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TS-MN-05 Karakorum Explorer


5 nights from UK £ 965 per person

Price based on 2 people travelling. This price is to give guidance and final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability. Trip runs from May to September only.

An ideal adventure for those who want to spend a few days getting a feel for the Mongolia beyond Ulaanbaatar and its surrounding ger camps. This trip has an excellent mix of history, scenery and culture.

Karakorum was the ancient capital of Mongolia and although much of the original city is now lost to the steppe this area has a superb historical atmosphere.

Day 1 - Arrival Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar City Tour & Comfortable Elstei Ger Camp

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. Before heading out to Elstei ger camp you have breakfast and a chance to shower as well as a city tour. Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years. There is much of cultural interest here and the tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, impressive Sukhbaatar square and the views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill.

Continue the 35 km to Elstei Ger camp in the open steppe stopping on the way at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue that sees that most famous of Mongols survey the grasslands. Elstei offers comfortable and spacious ger accommodation with separate toilet, showering and dining facilities.

A range of options are available including visits to local nomads and learning about their way of life and hiking the grasslands. There are also opportunities to for horse riding (payable locally) and, for much of the year, activities such as archery, ger building and even the opportunity to learn how to wrestle Mongolian style! Of course, you can simply relax and take in this extraordinary landscape.

Meals Included: Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

Day 2 - Elstei to Burd

Drive to Burd Where the Great Grasslands Meet the Gobi Desert

After breakfast we depart Elstei for Burd on the edge of the Mongolian Gobi where the grasslands mix with small dunes. Along the way we visit a Nomadic family to learn about their life in this amazing landscape, a lifestyle little changed over time. You have plenty of time today to enjoy the other worldliness of the steppe and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at ger camps.

Day 3 - Burd to Ugii Lake

Visit Turkish Monoliths & Remote Ugii Lake

Continue driving to Ugii Lake along the way visiting two important monoliths located close together about 60km from Karakorum. The first monument is dedicated to the Turkish prince Kul-Tegin (638-731) and the other to his brother Bilge-Khan (716-734). Arrival at Ugii lake in the afternoon with free time to explore the lakeshore. The lake is a favourite destination for adventure fishermen and relatively shallow with an average depth of 3 meters making it safe to swim in despite the cold and popular with birdlife.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at ger camps.

Day 4 - Karakorum

Visit the Ancient Capital of Karakorum Including Erdene Zuu Monastery

Today we visit Mongolia’s ancient capital of Karakorum founded by Chingis Khan in 1220. It quickly became a major trading hub on the silk road attracting merchants from across the Mongolian empire and beyond, prospering until Kublai Khan moved to the capital to modern day Beijing establishing what the Chinese refer to as the Yuan Dynasty. In 1379 much of Karakorum was badly damaged during an attack by the army of the Ming Dynasty.

The highlight of a trip here is Erdene Zuu Monastery, built by Avtai Sain Khan on the ruins of the ancient capital in 1586. It was the first great Buddhist Monastery of Mongolia and is now part of the World Heritage Site. Stones from the ruins of Karakorum were used in the monastery’s construction and its surrounding wall features 108 stupas – the number of beads in a Buddhist rosary. The monastery was damaged by war in the 1680s, but was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples inside.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at ger camps.

Day 5 - Return to Ulaanbaatar

Drive Back to Ulaanbaatar With Free Time to Relax on Arrival

Drive back to Ulaanbaatar making any stops for photos along the way. The guide will take you to your hotel to check in after which your day is free to explore the city or catch up on email, shopping or just relax.

Meals Included: Breakfast at the ger camp.

Day 6 - Depart Ulaanbaatar

Free Time to Explore the City Before Departure

A free day in Ulaanbaatar to further explore the city, shop for souvenirs, visit some of the museums or catch up on coffee and correspondence before a transfer to your onward transport.

Meals Included: Hotel Breakfast.

Accommodation for this Trip

Destinations Visited on this Trip


What is included?

All accommodation as specified under the accommodation tab

All private transfers and any other transportation as described

All meals as specified in the itinerary

All tours as specified in the itinerary

All entrance fees to sights toured in the itinerary

24 hour emergency assistance

Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas

Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected

What is not included?

International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request

The Mongolian visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we recommend ABTASure (UK residents only)

Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides

Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment


Enquire About This Trip

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