Ruins & Archaeology - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
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Top Ruins & Archaeology Experiences
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 River 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 the Great Wall of China
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
Ruins & Archaeology Trip Reviews
599 Ruins & Archaeology Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend
Ruins & Archaeology Tours and Travel Guide
Ruins & Archaeology Attractions & Landmarks Guide
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 and sites figuratively or literally, you can find a tour that will breathe new life into your appreciation of their cultures.
Why You Need a Guide: The Importance of Archaeological Group Tours
Unless you are a qualified expert in the exact sites that you are visiting (and chances are, you’re not), getting information on archaeological site can be complicated, timely, or even impossible. This is the main reason that having a tour guide is quintessential when visiting, for example, a series of ruins.
Not only was the thing in front of you created during a time so long ago that you can barely imagine the context -- the wear and tear of time will have also degraded what it once was, making it more unrecognizable.
Going on a tour with a knowledgeable guide is by far the best way to connect with the historic (and sometimes prehistoric) places you are visiting, which is also important. Tours to ancient ruins and archaeological sites around the globe offer some of the best introductions into the often remarkable achievements of past cultures.
With a guide, you will be able to answer questions like:
- 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?
- How did the ancient Egyptians build the Pyramids without modern technology?
- What evidence proves that dinosaurs once roamed the American West in great numbers?
- 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?
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:
- Israel: Temple on the Mount & Dome of the Rock, Old Jaffa Port, Western Wall,
- 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)
- Britain: 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)
- 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
- Jordan: Petra, Wadi Rum, Amman Citadel, Ummayad Palace,
- Israel: Old Jerusalem; Akko; Be’er Sheva; Caperneum; Herodium; Masada; M
- Turkey: Ephesus, Pergamo, Gobekli Tepe, Troy, Hattusha, Aphrodisias
- 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
All Ruins & Archaeology tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Ruins & Archaeology trips.