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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

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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.


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


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


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. Meals B+L+D


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


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


July 11 - The Naadam Festival

Shangri-La Hotel - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The roots of Mongolia’s most important festival date back centuries to the periodic gathering of nomadic warriors whom came together to test their strength and courage. It’s celebrated throughout the land, but the festival events in the capital are widely regarded as the best - and the competitions as the fiercest. Indeed, participants and spectators come from across Mongolia for the celebrations and contests.
The excitement begins this morning when we take you back to Ulaanbaatar to attend the opening ceremonies at the Central Stadium; it’s a colorful pageant featuring skilled dancers, athletes, and musicians. Then the competitions get underway! The wrestling championships can involve over 1,000 contestants but with no weight classes and 16 thrilling contests running simultaneously, the competition progresses quickly. The archery contest dates back more than 2,000 years and is a test of strength and military prowess. Bows are still crafted in the traditional Mongolian fashion from sinew, wood, deer horn and bamboo and strung with deer tendon.
After lunch, we’ll take you to the outskirts of the capital to witness the horse racing competitions, an audience favorite that attracts Mongolia’s finest herdsmen, horses and racers. Covering distances ranging from 9 to 20 miles across the vast Mongolian steppe, these races are a test of both endurance and speed for both the horses and their riders; some of them are boys and girls as young as six years old! Tonight you’ll enjoy a final night at the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel.  Meals B+L+D


July 12 – Depart Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward flight.  Meals B


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.

Trip Type

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.


Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you book by Dec 31 and pay-in-full within 7 days of booking and prior to the final payment date listed in our published terms and conditions.

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