Central Mongolia is a land of contrasts and extremes. At its heart is Ulan Bator, the country’s capital and largest city where ancient tradition and 21st century democracy coexist.  Traditional yurts and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern high rises to create a fascinating juxtaposition. In the midst of it all are a hospitable people enjoying life as a democracy while still treasuring their remarkable traditions and unique ways of life.

It is worth a visit to the National Museum, which houses an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture, as well as the Gandan Monastery, where you can witness the sacred serenity of Buddhist blessings and the art of sand mandala.

Drive outside of Ulan Bator, and a few hills later, find the vast landscapes of central Mongolia and Khan Khentii. This is Chinggis Khan territory, as evident by the massive Chinggis Khan Esquestrian Statue in Tsonjin Boldog outside of Ulan Bator. For those who wish to experience the area in its purest form, a horseback trip through the landscape is both historically enlightening and stunningly beautiful. Named for the Khentii Mountain Range and home of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, the dramatic landscapes of mountainous terrain descend into forests surrounded by wildflowers and marshlands, revealing stunning historical sites, unique geological formations, and natural habitats of various indigenous bird and plant life. This is the locals’ playground, begging to be trekked and perfect for rock climbing, swimming, rafting, camping, and soaking in hot springs.

A true gem within Khan Khentii—accessible only by foot, horse, or helicopter—is Hagiin Har Lake. Recently known only to local hunters and free from any human settlers, this pristine lake is one of the country’s best-kept secrets and the perfect place to experience the true wilderness of central Mongolia.

Ker and Downey specializes in these once-in-a-lifetime moments that take you off the beaten track and allow you to touch the truest luxury of all: rarity. Our team of experts and guides will show you a Mongolia that you’ve only imagined, a magical place of breathless vistas, where life is about the journey.