Day 1 Arrive in Beijing
arrive in Beijing. Meet our guide and be transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 Overnight in Beijing (B, L, D)
This morning, explore the best of Beijing with a visit to Tian'anmen Square, the world's largest square. Around the vast square, you can see The Great Hall of People, holding the congress of the Communist Party and National People's Congress, History Museum, Military Museum and Monuments to the People's heroes. Under the famous Mao's portrait, which is positioned at the center of "The Gate of Heavenly Peace" entrance, you will walk into the Forbidden City (also known as Imperial Palace), which holds 9,999 rooms. Experience the intricate architecture and exquisitely designed layout of these grand buildings once housed by Chinese Emperors who ruled during the period of the Qing and Ming Dynasties for almost 500 years (1420-1911). After lunch, visit the Temple of Heaven, where dynastic Chinese rulers historically worshipped the Emperor of Heaven and prayed for bountiful harvests. It was a critical task for all emperors to perform rituals and tasks in order for his empire to reap successful harvests and good fortune. Capture the detailed essence of all the rich colors blended together on the hand painted tiles and roofing of the structures. This remarkable construction is pledged highest level of Chinese traditional architecture. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening.
Day 3 Beijing - Qinhuangdao (B, L, D)
Travel east from Beijing to the Bohai Sea at the city of Qinhuangdao. Here, the Great Wall of China plunges into the sea at Laolongtou ("Old Dragon's Head"). Walk along the trace of the wall to the walled fortress of Shan Hai Guan ("First Pass Under Heaven") where we'll visit the Great Wall museum. Travel by vehicle back to your hotel near the Bohai Sea.
Day 4 Overnight in Qinhuangdao (B, L, D)
Hike along the Great Wall as it makes its first ascent into the mountains at Jiao Shan ("Horn Mountain"). Enjoy views over the fortress of Shan Hai Guan and out to the Bohai Sea. If you desire a full-day hike, continue from the peak of Jiao Shan following the wall and sometimes a mountain trail to reach the pass of Sandaoguan. Return to Qinhuangdao for the evening.
Day 5 Overnight in Qinhuangdao (B, L, D)
Travel by vehicle north from Qinhuangdao to the small village of Dongjiakou where you can explore the remains of an old fortress as well as the Cihou Tower, an unusual roofless watchtower with two dozen observation portals. The villagers of Dongjiakou are descendants of the builders of this section of the wall and today work to protect it. Hike along the Dongjiakou wall to Chengzhiyu village. The Dongjiakou Great Wall (also known as the Jizhen Wall), punctuated by forty-five towers and three fortresses, winds for five miles through a landscape of gentle, forest-cloaked mountains. Return to Qinhuangdao for the evening.
Day 6 Overnight in Huangyaguan (B, L, D)
This morning, travel by vehicle to the Eastern Qing Tombs (Qing Dongling), perhaps more splendid than the more famous Ming Tombs. There are fifteen tombs at the site in which are buried five emperors and fifteen empresses including the first Qing Emperor and the Dowager Empress Cixi. Following the visit, a half hour journey by vehicle brings you to the Huangyaguan ("Yellow Crag Pass"). On either side of the pass, the Great Wall winds through the dramatic landscape of the Yanshan Mountains. Spend the afternoon exploring Tapingzhai section of the wall to the east of the pass or wander through the labyrinth of Huangyaguan fortress designed to confound would be attackers.
Day 7 Overnight in Simatai area (B, L, D)
Today, you'll hike Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall. Ascend the steps of the "Heaven's Ladder" to gain a ridge top above Huangyaguan. Follow the wall as it undulates across the mountains before gradually descending into a valley. From here, a vehicle will transport you north to the Simatai-Jinshanling Great Wall which is for hikers perhaps the most magnificent part of the Great Wall. Overnight in simple accommodations near the Simatai village.
Day 8 Overnight in Jinshanling (B, L, D)
Hike westward today along the magnificent stretch of the Simatai-Jinshanling Great Wall. This section is known for its variety of walls and towers as well as its generally unspoiled character. It's one of the least visited and best preserved parts of the Great Wall. Complete the day's hike at the Jinshanling village where simple accommodations await at the foot of the Great Wall.
Day 9 Overnight in Yunfoshan (B, L, D)
Continue hiking westward from Jinshanling along the wall. The undulations of the wall become gentler as you make your way to the General Tower near the town of Gubeikou where the day's hiking concludes. Travel by vehicle to your overnight accommodations at Yunfoshan.
Day 10 Overnight at Beijing (B, L, D)
From Yunfoshan, travel by vehicle to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall dominated by the three-towered fortification of Zhengguantai. Hike along the length of the restored section of this wall before descending a trail into a valley where the hike ends. There may also be an opportunity this day to hike to a vantage point where you can enjoy a view of the unreconstructed and crumbling Jiankou Great Wall as it traverses perhaps the most dramatic and precipitous mountain terrain in the course of the wall. Return to Beijing in the afternoon and enjoy a farewell dinner featuring Beijing imperial cuisine to celebrate your Great Wall adventure!
Price: $1,895/per person
Single Room for entire trip: $675. Single accommodations are subject to availability and may be limited.
Meeting Point: Beijing, China
Departure Point: Beijing, China
Accommodations: Seven nights in hotels with private bath. Three nights in simple village accommodations where bath facilities may be shared. Ten breakfasts, nine lunches, and nine dinners are included.