Mongolia's verdent steppes, sacred mountains, and warm culture await on this 14 day adventure! You will experience the nomadic ways practiced by Mongolians for generations while learning their styles of archery, cooking, horseback riding, and beyond. Explore the Terejl and Hustai National Parks on foot and horseback to visit monasteries and temples nestled deep amidst pine and birch forests and wildflowers. Witness wild horses brought back from the brink of extinction and dogs bred to protect against wolves! Immerse yourselves in the rich history of Mongolia from Genghis Khan to the present day and celebrate their proud culture on this trip of a lifetime.
Welcome to Mongolia! Upon arrival at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport and after clearing immigration formalities, meet your local guide. You will directly transfer to the Tuul Riverside Lodge. An intimate and fully sustainable traditional Mongolian ger camp on the foot of the Bayanzurkh Mountain - set amidst rolling hills above the 500-mile Tuul River, the main water source for Ulaanbaatar — awaits you; the beautiful camp’s surrounding invites to be explored and discovered! Your gers are prepared by a dedicated team of people, giving you a warm welcome!
Mongolia's capital city of Ulaanbaatar is a stark contrast to the pristine countryside. The city is constantly modernizing at lightning speed, as old Soviet style buildings are transformed to trendy shops and hotels. In this bustling cosmopolitan city, you will have the opportunity to visit historical museums, watch traditional theater, and experience the dynamic nightlife.
This afternoon, try assembling mini ger. The Mongolian Ger is a simple structure to set up. Setting up the yurt is all about balance, patience, tension, and symmetry. We highly recommend joining the entirety of the set-up process or at least taking part.
Later this afternoon, you can participate in an archery expereince! Legendary for their prowess with the bow, Mongols perfected this ancient practice with bows constructed from wood, animal sinew, bone, and glue made from fish bladders in a process that could take up to a year. A stone inscription dating from the 13th century claims that one of Genghis Khan’s generals hit a target from a distance of 1/3 of a mile.
Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening!
Channel your inner explorer and discover the beautiful surroundings of our your camp today! We hope to give you an insight of Mongolia’s captivating culture through various activities. Start with a mini cooking lesson in the morning. Mongolian traditional cooking has been enriched with cooking traditions of many other nations dating back 800 years ago to the time of conquest which led to rapid cultural exchange. Today, we will make "buuz", which is cooked on special occasions and is especially fun for kids to prepare!
After lunch our nomadic neighbor will come with his ox and his cart will take you on a ride. On the way stop and visit the local herder family to learn more about their lifestyle. The day will end with a camp bon-fire and star gazing ... and absolutely unforgettable sight on a clear night.
After early breakfast drive to Terelj National Park on the way we will stop at the imposing Genghiis Khan Equestrian Statue. Scenically situated by the Tuul River this is the place where according to legend Genghiis Khan found a golden whip, traditionally considered an auspicious omen, that consequently inspired and helped him conquer half of the known world in the 13th century. Designed and built by Mongolian architects in 2008 and wrapped in 250 tons of gleaming stainless steel, the enormous horse and it’s gigantic rider stands 40 meters (131 feet) tall and they are facing south. The statue was placed on top of the visitor’s center which itself is a remarkable 10 meters high massive base. There are 36 columns representing the 36 Khans from Genghis to Ligdan Khan. There is a great panoramic view to be had from the head of the horse that can be reached by taking an elevator from the main exhibit hall to the back of the horse and then climbing up a narrow and somewhat dark staircase inside the neck of the statue (your guide will have a torch). The very well-planned complex is surrounded by 200 gers arranged in the pattern of the horse seal used by 13th-century Mongol tribes.
After breakfast the riders are matches to their horses, saddles selected, and the horse tour begins into the Baga Khentii Mountains. During the ride we reach the remains of the charming Gunjiin Monastery, well known as Princess Temple once home to a young princess who became a protector of people and the Buddhist faith. The remains are nestled deep, a valley covered with pine and birch forests as well as an abundance of wildflowers. The continue ride at the edge of the beautiful landscape and the open mixture of mountain and grassland where forest and vegetation host an incredible number of bird species.
Riding in the Terelj National Park area is 22-28 km a day. The focus is on exploring beautiful, wild nature, visiting ruins dating back to the end of the 16th century, stopping and visiting local herder families and learning more about their lifestyle, passing over the mountain dotted with ovoo (cairn). The peaks are bedecked with colorful prayer flags and piled high with smooth stones. Ovoo mark the sites of Heaven worship ceremonies, where people gather to make offerings to Tenger, the God of Heaven according to Mongolian shamanism.
On your final day of riding, you will cross over the mountain pass Shijirt through and reach the beautifully spotted Tuul Lodge to rest at the end of your journey!
Early this morning, drive to Hustai National Park and visit the information center for a private presentation about the park with Hustai research center. During our exploration the special biologist will join us. We embark on a search for the world’s last surviving subspecies of the wild horse (Eques Ferus), known as Przewalski’s horse or "takhi". Poaching and livestock overgrazing decimated once large herds and after sightings ceased in the 1960s, conservationists pronounced the takhi extinct in the wild. Fortunately, however, small numbers of these distinctive Mongolian horses were living in captivity, so scientists collaborated internationally to breed and reintroduce the species in its native habitat. The reintroduction of the rare and endangered Przewalski’s horse has proven a success story. Current estimates place the total free-ranging takhi population in Khustai Nuruu and other reintroduction areas at nearly 400.
On the way, stop and visit the Mongol Bankhar Dog project. Most nomadic families have Mongolian Bankhar dogs. Mongolians have always considered their dogs to be part of the family. The role of the dog is to protect the livestock. When wild animals, often wolves, attack livestock, they protect and fight wolves.
Today, you will travel overland to the ancient capital of Mongolia, Karakorum. For 30 years the ancient capital of the Mongoila Empire under Genghis Khan, the largest empire the world has ever seen. At it’s height in 1279 it covered nearly all of Asia and Europe (his grandson Kublai Khan moved the capital to Beijing). This area is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is little left of the former capital these days, but the walls of the massive Erdenezuu Monastery, built in 1586, still stand. Other temples suffered damage under communist purges of the 20th century, as they attempted to eradicate the 60 temples that housed nearly 10,000 Buddhist monks.
This afternoon, we a visit to the Erdene Zuu Monastery which is the most ancient surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. It is in Ovorkhangai Province, near the town of Kharkorin and adjacent to the ancient city of Karakorin. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. On the way we drive by Erdene Khamba Monastery, also known as Khogno Tarnyn Khiid, is located only 18 km north of Elsen Tasarhai, at the Khogno Khan Uul Mountains (1967 m ASL.) Today there are only the ruins. Erdene Khamba Monastery had two sections: the lower one called the Zaluu Khiid, or the "Novice Temple" and the upper one called the Uvgun Khiid, or the "Elder's Temple", which was built on top of the mountain. The monastery was built in a sacred valley, according to Mongolian Buddhist traditions.
We will drive to Mt.Zorgol Khairkhan via Erdenesant to begin our adventure for the next few days. This granite rock high mountain is sacred and worshipped by local people every year. According to Mongolian tradition local people refuse to speak this mountain's name when they travel near it. There are some springs, and holy peaks, where only men are traditionally allowed to reach there. The mountain is very rich with medicinal plants and mystical stories.
Over these three days we will enjoy hiking through beautiful landscapes to reach Ar Burd sand Dune, edge of the Gobi Desert and extend for 20km across the steppes and enjoy dining on traditional Mongolian barbecue, known as Khorhog - our family’s favorite Mongolian dish by the way - demonstrating what an important ingredient stones can be: mutton will be cooked slowly in a huge, metal urn with vegetables, water, and most importantly hot stones from the flame. The meat becomes soft and tasty, and the water turns into a thick meaty broth... Quite a few Mongolian chefs affirm that they can taste the difference between river and lake stones!
Daily hiking in the Mt. Zorgol Khairkhan area is 18-22 km. The area has vast, open steppe on one side and the other with gorgeously shaped granite rock mountains where a small spring flows. At the end of the trip, the landscape radically changes into the Gobi desert. During the hike, camel cart support will always be there and those who don't wish to hike can sit on it to rest or load your backpack.
After breakfast we will head back to Ulaanbaatar city visit the newly opened Chinggis Khaan Museum, Located behind Sukhbaatar Square. The exhibitions inside the Chinggis Khaan Museum cover 2,000 years of history surrounding the Mongolian Empire. You can find artifacts that include clothing, saddles, deer stones, ger recreations, and more. Paintings and life-size khans make up some of the more interesting corners of the museum.
There will be an evening program of traditional song and dance, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
After a relaxed breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. We hope you had an amazing time discovering the beauty of Mongolia's culture and landscapes and wish you a safe journey home!
The Tuul Riverside Lodge is a small, fully sustainable, traditional Mongolian camp surrounded by a sea of grass and rolling hills, which stretch down to the nearby River Tuul and beyond. Situated within an hour’s drive east of Mongolia’s bustling capital Ulaanbaatar, a warm, and peaceful welcome awaits you. You will stay in beautifully decorated traditional dwellings, known locally as gers, with the added advantage of en suite facilities. Gers are constructed from a wooden lattice frame, 88 roof poles, and are covered with layers of felt to insulate against the harsh Mongolian climate. Both strong and reliable, they are perfect places to spend your time in Mongolia.
At the Tuul Riverside Lodge there is something for everyone, regardless of age, experience or ability. We offer a wide range of both adventure and cultural activities, allowing you to enjoy and learn about Mongolia to the fullest. Relax around a roaring campfire and marvel as the Milky Way passes overhead. Enjoy the solitude and freedom that is Mongolia, and let your worries fade away.
CANVAS tent with comfortable bedding, regular camping sanitary facilities, dining tent, private chef including a team of service. These tents allow us to enjoy nature while maintaining comfort in any corner of Mongolia. We include comfortable bedding, eco-friendly camping toilets, and camping shower facilities with good pressure.
Tents with kitchen support.
National Park ger camp.
Local ger camp with en-suite bathroom.
Since 1964, the Bayangol Hotel has been continuously serving travelers. Ideally situated in Sukhbaatar; one of the city's most popular locales, the hotel provides access to the city's biggest attractions. Services include 24-hour room service, free WiFi in all rooms, fireplace, and more.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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