Road Trip to the Reindeer Riders: Winter Adventure Tour

This 11-day winter adventure takes you deep into the heart of Northern Mongolia to meet the Tsaatan Tribe, the last people in the world to herd and ride reindeer.

Highlights of this once in a lifetime adventure tour to the reindeer riders include:

  • Driving across a frozen Lake Khuvsgul.
  • Experiencing Mongolia’s -40 C temperatures and the coldest capital city in the world.
  • Attend the Shaman Festival where more than 300 shamans gather and hold fire ceremonies, intense rituals, and more.
  • Visit the Black Market to buy Shaman accessories and paraphanelia.

Table of Contents

Winter in Mongolia is the ultimate adventure. Temperatures drop to -40 C, Lake Khuvsgul completely freezes over, snow covers much of the north, and the majority of roads are closed or inaccessible. It might be the hardest time to travel in Mongolia, but it’s also the most rewarding.

Especially if you’re able to make it to the Dukha people, also known as the Tsaatan Tribe. Tsaatan simply means ‘people with reindeer’ in the Mongolian language, and these 40+ families are the last in the world of their kind.

This trip means a lot to me because this tribe is the reason I first found myself in Mongolia. They are the ones who first showed me Mongolian hospitality, welcoming me into their homes and lives with open arms.

On this trip we will visit the tribe so that you can meet and fall in love with Mongolia like I did.

But, on this adventure we’ll see and experience so much more. Consider this a truly once in a lifetime experience to cross off your travel bucket list.

What's Included

  • All airport transfers.
  • Transportation costs during the trip dates.
  • Support crew that includes an English-speaking translator and Breanna as your guide.
  • All accommodation during the trip dates including a hotel in Ulaanbaatar (Best Western or similar) and a nomadic homestay.
  • All activities listed on the itinerary, including tickets to the Shaman Festival.
  • Meals* (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as outlined on the trip itinerary.

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

Reindeer Tribe Tour Mongolia

What's Not Included

  • International 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. These should be rated for -20 to -30 C degree weather.
  • Tips and additional gratuities.

Book Now

The price to book this Road Trip to the Reindeer Riders small group immersive tour is $4,000 USD per person.

Join me on this 11-day adventure tour of a lifetime. Experience nomadic life, ride a reindeer, witness a frozen Lake Khuvsgul, eat like a Mongolian, and more.

This once in a lifetime trip is happening February 8 – 18, 2025.

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

About Meanwhile in Mongolia, Your Tour Company

Hi everyone! I’m Breanna, the founder of Meanwhile in Mongolia.

I created Meanwhile in Mongolia because I wanted to curate tours that will take people to remotest corners of Mongolia. Getting you out of your comfort zone and immersing you in a new way of living.

While it’s hard to give you a full glimpse into what makes this country such a truly special place, each tour is customized so that you get the fullest, most memorable experience possible.

Mongolia Adventure Tour

Is this winter road trip right for me?

For this winter road trip, we have teamed up with our friends at Nomadic Off-Road to bring you the best experience possible. Their team is professional and experienced in driving in winter, especially when it comes to going off-road, as we’ll be doing for most of this trip.

With comfortable and capable Land Cruiser 4×4 vehicles as our means of transportation, this adventure isn’t for the faint of heart. While we’ve done our best to curate an itinerary that doesn’t leave you spending days on end in the car, the remote corners we’re going to require a lot of combined hours on the road. If you get car sick easily, this road trip might not be for you.

We will also send you a packing list with specific details on the gear you’ll need for this adventure. It isn’t an exaggeration when we say temperatures will be -40 C. Having the right shoes, socks, sleeping bag, hard warmers, hats, and more are crucial for your health and safety.

This trip is also designed for 8 travelers to participate in. We will be sharing accommodation, sometimes all sleeping in one room or teepee, so we ask that you come into this tour with an open mind and easy-going attitude. Complaints are not tolerated on any of our adventures.

The Itinerary for this Adventure Tour

Below we’ve broken down the day-to-day itinerary for this winter road trip experience. Please read through the details carefully and thoroughly.

Meals included in this tour are indicated as Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D).

February 8/Day 1: Welcome to Ulaanbaatar

During the day you are free to explore Ulaanbaatar, get settled into Mongolian time, exchange cash, and visit the city’s museums. We’ll have a Welcome Dinner in the evening where you’ll meet your guide and fellow travelers for this adventure.

  • Welcome Dinner

Meals: D; Overnight: Best Western Premier Tuushin or Similar

 

February 9/Day 2: Ulaanbaatar to Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Built in 1726, Amarbayasgalant Monastery is one of Mongolia’s most important for both historical and spiritual reasons. We’ll start our morning with an early departure from Ulaanbaatar before stopping later in the day at the monastery and staying at a nearby tourist camp.

  • Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Tourist Camp

February 10/Day 3: Amarbayasgalant Monastery to Murun

Arriving in Murun is the real start of this adventure. We’ll grab our permits and soak in life of the 38,000 inhabitants of this administrative center of Khuvsgul Province.

  • Explore Murun, including the Black Market

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: 50 100 Hotel or Similar

February 11/Day 4: Murun to the Jargant River

Known as the ‘living waters’ for being the river that never freezes despite -40 C temperatures, the Jargant River is something of a local legend. Watch as the steam rises off this natural wonder which makes you feel more as if you’re in Iceland or Finland than Mongolia.

  • Take in the Natural Beauty of the Jargant River

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Jargant Lodge

February 12/Day 5: Time to Meet the Tsaatan People

Today is the day to meet the Tsaatan Tribe and ride reindeer alongside the locals who call the Taiga home.

  • Meet our Tsaatan Tribe Host Family
  • Ride Reindeer
  • Learn about Life in the Taiga
  • Overnight in a Traditional Tsaatan Home

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Homestay

February 13/Day 6: Ride Reindeer

Continue our immersive living with the Tsaatan Tribe, learning their traditions, local culture, and meeting the surrounding families. You’ll have another chance to ride reindeer again today. Later in the day we will drive back to Jargant Lodge for a warm night’s sleep.

  • Learn the Traditions, Culture, and Meet More Families of the Tribe
  • Ride Reindeer
  • Say a Heartfelt Goodbye to our Hosts

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Jargant Lodge

February 14/Day 7: Jargant Lodge to Meet our Nomadic Horse Herder Family

Departing from the lodge we’ll head deep into Darkhad Valley to meet a nomadic horse herding family who will show us a different side of nomadic living. We’ll jump right into chores, helping mom cook, getting water from the frozen river, herding in the horses, yaks, goat, sheep, cows, and more.

  • Immerse in Real Nomadic Living
  • Learn how this Family and their Herds Survive in Winter
  • Enjoy a Mongolian Feast

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Homestay

Winter Nomad Tour Mongolia

February 15/Day 8: Khuvsgul Lake

We’ll start to make our way towards the Blue Pearl, a completely frozen over Lake Khusvgul. With 2 meter-thick ice, we’ll drive on the lake to get to our destination. Listen closely and you’ll hear the ice naturally shifting and cracking!

  • Drive on a Frozen Lake Khuvsgul
  • Horse-sledding on the Lake
  • Cozy up in a Warm Yurt
  • Stargaze Mongolia’s Famous Dark Skies

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Toilogt Camp or Similar

February 16/Day 9: Khuvsgul Lake to Erdenet City

Take an early morning stroll on the lake before it’s time to head to our next destination, Erdenet City. Along the way we’ll stop at the Urantogoo Volcanic Crater to hike up to see the crater from above.

  • Hike the Urantogoo Volcanic Crater

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Hotel

February 17/Day 10: Return to Ulaanbaatar

Continuing our drive back to Ulaanbaatar, take in the last sights, sounds, and smells of the Mongolian countryside. We’ll arrive late in the day and get you checked into your hotel before inviting you to a farewell dinner.

  • Farewell Dinner

Meals: B, L, D; Overnight: Best Western Premier Tuushin or Similar

February 18/Day 11: Depart Ulaanbaatar

You can book your flight home for today. We’ll arrange an airport transfer and say, see you again soon, because this won’t be goodbye.

Meals: B

Book Now

The price to book this Road Trip to the Reindeer Riders small group immersive tour is $4,000 USD per person.

Join me on this 11-day adventure tour of a lifetime. Experience nomadic life, ride a reindeer, witness a frozen Lake Khuvsgul, eat like a Mongolian, and more.

This once in a lifetime trip is happening February 8 – 18, 2025.

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

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