Archaeological Tours & Trips 2019
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group 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 Tour 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 Ship 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 Guided 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.
Self Guided / Independent Tour 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 Ship 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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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
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.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
- Discover the highlights of the ancient Maya civilization
- Take an amazing boat ride through Rio Dulce national park
- Enjoy the benefit of natural hot springs
- Gain special access to the excavations of Pompeii with a local expert and peer into the crater of Mount Vesuvius alongside a volcanologist.
- Gaze at the spectacular mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale and descend into fascinating catacombs in Palermo.
- Visit eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, from the dramatic Amalfi Coast and ancient Syracuse to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
- Hike through a landscape transformed by lava on Mount Etna and enjoy breathtaking views of Taormina and the coast.
- Board on rail to see Machu Picchu
- Visit the world renowned and colorful Indian market in Pisac
- Enjoy a guided walking tour around Cuzco
- Visit lake Titicaca
- Embark on an unforgettable boat journey to explore the magnificent scenery and fascinating life on and around the lake.
- Visit the floating islands of the Uros Indians
- Enjoy a guided afternoon tour of both colonial and modern Lima
- Explore Sacred Valley has amazing landscapes of fertile land
- Machu Picchu
- Visit the bustling and colorful Indian market where many beautiful crafts are traded.
- Galapagos Island Hopping
- Explore Lima, known as the City of Kings
- Visit Cuzco is a vibrant town, dotted with archaeological sites
- See the Church of San Francisco at Lima
- Plaza de Armas (Lima)
- Drive to The equator and surrounded by ice-capped volcanoes
- Visit Church of San Francisco (Quito)
- Stay at Finch Bay Hotel (Galapagos), one of National Geographic’s “Unique Lodges of the World”
Visit to manufacturing of marble artwork
- Explore the majestic Qutub Minar
- Take a visit to Amber fort and palace
- Visit Abhaneri and Fatehpur Sikri
- Visit to the Taj Mahal
- Visit the village of Huayllabamba
- Experience 2-hours hike leads to Intipunku (Gate of the Sun) which overlooks the awesome Machu Picchu
- Enjoy the climb magnificent views of the mountain ranges.
- Visit the Runkuraqay and Sayacmarca ruins
- Exploration as you travel overland and by river to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai
- Enjoy the sounds and sights of the awakening wilderness.
- Explore Belize City, and board a chartered water taxi to Lighthouse Reef Atoll
- Experience Snorkeling at the ‘Aquarium’ is a favorite guest activity
- Explore Lima
- Visit the ruins on your own or explore Aguas Calientes
- Explore the walls, stairways, temples and terraces of Machu Picchu.
- Visit the colorful Pisac market where you'll be able to trade with locals for a variety of handicrafts
- Explore the heart of Amazon River on board of the Amatista River boat.
- Visit the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, Peru's largest national park
- Explore Iquitos
- Enjoy the unique jungle atmosphere
- Explore the caves, beaches and jungles
- Enjoy the amazing view of Mayan Mountains of Belize
- Adore the day by watching over 200 species of birds
- Discover Cairo, Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, & Memphis, Solar Boat Museum, Pyramid of Zoser, Sunset Camel Ride, Egyptian Museum
- Visit Luxor- Temples of Luxor and Karnak, Avenue of Sphinx, Karnak Open Air Museum, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, King Tut’s Tomb, Nefertari Tomb
- Explore Aswan High Dam, Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple, Felucca Sailing and Kitchener Island
- Discover Amman Jerash City Tour
- Visit Petra, The Treasury, Rock-Cut Tombs, Nabatean-Built Theatre, Ad-Deir Monastery
- Explore Wadi Rum, Jeep Tour, Canyons, Water Holes, Lawrence Spring, Khazalee mountain
- See the Dead Sea, Madaba City, Mt. Nebo, Bethany Tour
- visit all of the sacred sites like Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley
- Visit Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca and other monuments and ruins important to the Peruvian culture and people.
- Explore places truly have a mysterious, yet revered, feel to them.
- Our local guides will accompany you every step of the way
- Also experience delectable local cuisine and stay at fantastic four-star hotels along the way.
- Explore Cairo and see the exciting Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, & Memphis, Solar Boat Museum, Pyramid of Zoser, Sunset Camel Ride, Egyptian Museum
- Discover Luxor, Temples of Luxor and Karnak, Avenue of Sphinx, Karnak Open Air Museum, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, King Tut’s Tomb, Nefertari Tomb
- Experience tour to Amman,Jerash City Tour
- Explore Petra, tThe Treasury, Rock-Cut Tombs, Nabatean-Built Theatre, Ad-Deir Monastery
- Visit Wadi Rum, enjoy Jeep Tour, Canyons, Water Holes, Lawrence Spring, Khazalee mountain
- Take an awesome visit to Dead Sea , Madaba City, Mt. Nebo, Bethany Tour
- Discover Jerusalem, Old City, Nazareth & Galilee, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Masada, Dead Sea, New City, Bethlehem
- Visit the Acropolis with an informative local guide
- Marvel at the archaeological sites of Ancient Olympia, Delphi and Mycenae
- Enjoy scenic drives and breezy ferry trips on this Best of Greece adventure
- Explore the delightful islands of Mykonos and Santorini
- Must-see sights in China - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
- Unwind with a Yangtze River cruise tour & see the Three Gorges
- Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
- Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
- Explore Andes Mountains to Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire.
- Visit Machu Picchu
- Experience hike towards Ollantaytambo
- Discover Cusco
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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
614 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
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