our guranteed departures

Best of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
(6 days)
Best of Gobi Desert
(8 days)
The Genghis Khan's Birthplace
(8 days)
The Secrets of Gobi Desert and the Steppes of Central Mongolia
(10 days)
The Central Mongolia and Khovsgol Lake
(12 days)
Big Loop of Mongolia
(18 days)

The Western Mongolia Unveiled
(20 days)

Sand River in West Mongolia
Khurgan Lake
Camping at Mukhart Oasis

Detailed description



Today we will set off for a driving day to Karakorum (also called Kharhorin).

Karakorum is the site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Genghis Khan. The founding of Karakorum started on the ruins of Turug and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khangai Mountains in 1220 by the Genghis Khan’s order. It was completed 15 years later during the Ugedei Khan’s reign. The town was a very cosmopolitan and religiously tolerant place.

The silver tree, part of Möngke Khan’s palace has become the symbol of Karakorum.

The highest peak of its prosperity was from 1220 to 1260. The specific feature of this stage is that Karakorum existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire with Mongolia as its core and as the centre of politics, economy, culture, religion, intellect, and diplomacy and the prominent tie of international relations.

Between 1260 and 1380 Karakorum lost the status of the Great Mongolian Empire and became the capital of Mongolia. When Khublai Khan claimed the throne of the Mongol Empire in 1260, as did his younger brother, Ariq Boke, he relocated his capital to today’s Beijing. Karakorum was reduced to the administrative centre of a provincial backwater of the Yuan Dynasty.

In 1368, the rule of Mongolian Yuan Dynasty collapsed and the centre of Mongolian government was shifted to its homeland after 110 years since Kublai Khan moved the Empire capital to China in 1260. It gave Karakorum a chance to prosper again.

In 1388, Ming troops under General Xu Da took and destroyed the town.

Today nothing is left from this legendary city.

In 1580, when Abtai Sain Khan together with his brother, lord Tumenkhen, visited the 3rd Dalai Lama and expressed their wish to build a temple in Mongolia, he advised them to reconstruct one old temple in Karakorum. The temple in Takhai ruins that was restored in 1588 according to the Dalai Lama’s recommendation is the Main Zuu temple of Erdene Zuu monastery.

Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residing there. We will explore the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by its massive 400 m X 400 m walls. We will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple.

Another place we will visit will be Karakorum Archaeological Museum. It is a small museum but housed in a modern well-run building with good lighting and display cases with clear English labels. The exhibits include dozens of artefacts dating from the 13th and 14th centuries which were recovered from the immediate area, plus others that were found from archaeological sites in other parts of the provinces, including prehistoric stone tools. You’ll see pottery, bronzes, coins, religious statues and stone inscriptions. There’s also a half-excavated kiln sunk into the museum floor. Perhaps most interesting is the scale model of ancient Karakorum, which aims to represent the city as it may have looked in the 1250s, and is based on descriptions written by the French missionary William of Rubruck. Another chamber exhibits a most recent addition, a Turkic noble tomb with wall paintings and artifacts, including gold items and jewelry. There is a short video of actual burial site.

We will also see the Turtle Rock and the Phallic Rock, visit little market behind walls exposing local arts by locals.

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Karakorum Monasteries
Monk Praying
Erdene Zuu Monastery
Cradle of Mongolian Civilization

Tsenher hot spring

This morning we will driving westward in the direction of Khangai Mountains. On average, the Khanggai Mountains are 2500-3000 M above the sea level and are composed of mainly granite, intrusive chert and sandstone belonging to Paleozoic era. The Khanggai Mountains is about 800 km long, ranging from Zavkhan province territory to Tuv province. They function as the continental divide of the world water system.

The green mountainsides and the network of smaller and larger rivers offer excellent pastureland for the herds of horses, yaks and cows.

In the afternoon we will reach Tsenkher hot spring. This resort has a large open-air pool at its customer’s disposal. The hot water of the pool flows continuously in from the hot water spring. At the spring, the temperature of the water is over 80 ° C. A complex pipelines system regulates the water temperature. Some will spend hours sitting in the pool talking to their friends while staring at the stars or scanning the nightly nature around them.

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Tsenher Hot Spring

Tsetserleg & Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur

In the morning we will reach Tsetserleg, capital city of Arkhangai province. It is a lovely little town surrounded by forested hills. Here we will visit the Buyandelgeruulekh Monastery, the town main functioning monastery and the nice little Museum of Arkhangai located in Zayaiin Gegeenii Monastery. From the museum we will walk hill upward to a small abandoned monastery and enjoy the beautiful view we have from there over Tsetserleg and the surrounding hills.

We will eat lunch in a local restaurant. In the evening we will reach Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. It is one of the most beautiful lakes of the country. The lake is surrounded by extinct and craterous volcanoes, and was formed by lava flows from a volcanic eruption many millennia ago. As a result of the volcano eruptions the landscape is covered with black volcanic rocks.

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake

Khorgo- Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park

Today we will relax around the White Lake (also named the Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur). We will make an excursion to the top of Khorgo Uul Volcano and we will pass the gorges that lead from Tariat to the volcano.

The volcano crater is 200 m wide and 100 m deep and is covered with trees at the back and around the opening of the crater. To the south of Khorgo there are numerous basaltic “gers” formed during the cooling of lava; some of the gers have gates and upper holes and reach 1.7 m high.

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Khorgo Uul

Telmen Lake

Today we will head westwards passing Ikh-Uul and Tosontsengel village of Zavkhan Province. End of the afternoon we will reach Telmen Lake. Telmen is a beautiful lake which hosts abundant birdlife. The lake lies near the boundary between the forest-steppe and steppe ecosystems. You will find different kinds of landscape around the lake such as sand dunes, beautiful mountains, green forest and several rivers and other lakes. Lake Telmen, a closed lake basin, is slightly salty (about 4g per liter salinity). Here you can see the rare desert flower “zambaga”. We will enjoy some hiking and relaxing near the lake.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Lake Mongolia

Ulaagchinii Khar Lake

We will start driving on Mongolia’s worst roads to enter one of Mongolia’s least visited regions, Western Mongolia. Embedded in the sand dunes belt there is Ulaagchinii Khar Lake is located to west side around 1000 km from Ulaanbaatar capital city. The lake is surrounded by huge sand dunes in the north and mountain hills in the southern shore. Beautiful a view.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Ulaagchinii Khar Nuur

Senjit Rock & Mukhart Oasis

Today we will drive to Senjit Rock, the stone gate that has a shape of granite rocky arch located on a top of hill. In ancient times the rock used to be solid but the strong wind carved the gate into today’s formation over millions of years. The size of the gate is 6m in width, 3.5m in height and a nature beauty of the area and stands on 2773 meter above sea level. On your right hand side you will have a first glimpse of Bor Khyariin Els. Bor Khyariin Sand Dunes are about 180 km long, 15 km wide, and 300 meter high. Sand dune has few passages and offers a beautiful panoramic view on the surrounding area. All along the sand dune a river Khungiin flows in length of 200 km and is a vital life source to desert people and their cattle.

Further we will continue to Mukhart Oasis. Several sites of the sand dunes harbour small or big rivers. The most interesting one is Mukhart River arises beneath the sand dunes and flows throughout the desert and finally join Zavkhan River. We will climb dunes and hike around the river. There has been eco-friendly project led by a researcher who initiated tree planting some years ago. Now the river is surrounded by trees, bushes and a heaven for animals.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Mukhart Oasis
Senjit Khad

Airag & Khyargas Lakes

The Great Lakes Depressions is a region that stretches out from Uvs to Khovd aimag over about 40.000 square kilometres. The Great lake depression is a semi-arid desert region delimited westward by the Altai Mountain Range. In spring, melting snow from the Altai Mountain ends up in the depression’s lakes. Being deprived of outlets to the sea, those salt lakes become giant evaporating points.

Later during the day we will reach Khyargas Lake which is famous for having the least number of mosquitoes at any time of year, and its banks are like a pleasant seashore. On east shore of the lake we will visit 5 to 6 meter long 20 meter high white cliff called Khezuu Khad by locals. Spring time many migratory water birds nestle and breed. 

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Khyargas Nuur

Extra Relaxing at the Lakes and Camel Riding

After having driven through half of Mongolia, we will relax for another day at the lakes. Will have chance to swim or fish in the lakes.

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Khyargas Lake

Ulaangom and Kharkhiraa Mountain

Uvs province in the far north west of Mongolia is a spectacular region of permanently snow-capped mountains, glaciers, torrential rivers, salt-water and freshwater lakes, sand dunes and a fantastic variety of animals and plants. End of the afternoon we will reach Ulaangom, capital city of Uvs Province, where we will visit the local market to stock up with food.

After our short beak at the market we will go on driving on a rough but scenic road into the Kharkhiraa valley. We will reach the Kharkhiraa River where we will set up our tented camp. This river finds its sources in the Kharkhiraa Mountain. Its water flows into the Uvs Lake.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Kharkhiraa Turgen

Uureg Lake

Today we will head for Uureg Lake, which lies close to the Russian border and Siberia. It is a large, beautiful slightly salt-water lake surrounded by glorious mountains and some snow-capped 3000 meters plus peaks. The mouth of the valley leading into the lake is lined with nomad’s summer gers. The scene is breath taking and so are the people. We will have the opportunity to visit nomad families.

Before reaching the lake we will cross the Ulaan Davaa Pass, enjoying the views of the red mountains and sprawling valley floor.

We will spend the whole afternoon around the lake. The lake is great for swimming and there are good opportunities for hiking, fishing, bird watching, etc. Sunsets and sunrises in this dramatic scene can be stunned. They make us feel as if we are the only people on earth or as if we have reached the edges of the viable world. We will camp along the lakeshore.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Uureg Nuur

Achit Lake

From here we will drive to Achit Lake. Achit Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the province. It is on the border of Uvs and Bayan Ulgii provinces, and is an easy detour between Olgii and Ulaangom. It offers stunning sunsets and sunrises as well as good fishing. The lake is home to an astonishing array of water bird flocks.

Before reaching the lake we will cross the Ogotor Hamar Pass from which you will have breath-taking views of the region.

We will hike the whole afternoon around the lake.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Achit Lake


Today we will reach the most western aimag of Mongolia, Bayan-Olgii. Unlike the rest of Mongolia, which is dominated by Khalkh Mongolians, about 90% of Bayan-Olgii’s population are Kazakh, almost all of them Muslims.

Olgii, capital city of the aimag is a Muslim influenced ethnically Kazakh city. It is home to a mosque.

Olgii’s mosque and madrasah (Islamic place of learning) is worth a quick look, especially on Friday at lunch time when weekly prayers are held, though you may not be allowed inside. The mosque holds the offices of the Islamic Centre of Mongolia. Its unusual angle is due to its orientation to Mecca.

We will spend the afternoon strolling around in the aimag centre. We will visit the museum that has some interesting displays and gives a good overview of Kazakh culture. We will also pay a visit to the mosque.

(Ger camp B, L, D)


Namarjin Valley & the Tsambagarav Mountain

After breakfast we will set of for Namarjin Valley. On the way you will have excellent views of Tsambagarav Mountain (4200 meters), one of Mongolia’s most glorious snow-capped peaks. We will also drive along several Kazakh settlements and a beautiful turquoise lake. The grassland in this valley is covered with a carpet of alpine flowers. The whole day we will explore the region of lush valleys, dozens of little lakes and permanently snow-capped peaks.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Tsambagarav Mountain

Khovd, Bayangol Valley & Khar Us Nuur National Park

We pass through Bayangol Valley from where you will have a fine view over Khar Us Nuur (Black Lake Water), the second largest freshwater lake but in average depth of only 4 m. Khovd Gol (River) flows into this lake and its shore is not easy to approach with vegetation and marshes. In the beginning of the afternoon we will pass Khovd, capital city of Khovd Provinve. Sangiin Kherem is the Mongolian name for the remains of the Manchu fort in the Northern part of Khovd city, Mongolia. The fort was built in the 18th century, and later became the seat of the Manchu amban and his office. The fort has a quadratic layout, the walls are made of clay. There were gates at the east and west and watch towers at the four corners. The fort’s walls were surrounded by water ditches, with wooden bridges to access the gates. The remaining walls are 3 metres high and 1.5 metres thick, oriented at the four corners of the earth, each side was 0.33 km. According to Russian geographer M. V. Pevtsov, who visited the city in 1878, the height of the walls back then was 4.5 metres. The southern portion of the fort was occupied by the Manchu amban, treasury, offices, and military barracks. The eastern part was occupied by commercial firms, a Chinese Buddhist temple and a mosque. Since the year 1912 when city Khovd was liberated from the Manchu administration and the fort was taken by force, the citadel declined.

In the evening we will set up our tents close to a nomad family. We will experience the warm hospitality offered by the Mongolian families. For dinner we will be offered a typical Mongolian barbeque that will be prepared by nomads. Those who want will have the opportunity to try the “airag” or fermented horse milk. Our guide – translator will help us to forge contact with the local population.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Valley in West

Tsenheriin Agui

The Tsenkheriin Agui (also known as Khoid Tsenkher) caves are for their cave paintings, dates from 20.000 years ago. Interesting is that both mammoths and ostriches are depicted on the walls, proving that both lived in Mongolia up to approximately 15,000 years ago.

The cave has numerous passages to explore. The largest cavern (12 by 18 meters) is about 15m high. We will make a short trekking in the cave’s area.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Western Mongolia


Today we will reach Altai, capital city of Gobi-Altaï Province. Altaï is nestled between the mountains of Khasagt Khairkhan Uul (3579m) and Jargalant Uul (3070m). We will overnight somewhere past Altai.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Altai Landscape


Our next stop will be Bayankhongor. Bayankhongor town is the capital city of Bayanhonger province.

Bayankhonger encompasses three major geographical zones. The city is located in the central grass steppe zone, but to the north there are the Southern slopes of the Khangai Mountain Range with its lush forest zone and to its south there is the Gobi Desert.

At the end of the afternoon we will reach Shargaljuut hot spring. Shargaljuut hot springs and health resorts are located 60 km from the Bayanhongor aimag center in Shargaljuut soum. There are located on the North West bank of the Shargaljuut River on a rocky pass. There are more than 100 mineral hot springs that are named for human body parts and organs based on the shape of the spring sprouts and fissures. The hot springs are between 45 C and 96 C and even flow during the cold Mongolian winter.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Bayankhongor Region

Khogno Khan National Park & Elsen Tasarhai

Khogno Khan Mountain is an impressive massif in the open steppes. Not far from here runs the Tasarkhai Els, a 100 km long sand dune.

End the afternoon we will hike in the region of Khogno Khan Mountains, walk up the mountain and enjoy the incredible view over the plains, the sand dune and grasslands. We will also visit the nice little Ovgon Monastery.

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Khogno Khan Mountain


We will drive back to Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. Our team will take you directly to your hotel. You may enjoy the free afternoon to catch up all the places you haven’t visited yet. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner and share some unforgettable moments of the trip.

(B, L) 

Western Mongolia

Option 1: Tovkhon Monastery and Orkhon Waterfall

Our next stop will be at Tovkhon Monastery, established during the 1650’s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. The monastery’s wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched hear a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests. On the top of the cliff, a pile of stones to worship a god of this mountain forms a hill. It is called Ovoo. The valley is registered as world cultural heritage by UNESCO due to its ancient findings, artefacts related to early 6th century and even before that. As well as, 12th to 13th century great Mongol empire had expanded its capital Karakorum here. Moreover, pasture nomadic lifestyle still remains here and it keeps both historic and nomadic view of life.

In the Quaternary era a volcano erupted near the beginning of the Tsagaan Azarga or White Stallion River and the lava flowed down the Orkhon valley forming the 10 meter thick layer of basaltic rocks. The basaltic layer was crosscut by the Orkhon River continuously and the canyon was formed as a result.

At the beginning of this canyon lays the 20 meters high, 10 meter wide waterfall. The most adventures of you will climb down the canyon and swim the lake located at the foot of the waterfall.

Orkhon waterfall

Option: 2 days to Khoton & Khurgan Lakes

From Olgii we will drive further westwards into the direction of Khoton and Khurgan Lakes. The lakes are second largest and clearest of all lakes of Mongolia. Average depth is 26 m and deepest reaching 58 m and located at an altitude slightly over 2.000 meters altitude. Both lakes are connected by wide natural channel. The landscape around the lakes is a breath taking and picturesque, with snow-capped Altain Mountain Chain. On the way we will stop at some ancient Gokturk’s stone monuments (1500-2000 years old) near Biluut Hill.

Khoton Lake

Option 3: Overnight in Eagle Hunter family

During these two days we will live a life of a Kazakh eagle hunter! We will be follow our eagle hunter and his bird on horseback for 3-4 hour treks through the Altai Mountains looking for prey. The rest of the time we will be interacting with the family members (Kazakh people tend to have large families) and experiencing their daily life. Kazakh people are known with their warm hospitality so prepare to feel greatly welcome in their home.

Eagle Hunter

Option 4: Tolbo Lake

On the way from Olgii to Khovd, we will stop for a day at Tolboo Lake, a pristine sweat water lake, situated at 2080 meters above sea level. The lake is the site of a famous battle in the 1920’s struggle for Mongolian independence and several monuments recognize the heroism of Mongolian soldiers. We stop in Deluun village to visit the local WWII monument, then continue to the Chigertei River, whose unusually warm water is fed by a nearby hot spring.

Tolbo Lake

Option 5: days’ trip to Eej Khairhan

This ancient stone massif Eej Khairkhan or Mother Mountain rises from the desert and resembles a prone woman. The massive has 7 interconnected water pots. When the first pot is filled up, it creates a little waterfall by spilling its excess water to the next pot through the stone threshold, which is 40 to 50 cm long.

Nearby the water pots there is a little cave monastery where the monk known as the “Monk with the white horse and the white camel” lived. About 30 minutes-walk westwards are some spectacular, ancient rock paintings of ibex, horsemen and archers. This area is protected since 1992.

The area is probably one of the most isolated region of Mongolia and located on the border of most and least explored desert and Altain mountains chains.

South and North of Mother Mountain we see snow-capped impressive mountain chains Burkhan Buudai Uul and Aj Bogdiin Nuruu.

Eej Khairkhan