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The Southwest is home to one of only 20 World Heritage sites in all of the United States and some of the most rich and fascinating cultural history in the world. This 3-night, 3-day vacation package will give you a unique and in-depth understanding of the exceptional and distinctive cultural heritage of the Southwest Four Corners Region - home to the ancient Puebloan people (formerly known as the Anasazi). The ancient Puebloan people were a thriving culture of creative people who lived in magnificent cliff dwellings of hand-hewn stone -over six centuries ago!
On Day 1 of this tour, gain an in-depth understanding of the ancestral Puebloan people by experiencing a rare opportunity to visit an active archaeological investigation at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (Seasonal - Wed. or Thurs. only) or take a horseback ride into the Ute Mountain Tribal Park - one of the country's most undiscovered ruins in the U.S.
On Day 2, you will take a tour of your first World Heritage site, Mesa Verde National Park, to witness the amazing remnants of this ancient culture and home of the largest cliff dwellings in North America.
Finally on Day 3, take a unique opportunity to ride the famous Durango & Silverton Railroad, another historic attraction that contributed to the settling of the West over 100 years ago.
After a beautiful and scenic drive or flight from any direction, check into your selected hotel and kick your feet up, grab a bite at one of our world-class dining options and rest up for 3 days of cultural and historical exploration!
Examine artifacts in a hands-on activity designed to help you understand the basics of Southwestern archaeology and ancestral Pueblo history. You will tour an active archaeology laboratory and learn how discoveries are made through careful analysis of artifacts. You will then enjoy a delicious hot lunch on the campus where you can relax and take in stunning views or take a stroll along the nature trail. You will then head out to tour Goodman Point Pueblo, Crow Canyon's current excavation site, and witness first-hand what an excavation in progress looks like.
We also recommend taking a one-of-a-kind back-country horseback ride into the Ute Mountain Tribal Park. This ride is a chance of a life time to see the west as its most Wild. The ride takes you into the Ute Tribal Park to explore a historical hidden gem with some of the most untouched cliff dwelling and Puebloan ruins in the world. You will also have an opportunity to explore Colorado's back-country and even see some of the west's last Wild Horses. Walk away from the professionally guided tour having explored some of the best that Colorado has to offer, a great horseback excursion, wilderness and wildlife and an incredible glance back in history.
Please note: there is a maximum weight limit of 240lbs. and they must have a min of 6 riders for this ride to go. If minimum is not met, they will do their best to accommodate a similar and equally as exciting ride for you.
When the day is over, head into Durango and check into your Durango hotel. If you would like more out of your day, try an evening of frontier style fun with a show at the Henry Strater Theater in Durango.
During their last century, some Pueblo Natives of Mesa Verde left the mesa tops and built their homes in the alcoves that abound in the many canyon walls, commonly referred to as "cliff dwellings." The exact number of dwellings in Mesa Verde is unknown, but over 600 cliff dwellings have been documented. You will get to explore many dwellings with hand chosen experts of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Geology that will enhance your journey to this area with the knowledge and experience needed to fully understand the advancement of this civilization and their cultural development. This tour is truly hassle-free as it includes the entrance fees, refreshments and bag lunch of your choice in tour price.
Experience some of the richest cultural heritage in the United States with this World Heritage tour - a fun and exciting learning journey for the entire family.