How to Attend Naadam 2024: Join this Small Group Tour

Join me and attend Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest national festival, during this small group tour. This adventure of a lifetime takes place July 5-13, 2024.

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As the most important festivals in Mongolia, Naadam is one of the best times of year to visit. It’s also my favorite time to show off the culture, traditional foods, and people who make this country such a unique and special place.

The origins of Naadam date back more than 800 years to the days of Genghis Khan. During his reign, the leader of the world’s greatest empire used the ‘three manly sports’ as a way to keep his warriors in shape.

Today, competitors still compete in these sports, showing off their skills in archery, wrestling, and horse racing.

As a part of this small group tour, we attend the local Naadam celebrations in Arkhangai, a province known for its beauty in Central Mongolia. Attending this smaller, more intimate Naadam offers a more local feel than what you experience attending the opening ceremonies in Ulaanbaatar.

Prior to attending Naadam, this trip includes a 2-day horse riding expedition through this diverse and dynamic province.

Following the lead of our guide, one of our most trusted local nomadic herders in the country, we’ll stay with nomadic families, eat Mongolian food, and sleep in yurts during this portion of the trip.

The dates for this small group trip are July 5 – 13, 2024. This trip starts and ends in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city.

During this horse riding and Naadam small group trip we will:

  • Ride semi-wild Mongolian horses deep into Central Mongolia.
  • Spend two days living with nomadic herders along the horse trek route, sleeping in yurts (gers) and eating local Mongolian cuisine along the way.
  • Attend the local Arkhangai Province Naadam. During these celebrations we’ll watch horse races, wrestling matches, archery competitions, and ankle bone shoot-outs.
  • During this trip you will have the chance to travel with 8 other badass travelers from around the world.

Plus, I like to include plenty of surprises and cultural touches along the way. Maybe my friend is hosting a unique event, or a family I know wants to invite us over for khorhog. Since I spend a lot of time in the areas, you never know exactly what we’ll be invited to get into. But, whatever it is, I can guarantee it will be fun!

Book Now

The price to book this Naadam small group tour is $3,500 USD per person.

Join me and attend Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest national festival. This adventure of a lifetime takes place July 5-13, 2024.

To book your spot, please complete the Google form linked below. Once received, I will reach out with everything you’ll need to complete your booking.

About Breanna, Your Trip Leader

With me, Breanna, as your trip leader and on-the-ground ambassador, you’re in the most capable hands in Mongolia.

I’ve been living here for six years, traveling the country solo and with friends in search of the coolest experiences, and best locals to know across the country. This tour highlights these experiences, and incredible people.

Why join a group tour? Is this experience for me?

Well, take it from me when I say Mongolia is no easy place to travel. Especially if you’re considering doing it alone.

Roads go from paved to dirt in seconds, reception is unreliable, locals don’t speak English, and very few things ever go as planned. This is the beauty, and the biggest frustration, of traveling in Mongolia.

By joining this small group tour, my team and I hope to take a lot of these frustrations out of traveling in Mongolia. You’re also able to experience more, get a better understanding of this complex culture since we’ll immerse you directly in it with a translator, and you’ll be able to get a deeper insight than what would be possible to do on your own.

I limit all of my trips to 8 people so that each group is intimate and I’m still able to add special touches, introduce some of my local friends, and incorporate small surprises throughout each trip. You never know when the country’s most famous calligraphist is going to feel inspired enough to draw something for everyone in his studio or a detour to watch a mounted archery training is in the works.

For a taste of my daily life in Mongolia, check out my Instagram at @breannajwilson.

Breanna Wilson Mongolia Tours

What's Included

  • All airport transfers.
  • A private driver and all transportation costs during the trip dates.
  • Support crew that includes a local translator, along with Breanna as your on-the-ground guide.
  • All accommodations during the trip dates.
  • All activities listed on the itinerary everything during the 2-day horse trek (saddles, meals, accommodations) as well as costs to attend Naadam (transportation, translator, entrance fees).
  • Most meals* (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as outlined on the trip itinerary.

*Please let us know of any dietary restrictions before booking.

How to Attend Naadam

What's Not Included

  • Flights.
  • Visa costs and fees.
  • Travel Insurance that covers medical evacuation and cost of participation (required).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, optional activities, and meals which are not included in the trip itinerary.
  • A sleeping bag and sleeping pad are required for this trip. These items will not be provided and should be brought from home. If you would like to rent a sleeping bag and sleeping pad for the trip, the cost is $40 USD.
  • Horseback riding helmets are required to participate in this trip. Helmets will not be provided and should be brought from home.
  • Tips and additional gratuities.

Visit our tour cancellation policy page if you have any additional questions.

Is this trip right for me?

Do you consider yourself one of the following? (And, please be brutally honest with yourself.)

  • An adventure traveler looking to get off-the-beaten path in an authentic way.
  • A solo traveler that just isn’t sure how to start tackling a Mongolia trip.
  • Someone who is open to new experiences and embracing challenges.
  • A person interested in earning about nomadic culture by jumping right into it.
  • Someone who never joins group tours (yuck!) because they don’t feel they are experiential enough.
  • A traveler who embraces the unfamiliar and is ready and open to having the adventure of a lifetime.

If you said yes to any of the above, than great! Mongolia, and this trip, is just the place for you.

This trip requires a medium level of physicality as well as horse riding experience.

This experience is designed for active, curious travelers who are open to everything Mongolia has to offer. Including outhouse and pit toilets, long days outside, shared sleeping arrangements (we’ll all sleep together in one yurt), shared bathrooms (the guesthouse we stay in is more dorm-style), and meat and dairy heavy meals.

During this trip you’ll have the chance to disconnect from your phone and reconnect with yourself. We’ll spend two days living with nomadic families during our horse riding expedition before settling down in a guesthouse while we experience everything the local Naadam has to offer.

Mongolia Trip

The Itinerary for this Naadam Small Group Trip

Most travelers choose to land in Ulaanbaatar a few days before the itinerary officially begins. This helps with jetlag and getting acclimated to being 4,432 ft above sea level. If you choose to do this, there are plenty of things to do in Ulaanbaatar.

Once the trip begins, we’ll kick off our time together with a welcome dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. After dinner, we’ll pop into the local jazz bar before calling it a night.

Following your first few days in the city, where you’ll get a bit more acclimated to the unavoidable jetlag that comes with traveling half-way around the world, it will soon be time to set off towards the green landscapes of Arkhangai, leaving the comforts of modern civilization behind.

The journey to Arkhangai will take the day as we make our way from Ulaanbaatar. We don’t give journey times in Mongolia as it can mean bad luck, just know that our destination lies 476 kilometers to the west.

Below you’ll find a day-by-day breakdown of this adventure, and what it includes. For the full itinerary, including pricing, and more, please fill out the form below.

Day 1: Welcome to Ulaanbaatar
Today you'll land in Ulaanbaatar and get your first glimpses into life in Mongolia. You'll have the day to rest, exchange money, get a SIM card, and explore at will. In the evening we'll all meet for a welcome dinner before you melt into your hotel bed for the night.
Day 2: Drive from Ulaanbaatar to Arkhangai
Bags packed and road trip playlists ready, it’s off to Arkhangai and our countryside home for the next week. We’ll spend the day driving to this part of Central Mongolia, taking the journey as it goes. We’ll have a leisurely evening when we arrive, spending the night at a local guesthouse where we’ll have a homestyle meal before heading to bed. Tomorrow is when the fun begins!
Day 3/4: Horse Trek & Nomadic Family Stay
The adventure begins! After breakfast at the guesthouse, we’ll drive to meet the local herder who will be leading us on this 2-day trek. We'll ride through open fields, craggy mountaintops, forested hillsides, lush river valleys, boggy marshlands, and by plenty of water sources. We’ll spend the night living with and getting to know a nomadic family along this adventure.
Day 5: Return to Arkhangai (& Hot Showers!)
On our final day of the trek, we’ll say goodbye to our steeds and head back to the guesthouse for a hot shower, homestyle meal, and cold beers on the terrace. We’ll take the rest of the day at leisure – giving our bodies a well-deserved break.
Day 6: Arkhangai Naadam Opening Ceremonies
Today is the day, Naadam begins! We’ll attend the opening ceremony where we'll learn about the nuances of the festival, including how it dates back to the days of Chinggis Khaan. Our next two days will be filled with non-stop horse racing, wrestling, archery, and anklebone shooting action.
Day 7: Naadam Festivities Continued
With so many competitions and things to experience, Naadam is a several day affair. Today we’ll continue following along as the competitions start to heat up. We’ll eat khuushuur at the festival and browse the handicrafts and other goodies that will be for sale during the day before returning to the guesthouse, heart full and feet tired, at night.
Day 8: Drive from Arkhangai to Ulaanbaatar
Saying goodbye to the locals we’ve come to know and love, today we set off back to Ulaanbaatar. We’ll break up the drive with a stop in Kharkhorin before putting the pedal to the metal to get back to the capital for you to enjoy one last evening in the city at leisure.
Day 9: Depart Ulaanbaatar
It's time to head to the airport to begin your journey home.
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Additional days and experiences can be added to this itinerary. If you’re interested in an Ulaanbaatar City Tour or visiting the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, or something else, just let me know.

Trip Background: What to Know About Horse Riding in Mongolia

Since we’ll be spending two days riding horses across the plains of Mongolia, there are a few important things to know.

The first is, don’t let the small statue of these horses fool you. They may be small, but they are certainly mighty. There’s a reason Genghis Khan’s world domination was mostly attributed to these trusty steeds.

Since these horses are semi-wild, spending most of their days running free, they spook easily. You always have to be on guard when horseback riding in Mongolia. Wearing rain jackets that make noise, large backpacks, and wearing loose clothing is a surefire way to see what your horse is made of. (And what you aren’t made of.) Most accidents on horses here happen when someone tries to fumble with their backpack, take off a sweater, or do something else that should have been done on the ground in the first place.

Because of all these things, we ask that you have a basic level of horseback riding experience. This is for you. Not us. This makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

I personally recommend taking lessons before the trip if it has been a few years since you’ve been in the saddle.

The last important thing to note is that helmets are required for the horseback riding days. I do not provide helmets for this adventure. You will need to bring this with you from home.

Proper attire is also required. Long pants and long sleeve shirts are recommended. Half chaps or tall boots that cover your ankle are essential to a comfortable riding experience. Your boots must have a flat sole and must not be too bulky in size. Again, this is for your safety and for your comfort during this part of the trip.

I will send a complete packing list prior to the trip’s start date. You can also check out my recommended packing list.

Mongolia Horse Riding Trip

Book This Adventure

To book a spot on this adventure, please complete the form below. Once received, I will reach out to schedule a phone call to discuss everything you need to know about this trip and more.

Book Now

The price to book this Naadam small group tour is $3,500 USD per person.

Join me and attend Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest national festival. This adventure of a lifetime takes place July 5-13, 2024.

To book your spot, please complete the Google form linked below. Once received, I will reach out with everything you’ll need to complete your booking.

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