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Mongolia Discovery – A National Geographic Journeys Trip

from
$5,645

Discover one of Asia’s most under-explored regions on a two-week adventure through Mongolia. Walk through the remote and mysterious Erdene Zhu monastery with a Lama Buddhist monk; visit the dramatic Flaming Cliffs, a world-renowned paleontology site famous for its amount of dinosaur eggs and bones; and drop by the home of a welcoming camel-herding family for an afternoon you’ll always remember. Embrace your inner nomad in this timeless place.

This trip is a part of National Geographic Journeys, in partnership with G adventures.

When you travel on a National Geographic Journeys Tour, you not only support community projects and initiatives to improve local livelihoods – but you also support National Geographic’s researchers and explorers all over the world.

These aren’t just trips; National Geographic Journeys Tours are designed to foster human connections through immersive experiences.  You’ll enjoy access to projects supported by National Geographic or its affiliates.  And with upgraded accommodations, private transportation, and other intimate inclusions, you won’t sacrifice comfort when you’re roaming the planet.

  • Reviews 0 Reviews
    0/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Adventure, Astrophotography, Camping, Culture, Landscape, National Geographic Journeys, Photo Tours
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Medium Group
    14
All about the Mongolia Discovery – A National Geographic Journeys Trip.

SIGNATURE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dinosaur Museum Visit, Ulaanbaatar
  • Erdene Zhu Buddhist Monastery Visit, Kharkhorin
  • Yak Family Farm Experience, Orkhon Valley
  • Nomadic family Experience, Khongoryn Els
  • Tsenkher Hot Springs Visit, Tsenkher
  • Mongolian Cultural Show & Dinner, Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit Khustai National Park
  • Gobi desert excursion and dune hike

If you have any questions in regards to this trip, please use the following form to contact us:

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The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Dinosaur Museum Visit, Ulaanbaatar
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Erdene Zhu Buddhist Monastery Visit, Kharkhorin
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Yak Family Farm Experience, Orkhon Valley
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nomadic family Experience, Khongoryn Els
  • Your Wellness Moment: Tsenkher Hot Springs Visit, Tsenkher
  • Your Foodie Moment: Mongolian Cultural Show & Dinner, Ulaanbaatar
  • Arrival transfer
  • Ulaanbaatar city tour
  • Visit Khustai National Park
  • Visit the archaeological museum
  • Soak in hot springs
  • Hike to Tuvkhun Monastery
  • Orkhon waterfall hike
  • Visit Hoshuu and Ongiin Khiid monasteries
  • Flaming Cliffs excursion
  • Gobi desert excursion and dune hike
  • Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park excursion
  • Folklore show with dinner
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • International air-tickets (return)
  • Meals not indicated in the above itinerary
  • Items and expenses of a personal nature
  • Personal expenses: meals, drinks, telephone calls, room service, laundry, etc.
  • Drinks, entrance fees, portage, tours/excursions and transfers not specified above
  • Cancellation, baggage or medical insurance;
  • Any new and sudden increase of Government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control;
  • Optional tours not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Visa fees where relevant
  • Comprehensive personal travel insurance
  • Tips for tour leader, driver and staff on tours
  • All Other Services not mentioned above
  1. Day 1 Please enquire about available dates

    Arrive at any time.  Arrival transfer included.

    The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introduction, your local guide will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

  2. Day 2 (B) Please enquire about available dates

    Enjoy a morning city tour including visits to the Gandan Monastery, Bogd Khan Palace, and Zaisan Hill. Later, take a tour of the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs and learn about the dinosaurs of the Gobi desert from a docent.

    The Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs was established to protect, register, and verify fossils, in order to preserve Mongolian heritage for future generations. Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes once roamed the Gobi desert and some of their fossilized bones and eggs were first found in the 1920s by Roy Chapman Andrews. Walk through this small but excellent museum with an expert guide, learning about the paleontological history of the region.

  3. Day 3 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Travel to Khustai National Park — home of Mongolia’s wild horses. Here, meet with park staff and learn about the wild horse reintroduction project. Keep an eye out for Takhi horses in their natural habitat.

    Home to the last of the truly wild horses in the world, the park is a wonderful chance to see the Takhi horses in their natural environment. At one point there were none in the wild, but after a hugely successful captive breeding program in various worldwide zoos, they were reintroduced.

    This trip covers a lot of ground and we will do so in 4×4 vehicles but there is a lot of driving on some very rough and un-maintained roads. A large part of Mongolia’s appeal is its wild, untouched nature and, as such, accommodation and infrastructure can be very basic in nature. As such, hot water and electricity can be uncertain. Mongolia is a country which is very different to anything you will have experienced before and while this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  4. Day 4 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Drive to Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia. Visit the Erdene Zhu Monastery, the nation’s first centre of Lama Buddhism, and meet with a head monk for an in-depth lesson in Buddhism. Later, visit Karakorum Museum.

    Erdene Zhu is a Buddhist Tibetan monastery dating back to 1585. Built from the ruins of Genghis Khan’s capital, it’s the oldest surviving monastery in Mongolia today. Visit the monastery to meet one of the monks who live here and learn about Buddhism history in Mongolia. In 1939, the communist leader Horlogiin Choibalsan destroyed the monastery in a purge that brought about the disappearance of hundreds of monasteries in Mongolia and the death of more than 10,000 lamas. Three temples and the outer wall with the stupas remained intact and were transformed in museums in 1947. After the fall of communism in 1990, the monastery was given back to the lamas and Erdene Zhu became a place of worship again, where many pilgrims come to walk and gather their thoughts. The site was restored at the end of the century and almost found back its religious activity. Today, Erdene Zhu remains an active Buddhist monastery, and at the same time a museum open to travellers.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  5. Day 5 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Arrive at Tsenkher Hot Springs in the afternoon. Visit the springs for a relaxing soak in the natural hot springs. The place is very popular with both locals and tourists as the hot water here is said to have healing powers.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  6. Day 6 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Drive to Orkhon and enjoy a hiking excursion to the Tuvkhun Monastery, established in the 1650s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. The monastery’s wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched near a hilltop, from which you can take in beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and surrounding pine forests.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  7. Day 7 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Visit a local family’s horse- and yak-breeding farm for a cultural immersion like no other. Get to know the family and learn about their daily life and how they make staples such as cheese and butter. Step out of your comfort zone and sample some of their products, including yak cream and yogurt, and fermented mare’s milk. Enjoy a peak into rural life as well as an exciting demonstration of their famed horse-riding and herding techniques.

    After, hike to the Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall along the Ulaan River. Marvel at this 20 m high waterfall, the largest in Mongolia, and enjoy the surrounding landscape.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  8. Day 8 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Drive into the Gobi, one of the world’s great deserts which covers much of the southern part of Mongolia. Here we visit the ruins of the Hoshuu and Ongiin Khiid monasteries.

    Both these monasteries were important centres in the region before they were destroyed. The systematic destruction of religious sights under Communist rule was pervasive. Built in 17th century, the Ongiin Khiid monastery was among the largest temples in the country and was a home for over 1,000 monks. See the ruins and learn the sad history of the place.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  9. Day 9 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Explore the Flaming Cliffs paleontology site, made of red sandstone, and is world-renowned for the vast amount of dinosaur bones and eggs found.  Fossils were found in recent years over here, and is a beautiful place to spend some time.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  10. Day 10 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Drive to Khongoryn Els and explore more of the Gobi desert. Hike through Mongolia’s largest dunes, often called the ”Singing Sands”.  They are nicknamed as such because the sand makes a musical noise as it moves with the wind.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

     

  11. Day 11 (B, L, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Enjoy a visit with a nomadic camel-herding family, gaining insight into their very different way of life. Try your hand at some of the daily farming chores and opt for a camel ride. Take part in an archery lesson and demonstration with the family.

    In Khongoriin Els we have the unique opportunity to visit a Nomadic family to learn about their daily life. The Gobi desert being the coldest desert of the world with cold wind blowing pretty much throughout whole autumn, winter and spring without any shelter exposed in plains demands extreme survival method of living. Also enjoy a demonstration of Archery, which is a sport as ancient as the history of Mongolia. In ancient days bows and arrows were primarily used for hunting animals for food and protecting the tribe from outside threats. Over centuries, the uses of archery changed and the tradition passed down to become one of the most practiced sports with the main competition being held during the Naadam Festivals.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

     

  12. Day 12 Please enquire about available dates

    Drive through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain in Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, passing through the green valleys of Yolyn Am and Dungeness Am.

    Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park was established in 1993, and is the largest national park in Mongolia. Located on the northern edge of the Gobi desert. The park is stunning and ranges from desert to mountain, green valleys to steep gorges. Keep an eye out for wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, desert gazelles or Golden Eagles. Also pay a visit to the little museum of the park where you can admire a collection of dinosaur bones.

    Accommodation would be in Mongolian traditional Gers.

    Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite – all camps have shared facilities with toilette’s/sinks/showers. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

  13. Day 13 (B, D) Please enquire about available dates

    Catch a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. This evening, enjoy a folklore show and farewell dinner.

    Enjoy an evening of song and dance at the Mongolian Cultural Show. The show includes 15 different performances, including traditional songs, dancing, throat singing, and contortionists.

     

  14. Day 14 (B) Please enquire about available dates

    Breakfast in hotel and rest of the day at leisure before departing for your international flight home.

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Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

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