- Go birdwatching in several of Mongolia's national parks
- Look for falcons in the wild while exploring Yolyn Am Gorge
- Sleep surrounded by nature in a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt)
- Spot the elusive Pallas’s Cat in the wild
- Shop and sightsee in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar
|Day 1||Arrive in Ulaanbaatar||Ulaanbaatar|
|Day 2||Explore Terelj National Park||Ger camp|
|Day 3||Birdwatch in the National Park||Ger camp|
|Day 4||Hike in Khustain Nuruu National Park||Ger camp|
|Day 5||Search for Pallas’s Cats in Altanbulag||Altanbulag|
|Day 6||Continue Exploring Altanbulag||Altanbulag|
|Day 7||Tour the Capital City of Ulaanbaatar||Ulaanbaatar|
|Day 8||Discover Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park||Gobi Gurvan Saikhan|
|Day 9||Spot Birds in the National Park||Gobi Gurvan Saikhan|
|Day 10||Birdwatch in Bayanzag||Bayanzag|
|Day 11||Continue Exploring Bayanzag||Bayanzag|
|Day 12||Look for Falcons in Yolyn Am||Ger camp|
|Day 13||Sightsee & Shop in Ulaanbaatar||Ulaanbaatar|
|Day 14||Depart Mongolia|
Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
Welcome to Mongolia! Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. You will be met by an English-speaking guide who will accompany you to your hotel in the city center. The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore. You'll go on a guided city tour later in the itinerary, but in the meantime, you could head out to see a few sights this afternoon if you're up to it. Consider stopping into the National Museum of Mongolia for an overview of the country's history and culture, or wander around the colorful temples in the Choijin Lama Temple Museum complex. Then have dinner in a local restaurant before getting some rest.
Day 2: Explore Terelj National Park
This morning, set off into the Mongolian countryside on the way to Terelj National Park. As you make your way east out of the city, stop to visit the world-famous Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex. Here you will learn about the history of the Mongolian Empire and visit the famous giant statue of Chinggis Khaan on horseback. You can even ride the elevator up to the horse's head to see breathtaking views over the plains.
Then head further into Terelj National Park. Drop by your ger (yurt) camp — a traditional Mongolian accommodation — where you'll have lunch and drop off your bags. In the afternoon, visit Turtle Rock and climb up the mountain path to the beautiful Aryapala Meditation Temple.
Day 3: Birdwatch in the National Park
You'll spend another day in the national park today. Wildlife you might see include the Eurasian Red Squirrel, Siberian Chipmunk, Long-tailed Ground Squirrel, Steppe Zokor, Northern Red-backed Vole, Siberian Roe, and Asian Wapiti. Birds in the area range from the Oriental Cuckoo, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Goshawk, and Eastern Buzzard to the Ural Owl, Red-throated Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, and Siberian Rubythroat. Return back to camp for dinner and to relax after a long day exploring.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Hike in Khustain Nuruu National Park
Wake up early to enjoy the sunrise before you begin the drive along well-traveled country roads towards the mountains and plains of Khustain Nuruu National Park. Once you arrive, settle into a mountain camp before heading out into the twilight to try and spot takhi, the last wild horses in Asia. Standout birds you might see are the Golden Eagle, Upland Buzzard, Little Owl, Amur Falcon, Pere David's Snow Finch, Blyth's Pipit, and Meadow Bunting. When the sun has gone down, you'll head back to the camp for dinner. Warm up beside the fire before getting some sleep.
Day 5: Search for Pallas’s Cats in Altanbulag
Wander into the rolling steppes of Altanbulag to look for mammals, rodents, and the enigmatic Pallas's Cat. Other animals you might see include the Daurian Hedgehog, Tolai Hare, Tarbagan Marmot, Long-tailed Ground Squirrel, Daurian Ground Squirrel, Mongolian Mountain Vole, Brandt’s Vole, Mongolian Jird, Siberian Jerboa, Red Fox, Corsac Fox, Wolf, Least Weasel, Steppe Polecat, Pallas’s Cat, Argali, Mongolian Gazelle, and Asian Wapiti. You'll camp in the park overnight.
Day 6: Continue Exploring Altanbulag
The emphasis will be on birds today as you continue touring the region of Altanbulag. Keep your eyes open for the Cinereous Vulture, Golden Eagle, Black Kite, Upland Buzzard, Little Owl, Lesser and Eurasian Kestrels, Saker Falcon, Mongolian Lark, Northern, Pere David's Snowfinch, Blyth's Pipit, and Meadow Bunting.
Day 7: Tour the Capital City of Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast at camp, head back to Ulaanbaatar for some sightseeing. Take some time to explore the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, the palace where Mongolia’s eighth Living Buddha lived for two decades. It's a wonderful place to see traditional Buddhist paintings and sculptures. In the evening, you'll sample modern Mongolian cuisine in one of several excellent restaurants.
Day 8: Discover Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park
Fly to Dalanzadgad, then take a scenic drive to the incredibly scenic Gurvan Saikhan National Park, encompassing a chain of three beautiful mountains. On an afternoon trek, look for mammals like the Long-eared Hedgehog, Pallas’s Pika, Tolai Hare, Pallid Ground Squirrel, Alashan Ground Squirrel, Mongolian Mountain Vole, Midday Jird, Red Fox, Wolf, Marbled Polecat, and Siberian Ibex. Spend the night in a yurt camp.
Day 9: Spot Birds in the National Park
Continue your explorations of the national park today. Keep your eyes open for birds including the Altai Snowcock, Golden Eagle, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Saker Falcon, Brown and Mongolian Accentors, White-winged Snowfinch, Common and Beautiful Rosefinches, Mongolian Finch, Godlewski's and Grey-necked Buntings, Northern House Martin, Eurasian Crag Martin, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Wallcreeper, Black Redstart, and Common Rock Thrush.
Day 10: Birdwatch in Bayanzag
The tour takes you to Bayanzag today, a part of the Gobi Desert known for its red cliffs. While hiking and driving around the area today, look for the Long-eared Hedgehog, Tolai Hare, Pallid Ground Squirrel, Great Gerbil, Gobi Jerboa, Siberian Jerboa, Thick-tailed Pygmy Jerboa, and Goitered Gazelle. In terms of birds, you might see the Pallas's Sandgrouse, Long-legged Buzzard, Upland Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Great Gray Shrike, Mongolian Ground-Jay, Crested Lark, Asian Desert Warbler, and Desert Wheatear.
Day 11: Continue Exploring Bayanzag
After breakfast, visit the beautiful "flaming cliffs" of the Gobi Desert. The 1920s explorer Roy Chapman Andrews spent many years exploring Mongolia in the hope of finding the remains of early humans. He did not succeed in this quest, but he did stumble across some of the most extensive fossilized remains ever discovered at Bayanzag. The cliffs are bright red, and they're referred to as the "flaming cliffs" for their appearance at sunrise and sunset.
Day 12: Look for Falcons in Yolyn Am
Meaning "Vulture's Mouth," the Yolyn Am is a deep rocky ravine. The center is frozen solid throughout most of the year. Between June and September, the majority of the ice around will be melted but even in the height of summer, you'll still be able to see patches of snow and ice outside the valley walls. You'll go on a guided excursion that takes you most of the way out to the gorge, partly on horseback and partly on foot. You might spot the Amur Falcon, Azure-winged Magpie, Daurian Jackdaw, Azure Tit, White-crowned Penduline-Tit, White-cheeked Starling, Red-throated Thrush, and Long-tailed Rosefinch.
Day 13: Sightsee & Shop in Ulaanbaatar
Return to Ulaanbaatar, where you'll spend the last full day of the trip. The day is yours to spend as you like. Do some more sightseeing, shop for souvenirs, or go on an easy trek to see some birds in the nearby Tuul River Valley. You'll have one last Mongolian meal in the evening before the trip ends.
Day 14: Depart Mongolia
After breakfast, head to the airport. The trip has come to a close. Safe travels!
More Mongolia Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Mongolia? Check out these other Mongolia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.
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