Lake Hövsgöl the twin lake of Baikal in Mongolia
Lake Hövsgöl is one of the most pristine large bodies of water of Asia, situated at 1645 meters above sea level. It is the twin lake of Baikal and its waters are equally blue. The setting is spectacular with Siberian taiga and the Horidal Saridag Mountain Range to the west. The lake is almost devoid of any ships, and is transparent to depth of 16-25 meters. There is lenok trout and an endemic grayling in the lake. It stretches some 125km from north to south and is 262 meters deep. It is not as deep as Baikal, but is part of the Baikal Rift system, which resulted from the pressures associated with the collision between India and Asia some 55 million years ago. Lake Baikal is 200km away and 1200 meters below inside Russia.
Brief Outline Itinerary
You will fly on a domestic flight to Mörön, the aimag capital of Hövsgöl. You will stay in a ger camp at a secluded bay on the Ardavhar Peninsula. All meals will be served in the ger camp or as a picnic. A local guide will meet you when landing at either of the two locations. Mörön airport is 110km and 3 hours from Hatgal village (102km), which is located at the southernmost tip of the lake. Weather permitting, you will be transferred to the Ardavhar Peninsula by boat which is a half hour north of Hatgal.
Itinerary & Map
Day 1: To Lake Hövsgöl
Arrival at Mörön airport. If you start your journey in Ulaanbaatar pick up at your hotel in Ulaanbaatar is included. Transfer 3h from to Hatgal and on to Ardavhar Peninsula by boat.
Day 2: Lake Hövsgöl National Park
Ardavhar is a simple ger camp on the peninsula, located in a secluded bay all on its own. The shoreline is spectacular, with forested hills coming straight down into the blue lake. We will hike up the hills and over to Tsomo Had, a sacred point of rocks jutting into the lake. It is worshiped by the locals, who travel there and leave hadags and others offerings.
Day 3: Lake Hövsgöl National Park
We will hike through the forest for a few kilometers until we reach the steppe, where several nomadic families live and where we will have a visit with these hardy people.
Day 4: To Mörön
A.m. Supported by a yak cart, which will carry our luggage to the departure point, we will travel by boat for about half an hour to Hatgal village. Transfer from there to Mörön airport. If you fly to Ulaanbaatar transfer on arrival to your hotel in town.
Dates and prices
PRICE ex Ulaanbaatar:
USD 1250 per person (min 2 members)
Single ger supplement (3n): USD 120 per person
Additional night at Ardavhar: USD 100 per day including all meals.
Transport supplement by Japanese jeep: USD 200 per trip
Includes: Local guide, all meals outside Ulaanbaatar, all overnights in ger camps in double occupancy. All surface transport and entrance fees.
Excludes: Imported drinks. Transfer and hotel nights in Ulaanbaatar are excluded, and may be added to our services.
Please note the domestic flight is also added to the price of the tour at the face value of the air ticket. It is USD118-135 each way (2015July price) from Ulaanbaatar. The luggage allowance (incl. hand luggage) is 20 kg, and above that overweight must be paid.
DATES ex Ulaanbaatar:
Transport: This journey is supported by a jeep or minibus on the jeep road tracks.
Staff: A Mongolian English-speaking local guide will accompany you at all times.
Meals: The meals will be provided in the ger camp, or as picnics.
Overnights: The gers have double occupancy and are furnished with beds, stools and a table. WC and showers are in communal shower blocks. It is possible to put a third bed in the ger, making it into a triple. There is a lake side log house sauna at camp.
Hazard: You need to plan to stay in Mongolia for at least 2 nights after the return from Lake Hövsgöl. Flights from the interior may cancel due to poor visibility (rain/fog), which is why there needs to be some “rubber” time built in to the itinerary to ensure that you arrive back in time for your international flight departure. The approach to Ardavhar peninsula is by boat directly onto the beach. While for most wind directions the shore is not that exposed, the lake can be choppy and windy to the extent we will use alternative arrangements to get there.
You have the choice to stay another day or two in Ulaanbaatar or transfer out to your next international destination. We offer hotels in downtown at the internet rates and outbound railway tickets to your first point in Russia or China.
Only a couple of hours drive from Mörön and a bit longer from the lake, are the Hövsgöl Canyons, which offer amazingly beautiful bug-free north Mongolian/Siberian landscape, where we operate a set of streamside glamp camps. If you fix your Lake Hövsgöl trip (daily) you may join our fixed dated departures to Hövsgöl Canyons River Adventure or Ulaantaiga Wilderness Expedition.
Please enquire for any of these combinations. We can provide you the seamless travel solution.
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