Tours Classic Tours Lake Khuvsgul - Khuvsgul Nuur

Price: ( 12 Days )

Venture outside of the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and experience Northern Mongolia's stunning vistas and endless grasslands surrounding Lake Khuvsgul, Asia's second largest freshwater lake. On this 12-day adventure, visit ancient monasteries, hike high into the mountains, and ride horseback while learning the ropes of the nomadic lifestyle from actual nomadic families.

Day 1. Countryside to Kharkhorin

After picking you up from your hotel in Ulaanbaatar, we will drive to Kharkhorin. Kharkhorin is located in the northwestern part of Uvurkhangai, a central Mongolian province, and was Mongolia's capital for 30 years during the 13th century. On the way, we will stop for lunch and take in the views of the Mongolian countryside.

After arriving in Kharkhorin, we will settle down in a local ger hostel. We will eat dinner and have some free time to hike or wander the streets of the beautiful city. Kharkhorin is home to Erdenezuu, one of the most attractive Mongolian Buddhist monasteries. Built in 1585 by Abtai Sain Khan, it was allowed to exist as a museum, while the only functioning monastery was located in Ulaanbaatar. However, after the fall of communism in 1990, Buddist leaders reclaimed their religious rights and Erdenezuu again became a place of worship.

Lunch and Dinner.

 

Day 2. Tsenkher Hot Springs

After breakfast in a ger camp, we will drive to Tsenkher Hot Springs. These sulphuric springs bubble up from the ground at a sizzling 89°C (190°F).  Enjoy outdoor and indoor baths, showers, and accommodations. We will spend the night with a local family. 

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. 

 

Day 3. Tsagaan Nuur (White Lake)

After breakfast with our host family, we will drive to the Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (also known as White Lake). This freshwater lake rests within the Khangai Mountain range in Central Mongolia. It is 16 km wide, 20 km long, and anywhere from a shallow 4 m to a deep 28 m. It is home to beautiful wildlife, including varieties of fish and rare birds. The lake was created thousands of years ago by lava flows from the nearby Khorgo Volcano. This area has been locally protected since 1965 and nationally since 1997. Upon arrival, we will visit with a nomadic family and walk around the lake. We will also have the opportunity to go fishing and swimming before dinner. We will stay the night in a traditional Mongolian ger. 

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

 

Day 4. Scale the Khorgo Volcano

After breakfast, there will be an optional horseback ride to the Khorgo volcano. Khorgo is an inactive volcano lying east of the White Lake. At the volcano, hike to the rim of the crater (2100 m). At the peak, the summit opens into splendid views over the lake and countryside. Ride back to stay with the same host family that night.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

 

Day 5. The Village of Shine Ider 

Spend a full day enjoying the scenic drive to the Shine Ider Village in the Khuvsgul province. Our route will take us further north through the forested slopes of the Khangai Mountains and many other beautiful landscapes. We will have lunch in the midst of their beauty along the way and spend the night in a ger.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

 

Day 6. Destination: Lake Khuvsgul

Enjoy scenic driving through rural landscape to Lake Khuvsgul. Lake Khuvsgul is to the northwest, near the Russian border. Spreading 136 km long, 262 m deep and about 1100 m above sea level, it is the second largest freshwater lake in all of Asia. During the winter, the lake's surface freezes over completely, becoming the focal point of the annual ice festival in early February. This festival, the taiga, and the Tsaatan (reindeer) people are the main attractions of the area. This peaceful spot will is right place to enjoy a well deserved rest after long hours of scenic road tripping.  Spend free time to exploring around the lake before dinner will be served. Stay overnight in a ger.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

 

Day 7. Explore and Enjoy Lake Khuvsgul

Spend a peaceful day at the lake. Go swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and relax next to the vast blue lake. Stay overnight in a Mongolian ger. 

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

 

Day 8. Real-Life Reindeer

Early in the morning we will drive you to a nearby Tsaatan (reindeer) family to experience the taiga forest lifestyle. Hike the surrounding mountains to see brilliant view of Lake Khuvsgul. In the evening, take photos and do some fishing during your free time. Stay overnight in a ger.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

 

Day 9. Ikh Uul Village

After an early breakfast, we will start driving to Ikh Uul, another town in the Khuvsgul province. We will drive through Ikh Uul to enjoy the landscape during our picnic lunch. Continue the road trip to meet with our next hospitable host family.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Day 10. Uran Togoo Mountain.

After breakfast, we will drive to Uran Togoo, an inactive volcano surrounded by mountains in the Khutag-Undur district of the Bulgan province. We will stay overnight in a Mongolian ger. 

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Day 11. Amarbayasgalant Monastery

After having breakfast, we will drive to the Amarbayasgalant monastery, the second largest monastery in Mongolia. It is located in the beautiful Iven Gol river valley at the foot of the Burenkhaan mountains. Amarbayasgalant is one of the few monasteries in Mongolia that has remained intact despite religious purges during the 1930s. The beauty, decorations, and construction of the monastery have made it one of the most magnificent architectural monuments in Mongolia. In 1990, communism had fallen and the people were eager to revive their religious tradition, so Amarbayasgalant was restored . Now it stands strong after 300 years of a persecuted history. 

We will stay in a traditional ger for the night.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Day 12. Back to Ulaanbaatar

After saying goodbyes and thanking our host family, we will drive to Ulaanbaatar. When we arrive, we will conclude the tour by returning you to your hostel or hotel.

Breakfast and Lunch.

Khuvsgul Nuur is located in northwestern Mongolia at the foot of the Sayan Mountains. It is the second largest freshwater lake in all of Asia, and holds almost 70% of Mongolia's fresh water.  Its surface stretches 136 km (85 miles) long, 262 meters (860 ft) deep, and is 1,645 (5,397 ft) above sea level.  Hatgal is at the southern end of the lake.

Its watershed is relatively small, and it only has small tributaries. It drains at the south end by the Egiin Gol, which connects to the Selenge and ultimately into Lake Baikal. Between the two lakes, the water travels a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 mi), and falls 1,169 meters (3,835 ft), although the line-of-sight distance is only about 200 kilometers (124 mi). This watershed forms part of the southern border of the great Siberian taiga forest, which vegetation is dominated by the Siberian Larch tree.

The lake is surrounded by several mountain ranges. The highest mountain is the Burenkhaan/Munkh Saridag (3,492 m or 11,457 ft), its peak located
on the Russian-Mongolian border north of the lake. During the winter, the surface of the lake freezes over completely. Because this ice cover becomes strong enough to carry heavy trucks, transport routes have been installed on its surface as shortcuts to the normal roads. However, to prevent pollution of the lake from both oil leaks and trucks breaking through the ice, this practice is now forbidden. As a result, over the years an estimated that 30-40 vehicles have sunk to the bottom of the lake.
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