Gobi Desert Express 6 day Gobi Desert Tour

Gobi Desert Express

Southern Mongolia

6 Days
2 Flights
Not Child Friendly

The great Gobi desert covers one third of Mongolia’s territory. Hundreds of years ago the desert was part of the main trade route between East and West, with camel caravans crossing the vast steppe loaded with perfumes, silks, spices and other goods. This short excursion is an introduction to the Gobi’s rare wildlife, intriguing landscapes, and resourceful nomads in constant search of grazing land for their herds.

Recommended months for this Short Gobi Desert Tour are from August, September and October. Please contact us for more details.



Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

  • Dinner

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital city. At the airport, meet the local guide 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. Arrive in the hotel, and check-in to recuperate from the long flight to Mongolia (note: check-in at 14:00. Early check-in is subject to room availability or supplemental fees). If time permit, depending on time of arrival in the city, take an orientation tour around town, beginning with Sukhbaatar Square, the city’s main square. Right at the heart of the square, 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 Chinggis Khan, whose name wasn’t allowed to be mentioned during the 70-year communist reign. 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 take a short walk to the drama theater to attend an impressive folk concert, featuring some traditional Mongolian art forms. After a welcome dinner, drive back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.


  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Early morning, leave the hotel and drive to the airport for the short domestic flight down to the Gobi Desert. Land in Dalanzadgad, the capital city of the South Gobi Province. Once a remote desert town, it is today the center of logistics for the developing mining industry. Over the last decade, massive exploration operations have revealed an abundance of precious metals and minerals in the Gobi Desert. Thus, the once peaceful desert is being trampled by excavators, monster trucks, and massive drills – all in the hope of making a quick fortune. Luckily, most of these mines are far from the eye. Still, their environmental impact can be seen and felt throughout the massive desert. Upon landing in Dalanzadgad, meet the driver and embark on a one and a half hours drive to the place known to Westerners as The Flaming Cliffs. Bayan Zag (Rich with Saxaul) is famed for its red sandstone cliffs, which take on beautiful red and orange hues during sunset. The area is also recognized as one of the largest dinosaur graveyards. In 1921, the American adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews (who was said to have become the inspiration for Indiana Jones’ character in the Hollywood movie series) discovered here some of the most critical Paleontological findings of the last century, ending an ages-long debate on whether dinosaurs have been reptiles or mammals. Spend the afternoon exploring the cliffs on foot while waiting for the sunset to set the cliffs ‘aflame’ if weather permitting, of course. After sunset, drive to the camp for a first night in the cozy yet simple Mongolian version of a lodge, consisting of traditional felt-made dwellings the nomads of Central Asia often refer to as yurt and the Mongolians call – ger.

Day 3. The mighty sand dune

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning, embark on the five-hour drive through the Gobi’s typical cold desert landscape – so-called because the Gobi receives its moisture in the form of snow – to the mighty Khongoriin Els Sand Dunes. Upon arrival, take a ride through the massive sea of sand atop a two-humped Bactrian Camel. This formidable beast has become the best-known icon of the ancient Silk Road. Able to carry as much as three times the load carried by its smaller cousin, the Middle Eastern one-humped camel, the Bactrian Camel has been the backbone for exchanging goods, technologies, ideas, and ideologies amid Asia and Europe for centuries. If the breeze blows just right, one might hear the dunes beautifully sing. The rugged desert plants at the edges of the sands are beautiful in their own sculptural way, and the small creek running along its northern face creates fantastic photographic opportunities. Take some time to relax at the camp before reverting to the dune late in the afternoon for a walk while enjoying the shadows playing along the dune’s curves during sunset.


  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Leave the dune and drive to Khavtsgait, an ancient place of worship marked by beautifully carved petroglyphs. This is also a magnificent viewpoint over the desert's expansive plains. Back in the vehicles, continue driving to the Gobi's Beauties Nature Reserve. Once at the reserve, head to the 'Vulture's Valley' – a beautiful oasis at the foot of the 'Three Beauties' Mountain range. As the sun's rays do not reach the small stream at the creek's basin, it is kept frozen during the beginning of summer (usually until early July). Hence, the place is commonly dubbed ‘The Gobi Glacier.' Take a leisurely hike along the beautiful stream and, if lucky, get to see some of the wildlife inhabiting the reserve, thriving on the abundance of freshwater amid the arid desert. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 5. Fly back to Ulaanbaatar

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Early morning drive to Dalanzadgad for the flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Land back in the Mongolian capital city and drive to the city center. A visit to the Gobi Cashmere Factory Store, the biggest of its kind in Mongolia, could be arranged for those interested. Once in the city center, pay a visit to Gandan Monastery, Mongolia’s largest religious institute. It serves as a home for the 26-meters high Janaraysag Statue and one of the only religious institutes in the country to survive the anti-religious purges of the 1930s. If lucky, get to attend the morning Puja- the chanting of Tibetan scripts by the monks. In the afternoon, visit the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum. This museum holds some of the best known Mongolian works of art, including the well-known ‘One Day In Mongolia’ painting, painted by B. Sharav, considered to date as a true masterpiece. The museum also holds unique religious and other historical artifacts. Late in the evening, climb atop Zaisan Hill, where the Russian-Mongolian friendship monument is located, for a view over the city at night. From here, revert to the hotel for the last night in Mongolia.

Day 6. Departure from Ulaanbaatar

  • Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Chinggis Khan airport for the international departing flight.

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Dates & Pricing

All prices for the Gobi Desert Express Short Gobi tour are in US dollars and per person based on twin share occupancy.

Rates for private tours:
2 travelers – USD2,314/ person
4 travelers – USD1,955/ person

  • Prices are valid for payment by wire transfers. Payment facilitated by credit cards would incur a supplement of 2.2% (3.8% for USD cards)
  • Mongolian Ways Ltd. reserves the right to change the Gobi Desert Express tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.

Upgrades for an ensuite ger- some would have toilets and showers, some just toilets within the ger; limited availability. More information on accommodation in Mongolia.

Yolin Am: +USD68/person@twin share | +USD87/person@single occupancy (1night)
Khongor Els: +USD116/person@twin share | +USD126/person@single occupancy (1 night)
Bayan Zag: +USD62/person@twin share | +USD74/person@single occupancy (1 night)

  • $1,838 Per Person (For a group of 6 or more)
  • $146 Single Room Supplement

Additional Information

  • Domestic flights
  • Accommodation as per program
  • All meals as per program (full board basis)
  • Drinking water
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Private 4WD vehicle
  • All transfers
  • All entrance fees as per program

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • PCR/COVID tests, or any tests that might be required for international or domestic travel
  • Expenses that might incur due to the results of COVID tests before, during or after the tour
  • Expenses of personal nature (laundry, communications, food and beverages beyond those provided)
  • Gratuties
  • Anything not clearly mentioned as included in the program

  • 3 nights in a ger camp

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


Sebastian n Mikhail

True to their reputation, Mongolian Ways has lived up to and exceeded the standards of tour guiding....an excellent team, personable, helpful, and extremely well humored. A thoroughly well-planned tour, and the best few night's sleep I have had in a long time.

Sebastian Strassburg, Germany

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