Mongolia is a country that’s still finding its feet in terms of tourism, where itineraries don’t always go according to plan and spontaneity is the order of the day. If you’re willing to embrace this, prepare to be swept away by the spirit of the wild-eyed Mongol ponies, the far-reaching, infinite steppe and the thrill of exploring a fenceless world where horses are integral to everyday life. It’s a globetrotter’s dream: riding in a land where there are more horses than people; riding in the birthplace of human-equine culture.
Get ready to drink a lot of vodka, shout ‘Choo choo!’ to your dreadlocked pony, stay in cozy, traditional gers with your own fireplace and be swept off your feet by the sincere hospitality of the Mongolian people. Both the 19-day Khovsgol and 13-day Arhangay rides coincide with local Naadam Festivals, which are a must-see to truly appreciate the mind-blowing culture of the Mongolians. It’s a true highlight of the itinerary to watch child jockeys ride like centaurs across the steppe.
- Horse Breed:Small, brave, tough-as-nails Mongolian horses, standing 13 to 14 hands high.
- Pace:The pace varies from a walk right through to a canter.
- Weight Limit:A maximum of 95kg / 210lbs.
- Type of tack:Russian army saddles - we recommend bringing your own seat saver.
- Seasons:June to July.
- Group size:A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 guests.
- Time in Saddle:Between 6 to 8 hours in the saddle a day .
*Saddle fitness is a MUST!
- Riding Ability:Beginner to advanced. Beginners riders must be fit and have a lot of trail riding hours under their belt. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
- Accommodation:The accommodation varies throughout the trip, with most nights spent camping in tents, but there will also be nights at the beginning and end of the ride when you'll stay in ger camps and hotels. A ger camp is the Mongolian version of a motel, with traditionally decorated gers for sleeping (usually shared rooms with 2-4 pax), a separate dining hall and very basic shower and toilet facilities.
Single supplement is available on request - $85 USD per hotel night and $15 USD per tent night (NB: single gers are not available).
**For our solo globetrotters, with your comfort and privacy in mind, we recommend you budget for the single supplement for the camping portion of your trip so you have your own tent.
- Ride Length:Khovsgol Ride: 19 days, 18 nights; Arhangay Ride: 13 days, 12 nights
The price includes transfers to/from Ulaanbaatar airport, meals, accommodation, riding and staff tips. Please note that for the 19-day Khovsgol itinerary there is also an internal flight price of $400 USD included in the price.
The price does not include international or internal flights or travel insurance.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATESNEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
19-day Khovsgol ride with Naadam Festival and Reindeer People
June 28 to July 16, 2021, which includes summer Naadam.
$4050 USD per person for minimum 2 people
$3350 USD per person for 6+ people
*Please note, there is also an internal flight price of $400 USD per person.
|7 spots left|
13-day Arhangay ride with Naadam Festival
July 2 to 14, 2021, which includes summer Naadam.
$2660 USD per person for minimum 2 people
$2410 USD per person for 6+ people
|10 spots left|
Single supplement is available on request – $85 USD per hotel night and $15 USD per tent night (no single ger available). For our solo globetrotters, with your comfort and privacy in mind, we recommend you budget for the single supplement for the camping portion of your trip so you have your own tent.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The prices include transfers to/from Ulaanbaatar airport, meals, accommodation, riding and staff tips. Please note that for the 19-day Khovsgol itinerary there is also an internal flight price of $400 USD included in the price.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international or internal flights or travel insurance.
Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN USD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 1
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia (called “UB” by locals and visitors alike). After immigration and customs, you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. Referred to as “The City of Contrasts”, where modern constructions stand beside traditional dwellings and ancient monasteries, UB is a rapidly growing and developing city with a population of nearly a million people. Conveniently located in downtown UB, your hotel is within walking distance from Sukhbaatar Square, museums, theatres, and shops. Depending on an arrival time, you may enjoy a short city orientation tour before dinner. Overnight in hotel.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 2
Full day of guided sightseeing in UB. Visit Sukhbaatar Square and Zaisan Memorial. Zaisan including a couple of museums if time permtis. Memorial is a landmark of UB built on the Bogd Khan Mountain, and is the best place to view the whole city. Overnight in hotel.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 3
Airport transfer for your flight to Muren. Drive to Khatgal, the gateway to Khovsgol National Park. Lake Khovsgol is 100 miles long and the deepest in Central Asia. The lake holds 2% of the world’s fresh water resources. Overnight at a ger camp on Lake Khovsgol.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 4
Today you will have a boat ride on Lake Khovsgol to the base of Jigleg Pass located halfway up the western shore of the lake. Local guides will welcome you at Jigleg Camp Shakedown ride, meet horses and wranglers. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 5
This will be the first day of the horseback riding adventure through Darhat Valley. Ride towards Renchinlhumbe. The area forms part of the Darkhad valley (Darkhadyn Khotgor) and is considered remote and relatively inaccessible even for Mongolian standards. The local Darkhad are known for their practice of Shamanism. Vehicle supported. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 6
Continue riding to the town of Renchinlhumbe in the Darhat Valley. Vehicle supported. Overnight in ger or tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 7
Ride through the Darhat Valley towards Hogrog and Zuun taiga. East (“Zuun”) Taiga is situated northeast of Tsagaan Nuur beyond a steppe valley called “Hogrog.” Vehicle supported. Overnight in tents near Sharga river.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 8
Arrive at Hogrogo, jumping off point to visit the Reindeer People in East Taiga. There are roughly 18 families who live in East Taiga. They move and camp in two groups (13 families and 5 families, respectively). Much of the terrain in East Taiga is open valleys, wetlands, and forests. Vehicle supported. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 9
Pack trip into the northern mountains to the summer camp of the Tsaatan (Reindeer people). Average camp distances from the edge of the Taiga in Hogrogo range from 6-40 km. The Tsaatan are a community of nomadic reindeer herders, originally from Tuva in Siberia, who have historically inhabited the border region of Russia and Mongolia. Ethnically, the community identifies as Dukha and Uighar, but their lifestyle as reindeer herders earned them the Mongolian name Tsaatan, which means roughly “with reindeer.” Camp out in tents with packhorse support.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 10
Day at the Tsaatan summer camp. Exploring the area on foot or horseback. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 11
Ride back to Hogrog. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 12
Ride half way to Renchinlhumbe. Vehicle supported. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 13
Short ride to Renchinlhumbe and arrive in late afternoon. Overnight in ger.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 14
Observe Naadam festivities. Naadam or ‘Festival’ has occurred for centuries in Mongolia as an exhibition of horse racing (racers are generally ages 7-11 and race 15-30 kilometres), wrestling (men only) and archery (women and men). July 11, 2011 is the official date of Naadam established by the Mongolian government. Stay overnight in ger.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 15
After lunch ride towards the Jigleg pass. Vehicle supported. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 16
Arrive at Jigleg and say goodbye to wranglers and horses. Vehicle supported. Overnight in tents.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 17
Today you will have boat ride on Lake Khovsgol from the base of Jigleg Pass located halfway up the western shore of the lake, to the Naranzangilaa ger camp. Overnight in ger camp.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 18
Catch your return flight to UB. Enjoy a folk concert. Farewell dinner. Overnight in hotel.
19-day Khovsgol Ride - Day 19
Airport transfer for your return flight home.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 1
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, also called “UB” by visitors. Upon arrival at the UB airport, you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. Referred to as “The City of Contrasts”, where modern constructions stand beside traditional dwellings and ancient monasteries, UB is a very rapidly growing city with a population of nearly a million people. Conveniently located in downtown, your hotel is in walking distance of Sukhbaatar Square, museums, theatres, and shops. Depending on an arrival time, enjoy a short city orientation tour before dinner. Overnight in hotel.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 2
Depart UB in the morning. Drive to Kharhorin, the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire, located 400km (6-8 hours with breaks) southwest of UB. There are presently efforts to reestablish Kharhorin as the capital of Mongolia as it was centuries ago. Explore the restored Erdenzuu Monastery (Hundred Treasures) originally built in 1586. Stop for a packed lunch near Elsen Tasarhai sand dunes. Stay overnight in a ger camp. (Ger Camp is a Mongolian version of motel with traditionally decorated gers for sleeping, separate dining hall and basic facilities for shower and toilet. Normally 2-4 people share the same ger.)
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 3
Drive to Tsetserleg, the capital of Arhangay. Located in west-central Mongolia, Arhangay
is called the ‘Switzerland of Mongolia’ for its beautiful scenery: forests, rivers and mountains. After lunch, continue on to camp in the valley of the Ikh Tamir River. Meet horses and wranglers. On the horseback trek we cover anywhere from 15 to 50km per day and meet our support vehicle each night at a new campsite. Personal luggage and the supplies for the ‘catered camping’ are transported in the support vehicle making for light, fast travel on horseback. Camp out each night with our mobile “American ger” and spacious two-person tents. During each day’s ride we’ll visit the gers of local herders and have a chance to experience nomadic life on the Central Asian steppe.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 4
Experience Naadam in Tsetserleg by horseback. Observe Mongolian traditional sports called the ‘Three manly games’. Naadam has occurred for centuries in Mongolia as an exhibition of horse racing (racers are generally ages 7-11 and race 15- 30 kilometres), wrestling (men only) and archery (women and men). July 11, 2011 is the official date of Naadam established by the Mongolian government. Stay overnight in ger camp.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Days 5 to 9
Ride and camp through the valleys and mountains of Arhangay. A support vehicle will carry all camping goods and food. Local wranglers take care of the horses. You’ll visit many families along the way and taste the local foods of summer; yogurt, cheese and the infamous airag (fermented horse milk). Even though we recommend a riding background for this trip, the support vehicle always has room for anyone who is ready for a break from the saddle. Camp out in tents overnight. Finish last day of riding at Tsenkher hot springs.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 10
Drive to Khogno Khan Nature Reserve. Relax and hike in the rock formations of the Reserve. The ruins of the Uvgun Temple first built in 1660 lie at the base of the mountain of Khogno Khan, a nice place to begin a short hike. Meet local herders and experience the hospitality of the Nomads.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 11
Return drive to UB. In the evening, watch Tumen Ekh folk theater perform throat singing, traditional dances, contortion and more. Farewell dinner. Overnight in hotel.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 12
Enjoy a breakfast buffet at your hotel before a full day of guided sightseeing in UB. Begin the tour at Zaisan Memorial, a prominent landmark looking over the city of UB built on Bogd Khan Mountain. Walk Sukhbaatar Square, named after the Mongolian National Hero of People’s Revolution in 1921. Sukhbaatar Square is surrounded by Parliament, the Stock Market, cultural sites, the Palace Royal Opera House and the main post office. Visit Gandan Hiid (monastery), the largest Buddhist Temple in Mongolia. Take in the Museum of National History and the Fine Art Museum of Zanabazar to acquaint yourself with Mongolian history, traditional culture and arts. Overnight in hotel.
13-day Arhangay Ride - Day 13
Your guide and driver will take you to the airport for departure home.
Please note that for the 19-day Khovsgol itinerary there is an internal flight price of $400 USD.
Complimentary airport transfers are included upon arrival and departure in Ulaanbaatar. Please ensure you inform Globetrotting of your flight itinerary prior to departure so that these can be arranged.
What our valued Globetrotters say about The Khovsgol & Arhangay Rides
‘Mongolia was definitely a trip to remember, and one I would repeat in a heartbeat!
Your saddle might not always be comfortable and your stirrups might never be even, but those trusty little Mongol horses will carry you across any terrain, getting you safely to your destination. There definitely won’t be a hot shower at the end of the day, but you’ll always be guaranteed a hearty meal. We were expecting to live off mutton and potatoes, but the food exceeded our expectations. I hoped to lose a few kilos on the trip, but I definitely didn’t! There was also a vegetarian on the trip and the cooks tailored to her needs fantastically. The guides, wranglers, and cooks were all amazing. They were all very knowledgeable in their own areas and very accommodating.
I loved my little Mongol pony! I so badly wanted to take him home. He was such a trooper. And the reindeer valley was such a surreal experience! I was in no way expecting to ride down into the valley and find all the reindeer roaming free, and they were so friendly!’
‘My favourite day on the Khovsgol Ride in Mongolia was the day we experienced a thunderstorm and crossed a wooden barge river crossing. Due to poor weather, the guides made impromptu arrangements and took us to a family house to stay for the night. Our guide, Shuree, and her team went above and beyond to keep us safe and comfortable. The horses were all very quiet and well trained. The tack was surprisingly comfortable considering the rustic and homemade nature of it all. We never had any doubts that we were safe and well cared for. Our guides were so thoughtful and attentive. Shuree was well known and respected by every Mongolian person we came into contact with. She showed at all times that we were her priority. She was very knowledgeable and we wanted for nothing.’
‘Mongolia was as remote and untouched by tourism as I had hoped. It was a real adventure. The scenery was breathtaking and the people were the kindest, most hospitable I have ever met. The horses were so fast, so determined and so sweet. Any concerns about their responsiveness, the tack or the terrain melted away with the first canter across the steppe – and there were so many more opportunities to canter and gallop. Our guide, Shureh, and our whole crew made me feel safe and well looked after. They were all a lot of fun. So much positivity! The food was also excellent, and much more varied than I was expecting. There were some long tough days and you’ve got to be prepared to rough it a bit, but it was all so worth it. This ride changed my life!’
‘This was a trip of a lifetime and I loved every second of it! Mongolia is more beautiful than I ever expected. Mongolian horses don’t have names – I gave mine the nickname Boobob, as he looked like one of my horses but behaved like another of my horses. He was a 15 year old grey gelding who was just perfect for me! He was forward and surefooted and we just clicked – he responded to the slightest rein aids and didn’t need any leg. The guides, in fact everyone – cooks, wranglers, drivers – were just brilliant. Nothing was too much for them, they were all just the most kind, wonderful, accommodating, knowledgeable people. And OMG – the food! I had prepared myself for mutton, mutton and more mutton, but our cook was absolutely incredible and the food she prepared – 3 hot meals a day – was spectacular. If you love adventure and have a flexible attitude, then this trip is for you!’
‘I read the itinerary for the Khovsgol Ride once and booked it straight away. I didn’t bother to read it again, I didn’t need to. I was going for the adventure of a lifetime and didn’t want to create any expectations of what it would be like. Mongolia was incredible! Each day I woke up not knowing what the day would bring, and each day something new and astounding was presented to me. From riding through beautiful fields of wildflowers to sitting amongst a herd of reindeer to watching traditional wrestling ringside to sleeping in traditional gurs, I found my happy place in Mongolia with my sweet grey gelding.’
‘My ride in Mongolia was a chance to have my childhood dream come true. I loved being able to ride like a 16 year old, standing up with your arms out, going for miles. My horse, Buddy, was great. He behaved like a gentleman and was very responsive, especially once I watched how his owner rode his horse and adapted my riding to suit. Just a champ. I would have brought him home if I could.
Tumee was a very pleasant guy to be around and entertaining as well, plus willing to share his knowledge and listen to ours. Guree, Bolormaa, Odhuu, Tumee and Saruul really made the ride for me; their company and just who they were made it very special. Each day was great – I just wish there was more riding and it didn’t have to end!’
‘Wow. What a trip.
Completely immersed in Mongolian culture, incredible landscapes, and beautiful, friendly, welcoming people. The horses were magnificent. They coped with all levels of terrain. It was the best way to see such a vast country, with horses, yaks, sheep, cows, birds and loads of wildflowers. The group of people on the trip were great to travel with, lots of laughs and great conversations. Our guides were very knowledgeable and their translation to English was very good. They kept us well informed of all the plans and timings and were always ready to help us with anything we needed. Nothing was a problem for them.
The fifth day was my favourite, riding up into the mountains. It was a hard slog for the horses and their stamina was inspiring. Coming down into the valley with all of the reindeer below was beautiful. We met the family who was hosting our visit and were surrounded by kids, dogs and reindeer. The scenery was stunning and the experience magical.’
‘The Arhangay Ride was amazing! Riding through stunning meadows filled with wildflowers, galloping across the seemingly endless steppe in front of sudden storms, swimming across the rivers and stopping to visit local families in their gers – every second was incredible. Our guides were fantastic and so dedicated to making sure we all had a fabulous time, and the wranglers did a great job of matching horses to the varying riding abilities in the group.’
‘This ride was the realisation of a dream. I am now 69 but the desire to fulfill my dream to see Mongolia was overwhelming, so I signed up. My intention was to get lots of riding in before I left, but I only managed two very sedate rides. I chose to go regardless and the first couple of days were quite challenging, but by the end of day two it all came back to me – it was like I’d never stopped riding.
The whole experience was more than I could have ever imagined. The joy was the entire journey, everything was amazing. I liked to think it was the perfect triple ‘P’: the People, the Places and the Ponies.
A huge thank you to Globetrotting for helping this nan fulfill a dream.’