South Central trail 15 days

VOLCANOES, STEPPE AND THE DESERT

South-Central Trail
VOLCANOES, STEPPE AND DESERT

Duration:
15 days
Available:
Group or Individual
Price:
$1.549

code: WT-05

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South Central trail 15 days

Distinctive landscapes of towering sand dunes, wide open steppes, iced Georges, Rocky Mountains, red cliffs, stunning sunsets, sunrises and much more! Relaxing in wild nature and explore Mongolian culture, history and nomadic life style, horse-riding and camel riding, climbing to sand dunes, hiking, swimming, fishing, boat ride, and feel free driving through the wilderness...

  • Fascinating history
  • Divers landscapes
  • Mud spa
  • Excellent horse-riding trails
  • Perfect rivers for canoeing
  • National parks
  • Plenty of hiking opportunities
  • Unique Siberian border culture

Programme

Start & Finish in UB.
In this tour you will see a lot of different areas of Mongolia, you will travel over land to 5 different provinces and get to know the most interesting sites of the Central region as well as the Gobi desert area.

DAY 1: CITYTOUR ULAANBAATAR

  • Sukhbaatar Square
  • National History Museum
  • Lunch
  • Ganden Monastery
  • Cashmere factory

Start in the morning, we first walk around on Sukhbaatar Square, we can see lots of Mongolian people here with old and new buildings as backdrop, In the National History Museum we get an overview of the history of Mongolia, from the earliest Huns to modern Mongolia! After lunch we visit Ganden monastery, if we are lucky we can hear the monks chanting. A visit to a factory gives us an idea about the Cashmere production.

day 1

DAY 2: OGII LAKE

  • Ogii lake
  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Swimming

After driving to Ogii Lake there are many optional activities around and on the lake: fishing, swimming and boating. The beautiful lake is the home of thousands of birds..

day 2

DAY 3: KHARAKORUM AND ERDENE ZUU

  • Erdene Zuu Monastery
  • Museum
  • Turtle rocks
  • National monument

During the reign of Ogodei, son and heir of Chinggis Khaan, Karakorum was the political, cultural and economic capital of the Mongolian empire. The city was famous for its religious tolerance. After 40 years, his successor Khubilai Khan moved his capital to Beijing and later Karakorum would be completely destroyed. The remains of the city were used by Altan Khan in 1585AD to build the first of the great monasteries of Mongolia: Erdene Zuu. There used to be more than 100 temples in the monastery, but only 3 remained after the communist destructions. These 3 however, manage to give us a good insight in the Mongolian version of Budhism and show us some special Mongolian Budhist figures.

Recently they have opened a nice museum to the site, that shows some remarcable finds in the area and gives a good overview of the ancient city.

day 3

DAY 4: TUVKHUN KHIID

  • Tuvkhun Khiid
  • Hiking
  • Horseriding

The ruins of an ancient temple, partially restored, sit on top of a mountain in the Orkhon Valley and gives a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. Zanabazar, the leader of Buddhism built the temple in 1653 where he lived, worked, meditated for 30 years. It is possible to ride through this landscape on horseback, or do some hiking in the area.

day 4

DAY 5: ORKHON WATERFALL

  • Hiking to the waterfalls
  • Family visit
  • Horse riding

The 16 m high waterfalls produce some nice white waves flowing on the black stone, accompanied with rainbow colour produces by the sunrays… simply magic !

Orkhon waterfalls formed 20.000 years ago after a unique combination of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the heart of summer, their flow is very important, but they can dry up during spring. From the camp of the families living in the surroundings, they can be an ideal hike along the river, or a ride among the steppes.

day 5

DAY 6: HUISIIN NAIMAN NUUR NATIONAL PARK

  • Lakes of the National Park
  • Volcanic stones

The ”Eight lakes” of the Huisiin Naiman Nuur NP were formed by volcanic eruptions in the past. The park is 2400 metres (1,5 mile) above the sea level. An area of 11.500 hectares has been protected as a National Park since 1992.

The lakes are located about 35 kilometres (22 miles) Southeast Orkhon waterfalls, but the track is only accessible to hikers and horsemen. We will visit several lakes in the area, some of which are now completely dry…

The national park is located in a high mountains area comprising alpine meadows and forests of conifers (Siberian pines and Siberian larches). In the North of the protected area, we can see entire valleys with volcanic stones.

The place is very cool and there can be snowstorms in June or August. In the heart of Summer, temperatures rarely go until 20°C during the day.

day 6

DAY 7: HUISIIN NAIMAN NUUR NATIONAL PARK

  • Horse or Yak riding
  • Hiking
  • Boat ride

On this day we can do a boat ride, a Yak tour or a horse riding tour as well as some hiking in the surrounding mountains with bird and flower watching all along the hiking routes.

day 7

DAY 8: ONGHIN KHIID

  • Ruins of Onghin Monastery
  • Oasis
  • Viewing points

Onghi Monastery is located at the foot of Mount Saikhan Ovoo, near the village of Saikhan Ovoo in the province of Dundgovi. This monastery was one of the largest and most respected monasteries of Mongolia before its destruction in 1939 by the communist authorities. It was built in 1660 and when it was at its peak, the monastery could have up to 1000 monks at the same time. In 1939 the temple was completely destroyed by the communists. 200 monks were killed and many survivors were jailed or forced to enter the communist army. Other monks could escape and became breeders or workers. The water of the river was diverted to supply the local mines owned by the government. As a result, the river dried up, which forced the local population to leave the place. The monastery then seemed to be about to sink into oblivion. Nevertheless, when the communist power fell in 1990, the monastery turned out to be very resilient…

day 8

DAY 9: BAYANZAG

  • Flaming cliffs
  • Saxaul forest

The red sand cliffs of Bayanzag are better known as the “flaming cliffs” because of the ochre red colour which seems to catch fire during sunset. The site is famous for the excavations in 1922 of hundreds of dinosaur bones and the first find of dinosaur’s eggs by the famous paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews. This discovery drew the attention of the whole world to this beautifull place.

day 9

DAY 10: KHONGOR SAND DUNES

  • Sand dunes
  • Exploring & Hiking
  • Camel riding
  • Enjoying sunset

The Khongor sand dunes are among the most spectacular sandy areas of the country. With an area of more than 900 km2, it is also one of the largest of Mongolia. The wind continuously blows from North towards West and the dunes can reach breathtaking heights, between 100 and 300 metres. Khongor dunes are more than 180 km long and 27 kilometres wide.

The inhabitants name their imposing dunes ”singing dunes” due to the noise made by the wind when it moves the sand. In the North, they are lined with a green and luxuriant vegetation band, delimited by a river : Khongoriin Gol. Supplied by subterranean sources, this little river flows along the dunes for a few kilometres, and forms an oasis in the middle of the dried landscape. This area is also very rich in dinosaurs’ fossils and in mineral deposits

day 10

DAY 11: YOL VALLEY

  • Ice Canyon
  • Waterfall
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife museum

Yolyn Am was origininally established to conserve birdlife in the region, and its name refers to the Lammergeier vulture. But it’s now more famous for its dramatic and very unusual scenery- its valley in the middle of the Gobi Desert with meters thick ice almost all year around.

Following the canyon to the very end, one emerges into a beautiful wide valley. Surrounding mountains are home to argali, ibex, and many birds of prey, as well as numerous small rodents particular to the gobi. A small museum marks the entrance to the protected zone and provides information on the petrified trees, fauna and flora of the Gobi. Here, travellers can discover permanent glaciers, endemic plants, and rare animals such as Siberian ibex, argalis, or bearded vultures. Snow leopards and other predators also live in the Yol Valley area.

day 11

DAY 12: YOL VALLEY – DALANZADGAD – UB – TERELJ NP

  • Transfer to Terelj NP

Drive back to the capital city Or Drive to Dalanzadgad and take a flight to UB - city; Continue driving to Terelj National Park

day 12

DAY 13: TERELJ NP - ARYAPALA MEDITATION CENTER

  • Terelj NP
  • Aryapala Meditation Center

Gorkhi - Terelj National Park is a mountainous area composed of wooded steppes. We find many species of birds, elks and bears. Many rocky formations sculpted by erosion will delight rock-climbing fans. In the plains, we can see wild flowers and edelweisses. Many rivers flow through the park, notably the Tuul, the Terelj and the Baruunbayan Rivers. Large parts of the park remain very wild (2864 km2), most of the park is not accessible to vehicles. Near the entrance of the park, we can see many rocky formations, notably the turtle rock, or the rock of the old man reading.

day 13

DAY 14: 13TH CENTURY PARK – CHINGGIS KHAAN STATUE

  • 13th Century Park
  • Chinggis Khaan Statue

The 13th Century Theme Park is the only place you can visit the old time micro kingdom of the 13th Century and experience the genuine way of living and working during that time. Park visitors can enjoy craftsmen art work, Mongolian calligraphy, learn to write Mongolia traditional scripts, try on traditional Mongolian clothes, ride a horse and a camel and take a lot of unforgettable pictures. On the banks of the Tuul river stands a huge statue of Chinggis Khaan. It was built in 2008 on the occasion of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Mongolian Empire. Inside the statue is a museum and on the horse's head, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings. Legend Genghis Khan is told to have found in Tsonjin Boldog a golden horsewhip. The statue is turned towards the East: the conqueror's place of birth.

day 14

DAY 15: UB

Return to the capital and end of the tour

day 15

Practicals

Included:

1. English speaking guide and driver
2. All relevant transfers and transportation in air-conditioned vehicle
3. Accommodation at the best tourist Ger camps based on 2 people sharing 1 room (twin beds)
4. All meals as specified in the itinerary: B-breakfast, L-lunch and D-dinner
5. All entrance fees as listed in the itinerary
6. Bottled mineral water (0.5*2 per person)
7. Credit card bank charges 4% for deposit & balance payment
8. All government, visa invitation letter

NOT INCLUDED:

1. International Airfare or Train tickets to enter or leave Mongolia
2. Mongolia entry visa fees
3. Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar
4. Daily personal expenses
5. Travel insurance (trip, medical and personal)

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