Tours Classic Tours Central Mongolia 18 days Trip

Price: ( 18 days )

Roll out of Ulaanbaatar (UB) in a Russian jeep, or even just on a public bus, and you’ll only need to put a hill or two between yourself and the city before the vast steppes of central Mongolia begin to unfold before your eyes.

Verdant swaths of empty landscapes are sprinkled with tiny gers (traditional yurts) stretching to the horizon while magical light plays across the valleys. This is the Mongolian heartland, loaded with both historical sites and natural beauty, with plenty of scope to horse trek in forested mountains, camp by pretty lakes or soak in hot springs.

Because the region is relatively close to Ulaanbaatar (and many sights are right beside the city), infrastructure is a little better than in other areas, with many places reachable by public transport. The most scenic sub-region is the Khangai Mountains, but you’ll find beautiful scenery even if you only venture as far as Terelj.

Day 1 – 2

Ulaanbaatar – Baga Gazarin Chuluu

In the morning (09:30) your guide and driver will meet you at the gathering point and together you will drive to Baga Gazarin Chuluu, a 1751-meter high granite stone mountains in the territory of Dundgobi aimag. The mountains contain remains of an old temple, and are rich in minerals, and crystals.

Overnight with nomad family. L+D


Day 3

Baga Gazaryn Chuluu – Tsagaan Suvarga

In the morning you will drive to Tsagaan Suvarga, a wonderful limestone cliff, 30 meters high and 100 meters, banded with vivid shades of red and purple minerals looking out over undulating badlands.

Overnight in a ger camp. B +L+D


Day 4 – 5

Tsagaan Suvarga – Yolyn Am

From Tsagaan Suvarga you will drive further to the city of Dalanzadgad, and from there to Yolyn Am, a deep and narrow gorge in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain, named after the Lammergeier, which is called Yol in Mongolian. You will have a great opportunity to trek into the valley.

Overnight with nomad family. B+L+D


Day 6 – 7

Yolyn Am – Khongoryn Els

From Yolyn Am you travel to the famous Khongor Els, one of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. The Dunes are up to 300m high, 12km wide and about 100km long. You will reach the dunes in the afternoon and spend the whole next day in the area. During that time you will have a great opportunity to climbing the dunes, ride a camel and visit local nomadic family to observe their everyday life.

Overnight with a nomad family. B+l+D.  


Day 8

Khongryn Els - Bayanzag

From Khongryn Els you will drive to Bayanzag or Flaming Cliffs as it is also called. The area is most famous for yielding the first discovery of dinosaur eggs. Also specimens of Velociraptor and eutherian mammals were found here.  

Overnight in a ger camp. B+L+D


Day 9

Bayanzag – Ongi Monastery

You will leave Bayanzag in the morning and drive north to reach Ongi Monastery. Ongi or rather its ruins are located on the bank of the Ongi River. At its peak the monastery had 28 temples, and was home to approximately 1000 Buddhist monks. Ongi was badly destroyed during the Stalinist purges in 1930s. In 1994, local people rebuilt one temple, and currently few monks came back to the monastery.

Overnight in a ger camp. B+L+D


Day 10

Ongi Monastery – Kharkhorin

You will leave Ongi Monastery in the morning and drive to Kharkhorin, a small town located at the lower end of the upper valley of the Orkhon River. In the mid-13th century, Kharkhorin, or rather Karakorum was a place, where Chinggis Khaan established a supply base. His son Ögedei ordered the construction of a proper capital, a decree that attracted traders, dignitaries and skilled workers from across Asia and even Europe. 

Overnight in a ger camp. B+L+D


Day 11 – 12

Kharkhorin – Ulaan Tsutgalan

In the morning you will visit the monastery of Erdene Zuu, one of the oldest Buddhist centers in Mongolia. Later you, local history museum and a stone turtle located nearby, the last remnant of ancient Karakorum. Later you will leave Kharkhorin and drive to Ulaan Tsutgalan, a famous ten meters wide and twenty meters high waterfall, located in the middle of Orkhon valley. You will spend two days in the area, which will give you a great opportunity to trek in beautiful Khangai Mountains and ride a horse along Orkhon river banks.   

Overnight in a ger camp. L+D


Day 13

Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall – Tsetserleg – Taikhar rock

From Orkhon Valley you will drive to the pretty town of Tsetserleg, the capitol of Arkhangai aimag. Located on the southern slope Bulgan Mountain and not far from Tamir River the town is one of the most greenest in Mongolia. Here you will visit beautiful Zaya Monastery, which now houses the Museum of Arhangai aimag that exhibit numerous ethnographic items including traditional clothes, handicrafts, sculptures, ancient weapons etc. Later you will go further to the mysterious Taikhar Rock, which stands not far from Tsetserleg town. The rock is steep-sided pinnacle of granite with a height of 25 meters. It rises abruptly from the flat grassland in the basin of Tamir River. Locals worship the rock as a deity. There is no common agreement amongst geologists about the origin of this puzzling phenomenon, and it remains an enigma.

Overnight in a local ger camp. B+L+D


Day 14 –15

Taikhar Rock – Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park

Today you will travel to Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park. On the way you will storm to visit magnificent Chuluut River Canyon.  Next you will drive to small town of Tariat from where you will go to the area of the national park. In the park you will explore the crater of an extinct volcano named Khorgo, the One Man Cave, the Cave of the Yellow Dog, and Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake, the main attraction of the place. On the next day you will have time to explore park on your own. 

Overnight in a ger camp. B+L+D.


Day 16 – 17

Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake – Ug Lake

Early in the mornirng you will leave the area of Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park and drive back to Tsetserleg. From there you will drive east to reach the banks of Ug Lake, a pure 8 km long lake located 70 km away from Kharkhorin. You will spend the whole day resting on the banks of the lake. Fishing, boating, trekking and horse riding are optional.

Overnight with a nomad family. B+L+D


Day 18

Today you will visit two very important historical sites; Turkic monuments in Khoshuu Tsaidam and Uyghur ruins of an ancient city in Khar Balgas; both having a profound meaning for archeology. Later you will drive to Elsen Tasarkhai, 80 km long dunes, surrounded by woody hills and wide steppe.

Overnight with a nomad family. B+L+D


Day 19 – 20

From Elsen tasarkhai you will drive to Khustai National park, a place famous for being home to endangered Przewalski horses. The park is wonderful location for trekking, horse riding and observing wild nature. It has also several ancient historical sites including deer stones and stone men.

Overnight with a nomad family. B+L+D


Day 20

You will leave Khustai National park in the morning and drive back to Ulaanbaatar.


Tour price:

 3 people: 80 USD per person (per day)

4 people: 75 USD per person (per day)

7people: 60 USD per person (per day)

 The price includes:

  • Car, driver and fuel,
  • English speaking guide,
  • Accommodation,
  • Meals,
  • Drinking water,
  • Entrance fees to national parks and monasteries,
  • 1 hour of horse / camel riding.

The price doesn't include:

  • Personal shopping,
  • Insurance,
  • Alcoholic drinks

Activities, which are optional or not mentioned in the itinerary.

Central Mongolia is a region in Mongolia that contains the capital of modern Mongolia and the ruins of capital of the Mongol Empire.



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