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The Dunes of the Gobi

The vast desert region of the Gobi features diverse terrains and this 6-day itinerary explores the Hongor Els - the desert’s spectacular sand dunes. Stay in comfortable ger camps - the traditional form of housing for nomadic Mongolians, trek by camel into the Gobi dunes and spend time with local herders. On this trip you’ll also get to explore the rugged Yol Valley and climb the Flaming Cliffs - a prolific archeological site. End your stay in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Trek on a camel through the towering sand dunes of the Gobi desert
  • Enjoy hiking and bird-watching in the Yol Valley
  • Climb to the top of the sandstone “Flaming Cliffs” where dinosaur eggs were first uncovered
  • Stay in ger camps, enjoying the tranquility of the Mongolian wilderness
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

This itinerary begins in Dalanzadgad, in the sparsely populated Ömnögobi - southern Gobi - area. A guide will meet you at the airport and drive you to your accommodation for the night - a ger camp near Bayanzag, the Flaming Cliffs. You’ll enjoy your first excursion this evening - a sunset trip to the Flaming Cliffs, so-called for the bright red hue of the sandstone at sunset. This is also where the first discovery of dinosaur eggs was made. Settle into your ger camp for the evening.

Day 2
Hongor Els

Today you’ll return to the cliffs and hike to the top for spectacular views. Next, visit the nearby saxaul groves to enjoy lunch before embarking upon the half-day drive to the sands of Hongor Els. An immense dune almost 75 miles long, Hongor Els is located inside the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park and provides a breathtaking backdrop for the ger camp where you’ll be staying for the night.

Day 3
Hongor Els

Explore the dunes today, meeting local herding families and enjoying views from the tallest dunes. You’ll have the chance to enjoy tea with the camel herders in one of their ger tents, and even use their camels to trek to more remote desert areas. The Hongor Els - Singing Dunes - got their name from the humming noise the wind makes as it passes over the sand. Return to your ger camp for the evening.

Day 4
Yol Valley

You’ll drive across the Gurvansaikhan Mountains to the Yol Valley area today - a full day’s journey. Also known as the Valley of the Vultures after the lammergeier vultures who inhabit the area, Yol Valley is a strikingly beautiful gorge with a deep ice field, which often remains year round. After traveling all day, you’ll enjoy a relaxing evening in your ger camp.

Day 5
Yol Valley

Today you’ll get to explore the Yol Valley properly with a full-day excursion into the Gurvansaikhan Mountains and the gorge itself. Spot lammergeier wheeling above the ravine, as well as wallcreeper birds clinging to the cliffs. Depending on the amount of ice and snow, it may be possible to hike the entire length of the valley today before returning to camp.

Day 6

After breakfast, we’ll drive you to the local airfield for the 90-minute flight to Ulaanbaatar. Here in the Mongolian capital, you can catch up on shopping, enjoy fine dining or just relax in your hotel. We recommend staying at the Blue Sky Hotel - a modern property with top-notch spa facilities, luxurious rooms and a range of international cuisines.


Suggested Accommodations

The Blue Sky Hotel

The Blue Sky Hotel

This five-star contemporary hotel is situated in the city’s business district and more interestingly in Ulaanbaatar’s tallest building. The hotel, decorated in a classic European style, has many top quality facilities including an indoor pool, gym, wellness centre, sauna and a business centre. There are many services on offer to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible such as 24-hour room service, car rentals, currency exchange, laundry services, luggage storage, safety deposit boxes and a 24-hour front desk. Diners will be spoilt for choice with the Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and western food on offer at the hotel’s restaurants. The rooms feature free WiFi, flat-screen TVs with cable channels, en-suite bathrooms with a bathtub and shower facilities as well as a minibar luxury toiletries, hairdryers and slippers.

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