After pickup from your central Beijing hotel, travel northward by private, air-conditioned vehicle.
On route, hear about the Mutianyu Great Wall from your guide. Famous for its beautiful mountain and forest surroundings, it was built in the 6th century before reconstruction during the Ming dynasty (1368 -1644), and restoration in the 1980s. Learn about the 16th-century rebuilding under General Qi Jiguang, famous for fighting Japanese pirates, discovering how the wall was reconstructed with granite blocks and defensive towers.
On arrival, choose to ride the cable car up to and down from the ramparts, or take the ski lift before descending by the toboggan chute down the hillside. At the top, enjoy a walk along the battlements, seeing the watchtowers and admiring the views of the wall snaking over the mountains.
After a Chinese lunch, continue to Beijing Zoo, and visit the Panda House (own expense), home to giant pandas. These beautiful creatures are one of the World Conservation Union's Threatened Species, and a handful of the 1,600 left in the world are housed here.
See the pandas and learn about their natural habitat and lifestyles before finishing your tour with a hotel drop-off.