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Top Trip Memories
  • Reaching the end of a long trek to savor your first glimpse of Machu Picchu at sunrise 
  • Visiting Mexico’s Chichen Itza to marvel at the ancient Mayans’ command of astronomy 
  • Wandering the vast ruins of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the largest religious complex ever built
  • Participating in a dig in the Utah desert, hunting for dinosaur bones 
  • Stopping at Egypt’s ancient Luxor during a Nile cruise to gaze in awe at the mammoth temples
  • Passing through a narrow canyon to come upon your first view of Jordan’s ancient Petra and its unforgettable red-rock Treasury
  • Joining professional archaeologists on a tour through Arizona’s Agua Fria National Monument, searching for prehistoric Native American artifacts
  • Paying an early morning call to one of the remote, crumbling sections of China’s Great Wall
  • Discovering the mystery behind Stonehenge, England
  • Exploring the caves of Longmen Grottoes in China
  • Strolling through the ruins of the Roman Forum
  • Exploring the temple and pagodas of Bagan, Burma
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Tour Tips
  • Traveling to an ancient ruin or archaeological site can be half the fun, whether it’s a guided trek to Machu Picchu, a Nile cruise to Luxor or a Mekong River cruise to Angkor Wat
  • While you can visit ancient ruins on your own, having a knowledgeable guide along can enhance your experience considerably
  • Many volunteer vacations combine assisting archaeologists on their digs with local sightseeing, so you get the best of both worlds
  • You don’t need to be an expert in the field to assist on an archaeological dig; an enthusiastic attitude is more important
  • You don’t have to travel great distances to find archaeological tours; many are offered in the American West and Midwest, Mexico and Canada
  • Lesser known archaeological sites abound around the world that can be equally stunning as the most famous ones; a good tour can take you to them
  • Archaeology tours can run the gamut, from a day touring a site, to actually experiencing a dig. If you're interested in the latter, be sure you dress appropriately for the weather and know that you'll be standing or sitting in the same position for extended periods!
  • Ancient sites and dig sites usually have very uneven, loose ground, and not always clear pathways. Wear comfortable shoes!
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Ruins & Archaeology Travel Reviews & Ratings
4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

121 Reviews

Excellent 101 Great 20 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0

Rating Details

Value
4.8 Guide
4.9 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.9 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8
Tour Reviews

Fantastic trip! This is such a great value and wonderful experience.

Guatemala with Tikal, Atitlán and Antigua

5.0 August 2017 Caravan Tours Recommend: Yes We just spent 10 days exploring Guatemala with Caravan tours. The hotels were amazing, the food was delicious, our driver was fantastic and our guide was so knowledgeable and kind. We had two families and 6 kids from the ages of 18-10 and we all learned so much. The guide was wonderful and really had great knowledge of the country. I came back with such a great appreciation for the Mayan culture and people. Thank you, Caravan for a wonderful adventure. Read more

Planning the trip with the consultant at this travel agency went smoothly.

Inca Trail Trek

4.0 July 2017 Lost World Adventures Recommend: Yes " However, I think the our consultant needed to spend a little more time understanding our age/physical ability. He recommended 2 days touring Machu Picchu. However, we got there by 10 am the first day and had seen all we needed by the end of the day. Since we were not hikers, we were not going to hike to the Sun Gate, nor were we going to climb Huana Picchu. So, we spent a pleasant day relaxing in Aguas Caliente, but wasted the cost of admission for 2 for the second day.

All of the accommodations were fine and most of the local tour guides were excellent. Our guides in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco were excellent. Unfortunately I was very ill in Lake Titicaca and could not go on the tour, but the local tour guide helped us find a doctor, called my husband several times to make sure I was ok, and came to the hotel to check on me. She was very helpful in my time of need.

Our Lima tour guide was curt and not very good and the guide who rode with us for over 8 hours for the Nazca lines tour fell asleep most of the time and was NOT very informative.

Our consultant did not respond to an email when I had a medical emergency in Peru. However, the person monitoring the chat line was able to make our travel changes for a price that I believe is excessive. Changing 1 flight out of 3 on our return trip cost me $100 from the travel company for the change fee. I think considering the cost for the trip, they could have done that for free since I also had to pay the travel company and the tour company. Given my condition in the morning I was unable to leave the hotel room and travel for an hour to the airport. It took some time for the prescribed drugs to take effect so I had to leave later. The hotel was extremely helpful and accommodating, including allowing us to check out from our room very late."
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Their service was outstanding.

Inca Trail Trek

5.0 July 2017 Lost World Adventures Recommend: Yes "This Peru travel agency planned and booked a custom trip for me and my wife to Peru in October 2015. The trip included a short stay in Lima, and almost a week in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Their service was outstanding. The planning for the trip was perfect, and we relied entirely on them as we had not been to Peru before. They also went beyond the call of duty by getting a reservation at a good hotel in Lima even though there was a huge convention of the world bank in town at the time. They persisted until they found a cancellation. they even booked two good restaurants for us in Lima. The guides they provided were also excellent, including one who was truly outstanding.

I never would have located this company except through Zicasso. Two years ago we made a trip to Brazil and we looked and looked for a travel agency of this kind and never did find one. I would highly recommend using Zicasso to find the appropriate agency if you are traveling somewhere that you have not previously been to, or if you do not have an agency you are satisfied with."
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Our trip to Peru was planned perfectly, thanks to our travel agent! 

Peru by Land and Water

5.0 July 2017 Lost World Adventures Recommend: Yes Our trip to Peru was planned perfectly, thanks to our travel agent! He was quick to respond to all of my needs & was very flexible. The hotels and the guides he arranged were great! We couldn't have asked for or imagined a better experience in this magical country! Read more

I went on my first EF trip solo to Belize and it was absolutely amazing!

Belize: Rainforests, Reefs & Ruins

5.0 February 2017 EF College Break Recommend: Yes I went on my first EF trip solo to Belize and it was absolutely amazing! Efrain was our tour director and he was wonderful! He was very funny and approachable if you had any questions. He made this trip so memorable with everything that went on. During the trip we had a couple of longer bus rides and he always found things to do along the way so we were not sitting for long periods of time. We also had free time after our activities which we loved because we got to go explore the areas on our own. The locals in Belize are also very very nice and very helpful if you do have any questions. I would 10/10 recommend this trip! Read more
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Ruins & Archaeology Trips & Tour Advice

Machu Picchu…Ephesus…Chichen Itza…the Parthenon…Angkor Wat…the Roman Forum…Luxor…Petra…Stonehenge…Pompeii…all archaeological treasures reflecting the finest cultural achievements of ancient civilizations around the world. Many tours include these and other famous ruins and sites in their itineraries, while others offer travelers opportunities to engage in some amateur archaeology themselves. Whether you “dig” ancient ruins an d sites figuratively or literally, you can find a tour that will breathe new life into your appreciation of their cultures.

Tours to ancient ruins and archaeological sites around the globe offer some of the best introductions into the often remarkable achievements of past cultures. Here are some of the questions a good guide can help answer: 

How did the ancient Mayans uncover their startling insights into astronomy that enabled them not just to predict when the spring and fall equinoxes would appear, but produce special effects to mark the occasion? If you visit the pyramid at Mexico’s Chichen Itza on the equinoxes, for instance, you’ll be treated to a dazzling display at sunset, when the shadow of a serpent carving appears to slither down the face of the pyramid all the way to the ground. 

How did the ancient Egyptians build the Pyramids without modern technology? 

What ancient culture produced the enormous religious complex of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and why was it abandoned? 

What is the history behind ancient Petra’s Treasury – carved out of red rock and so vividly featured in the Indiana Jones film "The Last Crusade"?

What gods inspired the ancient Greeks to build the Parthenon in Athens, the temples of Delos, the ruins of Delphi?

How are the best ways to interpret the symbols in ancient Native American petroglyphs (rock art)?

What is the evidence that dinosaurs once roamed the American West in great numbers? 

How did Egypt and the world save the incredible archaeological treasures at Abu Simbel from flooding during the building of the Aswan Dam? 

Are there still more ruins likely to be uncovered at the Roman Forum?

How did ancient Easter Islanders move multi-ton stone statues miles away from their quarries?

What is the mystery behind England’s Stonehenge?

How can travelers help prevent further damage to endangered archaeological sites?

What is working on a real archaeological dig really like?

The possibilities are almost limitless, but here’s a small sampling of some key archaeological sites and ruins around the world that you can tour:

Archaeological Sites in Europe

Greece: The Acropolis (Athens); the island of Delos; Delphi; Epidaurus; Marathon; Mycenae; Olympia; Temple of Poseidon (at Cape Sounion)

Italy: The Colosseum, Forum; and Ostia Antica (Rome); Hadrian’s Villa; Pompeii; Herculaneum; Agrigento, the old city of Siracusa and Taormina’s Greek theater (Sicily)

England: Stonehenge; Hadrian’s Wall 

Ireland: Skellig Michael (island); Carrowmore

France: Lascaux caves (replica)

Spain: The Alhambra (Granada); The Great Mosque (Cordoba)

Croatia: Emperor Diocletian’s Palace (Split)

Archaeological Sites in Asia

Cambodia: Angkor Wat (Siam Reap)

China: Terracotta Army (Xian); The Great Wall 

Japan:  Kyoto’s temples; Kasuga Shrine (Nara)

Indonesia: Borobudur

India: Taj Mahal; Fatehpur Sikri; Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Nepal: Lumbini, Changu Narayan

Archaeological Sites in the Middle East

Jordan: Petra, Wadi Rum

Israel: Old Jerusalem; Akko; Be’er Sheva; Caperneum; Herodium; Masada

Turkey: Ephesus, Pergamon

Archaeological Sites in Africa

Egypt: the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara; Temple of Karnak and Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens at Luxor, Abu Simbel at Aswan

Tunisia: Roman amphitheater at El Djem

Zimbabwe: Great Zimbabwe Ruins

Tanzania: Olduvai Gorge

Benin: Royal Palaces of Abomey

Archaeological Sites in Central & South America

Peru: Machu Picchu

Chile: The Moai (Easter Island) 

Guatemala: Tikal

Archaeological Sites in North America

Mexico: Chichen Itza; Tulum; Teotihuacan

United States: Cahokia Mounds (Illinois); Capitol Reef National Park and Horseshoe Canyon, Utah; Canyon de Chelly and Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona

Canada: Writing on Stone Provincial Park (Alberta)


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