Expect to be met by your driver or for those choosing the all-inclusive option your English speaking guide, in your hotel lobby at 1.30pm.
Youll travel to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, a section of the wall that is not only considered more diverse but one of the best preserved sections of the wall. Depending on the traffic the drive out to the site is about 1.5 hours, so youll arrive around 3pm. As the busiest time for visiting the wall is between 10.30am and 3pm, (80% of visitors are on the wall between those times), youll be arriving when most people are leaving or have left, so youll enjoy a visit that is less touristy than if arriving mid-morning.
You can see 23 Watch Towers distributed along its more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) length. This stretch of the UNESCO listed Great Wall is known for its beautiful surroundings, including dense forests and rich pastures. Youll have plenty of time (several hours) to hike along the wall and enjoy the scenery. This section of the wall is also recommended as being the most family friendly, as its a section thats easier for those with young children to navigate.
While you can ascend the ramparts by foot, the path is a steep one so its best to save your time and energy and take the cable car or chair lift to the ramparts. (The cable car takes you to the northern entrance, Watch Tower #14 to commence your walk. The chair lift takes you to southern entrance, Watch Tower # 6). Enjoy your time on the wall and descend via the cable car, the chair lift or for those so inclined the toboggan descent, located at the southern entrance. The fully inclusive tour, as the name suggests includes return tickets by cable car, chair lift or the alternative combination route of chair lift up /toboggan descent.
Once on the ramparts you can stay for as long as you like. If you choose to stay for the sunset be mindful that access to the wall and its descents close between 4.30pm and 5.30pm, depending on the season. Sunset typically occurs around 7.30pm in summer time and around 5.30pm in winter. So if you opt to stay to watch the changing colors and vistas the sunset brings, youll need to descend the ramparts by foot, a hike that typically takes about an hour.
After your visit to the Great Wall youll be driven back to Beijing where you have the option of a flexible drop off point, be that a restaurant of your choice or any other centrally located spot, or if youve got a flight to catch, Beijings International Airport. For those who prefer to be taken back to their hotel that too is an option. Expect to be back in the city around 7pm (winter time). If staying for the sunset, in summer time, much later.
Please note that you need to provide your preferred drop off location in advance.