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Mongolian Panorama

Explore the mountain glaciers, desert landscapes, large lake basins and steppe grasslands in far western Mongolia on this exhilarating journey. Starting in Ulaanbaatar, we fly to western Mongolia and head into the remote mountains, trekking to the impressive glacier in the Turgen Mountains. In the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park we undertake the second part of our trek, incorporating visits with local nomadic herders to learn about their traditional way of life from the hunting prowess of the Kazakhs to the hauntingly beautiful throat-singing of the Tuvan people. A further highlight will be the Naadam festival with its amazing displays of horse racing, archery and wrestling (July departure only). This is an exhilarating journey.

Inclusions

17 breakfasts, 16 lunches and 17 dinners
flights Ulaanbaatar/Ulaangom and Ulgii to Ulaanbaatar valued at US$750
camel/porter support during trek
airport transfers on day 1 & day 18
expert bilingual guide
comfortable well located hotels and hostels
fully supported camping during trek
private vehicles
sightseeing as listed in itinerary
site entry fees
Hightlights
Trek through the alpine peaks, river canyons and broad valleys of the Altai Mountains
Discover the culturally rich region of Western Mongolia
Trek to the glacier at the foot of the Turgen Mountains
Camp in the unique landscapes of the Mongolian steppe
Meet local nomadic families and learn about their traditional way of life
Explore the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
18
Price From
AUD $5,560
Start Location
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
End Location
Mongolia
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
7 to 16
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Adventure
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
04 Aug 201921 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $5,560
07 Jun 202024 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $5,740
08 Jul 202025 Jul 2020AvailableAUD $5,740
02 Aug 202019 Aug 2020AvailableAUD $5,740
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
On arrival at Ulaanbaatar Airport we transfer to our hotel. This afternoon discover the nation’s capital city. Our first stop is Sukhbaatar Square, the central square named after the revolutionary hero of 1921 Damdiny Sukhbaatar who declared independence from China. An important landmark on any orientation tour is the State Department Store or “Great Shop” as it is known in Mongolian. We return to the hotel in the afternoon to relax before a welcoming concert of Mongolian traditional music followed by dinner and briefing from your guide. Overnight: Bayangol Hotel or similar
Day 2
Today we will be transferred to the airport for our internal flight to Western Mongolia. We will be flying to the small township of Ulaangom, which is the capital of Uvs Aimag. An Aimag is like a state or province in Mongolia. The town is an administrative center for the area. It is quite a pleasant town with tree-lined streets and fairly well kept buildings. The flight takes about 4 hours. At the airport our vehicles and drivers will meet us and will transfer us to our camp for overnight. Overnight: Tented camp
Days 3-4
For the next two days we will be trekking to the base of Turgen Mountain where at the foot of the peak there is a long glacier. The surrounds here are picturesque and the air clear and crisp, with the mountain peak towering overhead in all its grandeur. Nomadic families of the area move their gers up into these valleys in the summer months to graze their herds of livestock. Since the journey to the glacier is quite a difficult one, the locals are delighted to meet any traveller who will take the time to come and visit them. We will enjoy true nomadic hospitality in this remote corner of the world with the Durvud minority group of Mongolia. Each night we will stay in tented camps. During our trek all camping equipment and personal baggage is carried by vehicles. The trail follows a valley then slowly ascends. We will hike towards the snow-capped peaks following the river upstream towards the glacier. We trek through to the Urd Turgen Valley where the terrain is dry grassland scattered with large boulders. We set up our base camp for two nights by the white water river as it flows through the deep gorge. Trek distance: ~18-24km/ day Overnight: Tented camp
Day 5
Today we will hike up the Urd Turgen Valley, crossing small mountain streams where wild flowers bloom in spring ands early summer. We may have to clamber over boulders to continue our hike to reach the origin of the river, the edge of the glacier. In the afternoon we will hike back to our base camp. Trek distance: ~18-24km Overnight: Tented camp
Day 6
We begin with a morning walk while our local team break camp and load the vehicles. Our local guides will pick us up on the way and we will continue our journey until we reach Uureg Lake, a beautiful, freshwater lake set amongst towering peaks and, to the north, the Russian border. We make camp by the lakeshore. Overnight: Tented camp
Day 7
Today we have a full day to explore Uureg Lake. We’ll have the chance to swim, fish, walk, bird watch or just relax and admire the view. Overnight: Tented camp
Day 8
This morning we will drive from Uureg Lake to Olgiy town, the capital of Bayan-Olgiy province. The drive will take us beside Achit Lake and then along the Khovd River bank. We will be passing through changing ecosystems from semi desert area to steppe and mountainous steppe areas. Tonight we will stay in the ger camp by Khovd riverside in Olgiy. We will stay in Khazak gers, the traditional dwelling of round shaped felt tent. Overnight: Ger camp
Days 9-10
Over two days we will drive into the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. We will travel along the Khovd River and have lunch by the riverside. After lunch we continue our drive for around 130 kms, slowly ascending over 5-6 hours. Tonight we will camp in the mountain valley. The following day we continue driving until we reach our local Tuva family. After lunch we will hike until we reach the foothills of mountain. Our crew will make camp close to where the family are living at 2600m above sea level. Those who would like to ride a camel will have a chance to here. Altai Tavan Bogd is the highest mountain system in Mongolia. The name literally means Five Kings, as there are five peaks in the range itself. The highest peak is Huiten, which is elevated to 4350m above sea level. At the foot of Huiten peak is Potanin's Glacier. Overnight: Tented camp
Day 11
Today we will visit a local nomad family whose members will guide our trek over the following three days. The family own the camels which will be used to haul the luggage during the expedition and those who would like to learn to ride a camel will have the opportunity here. In the afternoon, alongside the family we will prepare for the next three days of camel-supported trekking. Overnight: Tented camp
Day 12
Today we start trekking. Over the next three days all food and camping equipment will be carried by pack camels, allowing you to focus on this challenging hike and take in the stunning scenery. Each day will be approximately 5-8 hours of trekking in the Mongol Altai Mountain Range through high mountain meadows and wide open valleys. We will cross over the high pass at Tahilt and continue onto Tsagaan Us valley. This is a long day of trekking through challenging terrain with snow and glacier over the pass. Our objective today is to cross Tahilt Pass (3,200m). The hiking gets more challenging as we ascend the steep slope to the pass. From the top of the pass we get tremendous views of the surrounding peaks and high mountain lakes that are a stunning turquoise colour. As we cross the pass, we descend into Tsagaan Us valley where we camp for the night. Our campsite is on a small plateau high on the mountainous slope with an amazing vista of the whole valley. Approx 3000m above sea level. (Please note, in the event of high wind conditions this camp site may not be possible.) Trek distance: ~15km Overnight: Tented camp
Day 13
Today we continue trekking through the Tsagaan Us River valley over undulating hills and through larch forests, surrounded by towering peaks on all sides. The river water is crystal clear, the source being the high alpine glaciers of the Tavan Bogd peaks in the Altai Mountain Range. As we walk on, the river grows as endless small streams cascade down the surrounding mountains to feed into the main body of the river. Trek distance: ~15-18km Overnight: Tented camp
Day 14
This morning we walk just a short distance before we are out from the mountains and into more open steppeland where we will meet back up with our drivers and vehicles. We make the short drive to the shores of Khoton Lake, a fresh water lake nestled in a mountain depression surrounded by high mountains with forests. There is another lake beside Khoton called Khurgan Lake. The two lakes are connected by a stream and fed by rivers and streams which originate the in Altai Mountains. The Khovd River originates from these lakes. This region has distinctly varied terrain from the wooded shores of the lake where our campsite is on the southern side to classic open steppe on the northern side of the lakes. Mt Ikh Turgen (3,507m) rises dramatically from near our campsite. This afternoon we may be able to visit a local Khazak family, to experience and learn of their unique culture. Although their nomadic lifestyle is very similar to that of the Mongols there are some key difference. Firstly, the Kazakh people are Muslim, following the religious traditions and customs of Islam. They speak a different language to the Mongols and the Kazakh women produce some astonishingly beautiful appliqué, stitching and rug making out of crude felt. The floors and walls of their gers are strewn with these beautiful handicrafts. The Kazakh men are renowned for their great skill in hunting. Overnight: Tented camp
Day 15
Today is free for you to explore on foot the shores of Lake Khoton. It is a fresh water lake nestled in a mountain depression surrounded by high mountains with forests. There is another lake next to Khoton called Khurgan Lake. Those two lakes are connected by a stream and fed by rivers and streams originated in Altai Mountains. Khovd River originates from the Lake. This region has distinctly varied terrain from the wooded shores of the lake where our campsite is on the southern side to classic open steppe on the northern side of the lakes. Mt Ikh Turgen (3,507m) rises dramatically from near our campsite. Overnight: Tented camp
Day 16
Today we drive back to Olgiy. We will stop for lunch at the Mogoin River Gorge before continuing on to our ger camp for our overnight accommodation. Overnight: Ger camp
Day 17
In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly back to Ulaanbaatar. The afternoon is free to relax in one of the capital's sidewalk cafes and watch Ulaanbaatar go by. For the more active you may like to visit the Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan. This is where Mongolia’s eighth living Buddha, and last King -Jebutzun Damba Hutagt VIII- lived for 20 years until his death in 1903. Tonight we enjoy a final farewell dinner together in a local restaurant. Overnight: Bayangol Hotel or similar
Day 18
After a leisurely breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.