- Visit 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
|Day 1||Arrive in Ulaanbaatar||Ulaanbaatar|
|Day 2||Visit Aglag Buteel Monastery||Ulaanbaatar|
|Day 3||Tour Amarbayasgalant Monastery||Amarbayasgalant|
|Day 4||Enjoy a Scenic Drive to Khatgal||Khatgal|
|Day 5||Explore Lake Khuvsgul||Khatgal|
|Day 6||Discover Uran Togoo National Park||Bayan-Agt|
|Day 7||Hike in Khustain Nuruu National Park||Argalant|
|Day 8||Tour Terelj National Park||Terelj National Park|
|Day 9||Sightsee in Ulaanbaatar||Ulaanbaatar|
|Day 10||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 at the end of 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: Visit Aglag Buteel Monastery
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 an impressive collection of 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 beautiful forest surrounding it, stopping to see statues carved directly into the naked rock by the resident monk artists. Later, you will take a short drive to your campsite, where you will spend your first night in a heated ger (yurt) under the stars.
Day 3: Tour Amarbayasgalant Monastery
Today, you'll head to Amarbayasgalant Monastery. During socialist times, many of Mongolia’s Buddhist temples were demolished, with a few notable exceptions. Amarbayasgalant is one of them. Home to practicing Lamas, it's the final resting place 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: Enjoy a Scenic Drive to Khatgal
In the morning, after saying goodbye to your host family, you'll begin the long drive to Khatgal in the Khuvsgul region. The drive will take at least ten hours, passing 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're lucky, you may even encounter a bear in the distance or wolves running alongside the road. In the evening, you will arrive in the small town of Khatgal and settle down for the night at a local family homestay in a heated guesthouse or ger.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Explore Lake Khuvsgul
Nicknamed the "Blue Pearl of Mongolia," Lake Khuvsgul is an immensely beautiful and vast freshwater lake jutting into the Siberian forests of northern Asia. During your visit here, you can meet a local shaman, hike through the landscape, ride horses, and even try sledding 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: Discover Uran Togoo National Park
Today, you'll begin the drive back south towards Ulaanbaatar. But the adventure is not 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: Hike in Khustain Nuruu National Park
Your long drive to the south follows a little-traveled country road that will lead you to the world-famous Khustain Nuruu National Park. Here, you will settle down in a ger camp before heading out into the twilight with your guide to try and spot takhi, the last wild horses in Asia. Remember to wear your warmest clothes for this evening journey!
Day 8: Tour Terelj National Park
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: Sightsee in Ulaanbaatar
It is time to return to Ulaanbaatar. After settling in at your hotel in the city, you'll go on a guided city tour. 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. After the tour is over, you'll sample modern Mongolian cuisine in one of several excellent restaurants.
Day 10: Depart Mongolia
Squeeze in some more sightseeing or souvenir shopping before heading to the airport. The trip has come to an end - 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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