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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

77 Reviews

Excellent 64 Great 13 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0

Rating Details

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

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

I highly recommend booking with EF and going on the Belize trip!

Belize: Rainforests, Reefs & Ruins

5.0 January 2017 EF College Break Recommend: Yes A couple weeks ago I went on the Belize tour as my first tour with EF, first time traveling alone, and first time out of the country.
This trip was by far one of the best things I've ever done. I stepped outside my comfort zone, made new friends and new memories. Our tour director, Efrain, was beyond wonderful. At one point a stomach bug hit our group but he made sure to take the appropriate steps with EF in helping everyone feel their best.
I highly recommend booking with EF and going on the Belize trip! Cannot wait to book my next trip! Feel free to ask questions if you have them :)
Read more

Great experience

Enchanting Peru

5.0 January 2017 SmarTours Recommend: Yes The guides were all excellent and very friendly, funny. I just wish we could have spent longer at Peru.

Absolutely loved the trip.

Adriatic Adventure Trip

5.0 December 2016 Carpe Mundo Recommend: Yes This was my third trip with Carpe Mundo, and just like the others it was amazing! I loved being able to book back to back trips to create my own European tour. Montenegro feels like an undiscovered gem- one of my all time favorite places (and I've been to over 40 countries!). The whole trip was top notch- from staying at 4 star waterfront accommodations with balconies to having private boat tours and visiting small family wineries (with incredible wine found nowhere else in the world), I absolutely loved the trip. Read more

Enchanted Peru

Enchanting Peru

5.0 December 2016 SmarTours Recommend: Yes We just returned from our Tour in Peru, unfortunately it was riddled with strikes by the Transportation Department. HOWEVER!!! we must say that Smartours went beyond what was normal. We were treated like Royalty, additional nights at the hotel, flight upgrades. We were able to see everything we came for. Some other Tour Groups we shared our hotel with were not that lucky and they ended up stranded. Also I like to say that our Tour Guide in Peru (Enrique) was funny, very knowledgeable and just overall a super nice person, we never felt like that we were a burden or "just a job". Too bad he wasn't able to come to Lima, we really missed him there. Overall our group was amazing and fun, we had a wonderful time. This was one of our many trips with Smartours and I am looking to see where we will go next. Thank you for all your effort. I will email some pictures ;-) 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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