DAY 1. ARRIVAL IN ULAANBAATAR
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the rapidly developing Mongolian capital city. For more than a hundred years, the city is the center of Mongolian culture, society, education, and finance. From the airport drive to the hotel to check-in (check-in time: 14:00, earlier check-in depends on room availability and might be subject to a supplemental fee). In the afternoon, take an orientation tour around the city center. Begin at the square named after Sukhbaatar, the hero of the 1920s communist revolution, in front of the parliament building featuring a massive statue of Chinggis Khan, the nation's forefather, and past communist-era buildings, serving as a testimony to the city's not-too-far past. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at one of the city's finest restaurants before reverting to the hotel for a first night in Mongolia.
DAY 2. FLYING OUT WEST TO OLGII
With an early wake-up call, drive back to the airport for the domestic flight to Olgii (often referred to as Ulgii, or Ölgii), the provincial center of Bayan-Olgii, Mongolia's westernmost province. With a clear Muslim Kazakh majority, Bayan-Olgii feels like a country within a country with a dominating culture; people's appearance and traditions very different from those seen through the rest of the country. Upon landing in Olgii, meet the local Kazakh guide and the local drivers, and head straight out of town and on to the village of Sagsai, about one-and-a-half hours' drive out of Olgii. Once in Sagsai, meet our Kazakh hosts. Spend the afternoon learning from them about Kazakh traditions, particularly about training Golden Eagles. The practice of hunting with eagles has been kept in secret during the communist era, as the central government referred to it as an act of national separatism. As the communists strived to strip down every national symbol and form a new brave communist man, all religious, traditional, and cultural ceremonies and practices were abolished. Hence, here, in probably the farthest corner of the former communist bloc, the Kazakh eagle trainers secretly managed to keep this ancient tradition alive. In the evening, join the family for a traditional Kazakh dinner while enjoying the sounds of the Dombra, the two-stringed musical instrument the Kazakh are so proud of. Late in the evening, set in the tents or in the family's yurt for the night.
DAY 3. DRIVE FROM SAGSAI TO ALTAI TAVAN BOGD
After breakfast, say farewell to the generous hosts and board the vehicle for the approximately seven-hours' drive to the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park at the western edge of the province, and in fact, of Mongolia as a whole. The park marks the west boundary of Mongolia, and beyond its towering peaks lies Russia to the north, and China to the south. Today's drive is very scenic, and there would be plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the sheer beauty and dramatic landscapes. Early in the evening, arrive at the foot of the ever-snowed peaks of Mongolia's mightiest mountain range, and set in the tents for the night. Overnight bush camping at the entrance to the park.
Day 4. Horse riding to Potanin Glacier
After breakfast mount the horses and begin ascending towards Potanin Glacier. Stretching for some 14 km in length, the glacier is surrounded by a cluster of rising peaks that form the entire massif's namesake. Loosely translated from Mongolian, "the five sacred ones" refers to the five peaks of the Altai Tavan Bogd- Khuiten Peak (4,374 meter/14,350 feet), Nairamdal (4,180 meter/13,714 feet), Burged (4,068 meter/13,346 feet), and Malchin and Olgii peaks, both of 4,050 meter/13,287 feet. Arrive in time for slightly late lunch in a magnificent vantage point over the entire massif, and after some time to rest and enjoy this marvelous sight, hop back into the saddle and ride all the way down, via a different route, to spend a second night by the entrance to the park.
Day 5. From Altai Tavan Bogd to the Snake Valley
Board the vehicles and drive along the White River south to the Snake Valley. Bayan-Olgii is renowned as Mongolia's most scenic region, much due to the high Altai Mountains, the lush green valleys stretched between these, and the intertwined network of rivers and lakes crisscrossing the province. In the afternoon, arrive at the Snake Valley, and break camp by the beautiful mountain stream. If time permits, enjoy an afternoon walk through this remote and pristine setting. Overnight bush camping.
Day 6. Drive to Khoton Lake
Begin the day with a two-hours' hike along the clear stream for a beautiful view over the surroundings. Back in the car, continue driving south to the shores of Khoton Lake. Covering an area of approximately 50 square kilometers (19 square miles) and lying at the Altai Mountains' foot, this freshwater lake is aptly claiming its title as one of Mongolia's most beautiful lakes. Arrive at the campground, and take an afternoon hike to the top of a nearby hill to see some prehistoric rock paintings, and enjoy the view of the sun setting over the lake and the surrounding snow-capped peaks. Overnight bush-camping by the lake shores.
Day 7. Hiking Ikh and Baga Turgen Waterfalls
Today drive up the Altai range towards the Turgen Glacier, marking the border between Mongolia and China. Here take a beautiful few hours' hike to the small (baga) and big (ikh) Turgen waterfalls. After the hike, pause by a yurt of a Kazakh family to hear from them about life at this remote location, so far away from any significant settlement. In the afternoon, arrive back in the camp by the shores of Khoton Lake for the last night of bush camping.
Day 8. Back to Olgii
Begin the day early in the morning and board the vehicle for a long day of driving from the shores of Khoton Nuur back to Olgii Town. The road takes through typical landscapes, along wide rivers, and over high mountain passes. Arrive in Olgii in the afternoon. If time permits, pause by one of the many mosques around town or visit the local museum featuring permanent exhibitions on the province's flora, fauna, and ethnic groups inhabiting the region. In the evening set in a local hotel and spend here the night.
Day 9. Fly to Ulaanbaatar, and on to Terelj National Park
Depending on the schedule of the flight back to Ulaanbaatar, it might be possible to visit the local bazaar before heading to the airport. Upon landing back in Ulaanbaatar, take the approximately one-and-a-half hours' drive to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Late in the afternoon, hike to a vantage point to enjoy the sunset over the unique rock formations the park is known for. In the evening, set in the cozy camp for the night.
Day 10. Return to Ulaanbaatar
For the first half of the day, hike to the top of the park's main ridge to enjoy a fantastic panoramic view. Revert to the camp for lunch, and then drive back to Ulaanbaatar for an afternoon at leisure at the Mongolian capital. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in one of the city's finest restaurants before climbing atop Zaisan Hill to see the Russian-Mongolian Friendship Monument and for a view over the city at night. From here, drive back to the hotel for the last night in Mongolia.
Day 11. Departure from Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast at the hotel, drive back to the airport, this time to board the international departing flight out of Mongolia, heading back home.
Dates & Pricing
All prices for The Best Attractions of Mongolia Tour are in US dollars and per person based on twin share occupancy
Rates for private tours:
2 travelers – USD3,182/ person
4 travelers – USD2,982/ person
- Prices valid for payment by wire transfers. Payment facilitated by credit cards would incur a supplement of 3.8%.
- Mongolian Ways Ltd. reserves the right to change The Land of the Eagle Hunters tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.
- $2,461 Per Person (For a group of 6 or more)
- $296 Single Room Supplement
- 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
- Travel expenses to/from Mongolia
- 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
- Mongolian visa
- Excess Luggage
- Expenses of personal nature (food and drinks beyond those provided, laundry, etc.)
- Anything not clearly mentioned in the program
- 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 on Mongolian Golden Eagle Hunter Tour are tentative. Final hotel list shall be confirmed upon placing a booking and paying a deposit.
Had the most incredible time living with the Kazakh family in western Mongolia, and the opportunity to hunt with the golden eagles is too good to miss out on. Cannot recommend enough this adventure. The Mongolian landscapes can never cease to amaze you, especially when caked in ice and snow.Cameron Lucas, Australia