This 10-day tour takes you through some of Mongolia's most impressive cultural and natural wonders. You'll hike to Aglag Buteel Monastery to see surreal Buddhist art, visit Uran Togoo National Park and its extinct volcano, and ride a horse-drawn sleigh on Lake Khuvsgul. Most nights will be spent in traditional gert camps with nomadic families. Of course, you'll also get to see Ulaanbaatar, with city tours of the bustling capital.

Highlights

  • Go to two of Mongolia's most impressive monasteries
  • Enjoy outdoor activities at Lake Khuvsgul
  • Stay with nomadic families in their homes
  • Visit the world's largest Genghis Khan Statue
  • See Mongolian wild horses in their natural habitat

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar city
Day 2 Aglag Buteel Monastery Ulaanbaatar city
Day 3 Amarbayasgalant Monastery Amarbayasgalant
Day 4 Drive to Khatgal Khatgal
Day 5 Lake Khuvsgul Khatgal
Day 6 Uran Togoo National Park Bayan-Agt
Day 7 Khsutai National park Argalant
Day 8 Terelj National Park Terelj National Park
Day 9 Return to Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar city
Day 10 Departure Ulaanbaatar city

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Welcome to beautiful Mongolia! Upon arrival at the airport or train station, you will be met by your local guide and personal driver who will take you to your accommodation.

If there is time after you rest, you'll visit the local market of Narantuul, formerly the Black Market. For a unique souvenir, we recommend purchasing Mongolian traditional winter clothes and boots and crafts. In the evening, you will return to your hotel to rest before your journey tomorrow morning.

Day 2: Aglag Buteel Monastery

Traditional ger camp
Traditional ger camp

Rise bright and early to begin a 3-hour drive to the stunning Aglag Buteel Monastery. Founded by Purevbat Lama and built using donations from all over the world, the monastery houses a collection of surreal Buddhist art. The only way to reach it is by hiking up the mountain to the temple’s main building. After visiting the temple, you can walk through the magnificent forest surrounding it, seeing several astonishing statues carved directly into the naked rock by the resident monk artists.

Following on from this, you will take a short drive to your camp site, where you will spend your first night in a heated ger under the stars.

Day 3: Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Statue of Buddha at Amarbayasgalant Monastery
Statue of Buddha at Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Today, you'll head to the astonishing Amarbayasgalant Monastery. The drive will be on mixed roads, but the temple is absolutely worth the arduous journey.

During socialist times, most of Mongolia’s Buddhist temples were demolished with a few notable exceptions, one of which is Amarbayasgalant. The only surviving old Mancu-style temple in Mongolia), Amarbayasgalant is home to practicing Lamas and is the final resting place of the bones of Zanibizar Lama, sometimes called the Da Vinci of Central Asia. You will learn all about the temple’s fascinating history before enjoying a night at a nomadic homestay in a traditional ger.

Day 4: Drive to Khatgal

Cottage in Khatgal
Cottage in Khatgal

In the morning, after waving goodbye to your host family, you'll begin the long drive to Khatgal in Khuvsgul region. The drive will take at least 10 hours, but the roads to it are good and pass through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. You will see vast mountains, expansive snowy plains and frozen rivers along the way. If you are lucky, you may even encounter wolves running alongside the road or a bear in the distance.

In the evening, you will arrive at the small town of Khatgal and settle down for the night at a local family homestay in a heated guesthouse or ger.

Day 5: Lake Khuvsgul

Sunrise over frozen Lake Khuvsgul
Sunrise over frozen Lake Khuvsgul

The Blue Pearl of Mongolia, Lake Khuvsgul is an immensely beautiful and vast freshwater lake jutting into the Siberian forests and Red Taiga of northern Asia. During your whistle stop trip here, you can visit a local shaman, hike through the landscape, horse trek, and even try sledging on the frozen lake.

In the evening, you'll enjoy a traditional meal of khorkhog (whole sheep cooked with red hot stones) with a local nomadic family.

Day 6: Uran Togoo National Park

Sunset over gert camp
Sunset over gert camp

Today, you'll begin the drive back south towards Ulaanbaatar, but the adventure is not quite over yet!

Along the way, you will stop at Uran Togoo National Park, where you will visit the extinct volcano that gives the park its name. At night, you'll be able to enjoy another homestay with a nomadic family.

Day 7: Khsutai National park

Wild Mongolian horses grazing
Wild Mongolian horses grazing

Your long drive to the south follows a little-traveled country road that will lead you to the world famous Khustain Nuruu Park. Here, you will settle down in a ger camp before heading out into the gathering twilight with your guide to try and spot the takhi horse, the last wild horses in Asia. Remember to wear your warmest clothes for this evening journey!

Day 8: Terelj National Park

Genghis Khan statue
Genghis Khan statue

Heading back to and through the capital city, you reach Terelj National Park. Here, you'll visit the Genghis Khaan Statue, famed for being the world's largest statue of the notorious figure. Then, head further into the park for a relaxing final evening in nature.

if you are traveling between December and February, dog sledding may be an optional activity.

Day 9: Return to Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar Government Palace
Ulaanbaatar Government Palace

It is time to return to Ulaanbaatar, where you'll enjoy a city sightseeing tour and have opportunities to do some souvenir shopping. Pass through Genghis Khan Square, visit the Winter Palace of Bogd Khan, and learn about the nation's history and culture at the National Museum of Mongolia.

In the evening, you can treat your tastebuds to a farewell dinner with local cuisine.

Day 10: Departure

Genghis Khan Square, Ulaanbaatar
Genghis Khan Square, Ulaanbaatar

On your final day, your guide will take you the airport or train station to wish you farewell on your future travels.

Map

Map of Northern Mongolia Tour: Ulaanbaatar to Khuvsgul Lake - 10 Days
Map of Northern Mongolia Tour: Ulaanbaatar to Khuvsgul Lake - 10 Days