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Image Courtesy of  @Cam Cope

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Mongolia. We arrive in the buzz of the busy city of Ulaanbaatar for your first two days. Then we will step as far off the path as one can imagine. After the city, we kick things off at the iconic Nadaam Festival. We will witness traditional exhibitions of archery, horse‑riding, and wrestling. Women and girls are now participating in the first two events.

 

After the bright colors and culture seen and experienced in the Nadaam Festival, we are off to trek and disconnect. We will cook  with local families, spend time with nomadic Mongolian women and sleep in traditional ger camps. This is a truly immersive and authentic experience. Seeing wild ‘Takhi’ horses in Khustain Nuruu National Park is the pitch-perfect finish to an otherworldly endeavor. 

 

Mongolian Adventure

July 7th- July 21st, 2020

$3,590 USD

Group size: 10-16

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

Adventure Details

 

About the Trip

Step off the beaten path as you step back in time to join an adventurous group of women on this authentic journey to the beautiful country of Mongolia. Upon arrival, you will immerse yourself into the local culture in the remote communities as we meet the local women, celebrate their festivals, and trek throughout their parks and mountain ranges, sharing their unspoiled landscape and trails with no one but wild horses.

 

Commencing in Ulaanbaatar, the capital and the largest city of Mongolia, we will meet with various women of influence throughout. As the cultural and business center of Mongolia, this is the hub of the country connecting the Trans-Siberian Railway with the Chinese rail system. With half of the country’s population, it has become a thriving urban center in one of the most remote locations in the world.

After our city dip, we are off to experience the Naadam festival, also known as "the three games of men." The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery. Women are now participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games.

We then head west of the capital to the Hangai Nuruu mountain range. The range pops with color as it is home to a great variety of native plants and wildflowers. On our trek, we will experience the pristine scenery of the Eight Lakes region of Central Mongolia.

 After completing our days of trekking and sleeping under a starry sky, we travel to the ancient capital of Harhorin, located in the Orkhon Valley of central Mongolia. It was once the capital of the Mongol Empire from 1235 to 1263 CE. We will enjoy a dip in the Tsenkheriin Hot Springs before returning to Ulaanbaatar via Khustain Nuuru National Park. There we will have a unique opportunity to see the wild 'Takhi' horses before heading back home. 

Trip Basics

                                                   

Dates - July 7th – July 21st, 2020

            

Days - 15 Days/14 Nights

                                                  

Size - Minimum 10, Maximum 16

                                                            

Style - Adventure, Women, Wellness, Culture & Photography

                                               

Needs - $500 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot. Deadline to book – May 7th, 2020.

                                                           

Treats - Celebrate Nadaam Festival, Incredible Trekking, Sleep in a ger, See Wild Horses

 

Accommodations - Sleep in an urban hotel, a  traditional ger and in tents while trekking. 

                                                           

Host - Karen Loftus 

                                                          

Fees - $3,590 USD (shared)

Trip Highlights

  • Exhibitions of archery, wrestling & horse-riding at the Nadaam Festival

  • Spend a day in the life of a Mongolian woman

  • Explore the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar

  • Visit a local nomadic family

  • Trek in the stunning Eight Lakes area of Central Mongolia

  • Camping in the Mongolian steppe

  • Overnight in traditional ger camps

  • See the wild 'Takhi' horses in Khustain Nuruu National Park

Day to Day Itinerary

 

Day 1 | July 7th, 2020

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

Upon arrival at Ulaanbaatar airport, you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to our conveniently located hotel. In the afternoon, we take a brief orientation city tour. We'll walk to the central Sukhbaatar square named after the revolutionary hero of 1921, Damdiny Sukhbaatar, who declared independence from China.

There may be special displays to visit already set up in the square in anticipation of the Naadam Festival. Next, we will visit the Natural History Museum to see real life-sized reconstructed dinosaur skeletons collected from the Gobi. A welcome dinner will be held tonight in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Note: We recommend arriving one day early to allow for jet lag or flight delays.

Day 2 | July 8th, 2020

Sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar

Image Courtesy of @Cam Cope 

Today we will have the opportunity to explore the nation’s capital city. We visit Gandan Monastery, the largest and most famous functioning monastery in Mongolia. We will arrive in time for the morning chanting and may experience monks in worship.

 

The Golden Buddha Statue of Migjid Janraisig stands at 90 feet tall. After lunch, we will meet with women of influence in the city (TBA). You will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about their challenges and triumphs.

 

This evening we will enjoy a multi-disciplined concert that includes both traditional and modern displays followed by dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 3 | July 9th, 2020

Zuunmond Town, Naadam Festival

Image Courtesy of World Expedtions 

Today we will drive into Zuunmond town, the center of Tuv province, to witness the Nadaam Festival. Naadam is the most colorful and vibrant of all of the Mongolian festivals and events. It is a time when the entire country celebrates the three sports of horse racing, archery, and wrestling.

While these are traditional "men's sports," you will see women and even children participating today. Children race the horses from as young as four years of age and for distances as long 20 miles. The costumes and tools are distinctive for each sport.

The real pride of Mongolia is the wrestler. Much skill and training go into this sport, and the winner is revered as a hero by all Mongolians and hence awarded the most prestigious title of the “Avarga” (titan). This evening we spend our first night in a traditional Mongolian ger (pronounced "gaire"). Overnight at ger camp. 

Today we drive to the west of the capital until we reach the Khogno Khan mountain. A distinctive location with ruined Buddhist temples close by. Your guide will provide you with the history of this region, and you will be able to explore it before we continue driving past the landscape for which Mongolia is most famous. The endless green steppe, with grazing herds of sheep accompanied by lone horsemen, and white, nomadic gers dotted over the countryside. We will stay at a ger camp and, in the evening, take a walk in the surrounding area. Overnight at ger camp.

Day 4 | July 10th, 2020

Khogno Khan Mountain

Image Courtesy of World Expeditiions 

Today we drive to the west of the capital until we reach the Khogno Khan mountain. It is approximately a 4-5 hours drive with stunning landscape and stops throughout. The mountain is well worth the drive as it is a distinctive location with ruined Buddhist temples near. Your guide will provide you with the history of this region. You will be able to explore it before we continue driving past the landscape for which Mongolia is most famous.

The endless green steppe, with grazing herds of sheep accompanied by lone horsemen, and white, nomadic gers are dotted over the countryside. We will stay at a ger camp. In the evening, we take a walk in the surrounding area. Overnight at ger camp.

Day 5 | July 11th, 2020

Shireet Pass

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

We will continue our journey and drive approximately 155 miles (4-5 hours) to camp by the Shireet Pass. On the way, we will explore the monuments of the Turkish period (7th – 8th century). We will walk in the surrounding area exploring the biodiversity and the local plants. Overnight at tented camp. 

Day 6 | July 12th, 2020

The Nomadic Woman

Image Courtesy of World Expedtions

This morning we will meet a nomadic family, and spend a full day with them. We will experience and help with the women's daily work: making dairies, cooking, sewing, crafting, and any other activities that she typically takes care of at home. We will lunch with the family.

We will cook a traditional Mongolian meal with them learning how to make the dumplings they call “Buuz.” Horse riding is possible here for an additional cost. Please speak to your local guide locally and advise us at WAT in advance of your travel, so they are ready for you. Overnight at ger camp.

Day 7 | July 13th, 2020

Trek to Shireet Lake

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

This morning we will leave our vehicles behind as we set out on our trek. Yaks will carry all tents and camping equipment during these trekking days. We will carry only light daypacks. We will trek seven to nine-miles to Shireet Lake. It will take us approximately five to six hours for this.

Nestled in Hangai Nuruu, Mongolia’s second-largest mountain range, is in the area of the Eight Lakes, which lies 9,200 feet above sea level. The park contains many lakes scattered over two big valleys. Very few families inhabit the area. It is a perfect place to see a large variety of wildflowers, birds, and small animals.

We begin with the ascent over Shireet Pass and will continue to our camp by Shireet lake. We will have plenty of time to stop and absorb the sights of Central Mongolia. Overnight at tented camp. 

Day 8 & 9 | July 14th & 15th, 2020

The Valley of Eight Lakes &

Khorgoi Khurem vi Uliin Pass

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

We will continue trekking (seven to nine miles for five to six hours) through the valley of Eight lakes. We pass through a variety of terrain from rocky exposed shorelines to forested trails following the rivers that connect the lakes from the mountains above us. We will be privy to some of the most pristine areas of Mongolia and perhaps the world. If you are a stargazer, these will be the best nights for dark skies to see the milky way and constellations. Overnight at tented camp. 

On day nine, we will trek (nine to eleven miles for six to seven hours) over Uliin Pass and will reach the Khorgoi Khurem valley. The area is abundant with trees, flowers, and plants, including almond. Here we will say goodbye to our local herdsmen. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 10 | July 16th, 2020

Orkhon Waterfall/ Tuvkhun Monastery

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

On our way to Tuvkhun Monastery (30 miles and a two-hour drive), we will break to view Orkhon Waterfall. It was formed by volcanic eruptions about 20,000 years ago and cascaded from a height of 65 feet. After a brief stop, we will continue our journey until we reach the Tuvkhun Monastery.

Rested on the armchair-shaped peak of Shireet Ulaan Mountain at the height of 7,585 feet, the monastery dates back to the initiative of Zanabazar (first Bogd) and is the place where many of his most famous artworks were created. To the right of the temples, a path leads upward to the summit of the peak.

One branch of the path leads to the so-called Mother’s Womb, a narrow passageway which pilgrims crawl through to be symbolically reborn, cleansed of their sins. After hiking and exploring the Monastery, we will make our tented camp in the mountains nearby. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 11 | July 17th, 2020

Orkhon Waterfall/ Tuvkhun Monastery

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions 

Today we will continue to Tsenkheriin Hot Springs (approximately 95 miles, a three to four-hour drive). We will have the opportunity to experience the relaxing and restorative properties of the waters. The hot springs sprout directly from the mountains and reach high temperatures of up to 180°F. Make sure you bring your swimsuit to relax after our days of trekking.

In the afternoon, we'll explore in the surrounding area. We will also visit a nearby local nomadic family and learn more about the Mongolian way of life. We will spend tonight at a ger camp near the springs.

Day 12 | July 18th, 2020

Harhorin

Image Courtesy o World Expeditions

After breakfast at the ger camp, we will set out in the vehicles and drive for ninety miles (approximately three or four hours) to the township of Harhorin along the Orkhon river. This was once a thriving metropolis in the days of Genghis Khan when he and his sons controlled the biggest empire the world has ever known.

The township of Harhorin is Soviet-built with apartment blocks. On arrival, we will head to the majestic Erdene Zuu Monastery and visit the large complex. In its former days, the walls of the monastery housed hundreds of temples and thousands of monks. Today, these places of religious beauty are being restored. Overnight at ger camp near the Orkhon River. 

Day 13 | July 19th, 2020

Khustain Nuruu National Park

Image Courtesy of World Expeditions

After breakfast at the ger camp, we will drive (approximately 175 miles or three to four hour drive) to Khustain Nuruu National park, where you can see herds of wild horses called “Takhi.” Binoculars are a must today as the herds are sometimes distant. In the park, you might also see deer, marmot, and birds as you walk over the rolling hills of grass and wild sage. Overnight at ger camp.

Day 14 & 15 | July 20th & 21st, 2020
Ulaanbaatar & Departure

Image Courtesy World Expeditions

Today we return to Ulaanbaatar. It is approximately a two to three-hour drive on a paved road. After check-in at the hotel, your afternoon is free to rest, shop, or explore more of the busy city. The group will re-connect in the evening for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Ulaanbaatar at the hotel. 

Your trip concludes after breakfast on July 21st. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flights.

Accommodations

 

In your fourteen-nights in Mongolia, you will spend three nights in a hotel in the city; two upon arrival and one on the back end before flying back out. There will be six nights spent camping while trekking. The other five nights will be spent in a ger.

A ger traditional is a traditional Mongolian dwelling and is very durable. Many are made of wood, felt, and other natural

insulation materials.

 

All accommodations are shared.

Single occupancy is available at an additional rate.

Please enquire regarding rates.

Accommodations, Rates, Availability

SHARED ACCOMMODATION: $3,590 USD 
 
Payment deadline: May 7th, 2020.
(Spots may fill up prior as it is a first-come basis.)
 
Please note: A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.   
 
              Availability - Our exclusive program welcomes a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 16 travellers.                     

Inclusions

All accommodation in hotel, ger or tent as outlined in the itinerary

Use of private vehicles for all group travel

Expert bilingual female guide

14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, and 14 dinners

Transfers to or from the airport on day 1 and day 15

Oxcart support during trek

Fully supported camping during the trek

Comfortable well-located hotels

Site entry fees

Sightseeing as listed in the itinerary

Exclusions

International airfare and departure taxes, contact World Expeditions for a quote

Sleeping bag - this can be hired in Mongolia, $20 USD for the trip

Optional horse hire: you may choose to hire a horse and horseman for the trekking days. Costs are $15 USD/day for a horse and $20 USD/day for a horseman. Two to three people can share a horseman.

Aerated and alcoholic drinks

Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, email, etc

Travel Insurance (compulsory)

Passports & visas

Tips

 

Your Tour Operator

 

The tour operator that we are working with on this trip adheres to Positive Impact Travel Practices. By joining this trip, you are directly supporting a positive impact in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

They offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water, and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, the South Pole, which are invested in projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognized standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that align with the Un Sustainable Development Goals. 

Final Notes

Mongolia is that other-worldly destination. It is untouched in many ways but very much on the rise. It is on many travel hit lists. So, if interested in a somewhat off-the-beaten-path destination, go now while it is still authentic, somewhat untouched, and less crowded.

Mongolia has long been on my list due to the stunning scenery and beauty, the incredible trekking, and the rich culture and local people. I have several travel friends who have been, and their photography is unreal, be it the people, the horse, the festivals and or the pristine landscape.

This trip is for the more intrepid traveler and maybe less luxe than other WAT trips. The luxury here is seeing Mongolia. The accommodations are more remote, more authentic, and include camping a total of six of the 14 nights.  We will also be trekking camp to camp on some of the days. Check the detailed itinerary as it is all laid out there.

Mongolia is a trip of a lifetime for the camper, trekker, photographer, and those in the Deep Dive Tribe of travel. However, it is not for anyone. If you have any questions, drop an email. We can also arrange a call to talk further about this trip.

Also, an FYI for those that are keen to be on the right side of travel, all trips organized and run by Women’s Adventure Travels subscribe to a 5% give back factor. We at WAT give 5% back to the local community and or country. We adhere to full transparency. All proceeds on each trip will be seen on the site and will be shared by all participants on the trip once the trip is complete.

The 5% is effective on all group trips and or any individual or private group travel that is arranged by WAT, here in Mongolia and or anywhere in the world. We also work with several non-profit partners in the US and throughout the world. If a non-profit partner refers anyone to us and they book a WAT trip or individual travel, we also give 5% of the profits of that trip back to that local community and in the community visited on the trip.

 

We call this the double-dip on a trip as we are giving locally and globally to support and empower women and girls around the world.  So, if you travel with us to Mongolia or elsewhere with a group or you have us arrange your travel alone or with your private group, know that we give locally and globally, and we partner with tour operators and individuals throughout the world that adheres to sustainable and responsible travel practices.

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