Archaeology, Astronomy & Geology

Learn about archaeology, astronomy and/or geology from expert guides and naturalists on the following adventures:

San Juan River, Utah
6 Days – April 11

Cataract Canyon, Utah
6 Days – May 1; September 4

Yampa River, Colorado
5 Days – June 4

Machu Picchu Explorer
7 Days – April 10, 24; May 8, 22; June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; August 7, 14, 21, 28; Sepember 4, 18; October 2, 16


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Archaeology & Geology Tours: Machu Picchu, Colorado, Utah - Overview

For those with a love of ancient history and the relics that remain, we’re excited to offer a series of interpretive archaeology adventures with expert guides and special guest archaeologists. From the remarkably well-preserved pre-Puebloan ruins of the desert southwest to the world-renowned archaeological sites of the Inca Empire in Peru, we endeavor to create the best archeology and adventure vacations imaginable.

For the Indiana Jones in all of us, Machu Picchu in Peru is unequalled in its archeological wealth, and many experts find Peru’s ancient sites and cultures as exciting as those of Mexico, Egypt and the Mediterranean. Learning about and visiting these centuries-old ruins is a highlight of our Peru adventure. Our archaeological exploration begins in the city of Cusco, the center of the Inca Empire with tours of a city rich in Inca and Spanish Colonial heritage. In the Sacred valley we stop at the Inca archeological site of Ollantaytambo.

With legendary sites that include Cataract Canyon and the reaches of the San Juan River, the Native Americans that inhabited the four corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah were perhaps best-known for the pueblos and various religious, agricultural, and domestic structures they built from the region’s pervasive rock and mud. Countless dwellings, as well as gorgeous prehistoric rock art, still adorn the region and many centuries later, gold miners, explorers and river-running pioneers added an Old West flavor to the rich history of this unique area.

Featured Archaeology, Astronomy & Geology Trips

San Juan River Archaeoastronomy (Stars with Lars):
6 Days, April
Explore the bottomless treasure chest of the San Juan River basin which encases numerous remnants of ancient civilizations – most prominently, the pre-Puebloan culture, who left behind granaries, cliff dwellings, kivas, watchtowers, and panels of unique rock art.

After dinner, the skies become a stimulating tapestry for Lars Haarr's knowledge of the celestial objects above to be shared with eager participants.

Cataract Canyon Astronomy (Stars with Lars):
6 Days, May, September & October

Breathtaking desert southwest scenery in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, includes hiking and easy floating along with some wild Class III-IV whitewater.

Nights will be spent looking skyward as Lars Haarr shares his plethora of knowledge of the scintillating heavenly bodies above. With the help of his telescope, Lars will go beyond the Big Dipper and into the vast realms of constellations and planets overhead.

Machu Picchu Explorer:
7 Days, April - October

Journey to the heart of the Inca Empire on this unique Peru adventure vacation. Help prepare breakfast and spend time interacting with local school children in an Andean village, raft the Class III Urubamba River, zip‐line through the jungle canopy on six different cables and explore the fascinating archaeological remnants of the Inca civilization with our knowledgeable Peruvian guides.

In addition to other notable ruins along the way, our trip includes two days at Machu Picchu—the lost citadel of the Inca—and two extraordinary nights at the renowned Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, where spacious two‐room cottages provide families with plenty of space to relax and unwind.

Yampa River Geology & Warm Springs Anniversary Trip:
5 Days, June

Dinosaur National Monument – the name alone conjures a host of images: dinosaur bones preserved in ancient rock walls, deep rivers that cut indecorously through dry desert canyons, ancient sea beds full of prehistoric fossils, frozen in time. Join our guest geologist for an in-depth exploration of these wonders of the evolution of the Earth.

As you descend the Yampa River, you have the fascinating experience of actually traveling through the river canyon’s various layers, each one representing an entire age of the earth’s development: the rise and fall of major mountain ranges, the arrival and retreat of oceans at least 12 different times, the alternating development of deserts and swamplands. A billion years are captured in these canyon walls, along with the remnants of various life forms that existed long before humans. Our pathway through time showcases some of the oldest exposed rocks in the world, ones that have been folded, lifted and split by eons of geological forces.

Beside this fascinating scientific value, the Yampa’s geology is also responsible for the beauty of its canyon home: vertical yellow and red sandstone walls that tower as high as 1000 feet and squeeze the river through a surprisingly narrow gorge, tiger-striped walls alternating in blonde rock and black manganese oxide, clear creeks tumbling out of shady side canyons, sheltering sandstone caves, and more...

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Company Info

O.A.R.S. is an author ized concessioner of Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon and Grand Te ton National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument.
Outside Travel Awards 'Best Outfitter' Runner Up National Geographic Adventure Magazine - Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth As Featured On 50 Tours of a Lifetime - National Geographic Traveler Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservations Manager Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2007-2013 (River Rafting) Best of the Bay Area Winner

For consecutive years, O.A.R.S. has been named the "Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure and one of the top two outfitters in the world by Outside Magazine in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program. In multiple years, O.A.R.S.trips have been honored as "50 Tours of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler and since 2007, Condé Nast Traveler has recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler's standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category.

Questions about trips or making reservations? Contact or call 800-346-6277 in the USA or Canada or 1-209-736-4677 if outside the USA or Canada.
O.A.R.S. Companies Inc.,
PO Box 67, Angels Camp, CA 95222