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Save $1,000 per couple | $500 solo

Mongolia + the Gobi, Naadam Festival

8 days

Never more than 16 guests

Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Witness thrilling tests of courage and strength at the Naadam Festival as spirited contestants including young boys and girls gather from distant corners of Mongolia to compete in wrestling, archery and horseracing.
+ Explore the Gobi with your own 4x4 jeep, driver and guide... You can stop where you wish for photos and to meet nomadic families in intimate groups of just 2 to 3 guests.
+ Follow in the footsteps of the Original Indiana Jones as you explore the Flaming Cliffs, where he discovered the first-known nest of dinosaur eggs.
+ Exploring the Gobi from atop a 2-humped Bactrian camel puts you at one with these timeless landscapes.
+ Experience enduring traditions like archery and learn to construct an authentic Ger – the round felt tent used all across the land.
+ Get to know Mongolia’s emerging artists at the unique 976 Gallery in Ulaanbaatar.
+ With 2 nights luxury hotel; 5 nights in a private Ger with bath; Naadam Festival Opening Ceremonies and first-day competitions; 19 meals; all transfers; both internal flights; private 4x4 jeep touring with driver and guide in the Gobi including nature and cultural activities; and all gratuities except Trip Leader

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

July 5 – Welcome to Ulaanbaatar

Shangri-La Hotel - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel.

Day
2

July 6 – Into the Gobi by Jeep

Three Camel Lodge - The Gobi, Mongolia

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Dalanzadgad in the South Gobi, where our fleet of comfortable 4x4 jeeps await. With only 2 to 3 guests in each jeep with our professional driver and a guide, we promise intimate, personalized exploration over the next 3 days. The adventure begins in Yolyn Am, also known as Eagle Valley. Explore the rugged terrain, including areas with cliffs and canyons so deeply shaded that ice can endure well into summer. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for soaring eagles and the wild sheep and goats that graze high up the steep canyon walls. A small natural history museum at the entrance to the valley provides more information about the flora, fauna and geology of the valley. Enjoy an al fresco lunch freshly prepared by your private chef and continue to the Three Camel Lodge. Meals B+L+D

Day
3

With its rich history colored by the exploits of adventurers and explorers, the Gobi is respected as one of the harshest environments on the planet, with extreme temperature and seasonal changes. But it’s also a land rich with geological diversity and natural wonders. Setting out this morning by jeep with your driver and guide, you’ll discover for yourself one of these remarkable wonders. The day opens as you venture along the flanks of the Altai Mountains into Khongoryn Els, also known as the Singing Sand Dunes. Covering hundreds of square miles and soaring up to 2,000 feet, they’re known for the unusual sound they make as the sands shift in the wind. Here amidst this breathtaking desert expanse, you’ll also get to spend time with a camel breeder and his family - for a genuine experience of life in the Gobi. Exploring the area from atop a 2-humped Bactrian camel puts you at one with the timeless vistas. Meals B+L+D

Day
4

July 8 – Excursion to Bayanzag, The Flaming Cliffs

Three Camel Lodge - The Gobi, Mongolia

This morning is yours to enjoy the singular setting of our Lodge, surrounded by the vast sweep of the Gobi. If you wish, you can enjoy a screening of Bayanzag, The Story of the Weeping Camel. Released in 2004, this well-reviewed German-made docudrama tells the story of a nomadic family of camel herders living in the Gobi Desert.

After lunch, you’ll follow in the footsteps of Roy Chapman Andrews. Fondly known as the “Original Indiana Jones,” Mr. Andrews was a storied adventurer and naturalist who went on to become one of the most respected directors of the American Museum of Natural History. It was here amidst this stark expanse of desert sands and towering red sandstone cliffs where he found the first-known nest of fossilized dinosaur eggs in 1922. Petrified forests and the remains of numerous animals including the skeleton of the hornless rhinoceros, the largest known mammal, have also been recovered in the same area. Enjoy a freshly prepared dinner atop the Flaming Cliffs as the sun sets over these desert landscapes. This evening, local children will perform the Baby Camel Dance, a traditional Mongolian favorite. Delight in another restful overnight in your private Ger at the Three Camel Lodge.  Meals B+L+D

Day
5

July 9 – Back to Ulaanbaatar + Tuul River

Tuul Riverside Lodge - Tuul River, Mongolia

After a hearty breakfast, travel back to Dalanzadgad and bid farewell to your Gobi guide and driver as you board the flight back to the capital. On arrival, meet our resident guide and visit 976, the most important contemporary art gallery in Mongolia. The exhibits change regularly, but 976 is known for finding talented artists who use a variety of traditional techniques like Tibetan Thangka painting and Chinese calligraphy to create new and vibrant works that are distinctly Mongolian.
 
After lunch in the city, we’ll take you overland to the evocative Tuul Riverside Lodge, our authentic Mongolian style encampment. Settle in to your private Ger and then join an afternoon archery lesson; it’s a fun way to learn about this revered national sport where bows are still crafted from wood, sinew, horn and tendon. Meals B+L+D

Day
6

July 10 – Mongolian Traditions + Culture

Tuul Riverside Lodge - Tuul River, Mongolia

Today offers a unique opportunity to enjoy and experience hands-on some of Mongolia’s very unique cultural traditions. The Mongolian Ger is constructed with a wooden lattice frame and sturdy roof poles that are then covered with multiple layers of felt. Here amidst these scenic rolling hills on the gentle Tuul River, you’ll spend some time this morning learning to construct a real Ger – just like the one you slept in last night!

After lunch, our private concert showcases a variety of Mongolian art forms including Tsam dancing, throat singing, and Uran Nugaralt - an acrobatic form that stresses balance and flexibility. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers around the campfire for a traditional Mongolian barbecue prepared by the Lodge’s chefs. Meals B+L+D

Day
7

July 11 - The Naadam Festival

Shangri-La Hotel - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Early this morning we will travel back to Ulaanbaatar by car. We will head to the central stadium to attend the Naadam Festival opening ceremony. Naadam is the biggest and the most widely watched traditional festival in Mongolia, locally also named the "Eriin Gurvan Naadam" – “the three games of men". Wrestling, horse racing, and archery are practiced during this National Holiday from July 11th to 13th. Women have started to participate in the archery and horse-racing games, but not in the wrestling. Naadam is a formal celebration of the 1921 revolution, when Mongolia declared itself a free country. The Naadam celebration was accredited by the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2010. After lunch we will drive to Hui Doloon Khudag, to the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, to watch horse race competition. This horse-racing tradition is said to date back to the Bronze Age. It’s considered to be one of the three traditional skills of Mongolian young men. Horse-racing is of course cherished by the herdsmen in Mongolia and is a favorite among the sports. The horses are categorized according to age; the distance of the race is determined by the age of the horse and may range between 15 and 35 kilometers. Then drive back to Shangri-La Hotel. Meals B+L+D

Day
8

July 12 – Depart Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, we’ll take you back to the capital for your onward flight.  Meals B

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Thrill to the Nadaam Festival  

Travel on this July 2020 departure and experience Mongolia’s largest festival in the capital when Nomadic families gather from all across the land. This exciting event is highlighted by ancient tests of warrior skills like archery, wrestling and horse racing.

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DepartureReturnFromAvailabilityDeparture Note
05 July 202312 July 2023$10,999AvailableNaadam Festival
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Our Luxury Hotel + Mongolia’s Finest Eco-Lodges $10,999Available
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