The Land of Eagle Hunters

Immersing in local culture in high Altai mountains

The Land of Eagle Hunters

Western Mongolia

  • Outdoor Activities
  • Home Stay
11 Days
2 Flights
Not Child Friendly

See the highlights of Western Mongolia on this cultural adventure that features the west’s breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and immersion in the local culture, including participation in a local Naadam festival. We visit a nomadic family of the Durvud clan and stay with one of Mongolia’s most respected eagle trainers, learning the art of hunting with Golden Eagles. A short trek of three days takes us through the heart of the Kharkhira mountain range, where you will see the stunning scenery of the high Altai.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

  • Dinner

Arriving in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital city we meet our guide at the airport, and head to the city center. The short drive passes through the shanty town inhabited by those who were once nomads, but have neglected their traditional lifestyle in the hope of finding a little fortune in the city, which not too long ago has seen some rapid development. The urban landscape quickly changes into expansive shopping malls and brand new residential complexes, shifting again to the scenes of the city center, where modern high-rises are quickly built amidst soviet-era buildings. After checking into our hotel, and if time permits, we will have an orientation tour of the city center through the central square, which was recently renamed after Ghengis Khan, the nation’s forefather. Right at the heart of the square we see the figure of D. Sukhbaatar, one of the heroes of the communist revolution of 1920’s, boldly raising his arm towards the statue of the Great Khan, whose name wasn’t allowed to be mentioned during the 70 year communist reign. We then visit the National History Museum, which holds a permanent exhibition on the different civilizations that have inhabited the territory of Mongolia from prehistoric times to the present. This exhibition includes a significant display of objects from the era of the Great Mongol Empire. From here we take a short walk to the drama theater where we attend an impressive folk concert, featuring some traditional Mongolian art forms. After a welcome dinner, we drive back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Day 2. Ulaanbaatar ✈ Ulgii

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

After breakfast we fly to Mongolia's western-most province of Bayan Ulgii, which is mostly inhabited by Kazakh people. Other ethnic groups also reside in the region, among them Tuvans and Buriats. The Kazakh have brought with them their rich cultural heritage, music, handicrafts and the ancient tradition of Hunting with Golden Eagles. We will land at Ulgii, the provincial capital, where we will visit the local museum, which provides an insight into the diverse ethnic groups, the history, and the flora and fauna of the region. Time permitting, we may visit the local mosque and market. Overnight in a ger camp just out of town.

Day 3. Ulgii Town - The White River Valley - Altai Tavan Bogd

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

From Ulgii Town, we drive west to the White River Valley, home to many nomadic families who graze their livestock in this area of plentiful meadows. As we continue our journey west, we stop at Shivet Khairkhan, a mountain sacred to the Tuvan People. Tuvans, most of whom live in the Tuvan Republic located across the border in Russian Siberia, honor their ancestors at this holy place. Tuvans come to the sacred mountain a few times a year, building chairs and tables from stones, and carving petroglyphs into the mountain’s rocks. We will explore the mountain’s surrounding and look at the unique rock carvings. We then continue towards the area where the borders of Mongolia, China and Russia meet on the highest peak of Tavan Bogd Mountain, at 4374 meters. we reach Tavan Bogd national park early in the evening, where we make camp at the base of the mountain. Overnight bush camping.

Day 4. Hiking Altai Tavan Bogd

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today we take a full-day, 32 km (20 miles) hike at the foot of Tavan Bogd. Our ultimate goal is the base camp from which climbers set to conquer the peaks of the ‘Five Saints’ Mountain’, the English translation of for ‘Tavan Bogd’- named after the five distinctive peaks rising on top the range. In the evening we return to the camp where our vehicle would wait for us, and where we camp for a second night.

Day 5. Altai Tavan Bogd - The Snake Valley

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

We leave our camp at the foot of Mongolia’s highest peak, and head south to the Snake Valley. In the valley we will find many Balbals, the Turkish term to the human shaped tomb stones which were built by the Turkic tribes that once dominated this area, and that the Mongol people are their direct descendants. Here there is also a fair chance to find Golden Eagle trainers. If we find one such family, we’d break camp by their yurt, and spend an evening with them- hearing from the trainer about the process of training this majestic bird, and its role in the family life. Overnight bush camping.

Day 6. The Snake Valley - Khoton Lake

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today we head south, to the glacial lake of Khoton. This region considered as one of the most picturesque regions of Mongolia, and is often referred to as ‘the Asian Switzerland’. We arrive by the shores of the lake at early afternoon, and enjoy an afternoon in leisure, strolling along the shores of the crystal blue lake. Overnight bush camping.

Day 7. Hiking Ikh and Baga Turgen Valleys

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

We embark on full hiking day to the Ikh and Baga Turgen Valleys which flows through a serious of small waterfalls from the Chinese border and down to Khoton Lake. Hiking past granite rock formations, and pines brushes, these are great days to enjoy the remoteness and tranquility of the region. In the afternoon we return to our camp by Khoton Lake. Overnight bush camping.

Day 8. Back to Ulgii

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today we embark on a long driving day, from western Ulgii Province back to the provincial capital. En route we stop along the shores of the Black Lake, and by an interesting burial site featuring the mysterious deerstones, marking the resting place of warriors and nobleman of ancient civilizations. Late in the evening we return back to Bayan Ulgii city, where we enjoy a warm shower in the public bath house. Overnight in a local hotel in Ulgii.

Day 9. Ulgii ✈ Ulaanbaatar – Terelj National Park

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Taking the first available flight, we return to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, we meet our driver and embark on the one and a half hours’ drive to Gorki-Terelj National Park. The park features unique rock formations, scenic valleys, a winding river, and restful groves of trees. Many nomads live in the park itself, where they find good grazing for their animals. If time permits, we will take a short hike to a nearby hill, from where we watch the sun set over the park (weather permitting of course). We will spend the night in a ger camp in the park.

Day 10. Terelj National Park - Ghengis Monument – Ulaanbaatar

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning we take an easy hike to the famous Turtle Rock, a symbol of wisdom and longevity to the Mongolian people. We then continue hiking to Ariabal Temple. The temple has been recently reconstructed, after the original temple had been destroyed during the communist purges of the 1930’s. A site of great tranquility, it functions today as a meditation center to Buddhist monks. After lunch, we leave the park and drive to the newly constructed Ghengis Khan Monument. Rising 40 meters in height over the surrounding steppes, this mighty structure plays a major symbol to the renewing Mongolian nation, after more than 300 years of foreign sovereignty over its people and territory. We then head to the Mongolian Capital, where we will enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a visit to the Zaisan Hill, for a view over the city at night. Overnight in Ulaanbaatar.

Day 11. Departure from Ulaanbaatar

  • Breakfast

After breakfast at our hotel, we will drive to the airport for our international departing flight.

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Dates & Pricing

Discounted rates: 
4 travelers – 10% discount  
6 or more travelers – 25% discount

  • Prices are based on twin share occupancy.
  • Applicable only for travel groups of 4 people or more booking their trip together.
  • The discounted price is the price for 2 people (below) less the discount.
  • Mongolian Ways Ltd. reserves the right to change tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.

  • $2,884 Per Person (From 2 people)
  • $223 Single Room Supplement

Additional Information


Inclusions
  • Accommodation as per program
  • Domestic flights
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Private 4WD vehicle
  • Drinking water
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • All transfers

Exclusions
  • Travel expenses to/from Mongolia
  • Travel Insurance
  • Mongolian visa
  • Excess Luggage
  • Gratuities
  • Expenses of personal nature (food and drinks beyond those provided, laundry, etc.)
  • Anything not clearly mentioned in the program

Accomodation
  • 2 nights in 4-star hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • 5 nights bush camping
  • 2 nights in ger camp
  • 1 night in local hotel

Note: The listed hotels are tentative. Final hotel list shall be confirmed upon placing a booking and paying a deposit.


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