The Chuluut River - An Introduction:
The Chuluut river is the westernmost river that we offer tours on. It starts off in a narrow, steep but not high basalt canyon that is embedded in a landscape of mountainous steppe. It is a wondrous experience traveling between those sheer walls, which occasionally open up to a view of wooded slopes and rich grazing grounds. The Chuluut is also renowned for its fisheries. Since most of it can´t be accessed unless you are in a canoe there are some good opportunities to enrich the menu with fresh Lennox trout.
Although most days on our tour will be spent simply paddling or relaxing at the riverbank, there are a few rapids in the first days where we will have to get out of the canoe and line it down the river. The schedule though is easy and you will enjoy the much more numerous rapids that we will simply rush through. As the Chuluut river is quite a drive away from UB we will spent one night near Karakorum, the capital of Ghengis Khan. On the way back from our canoeing trip we stop at Tsetserleg, an agreeable small town with one of the Mongolia´s few surviving buddhist monasteries and a great history museum.
Difficulty level: difficult - Canoeing or kayaking experience needed (Route can be amended to do without this requirement)
Chuluut River Canoeing Tour (including Karakorum and Tsetserleg) (15 days)
Min.group 2; Max. group 6; Min.price per person: 1496$; Max.Price 1765$ (Single room supplement 80$)
All accommodation (twin shared), internal transportation, arrival & departure transfers, meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), sightseeing & environmental fees, camping equipment, dry sacks and life vests, English speaking canoeing guide,
Travel insurance, departure taxes, excess luggage fees on internal flights, items of personal nature, meals not indicated, gratuities.
Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to a cozy hotel within easy walking distance of downtown. After a short briefing we explore the vibrant city of Ulaanbaatar, the Palace of the Last Mongolian Buddhist King followed by an hour of Folk Dance and Song performance. (L,D).
Day 2- We start at nine o´clock from Ulaanbaatar and arrive late in the afternoon at Karakorum, the ancient capital of the Mongolian empire. Tonight we pitch our tents by the river Orkhon beneath the mountains, that shield Karkhorin from the South. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - We visit the ruins of Karakorum and the archaeological excavations being conducted there. The we visit the majestic Erdene Zuu monastery the biggest in Mongolia. It was erected in the 17.century using the stones from Karakorum and contains some of the best Thankas (buddhist painted scrolls) and bronze sculptures. Around noon we leave Karakorum and in the evening we arrive at the Chuluut river. (B,L,D)
Day 3 to Day 5
We are in the magic basalt canyon. The walls aren´t high but steep and in between they recede and we see the steppe beyond the river and yet further on wooded hills. The volcanic soil has provided fertile pasture and we see and surely meet nomads by the river or high up on the top of the canyon walls. Depending on the water level we will have to line the canoes at a few patches. (B,L,D)
A well deserved rest day. The area we are in is renowned for good fishing and you might try your luck. Or take a hike in the surrounding hills or simply go for a swim and relax. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Day 11
The walls of basalt have receded. We are now in a green valley with high wooded hills. There are occasional easy rapids. On the evening of Day 10 we arrive at our pick up point.(B,L,D)
After breakfast we drive back. After six hours we arrive in Tsetserleg, the capital of Arkhangai province. Tsetserleg is widely considered to be the most pleasant town in all Mongolia and there´s an interesting history museum and one of the few monasteries which survived the antireligious furor of the communist period. The steep hill behind Tsetserleg is well worth an evening hike. Tonight we stay in a comfortable Guest house with hot showers.(B,L,D)
Day 13 Ten hour drive back to UB (B,L,D)
Day 14 Leisure day in Ulaanbaatar
This is a spare day to be spend for shopping and self-exploration. You may refer to recommendations of our team in order to make the most out of it. In the evening we meet for a farewell dinner in an international restaurant. (B, D).
Day 14 Departure
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B).
Video-Surfing a rapid on the Chuluut river