TSATAAN REINDEER TRIP
DATES: July 22nd, 2024 - August 3rd, 2024
TRIP PRICE: $4000 USD Early Bird Price before March 15, $4750 for late signups (+$500 single supplement)
TRIP CAPACITY: 8 pax
Accommodation: Hotels, Guest houses, Tipis and Tents
ABOUT THE TRIP:
This expedition is not for the faint of heart. Going to one of the most untouched, remote locations on the planet requires an intrepid traveler. If you’re ready to take on an adventure of a lifetime with a fair share of travel time and visit the Dukha reindeer nomads, we’ve got the trip for you. As we explore northern Mongolia and soak in the authentic culture, we’ll be living with the reindeer herders and partaking in their daily life.
Horse riding through the wild and breathtaking scenery of the Taiga
Saddle up and take on this one once in a lifetime opportunity to ride a reindeer
Connect with and witness the everyday life of a nomadic reindeer herder
Take part in the morning milking of reindeer at sunrise
Play traditional games with the Mongol horsemen and reindeer herders/ maybe even challenge them to a wrestling match
Watch a reindeer race and be astonished at their dashing speed
Partake in a transcendent spiritual experience of a shaman in trance
Be at one with yourself without the distractions of the modern world.
Day 0: ARRIVE IN MONGOLIA (July 21st)
Welcome to the energetic Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar! Upon arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, meet one of our team representatives and transfer to the Best Western Hotel.
Settle into the new time zone and get acquainted with the local area; check out cashmere shops, the local museums and the large array of international food options.
Day 1: CULTURAL CITY TOUR (22nd)
Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the hotel prior to meeting your guide and fellow travelers in the lobby at 9am. The first day is dedicated towards exploring the bustling and vibrant capitol on a guided city tour. The tour will begin with a visit to the Ganden monastery, which survived the soviet purges, where we will take a deep dive into Buddhist practices with serenading mantras and burning juniper. Following this, there will be a guided tour of the national history museum by our good friend and head curator, Munna. At the museum, we will admire ancient artifacts and traditional clothing which will provide insight into the nation's rich history. We’ll then walk through the city’s winding streets, witnessing the dynamic mix between cultural heritage and modernity, while simultaneously learning about historical monuments. Our walk will lead us to the Rosewood Restaurant where we will have some lunch and our trip orientation.
After lunch, take it easy and rest for the afternoon. If you’re still eager to explore more, ask the guides for suggested activities. Meet at the lobby at 5:30 pm for a traditional Mongol concert (throat singing, horse head fiddle, contortionists), followed by a welcome dinner.
Best Western Tuushin Hotel, Elevation: 1350m/4430 feet
*Visit to the Museum is optional.
Day 2: First Glimpse Of The Mongolian Expanse (Main travel day) (23rd)
Have an early morning breakfast and your bags packed. Hop on a domestic flight (or long bus ride) to the capital of Hovsgol province, Murõn. Enjoy a delicious local meal and stretch your legs before a scenic drive across the great Mongolian expanse. This is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers. We will stop and visit a deer stone (which is a bronze age burial stone) along the journey.
Day 3: Entry into the Wild (24th)
Take an (optional) yoga session/fitness class or photography lesson, and then join Eric and Galen for a walk to the National museum of Ulaan Uul. Following our Museum visit, we will have a lecturer inform us about the vast surrounding landscape. After this, we will hop in the vehicle for a 5hr drive to the remote town, Tsagaannuur, in northernmost Mongolia. Once we arrive at the guest house, we will enjoy a traditional concert and delicious meal.
Day 4: Yeehaw's and Nomadic herders (25th)
Today choose to join an (optional) yoga session or fitness class or rest up before a big day. Have your bags packed for the expedition as our horsemen will saddle up the horses and pack horses while we visit a nearby nomad family where we will witness the milking of yaks and horse mares, and have the opportunity to take beautiful photos. After our visit with the quintessential nomadic family, we will leave our support vehicles and trade them out for sturdy Mongol horses. The forest of the Taiga is only navigable by horse. We will ride for approximately 6 hours through larch and pine trees with scenic meadows along our path. Tonight we camp in tents and enjoy a fire as we stargaze and sing songs with our Mongol horsemen.
Day 5: Stunning Vistas, and Big Smiles As You Connect With Your Horse (26th)
Pack up camp, saddle up and continue our horse riding journey. Ride 8 hours along a variety of terrain, from stunning plateaus to boggy river zones, to forest to even rock outcroppings. After an arduous journey we will have finally arrived at the North Pole (The West Taiga). We will meet our Mongol nomadic hosts Bollero and her family and settle into their rhythm and sip reindeer milk tea, have dinner and get a well deserved rest.
Day 6-7-8: LIVING WITH REINDEERS (27,28,29)
Wake up at your leisure with potential rustling by your large tipi in the early mornings, don’t be alarmed; it’s not a burglar, it’s likely a curious reindeer. Daily optional reindeer milking at 6 am followed by optional photography/yoga/fitness class. During our time with the reindeer herders, we will base our daily activities off of their schedule and partake in opportunities to learn about their culture. Some activities we will do throughout our days there include: Shaman ritual, textiles, antler carving, pine needle hunting, assisting with herding the reindeer in the evenings, reindeer riding, walks, talks with elders, wrestling competition, reindeer race, reindeer milking, mushik (cards), buying art, horse rides, nomadic life, cheese and yogurt making.
Day 9: The Beginning Of The Return Voyage (30th)
After three unforgettable days within this magical community, we will have to say our thanks and goodbyes. We will saddle up, get back on our sturdy steeds, and make our journey back towards town. We will stop for the night to sleep deeply in tents and dream of flying reindeers. (Long horse ride 8 hours)
Day 10: Thunder-hoof back to town (31st)
In the morning, we will begin riding again and make our way on a 3-4 hour journey to the Tsagaannuur guest house. This a great opportunity to hone in on your riding skills as the terrain flattens and you’ve become closely acquainted with your horse. In the late afternoon if the stars align kayak around Tsagaannuur lake, which contains beautiful crystal clear turquoise water.
Day 11: Soaking in the Last of the Steppe (1st)
We will get back into our metal steed where we will tell stories, laugh, and learn throughout our drive back to Moron. We will briefly stop at an ancient battle ground and Salt lake. Be fare warned this will be a long travel day.
Day 12: JOURNEY BACK TO ULAANBAATAR (2nd)
Fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Visit a traditional market (the black market) where anything under the sun can be purchased. Following our travel and shopping, we close out our day with a farewell dinner. Afterwards, we will return to the Best Western hotel for the night.
Day 13: DEPARTURE (3rd)
International Departures! You’ll be transferred to the Chinggis khan International airport filled with incredible memories and stories. There is no way you’ll be leaving this trip without great appreciation for and enjoyment of this truly unique authentic experience.
Notes: A packing list, learning resources and our terms and conditions will be sent once you demonstrate interest in the trip.
If you have any desire to arrive early or leave after the trip, we can arrange pickups and drop offs according to your travel plans.
Booking your trip: Email email@example.com for questions about the trip or how to secure your spot.