to the airport where you connect with your independent homeward flight.

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