We welcome you to the world of astonishingly untouched nature with a surprising mixture of landscapes, majestic snow-capped mountains, gigantic blue lakes, rare flora and fauna as well as heterogeneous ethnic groups and unique nomadic culture that is Western Mongolia! This is an extremely restful environment where you should spend your vacation. During this tour, we will visit not only the western area but also wonderful natural & cultural sights of central Mongolia. We will stay in the traditional Mongolian dwellings, the ger, sometimes overnight in tents in beautiful spots and gaze at the amazing starry sky before sleeping. Feel life’s freedom in the immeasurable spacious and silent paradise of Western Mongolia and enjoy the beauty of pristine nature. And end of the trip we will visit The Golden Eagle Festival. Every year during the first weekend of October, “The Golden Eagle Festival” is celebrated in Bayan-Ulgii Province, in the far west of Mongolia. Bayan-Ulgii Province is situated in the breathtaking scenery of the Altai Mountain Range, where Mongolian, Chinese and Russian territories meet. The inhabitants of this area are mostly ethnic Kazakh people who inherited their rich culture from their ancestors. They wear fancy embroidered clothes and hunt with their wonderfully trained “Hunter Eagles”. Several tournaments and cultural shows are the most interesting parts of the festival. There is no other place on the earth where you can see so many trained Golden Eagles up close.
Day 1. Sep 19. Ulaanbaatar-Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes.
After breakfast we will drive west to beautiful Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes. On the way we will visit the Khustai NP. Khustai National Park is located in Altanbulag Sum, Tuv Province. Khustai has 506 square km area and was established in 1993. The park protects the wild horse “Takhi”, also known as Przewalski’s wild horse in the world, and a bio-diversity of other rare wild animals and plants. The quantity of various ecosystems within the park assures an abundance of wildlife. Many of these are mentioned in the Red Data Book as globally threatened with extinction such as the Przewalski’s horse, Mongolian gazelle, red deer, Argali sheep, grey wolf, fox, marmot and many more.
Continue driving to the Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes. The Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes is one of the most picturesque places of Mongolia and is part of the 80 km long Mongol Els Sand Dunes. This place is a wonderful combination of pretty sand dunes, majestic granite mountains, grassy green land, a clear fresh spring and a tiny lake. Indeed, here you can enjoy seeing the combination of Gobi and Khangai Natural Zones. We will visit local nomadic family, ride a two-humped camel and walking and climbing on the sand dunes. (Ger camp/ L, D)
Day 2. Sep 20. Karakorum “Ancient Capital of the Great Mongolian Empire of the Genghis Khan”, Erdenezuu monastery
Today we will drive to Karakorum “Ancient Capital of the Great Mongolian Empire of the Genghis Khan”. Karakorum (Kharkhorin) was the capital of Great Mongolian Empire of Chinggis Khan in the 13-14th Centuries. Visit one of Mongolia’s two largest monasteries, “Erdenezuu”, Museum of Karakorum and surrounding sites of Karakorum: the Great Khan’s monument, the legendary Turtle of Karakorum and the Phallic Rock statue. Erdenezuu Monastery has a complex of 108 stupas and over 10 temples that contain rich displays of Mongolian Buddhism. The Erdenezuu Monastery and ruins of Karakorum were registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996. (Ger camps/ B, L, D)
Day 3. Sep 21. Ulaan Tsutgalan “Water fall”
Today we will visit to the Ulaan Tsutgalan “Water fall”. Ulaan Tsutgalan “Water fall” is on Ulaan River which flows through basalt rocks formed by a unique combination of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes around 20000 years ago. Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall cascades from a height of 20 meters and is naturally most impressive after heavy rain but disappears in dry seasons. (Tents/ B, L, D)
Day 4. Sep 22. Tsenkher Hot Spring.
In the morning we will drive to Tsenkher Hot Spring in Arkhangai Province. Thenkher Hot Spring water contains a blend of the most useful minerals for the human body. Mongolians say its water is a pleasant treatment for stress, nervous disorders and rheumatism. Then enjoy walking to the beginning of the mineral spring and having hot mineral water bath. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 5 . Sep 23. Khorgo - Terkh National Park.
Drive to beautiful Khorgo-Terkh National Park. On the way we will pass through the town of Tsetserleg, the center of Arkhangai Province. Continue driving along the amazing canyon of Chuluut River and Khangai Zone. Arrive in the camp, relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 6. Sep 24. Visit the spots in Khorgo Terkh National Park.
Today we will visit the attractions of the park: the Khorgo extinct volcano, the Yellow Dog’s Hell, the Ice Cave and Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. Khorgo - Terkh National Park has been protected since 1965 and covers an area of 773 square km. Khorgo Mountain was an active volcano just 8000 years ago and Khorgo is covered with basalt. Red deer, Siberian deer, wild boar, reddish and black ducks are found in the park. During the summer, great cormorants commonly nest at Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. The lake is beautiful with crystal clear fresh water and supports pike & other fish. Torrents of lava is suing from the Khorgo Volcano dammed the Terkh River in the north and south forming the lake and is at an altitude of 2060 meters above sea level. Enjoy walking and bird watching by the lake shore. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 7. Sep 25. Telmen Lake in Zavkhan Province.
Drive to beautiful Telmen Lake in Zavkhan Province. This salt lake is at an altitude of 1789 meters above sea level and covers an area of 194 square km. We will camp at the eastern end of Telmen Lake. Free time for hiking by the lake shore and relaxing in the quiet beauty of nature. (Tents/ B, L, D)
Day 8. Sep 26. Khar Lake and Sand Dunes.
Today we will drive to Khar Lake to see the wonderful joining of a fresh water lake and sand dunes. Khar Lake is at an altitude of 1980 meters above sea level and covers an area of 89 square km. Enjoy climbing the sand dunes, hiking, swimming and admire the natural beauty. (Tents/ B, L, D)
Day 9. Sep 27. Khyargas Lake.
Continue driving to Khyargas Lake along the Bor Khyariin Els Sand Dunes. Khyargas Lake is one of the largest lakes in Mongolia and is located in the Great Lakes Depression that is a globally important wetland area for migratory birds and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Khyargas Lake is a huge inland sea 75 km long, 31 km wide and 80 meters deep. The water is brackish and has rare fish such as Mongolian grayling. The surrounding atmosphere of the lake area makes you feel that you are really separated from bustling outside world. Enjoy relaxing and bird watching. (Tents / B, L, D)
Day 10. Sep 28. Kharkhiraa Turgen Mountain Range.
This morning we will travel to the untouched Kharkhiraa Turgen Mountain Range. On the way enjoy the picturesque scenery of the Khan Khukhii Mountain Range. The mountains of Kharkhiraa Uul and Turgen Uul are perpetually snowcapped. Kharkhiraa Mountain reaches 4038 meters above sea level and Turgen Mountain reaches 3965 meters. Here there are many kinds of rare plants and animals such as snow leopard and wild Argali sheep. The mountain range is a great place for hiking. We will make a short visit to Ulaangom, center of Uvs Province. (Tents/ B, L, D)
Day 11. Sep 29. Kharkhiraa Turgen Mountain Range.
Today we will drive to the northwestern part of the Kharkhiraa Turgen mountains. On the way we will visit a local nomadic family and learn about their rich culture and nomadic way of life. The family will be from any one of Uvs Province’s ethnic groups: Dorvod, Bayad, Khalkh or Khoton. Have a pleasant trek around the camp area or in the beautiful Kharkhiraa Turgen mountains. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 12. Sep 30. Achit lake.
Achit Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Uvs province of Mongolia, in the west of the country. At an elevation of 1,435 m above sea level it covers an area of 290 km². It is 28 km long, 16 km wide, and 10 m deep. The coast is covered with steppes, mostly hilly but swampy on the northwest and northeast. Several rivers also flow into the lake. (Tents/ B, L, D)
Day 13. Oct 1. Tsagaan nuur village.
Drive to Tsagaan nuur village. We will get permission from the army border. Stay overnight at Kazak nomadic family. (Ger/ B, L, D)
Day 14. Oct 2. Entrance of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park.
Today we will continue driving to the park entrance of Altai Tavan Bogd NP. (Ger/ B, L, D)
Day 15. Oct 3. Base camp (trekking 15 km).
We will trek for around 15-16 km to the base camp at the edge of the 20 km long Potanin Glacier. There we load our luggage on camels and Arrive at the Base camp and pitch the tents. The Altai Tavan Bogd or Five Holy Peaks include: Khuiten Peak (means cold), Ulgii Peak, Burged Peak, Nairamdal Peak and Malchin Peak. The highest one is Khuiten at an altitude of 4374 meters above sea level and is the roof of Mongolia. Enjoy the stunning view of untouched nature and the territories of the bordering countries. (Tents/ B, L, D)
Day 16. Oct 4. Entrance of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park.
Today we will trek back to the car. (around 15 km) to the entrance of the park using the camels for our luggage. (Ger/ B, L, D)
Day 17. Oct 5. Visit Kazakh eagle hunter’s family
We will visit a local Kazakh eagle hunter’s family and learn about the Kazakh people’s unique lifestyle, traditions and how they train the eagles for hunting. (Kazak family, Ger/ B. L, D)
Day 18. Oct 6. Ulgii Town, center of Bayan-Ulgii Province.
After breakfast we drive to Ulgii, center of Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s western most province. The province is famous for its untouched snow-capped mountains and the Kazakh nation that makes up nearly 5% of the population with their rich, unique culture. Visit the museum of Bayan-Ulgii Province and learn basic information about the area. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 19.Oct 7-8. Hunting Eagle Festival in Ulgii.
For two days we will enjoy the Golden Eagle Festival near the town of Ulgii. Attend the opening ceremony and enjoy watching the three tasks of the tournament: hunters calling their eagles from the top of a hill to land on their arms, the eagles hunting for hides drawn by a running horse and the eagles catching a live animal, a fox. The participants are judged not only by the skills of their eagles but also by the finery of their attire, the traditional hunting dress, gloves, harnesses and the birds’ hoods. We will then see the riders’ games like plucking a flower while riding a running horse, traditionally called “Buzkoshi”, and fighting for possession of a dead goat on horseback as well as a Kazakh nomads’ cultural performance. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 20. Oct 9. Ulaanbaatar.
Today you will fly back to Ulaanbaatar and we will pick up you from the airport. When you arrive in Ulaanbaatar city you can visit shopping at a cashmere factory outlet store if you want. (B)
Itinerary: West and Central Mongolia – Golden Eagle Festival
Duration: 20 days/ 19 nigths
Activities: camel riding and hiking
Group Size: min 1-2, max 6 (big groups are available)
Included in the price:
• Experienced driver and 4WD minivan with fuel
• English speaking tour guide /cook
• Accommodation during the trip
• Cook for during the trip
• Entrance fees for protected areas
• Museum & Eagle Festival tickets
• All meals (B.L.D)
• We provide 1.5 liter of mineral water per person, daily
• Camel riding /optional/
Excluded in the price:
• Alcoholic drinks
• Personal items
• Extra and optional activities’ cost
• Travel insurance
• International airfare
• Domestic flight