Western Mongolia and Altai Tours
Tour highlights: The western Mongolia – The Land of Eagles:
The mountain range of Mongol Altai is the backbone of Bayan-Olgii. The highest peaks, many over 4000m, are permanently covered with glaciers and snow, while the valleys have green pastures, as well as bears, foxes and lynxes. These valleys are dotted with small communities of nomadic families enjoying the short summer from mid-June to late August, as well as some beautiful alpine lakes. Khovsgol lake
The beautiful, wide and very deep Khovsgol Lake (136 km long, 36 km wide 262 meters deep) at an attitude of 1560 m, located among the taiga forest and beautiful untouched high mountains of far northern Mongolia.
Many people have heard about shamans. But only a few ones have seen them. Do you want to see them alive? Do you want to hear shaman drum? Participate in a real shaman spiritual ritual? Chat frankly with one of the most powerful Mongolia shamans? This is possible by this tour!
Tsaatan (Reindeer people) and Nomad family: Visit nomadic families with their herds, including the remote reindeer people along the Russian border who live in wigwam styled tents, like the North American Indians.
Western Mongolia and Altai Tour
Region: Central Mongolia Tour
Interesting sites: The western Mongolia – The Land of Eagles, Khovsgol lake National Park Shaman people, Tsaatan (Reindeer people)
Length of tour: 19 night / 20 days
- Day 1
Driving to Kharkhorin. Explore Kharkhorin - the old capital of Mongolian Empire. Visit the largest and first Mongolian Buddhist Temple complex Erdene Zuu, surrounded by brick wall with 108 stupas. Although most of the monastery buildings were destroyed during the communist repression of 1937, major buildings are survived. Overnight in ger camp.
- Day 2
Driving to Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. We will drive via Tsetserleg town and arrive at the Lake. Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake is fresh water and the volcanic area around it is certainly the natural highlight and is one of the beautiful lakes of Mongolia. The lake, birdlife and mountains are protected within the 73000-hectare Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan lake National Park. Fishing, swimming, hiking and walking activities…Overnight in tent.
- Day 3
Today take a break from driving and enjoy the day in the local area with an excursion to Horgo Mountain and a horse riding tour. Swimming and fishing in the areas is also recommended. Overnight in a tent
- Day 4
Today we make a lengthier journey east bound to Telmen Lake in Zavkhan Aimag, a beautiful region of Mongolia with spectacular forests, deserts, mountains and rivers. The night is spent tenting at this quiet spot beside the lake.
- Day 5
After a visit to Museum of Khovd we drive to Hyargas Lake in Uvs Aimag. The lake pr ovides a summer home for migratory birds, and due to its location receives far less attention than the larger Uvs Nuur to the North. The night is spent camping at a particularly scenic spot on the north shore of the lake. (260km driving. Overnight in tent
- Day 6
Today we will reach the most western aimag of Mongolia, Bayan-Olgii. Unlike the rest of Mongolia, which is dominated by Khalkh Mongolians, about 90% of populations of Bayan-Olgii are Kazakh, almost all of them Muslims. Olgii, capital city of the aimag is a Muslim influenced ethnically Kazakh city. It is home to a mosque. We will spend the afternoon strolling around in the aimag centre. We will visit the museum that has some interesting displays and gives a good overview of Kazakh culture. We will also pay a visit to the mosque. We will overnight in a hotel in Olgii town.
- Day 7
Today's destination is Bayan-Olgii Province, which shares a border with China along the Altai Mountains. This country is rich in beautiful untouched nature including the eternally snow-capped peaks of the Altai Mountain Range and pure lakes and rivers. Kazakh people live in Bayan-Olgii aimag. We will meet Kazakh people and have a chance to see their famous Golden Eagles, which are trained for hunting. Their gers and clothing are quite different, and we recognize them as true descendents of ancient Central Asian tradition. Colorful ger decorations showcase traditional geometric patterns - the most popular design a 'ram's horns' motif. Dinner, Stay overnight in the tent on the banks of Hovd River.
- Day 8
To Khoton Nuur and Khurgan Nuur We go further into this remote corner of the country, where the Chinese, Russian and Mongolian borders are only kilometres apart, and continue though Ulaanhus the Tavan Bogd National Park to Khoton Nuur. On the shores of this pretty alpine lake we set camp for a few days. Hiking is the order of the day for those feeling active, while others may choose to simply rest and enjoy the scenery. With two full days to explore these lakes there are walks to suit all abilities and interests. Overnight in tent.
- Day 9-10
We leave the lakes behind and enter the mountains. The White Water River runs fromvast glaciers of the “Five Saints” massif, the highest range of Mongolia. Its waters are milky white because of glacial dust.The first day we trek along the White Water River and follow one of its fast tributaries the next day. Though fenced by high rocky ridges rising on both sides, the river valley is rich in flowers and vegetation. With a bit of luck you may even spot a Mountain Goat (Ibex) or a marmot. Our camp and kitchen will be moved by camels. In the afternoon of the second day we will make our way across a 3400m pass called “Worship” and descend into the valley of White River, which takes its source from the longest glacier in Mongolia named after a Russian traveler Potanin. This is the home of our Tuvan friends and we camp nearby their yurts. Hospitality of locals is unparallel.
- Day 11-12
Drive to Achit Nuur (Achit lake), which is the largest freshwater. (swimming and fishing optional). This lake home to flocks of geese, eagles and other birdlife. We will meet the Mongolian other ethnic group (durvud, Kazak) people and to see their life. After explore these area, we will continue our trip to Uureg Lake which lies close to the Russian border and Siberia. It is a large, beautiful slightly salt-water lake surrounded by glorious mountains and some snow-capped 3000 meters plus peaks. Camping beside Uureg Lake.
- Day 13
Continue our trip to Zuun govi village via Ulaan-gom town in Uvs province. Bayad is one of the smallest ethnic group in Mongolia .We will visit real Bayad nomadic family in remote area. Stay overnight in their “Ger “dwelling.
- Day 14
Continue driving and camp after Tsetserleg village near to Tes River. Tent on the banks of river.
- Day 15
Drive to the Great Lake Hovsgol National Park. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure on the lake. Lake Hovsgol is a 100 mile long pristine alpine lake located in the north of Mongolia, close to the Siberian border. The lake lies at an altitude of 1645m and is a rift valley some 262m deep. The Lake is a protected as a National Park and is sacred to Mongolians who call it "Dalai Ej" the "Mother Sea". Overnight in Tent.
- Day 16-17
Two days at leisure on the Lake Hovsgol to enjoy this remote location, we recommend you take a walk around the lake or into the foothills to witness this amazing landscapes and wild life. Visit Tsaatan reindeer people where located not far from our camp site . There will be two families one is Tsaatan reindeer herder and Shaman. Optional excursions available on the Lake Hovsgol (not transport today!): hiking, trekking, climbing, fishing, optional boating, horseback riding, birdwatching, etc. Overnight in Tent.
- Day 18
After breakfast, continuous drive to Selenge large River via Moron. Overnight at the Tent on the banks of River.
Drive to "Amarbayasgalant" monastery, situated in the northern central Mongolia. After Erdene Zuu Khiid in Karakhorum, Amarbayasgalant Khiid is considered the most important monastery in Mongolia. It's also one of the most beautiful. Overnight in tent.
- Day 20
In the morning, visit Amarbayasgalant monastery was originally built in 1737 by the Manchurian king Kansu, who dedicated it to the great Mongolian Buddhist and sculptor, Zanabazar. In the 1930s and were destroyed 10 of the 37 temples and statues. The monastery was restored between 1975 and 1990 with the help of UNESCO. You're welcome to watch the 30 resident monks conduct their daily ceremonies, compared to over 2000 in 1936. In the afternoon, return drive to Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to your accomodation.