Tours Classic Tours Lake Khuvsgul - Khuvsgul Nuur

Price: ( 12 Days )

Venture outside of the capital city Ulaanbaatar and experience the stunning vistas and endless grasslands of Northern Mongolia, including 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. This city was Mongolia's capital for 30 years during the 13th century and is located in the northwestern part of Uvurkhangai, a central Mongolian province. On the way, we will have lunch as we take in the views of the Mongolian countryside.

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

Lunch and Dinner

Day 2. Tsenkher Hot Springs

After having breakfast in a ger camp, we will drive to Tsenkher hot springs. Tsenkher is a sulphuric spring that bubbles up from the ground at a sizzling 89°C (190°F).

Facilities include 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 in 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 protected since 1965, nationally in 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 then stay 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. Once we get there we will climb to a volcanic crater, at 2100m. At the peak, the summit opens into splendid views over the lake and countryside. We will ride back to stay with the same host family that night.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 5. The Village of Shine Ider 

We will have a full day of driving 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 among those landscapes along the way and finally sleep in a ger for the night.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 6. Destination: Lake Khuvsgul

Another day of driving will finally bring us to Lake Khuvsgul! Lake Khuvsgul is in the Northwestern Mongolia near the Russian border. It is about 1100m above sea level, 136 km long, and 262 m deep. It is the second largest freshwater lake in all of Asia. The surface of the lake freezes over completely in winter and is 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 be the right place to enjoy a well deserved rest after long hours of driving. Once we get to the lake we have free time to wander around the lake before dinner will be served. We will stay overnight in a ger.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

 

Day 7. Explore and Enjoy Lake Khuvsgul

Today we will have a relaxing day at the lake. We will have the chance to go swimming, hiking, horseback riding, or relax next to the vast blue lake. We will then stay overnight in a Mongolian ger. 

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 8. Real-Life Reindeer

Early in the morning we will drive to a nearby Tsaatan (reindeer) family to experience the taiga forest lifestyle. We may go hiking in the surrounding mountains in order to see a brilliant view of Lake Khuvsgul. In the evening we will have time to take photos and do some fishing. We will again 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 and find a place to have a picnic lunch and appreciate nature. We will then drive on to meet with our next host family.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 10. Uran Togoo Mountain.

After having breakfast, we will drive to Uran Togoo, an inactive volcano surrounded by mountains. The mountain is 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 overnight with a traditional ger for the night.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 12. Back to Ulaanbaatar

After thanking our host family, we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. When we arrive in Ulaanbaatar, we will conclude the tour by taking you back to your hostel or hotel.

Breakfast and Lunch 

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

Its watershed is relatively small, and it only has small tributaries. It is drained 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). Its location in northern Mongolia forms one part of the southern border of the great Siberian taiga forest, of which the dominant tree is the Siberian Larch,

The lake is surrounded by several mountain ranges. The highest mountain is the Burenkhaan/Munkh Saridag, standing at 3,492 meters (11,457 ft), which has its peak north of the lake exactly on the Russian-Mongolian border. The surface of the lake freezes over completely in winter. The ice cover in winter is strong enough to carry heavy trucks; transport routes were installed on its surface as shortcuts to the normal roads. However, this practice is now forbidden to prevent pollution of the lake from both oil leaks and trucks breaking through the ice. It is estimated that 30-40 vehicles have sunk into the lake over the years.
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