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Highlights
  • The annual Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia's "wild west"
  • Kazakh eagle hunters on horseback with their magnificent golden eagles
  • Three Camel Lodge, an award-winning ger camp in the heart of the Gobi
  • Fossils of the famous Flaming Cliffs, where the first dinosaur eggs were found

Our rare “back of beyond” adventure brings you from the fascinating Kazakh culture of the Altai Mountains in Mongolia’s wild west to the epic setting of the vast Gobi Desert in the south. In the Altai, you’ll witness the thrilling Golden Eagle Festival as Kazakhs come from afar on horseback to attend this friendly competition and show off the skills of their majestic trained eagles—a truly spectacular sight. The opportunity to meet and mingle with them, watch their amazing horsemanship, and visit local families is an unforgettable experience. Heading to the Gobi, you’ll walk on the golden Moltsog Els sand dunes and in the glacier-carved Yol Valley, and watch a blazing sunset at the legendary Flaming Cliffs, where the first dinosaur eggs were found.

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The Golden Eagle Festival And Great Gobi Desert

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Itinerary

Days 1-2: Ulaanbaatar

Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar

In Ulaanbaatar, explore the temples, courtyards, and chanting halls of Gandan Monastery, get a “behind-the-scenes” tour from a local paleontologist at the Paleontological Laboratory, where scientists study the findings of dinosaur fossils in Mongolia, and visit the National History Museum to see its Stone and Bronze Age artifacts.

Days 3-7: Ulgii / Golden Eagle Festival

Accommodation: Mongolian Ger Camps

Heading out to the grasslands and snow-dusted peaks of the High Altai, surrounded by a stunning arid wilderness under Mongolia’s endless “great blue sky,” we witness the Golden Eagle Festival, with Kazakh men parading on horseback dressed in their traditional hunting finery, accompanied by magnificent golden eagles on their arms—it’s an unforgettable spectacle! We watch as the eagles, in full hunting mode, fly down from cliffs to attack decoys dragged along on horseback as the Kazakhs gallop across the steppes. While here, we have wonderful opportunities to saddle up and ride a Mongolian horse, visit nomadic families in their gers, and explore deep valleys sheltering hidden archaeological sites with amazing petroglyphs.

Days 8-13: Gobi Desert / Three Camel Lodge

Accommodation: Ulaanbaatar Hotel and Three Camel Lodge

After an overnight in Ulaanbaatar to freshen up, we fly down to the epic Gobi, a diverse region that was the site of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th century. With overnights at the award-winning Three Camel Lodge, we climb the dunes in the stunning Moltsog Els, explore some of the most precious petroglyphs in the desert, and hike in Yol Valley National Park, habitat of Argali mountain sheep and soaring lammergeiers. For a grand finale, we head to the legendary Flaming Cliffs, named for the orange glow of the rock at sunset. It was here in 1923 that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen. Scientific expeditions continue to make significant discoveries here, and we have a chance to experience an unforgettable sunset that paints the cliffs in soft colors. Depart on Day 13 via Ulaanbaatar.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 6,195

Price Per Day:

$ 477 per person
 
  • Deposit Price: $ 600
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,150

Prices are for 2016

  • $6195 (10-15 members)
  • $6595 (5-9 members)
  • Single supplement: $1150
  • Forced single supplement: $950
  • Internal airfare: $735 (subject to change)
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Accommodations in rustic gers in Ulgii, the Three Camel Lodge, and a comfortable hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • All meals included
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary, including entrance fees for museums and sites
  • Land transportation and airport transfers
Trip Excludes
  • International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day.
  • Optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors.
  • Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Optional Activities

Beijing Extension

The Great Wall, Forbidden City, And Summer Palace

Beijing is a vibrant international city and this extension explores some of its most celebrated highlights including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

4 days from: $1195

Xi'an Extension

Explore The Cradle Of Chinese Civilization

Explore he ancient Silk Road metropolis of Xi’an, home to the legendary Terra Cotta Warriors, and visit the Muslim quarter, home to the Great Mosque of Xi’an, and the Stone Forest.

3 days from: $1215

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 15
Accomodations

Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),

Day 12 (1 night), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The newly-opened Shangri-La Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is set within walking distance of the Genghis Khan Square and the famous Government House, and is the ideal place to relax during your time in Mongolia’s capital city. Friendly staff welcome you to your guestroom, complete with cozy beds, marble bathrooms, and views of Genghis Khan Square and Nayramdal Park, while a gym, sauna, and steam room help you unwind and rejuvenate. After a day’s explorations in the city, settle in with a cocktail in their lobby lounge, enjoying the beautiful decorations (and maybe some music from the lobby’s grand piano).

Mongolian Ger Camps

Days 3 to 7 (5 nights), Mongolia

Gers are the traditional yurt-like tents used by Mongolian nomads for centuries, and these simple fixed camps are specially built and operated for visitors. They come equipped with beds and linens (and may also have a small table and stools), and are heated by a wood or coal stove. Meals are served in a central lodge or tent. Bathroom facilities are usually located in the central lodge and shared by all participants. For camps that have a central tent, rather than a lodge, there will be separate toilet and shower tents available with western-style toilet seats. Please be prepared for limited shower use, as shower water is often solar heated and may not be available daily. Gers provide an authentic and memorable taste of Mongolian culture and allow us to visit areas that otherwise lack traveler accommodations. Most visitors find their stays at ger camps to be among their most enjoyable experiences in Mongolia.

Ulaanbaatar Hotel

Day 8 (1 night), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The Ulaanbaatar Hotel has an ideal location within walking distance of the city’s great museums, restaurants, and shopping. Although it’s an old Soviet-style hotel, it has been modestly refurbished and remains one of the best in town. The rooms are simple and clean.

Start City
Ulaanbaatar
End City
Ulaanbaatar
Guides

Undrakh Batchuluun

Departure Dates: September 23-October 5, 2016

A native of Ulaanbaatar, Undrakh has led expeditions throughout Mongolia for the past decade. Her favorite regions include the epic South Gobi Desert and legendary Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia’s "Dark Blue Pearl." Undrakh has a gift for facilitating cultural exchange and conversation, and loves sharing the traditions of reindeer herders, shaman, and nomad families with her travelers. Hiking, overland, horseback treks and photography trips are all in Undrakh’s repertoire, along with experience as a translator. When not out in the field, she enjoys singing, dancing, playing basketball, and photography.

Azaa Choijoo

Departure Dates: September 27-October 9, 2016

Azaa Choijoo was born and raised amid the rolling hills and grasslands of Mongolia’s eastern steppes, and has been a professional Trip Leader since 1998. Fluent in English, Russian, and Kalkh Mongol, Azaa is a graduate of the Institute of Foreign Languages in Ulaanbaatar. During the school year, she teaches Russian and English at a Middle School in 'UB,' and describes her homeland as “one of the few countries with an untouched nature—a land with no fences, free and unchanged in millennia, with a magnificent culture where you are welcomed at every door.” Although she loves all of Mongolia, she has a particular fondness for the Gobi, with its vast open spaces, stillness, and variety of landscapes. A delightful leader with boundless energy and an incredible command of her country’s history, Azaa loves sharing Mongolia’s natural beauty and fascinating culture, especially facilitating visits with local families. “At first people seem shy and not so talkative. But after a few questions they become more open. I want my trip members to intercommunicate with nomadic families and experience their life.” When not leading trips, Azaa lives in Ulaanbaatar with her husband and two children, and visits her parents at their ger in the countryside.

Cancellation Policy:
  • Up to 91 days prior to departure: We don't charge one!
  • 61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
  • 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
  • 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

 

Cancellation and transfer schedules for certain group trips, as well as cruises, private departures, extensions, and Special Events are often more strict. These exceptions are clearly indicated in the detailed itineraries for each of these trips.

Rates are based on group participation and no render refunds will be given for unused trip arrangements for any reason whatsoever. Once you have been confirmed on a trip that requires a medical certificate signed by a doctor, normal cancellation penalties apply if your doctor does not sign the certificate.

Trip ID#: GolEagWil

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