Mongolian Panorama

Mongolian Panorama information and booking

from
$3990
  • Duration
    18 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Introductory - Moderate
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 18 day trip
  • 6 day trek
  • 14 nights camping/ger
  • 3 nights hotel
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Explore the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit local nomadic families
  • Trek the Turgen Mountains
  • Trek in the Altai Mountains
  • Camping in the Mongolian steppe

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Explore the mountain glaciers, desert landscapes, large lake basins and steppe grasslands in far western Mongolia on this exhilarating journey. Starting in Ulaanbaatar, we fly to western Mongolia and head into the mountains, trekking to the impressive glacier at Turgen Mountain. In the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park we undertake the second part of our trek, incorporating visits with local nomadic herders to learn about their traditional way of life from the eagle-hunting prowess of the Kazakhs to the hauntingly beautiful throat-singing of the Tuvan people. An option to extend your trip with a camel ride through the expansive Gobi Desert provides a panoramic journey of Mongolia.

What's included

  • 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches and 17 dinners
  • Flights ulaanbaatar/ulaangom and ulgii to ulaanbaatar valued at us$630
  • Airport transfers on day 1 & day 18
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Camel/porter support during trek
  • Comfortable well located hotels and hostels
  • Fully supported camping during trek
  • Private vehicles
  • Sightseeing as listed in itinerary
  • Site entry fees

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
On arrival at Ulaanbaatar airport we transfer to our hotel. This afternoon discover the nation’s capital city. First stop is Sukhbaatar Square, the central square named after the revolutionary hero of 1921 Damdiny Sukhbaatar who declared independence from China. An important landmark on any orientation tour is the State Department Store or “Great Shop” as it is known in Mongolian. We return to the hotel in the afternoon to relax before a welcoming concert of Mongolian traditional music followed by dinner and briefing from your guide.
Day 2 Fly to Ulaangom in Western Mongolia, drive to Khokh lake
Today we will be transferred to the airport for our internal flight to Western Mongolia. We will be flying to the small township of Ulaangom, which is the capital of Uvs Aimag. An Aimag is like a state or province in Mongolia. The town is an administrative center for the area. It is quite a pleasant town with tree lined streets and fairly well kept buildings. The flight takes about 4 hours. At the airport our vehicles and drivers will meet us and will transfer our camp for overnignt. Overnight: tent
Day 3 to 4 Turgen Mountain Trek
For the next two days we will be trekking to the base of Turgen Mountain where, at the foot of the peak is a long glacier. The surrounds here are picturesque, the air clear and crisp with the mountain peak towering overhead in all its grandeur. Nomadic families of the area move their gers up into these valleys in the summer months to graze their herds of livestock. Since the journey to the glacier is quite a difficult one, the locals are delighted to meet any traveller who will take the time to come and visit them. We will enjoy true nomadic hospitality in this remote corner of the world with the Durvud minority group of Mongolia. Each night will be staying in tented camps. All camping equipment and personal baggage will be carried by vehicles. Today we trek by the mountain valley then slowly ascending the mountain. We will hike towards the snow capped peaks following the river upstream towards the glacier. We trek through the Urd Turgen Valley where the terrain is dry grassland scattered with large boulders. We set up our base camp for two nights, by the white water river as it flows through the deep gorge.
Day 5 Turgen Mountain Trek
Today we will hike up the Urd Turgen Valley, crossing small mountain streams where wild flowers bloom in spring ands early summer. We may have to clamber over boulders to continue our hike to reach the origin of the river, the edge of the glacier. In the afternoon we will hike back to our base camp.
Day 6 Turgen Mountain - Uureg lake
Rest in the morning at the camp. After lunch we drive to Uureg lake, a beautiful, freshwater lake set amongst towering peaks and, to the north, the Russian border. We make camp by the shores of the lake.
Day 7 Rest / Contingency day at Uureg lake
Today we have a full day to explore Uureg lake. We’ll have the chance to swim, fish, walk, bird watch or just relax and admire the view.
Day 8 Uureg Lake - Olgii town
This morning we will drive from Uureg Lake to Olgii town, the capital of Bayan-Olgii province. The drive will take us beside Achit Lake and then along the Khovd River bank. We will be passing through changing ecosystems from semi desert area to steppe and mountainous steppe areas. Tonight we will stay in the ger camp by Khovd riverside in Olgii. We will stay in Khazak gers, the traditional dwelling of round shaped felt tent.
Day 9 to 10 Olgii - Altai Tavan Bogd NP
Over two days we will drive into the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. We will continue driving along the Khovd River and have lunch by the riverside. After lunch we continue our drive for around 130 kms, slowly ascending over 5-6 hours. Tonight we will camp in the mountain valley. The following day we continue driving until we reach our local Tuva family. After lunch we will hike until we reach the foothills of mountain. Our crew will make camp near by the family, at 2600m above sea level. Those who would like to ride a camel will have a chance to here. Altai Tavan Bogd is the highest mountain system in Mongolia. The name literally means Five Kings, as there are five peaks in the range itself. The highest peak is Huiten, which is elevated to 4350m above sea level. At the foot of Huiten peak is Potanin's Glacier.
Day 11 Visit nomad family
Today we will be introduced to our camel man. Those who would like to ride a camel will have chance here. In the afternoon everybody will have time to prepare for next three days camel supported trekking.
Day 12 Trek over Tahilt pass
Today we start trekking. Each day will be approximately 5-8 hours of trekking in the Mongol Altai Mountain Range through high mountain meadows and wide open valleys. We will cross over the high pass at Tahilt and continue onto Tsagaan Us valley. This is a long day of trekking through challenging terrain with snow and glacier over the pass. The hiking gets more challenging as we ascend the steep slope to the pass. From the top of the pass we get tremendous views of the surrounding peaks and high mountain lakes that are a stunning turquoise colour. As we cross the pass, we descend into Tsagaan Us Valley where we camp for the night. Our campsite is on a small plateau high on the mountainous slope with an amazing vista of the whole Tsagaan Us valley.
Day 13 to 14 Trek in Tsagaan Us Valley
We continue hiking along Tsagaan Us river valley over undulating hills and forest. It is one of the rivers starting from the glaciers at Tavan Bogd peak of Altai Mountain Range. The river fills up the valley with towering mountains from either side with larch forest. There are many cascades and streams falling down the mountain and flowing into the river. In the afternoon of the second day we will emerge from the mountains into more open space where we will meet our drivers and vehicles again. We may be able to visit a Khazak family, experiencing their unique culture. Although their nomadic lifestyle is very similar to that of the Mongols there are some key difference. Firstly, the Kazakh people are Muslim and follow the religious traditions and customs of Islam. They are Kazakh-speaking. The Kazakh women produce some astonishingly beautiful appliqué, stitching and rug making out of crude felt. The floors and walls of their gers are strewn with these beautiful handicrafts. Many of the Kazakh men pride themselves with their great skill in hunting with eagles. Eagles are often caught at a very young age and trained to hunt small prey in the winter months. The men carry the large birds on their arms as they ride on horseback, out for the hunt. In the summer months the family keep the birds close to home and they are fattened for the winter’s work. After the family visit we will farewell our camel men a before we have a short drive to the shore of Khoton Lake and our camp for the night.
Day 15 Khoton Lake
Today is free for you to explore on foot the shores of Lake Khoton. It is a fresh water lake nestled in a mountain depression surrounded by high mountains with forests. There is another lake next to Khoton called Khurgan Lake. The two lakes are connected by a stream and fed by rivers and streams originated in the Altai Mountains. This region has distinctly varied terrain from the wooded shores of the lake where our campsite is located to classic open steppe on the northern side of the lakes.
Day 16 Return to Olgii town, via Mogoin River Gorge
Today we drive back to Olgii. We will stop for lunch at the Mogoin River Gorge before continuing on to our ger camp for our overnight accommodation.
Day 17 Fly to Ulaanbaatar
In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly back to Ulaanbaatar. The afternoon is free to relax in one of the capitals sidewalk cafes and watch Ulaanbaatar go by. For the more active you may like to visit the Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan. This is where Mongolia’s eighth living Buddha, and last King -Jebutzun Damba Hutagt VIII- lived for 20 years until his death in 1903. Tonight we enjoy a final farewell dinner together in a local restaurant.
Day 18 Trip concludes in Ulaanbaatar
After a leisurely breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.