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15 Day Horseback Riding Tour in Western Mongolia

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Mongolia Moderate Horseback Riding Holiday

The far west of Mongolia, dominated by Altai mountain range is a land of pristine nature, abundant wildlife and rich cultural heritage. Landscapes here comprise of vast glaciers, fast mountain rivers and lush alpine pastures where large flocks of yaks, goats and sheep graze. The country’s largest Muslim community sharing common origin with modern Turkish inhabits the region as well as a number of smaller ethnic groups that practice Buddhism and Shamanism. Their culture is authentic and their land is a treasure trove of human history with many ancient burials and rock art. Spend 7 unforgettable days on horseback in the company of Tuvan people whose hospitality and horsemanship are exceptional.

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 220 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 14 to 15 hands
  • Tack Type: Western Tack
  • Horse Breed: Mongolian Horse
  • The approximate daily riding duration will be 6 to 7 hours including breaks, and stops

Highlights

  • 8 horse riding days
  • Enjoy the raw beauty of genuine wilderness and comfortable camping
  • See the highest peaks of Mongolia and experience authentic nomadic culture
  • Learn about Golden eagles and explore ancient rock art and burial places
  • Immerse in the vibrant atmosphere of modern Ulaanbaatar
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinking water
  • 14 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


13 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Chinese (mandarin), French, German, Korean, Russian
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
Airport transfer included: Chinggis Khaan International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

During this trip, you will be staying in tents on most nights and in a four-star hotel on your first and last night.

  • Night 1: Hotel
  • Nights 2 to 12: Tent
  • Nights 13 to 14: Hotel

Program

Day 1: Arrival to Ulaanbaatar

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (UB), the capital of Mongolia, and transfer to a centrally located four-star hotel. An afternoon guided city tour will introduce you to the highlights of the city, the Gandan Temple, the city's main Buddhist center, the central city square with a grand statue of Genghis Khan, and the Zaisan Memorial, an elevated hill on the city's edge providing a panoramic view of UB.

You can then choose to visit one or two museums from the following:

  • National Museum - Introducing Mongolia's history from early humans to the modern era.
  • Dinosaur Museum -With a unique collection of dinosaur fossils.
  • Choijin Lama or State Oracle Residence Museum - Displaying the best samples of Buddhist artwork and religious masks.
  • Winter Palace of Bogd Khan - Showcasing rare statues of Buddhist deities and items of personal use of this last theocratic ruler of Mongolia.

An evening folk show of music, throat singing, and contortion will be followed by a welcome dinner.(Dinner, hotel)

Day 2: Flight to Ulgy and Drive to Baga Oigor Petroglyph Gallery

Transfer to the UB airport for a flight to Ulgy town in Western Mongolia. Upon arrival, meet with your support team and drive to Tavan Bogd National Park. You will first travel across the mountainous desert and then along V-shaped mountain valleys before arriving at Baga Oigor Valley, the home of the largest rock art gallery in Asia, registered in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

The gallery is 15 kilometers long and 500 meters wide and dates back to the Stone and Bronze Ages. Images depict wild and domestic animals and scenes of human life such as hunting, handling domestic animals, worship, etc. Here, you will set up your tented camp and spend the rest of the day leisurely exploring the rock art gallery. Relax and acclimatize and possibly get a visit or two by local nomads who gingerly approach the camp to exchange greetings. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 3: Travel to Tavan Bogd National Park

Have another half-a-day travel along a V-shaped mountain valley and by lunchtime, arrive at Tavan Bogd National Park gateway. This is where the riding tour starts. Spend the rest of the day acclimatizing further. This evening, your local guides arrive bringing their horses and pack camels that will carry the camp, luggage, and food for the next days. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 4: Ride to Tavan Bogd Peaks

After breakfast, guides will select you a horse to suit your riding abilities and the tour starts. Riding stocky Mongolian horses requires skills quite different from the western riding style. Horses are used to a different set of commands and behavior on the riders' end but still are very responsive and clever animals.

Accompanied by the local guides, ride on high mountain terrain with occasional bogs and many small streams to cross. The entire luggage will be carried by the pack camels. Without much luck, you will see marmots, Golden Eagles, vultures, and falcons. Halfway through the route, magnificent views of snowcapped mountains and vast glaciers will come into your sight.

After a picnic lunch, continue to the campsite with an impressive view of the highest peaks of Mongolia and the Potanin glacier as the backdrop. Tonight, the camp is at 2900 meters above sea level. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 5: Climb to 4051-meter Malchin Peak

First hike along the Potanin glacier moraine for an hour before stepping on the mountain. Although clearly established, the trail is mostly on the scree. Once at the top, you can enjoy spectacular bird's eye views of glaciers beneath and of the Russian territory as the ridge overlaps with the borderline.

Only trekking poles are required for the Malchin climb. Alternatively, you can take a less demanding option of hiking up to a lower ridge and glance into Russia too. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 6: Ride Out to Tsagaan Gol River

The river takes source from the snowcapped peaks and the glaciers of Tavan Bogd. As historic evidence suggests, the region was inhabited by hunter gatherers and prehistoric nomads from as early as the Stone Age. Dozens of burial mounds and rock carvings are scattered just in the Tsagaan Gol River Valley alone.

Today, a tiny community of Tuvan herders grazes their animals here during summer months. It is these very people who are serving as your local guides. Today’s ride is a gradual downhill interrupted by a couple of bogs and slightly longer than the way up. Again, loads are carried by camels. Tonight, taste local hospitality by visiting one of the camel drivers. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Days 7 to 12: Ride to Khoton Lake

Ride in a linear way each day, covering up to 30 kilometers. The Tuvan guides will accompany you, looking after your safety and emotional wellbeing, they will certainly share their life experiences and you will get a rare opportunity to learn of more of these modest and stoic people and of their unique symbiotic relationship with nature and animals, particularly with their horses.

Landscapes here are truly spectacular and vary every single day, fertile river valleys alternate with rugged mountains, open grasslands, alpine lakes, and snow-capped peaks. The riding terrain is suitable for all paces: trotting, galloping, and racing. You will mostly be traveling at about 2000 meters above sea level.

Yaks and horses roaming about and local herders grazing large flocks of sheep and goats is a common scene. Invariably, they come to greet you to exchange news or to just take a curious look. With some luck, you may come across Kazakh eagle hunters who train golden eagles and use them for hunting.

Although actual hunting is done in winter, you can still see the massive birds and have a photo taken while holding one on your arms to impress your family and friends. At any time, you can take a break in one of the support cars. Shortly before the end of each day’s riding, drivers will go ahead to prepare camp and to let cooks start their operations.

On Day 11, you will arrive at Khoton, a spectacular alpine lake bordering with China’s Xinjiang province. Spend this well-earned rest day at ease. The Khoton Lake campsite is truly idyllic. A snowcapped ridge marking the border with China and wooded slopes below reflect in the mirror-like surface of the lake.

You can go swimming or explore some distinctly well-preserved bronze age rock carvings just beside the camp. This is also time to part with the riding guides who will start their journey home. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, 6 nights in tents)

Day 13: Return Travel to Ulgy Town

Your riding adventure is over and you'll head back to civilization. For most of the day, drive along the Khovd River, the largest in Western Mongolia. The river winds along rocky mountain slopes with sparse vegetation and some poplar trees that line the banks. In Ulgy, settle in the coziest local hotel before gathering for a traditional Kazakh dinner. (Breakfast, dinner, hotel)

Day 14: Return Flight to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to Ulgy airport for your flight to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your own disposal. In the evening, gather for a farewell dinner. (Breakfast, dinner, hotel)

Day 15: Departure

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Location

Geographically, you will be at the remotest part of Mongolia with true pristine nature, abundant wildlife, and interesting cultural heritage. Views here are dominated by vast glaciers, fast mountain rivers, and lush alpine pastures where large flocks of yaks, goats, and sheep graze.

The following locations of your accommodation will be at the following:

  • Ulaanbaatar - The capital city of Mongolia; you will stay for a total of two nights in hotels at this location.
  • Ulgy Town - The capital of Bayan Ulgii province.
  • Altai Tavan Bogd National Park - Altai Tavan Bogd NP has some of the most stunning scenery in all of Mongolia with towering mountains, glaciers, deep lush valleys, and large lakes.
  • Tavan Bogd Peaks - Dozens of burial mounds and rock carvings are scattered just in here.
  • Malchin Peak - The smallest of the Five Holy Peaks in the Altai Mountains.
  • White River - White river flows in Mongolian Altai and Altai Tavan Bogd NP.
  • Khoton Lake - A freshwater lake in Altai Tavan Bogd NP.

Food

Daily full board meals, as well as drinking water, are included.

Camps serve western type of meals. A typical breakfast consists with a choice of cereal, oatmeal, rice, bread, toast, butter, spreads, eggs, tea, coffee, sausages. Lunches and dinners include vegetable salads and a main course. When camping your expedition cook will prepare mostly western type of meals and some traditional Mongolian meals.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 8 horse riding days
  • All visits, sightseeing, national park, and permit fees
  • Horse and pack animal hire
  • Horse riding tackle
  • Local guides
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • Use of complete camping and cooking equipment
  • Sleeping mattresses
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinking water
  • Expedition cook(s)
  • Overland transport
  • Roundtrip domestic airfare and airport transfers
  • English-speaking guide

What's not included

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage fee on domestic air travel
  • Personal riding clothes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Additional meals
  • Other drinks and alcohol
  • Gratuities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN). Transfers are included, Mongolia Trekking will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Chinggis Khaan International Airport Airport transfer included: Chinggis Khaan International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
15 days / 14 nights
from --
Pricing information
The price of this trip is reduced when the group has 4 or more riders. If you book at the higher price and more people subsequently book for the same dates, the price of your trip will be reduced by the organizer.

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