EXPLORE THE ALTAI MOUNTAINS

  • EXPLORE THE ALTAI MOUNTAINS
14 day
from 1999 USD
OVERVIEW

Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority is the Kazakh people of the Altai, after Khalkh Mongols. These ethnics are pastoral, Turkic speaking and traditional Muslim people who live in the far western part of the country. Kazakhs live peacefully keeping their completely distinct customs and strict traditions. Most importantly they speak in their own language as the Mongolian government gave them rights to keep their native language and religion. Traditional Kazakh gers are generally larger and beautifully decorated by creative Kazakh patterns. Kazakhs hunt on the horseback with trained golden eagles on their wrists and greyhounds slung across the saddle; eagle hunting game and pictures of an eagle bearing Kazakhs are common scenery in the west. The hunters catch young female eagles around two years old and train them for their special hunting. Kazakhs are famous for its hospitality and friendliness like the Mongols. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Ulaanbaatar city tour

Eagle trainer’s nomadic family visit

Horseback riding to Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Potanin’s Glacier

Wild life observing

Dayan lake

Khurgan lake

Khoton Lake

Sagsai River valley

Tsengel Khairkhan mountain

Shiveet Khairkhan mountain

ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar city

Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar city, our driver and English-speaking guide will pick you up from the airport and be transferred to your hotel in downtown. After you settled in, we will start a sightseeing tour including visit Sukhbaatar’s square. The Square is in the center of Ulaanbaatar, in front of the Mongolian Parliament House. Across from the central square, we will visit to the National Museum of Mongolia, the biggest museum with over 54000 exhibitions from the prehistoric period till the 21st century. Our next stop will be Gandan Monastery. Which is the biggest Buddhist pilgrimage center in Mongolia. If time permits, we will walk up to Zaisan Hill Memorial. This hill provides a panoramic view of Ulaanbaatar. In the evening we will go to a Mongolian folk concert. Overnight in a hotel.

-/Lunch/Dinner

 

Day 2: domestic flight to Ulgii, then drive to sagsai

After breakfast at the hotel, our team will pick you up from your hotel, and take you to the airport for domestic flight to Ulgii, a provincial town of Western Mongolia. After your arrival in Ulgii, our local driver will pick you up from Ulgii airport with his guaranteed 4WD vehicle and drive to nomadic Kazakh family in Sagsai soum of Bayan-Ulgii province. Once we reach the home of nomadic Kazakh family, you have an opportunity to learn about their lifestyle including how they train their Golden eagles for hunting, how they take care of their herds in the vast pasture land, and also you will get a chance to try what nomadic people do in their daily life. Overnight in a ger with eagle trainers’ family.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 3: Head to Shiveet Khairkhan; snow-capped mountain

We’ll wake up at a same time with the eagle trainers’ nomadic family, and involving their daily morning routes including milk their cows, and produce dairy products. After having breakfast with the eagle trainer’s family, we will pack up and drive to a snow-capped sacred mountain Shiveet Khairkhan. The mountain has an altitude of 3000m and surrounded by archaeological monuments extending in time from the Bronze Age through the Turkic Period (sixth to ninth centuries CE). The mountain is the closest place to Altai Tavan Bogd peaks reachable by car. Once we arrive in the foot of Shiveet Khairkhan mountain, we will set up our tent, and you have time to explore the mountain until dinner. In the evening, we will prepare our luggage for the next 2 days trekking to Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Overnight in a tent.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

 

Day 4: Trek to the base camp of Tavan bogd peak

After having breakfast on the foot of the sumptuous snow-capped mountain, we will load our luggage on horseback, leave our vehicle and trek toward Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Approximately 3 to 4 hours of horseback riding, we will reach the base camp of Tavan Bogd peaks. The name Tavan Bogd Mountains means the ‘5 Saints” makes sense when you stand by the five tallest peaks in the park. Starting with Kuiten Uul at 14,350 ft (4374 m), Nairamdal at 13,714 feet (4,180 meters), Malchin at 13,287 feet (4,050 meters), Bürged at 13,346 feet (4,068 meters) and Ölgii at 13,287 feet ( 4,050 meters) constitute the other giant mountains.  Once we arrive in the base camp of the National Park, we will set up our tent camp just off the glacier’s edge, then have lunch and saunter around the largest glacier in Mongolia named “Potanin glacier” between the Tavan Bogd peaks. Overnight in a tent.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 5: Potanin glacier and Tavan Bogd peaks

After having a peaceful breakfast next to the glacier’s edge, you have a full day to explore the Tavan Bogd National Park. The national park is, however, more than the high peaks and circa 34 glaciers. Indeed, the park includes the beautiful flat area of the Lakes region. Composed of three freshwater lakes, Khurgan Nuur and Khoton Nuur linked by a small river, and the smaller Dayan Nuur south of the two lakes. After the exploration through the national park, you will enjoy the alpine-like scene next to your tent. Overnight in a tent.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 6: Tsagaan Gol

We observe stunning mountain sunrise near the Dayan lake in the early morning. We start our trek to the direction of the north. Today’s trek will across the wildest territory of the region through the green pastures and empty wide spaces with attractive view. Our trekking route will reach the extreme western edge of the country along the Russian and Kazakh border. We explore the neighborhood areas including hordes of cattle and horses. We reach Khurgan Lake in the late afternoon. Khurgan Lake is alpine lake dotted with islands, is 22 km long and 28m deep in places. Six rivers feed it, and the Khovd River flows from its eastern end. Overnight in the tent camp near the lake.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 7: Dayan lake

Peaceful morning breakfast and we start our trek to Dayan lake. Dayan lake is a moraine lake 18kms long, fed by small rivers and snow waters. A famous stone statue known as “Dayan the Pious” and the remains of the foundations of three square tombs of ancients stand near the bank of the river. En route to the lake, we have an opportunity to visit Kazakh village and go into one of the homes of Kazakhs, local residents who domesticate golden eagles for hunting. In winter, eagle on the wrist, they hunt wolves and foxes on horseback. We also have a chance to experience Kazakh music and melody of Doombor, traditional musical instrument and practice everyday life of Kazakhs. In the afternoon, we continue our trek with occasional rests towards mountain lakes. Overnight in the tent camp near the lake.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 8: Drive to Khurgan lake & Khoton lake

We observe stunning mountain sunrise near the Dayan lake in the early morning. We start our trek to the direction of the north. Today’s trek will across the wildest territory of the region through the green pastures and empty wide spaces with attractive view. Our trekking route will reach the extreme western edge of the country along the Russian and Kazakh border. We explore the neighborhood areas including hordes of cattle and horses. We reach Khurgan Lake in the late afternoon. Khurgan Lake is alpine lake dotted with islands, is 22 km long and 28m deep in places. Six rivers feed it, and the Khovd River flows from its eastern end. Overnight in the tent camp near the lake.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 9: Tsengel Khairkhan mountain

Today’s trek will be an exceptional experience where you begin following the route to Tsengel Khairkhan, a mountain of breathtaking grandeur and charm. On the way to snowcapped Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain, we stop to visit Uriankhai family, a small ethnic group of Mongolia, which speaks different dialect from Khalkha Mongolian. We reach the foothills of the dramatic Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain in the afternoon. Overnight in the tent camp.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 10: Tsengel Khairkhan mountain

After late morning wake up and breakfast, we start our roaming day around blessed Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain. Only a few local herdsmen know this beautiful and blessed mountain. We will receive a warm welcome by local nomads over a cup of milk or yoghurt. If you wish you may sample local foods. Today our trek route will take us to the most spectacular mountain passes. We encounter herds of horses roaming free in the neighborhood. Overnight in the tent near the grandeur looking mountain.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 11: Drive to Tsagaan salaa

Peaceful morning wake-up, we start our trek along the Sagsai river. On the way, we’ll see freely grazing herds of yaks, cattle, horses, and sheep, and experience the Kazakhs tradition of training golden eagles and their hospitality. Kazakhs are famous for their unique way to host their guests including traditional milk tea and “kazi”- specially prepared horse meat dish and “bishmarmak” mutton with noodles. Overnight near the Sagsai river in the tent camp.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 12: Drive to Ulgii

It’s time to say goodbye to our nomadic Kazakh friends. Today we will drive back to Ulgii town. After approximately 5 hours of backseat driving, we will reach the Ulgii town. Once we arrive there, you have time to relax in the hotel until dinner. Overnight in a hotel.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 13: Flight back to Ulaanbaatar city

After breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Ulaanbaatar. We will arrive in Ulaanbaatar in the afternoon, and you have time for visiting the world’s number one cashmere store and Mongolian souvenir shops or relaxing in your hotel until dinner. In the evening, our farewell dinner will take place in a restaurant. Overnight in a hotel.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 14: Departure

Today is the end of the Western Mongolian tour. Our team will transfer you to the airport in time for your international flight. Have a nice trip back to your home and thank you for choosing ELT Mongolian tours.

Breakfast/-/-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRICE

 

Group size

Price per person

2 pax

3987 USD

3-5 pax

3486 USD

6-9 pax

2568 USD

10-15 pax

1999 USD

 

INCLUSIONS

Accommodation (twin based): 2 nights in 4 – star hotel, 9 nights in a tent, 1 night in a nomadic family’s ger, 1 night in a countryside hotel

Domestic Airfare

Guiding and interpreting service

Full board meals

Transportation: vehicle 4x4 or minivan

Entrance fees to protected areas and national parks

Museums and cultural performance

Sleeping bags, and matt

Tent

Camping equipment

Pack animal rental

EXCLUSIONS

International airfare

Personal equipment

Optional activity cost

Excess baggage charges

Alcoholic drinks

Travel insurance

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