Mongolia remains one of the world's last truly undiscovered adventure travel destinations; a land of dramatic contrasts - from the rich colors of the Gobi Desert to emerald-green seas of rolling grasslands dotted with herds of horses and the snowy white dwellings of nomadic herders. On this journey we discover the essence of Mongolia, experiencing the country's dramatic scenery and the traditional lifestyle of its people.
After arriving into Ulaan Baatar, you will have a day to rest and familiarize yourself with Mongolia's capital city. You can visit to Bogd Khan's winter palace, the Buddhist Gandan monastery, historic Sukhbaatar Square, and the National History Museum, housing dinosaur eggs and reconstructed dinosaur skeletons excavated from the Gobi. You'll arrive in the capital in time for the exciting opening ceremonies of Naadam Festival. The wrestling, archery and horse racing competitions are the highlight of the Mongolian summer and a perfect way to begin your journey through the land of blue sky.
We will travel by jeep westwards to the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire, Karakorum. Genghis Khan chose the fertile plains of the Orkhon River valley to build his capital, and today the Erdene Zuu Monastery stands as a reminder of this once great city. Construction was begun in 1586 and completed some 300 years later. The monastery is currently being restored.
From here we swing southwards, first though the forests of the Khangai Mountains, then into the northern Gobi Desert. We enjoy free days meeting local herders, trekking, horse riding and many nights camping under starry skies.
Reds and yellows of the Gobi Desert make a fantastic change to the lush green of the mountains and camels have replaced herds of horses. We travel through the Gobi experiencing dramatic scenery, wildlife, sand dunes and more. This region is famous for dinosaur fossils and we will visit the flaming red cliffs of Bayanzag. Our journey culminates with a short camel trek - to travel like the locals - before returning to Ulaan Baatar.
A fantastic journey that literally takes in the heart and soul of Mongolia - a Panorama from the lush forests of the Khangai Mountains through to the rich colors of the Gobi - temples, camels, tents and more!