A woman explorers the ancient Incan empire of Machu Picchu.

World Heritage Sites

Why Taking Vacation Time is More Important Than You Think

Travel to World Heritage Sites with OARS

Much like our national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites belong to all of us. They’re our legacy. From natural paradises like the Grand Canyon to spectacular Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, these remarkable locations all around the world represent the preservation of our natural and cultural history. We invite you to explore a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with OARS.


On OARS’ Croatia & Montenegro Multi-sport Adventure, you’ll sea kayak along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and raft the Tara River through one of Earth’s most beautiful river canyons before exploring the Old City of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Renaissance parks, medieval stone palaces, and unobtrusive monasteries harbor centuries of ancient history.

Havana, Cuba.


From the lively streets of Old Havana to the tobacco fields of Viñales Valley and the architecture of Cienfuegos, Cuba is a World Heritage Site traveler’s must-visit destination. Previously closed off to American tourism, regulations have changed in recent years, and “support for the Cuban people” travel is now possible. OARS’ Insider Cuba adventure is just that, a chance to experience the diversity and beauty of the country while encouraging and facilitating cultural connections with a local guide as your expert on the ground.

Tortoise in the Galapagos Islands.


The 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve that make up the Galápagos World Heritage Site is one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. On our multi-sport Origins of Species: Galapagos Islands Vacation, you’ll have the chance to kayak with sea turtles, snorkel with sea lions, and explore classic Galápagos sites as you island hop through this exotic archipelago on a deluxe 90-foot yacht.

Young women kayaking on the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.


Our sea kayaking adventures in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez take you to the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a region of striking natural beauty formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches, which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. It is home to 695 vascular plant species—more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List— and 891 fish species. The site is also home to 39% of the world’s total number of species of marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetaceans.

Group walking in Machu Picchu, Peru.


The ancient Incan Empire of Machu Picchu is the epitome of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s also Peru’s intriguing cities like Cuzco and Arequipa that make the list. And on a Peru adventure with OARS, depending on the itinerary you choose, you’ll have the chance to explore Machu Picchu, and in some cases, all three of these amazing sites, while also exploring the land’s rivers, mountains, and culture.

Group rafting through a canyon.

United States

As two of the most spectacular national parks in the U.S., it’s no wonder Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks make UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. It’s also no wonder that OARS offers national park adventures in both of these natural treasures. Our Grand Canyon trips give you the opportunity to raft or hike into the heart of the canyon. Flowing from the heart of Yosemite National Park, we offer two adventurous rafting itineraries just outside the park’s boundaries that make the perfect add-on to your Yosemite hiking adventure.


OARS’ Zimbabwe safari and whitewater adventures explore the legendary Zambezi river and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. From the base of the falls, you’ll raft through the Batoka Gorge, where you’ll encounter breathtaking scenery and jaw-dropping Class V whitewater.


A bustling street in Cuba with vibrant and historical buildings.

Insider’s Cuba

8 Days 5 (1)

Location: International
Adventure Level: Easier to Moderate
Minimum Age: 12

A woman high up on a rocky mountainside overlooks the ocean below as cacti jut out of the rocks around her.

Baja Sampler

8 Days

Location: Baja, Mexico
Adventure Level: Easier to Moderate
Minimum Age: 8 (or younger based on abilities)

A woman in a Peruvian poncho stands on a vista overlooking forrested and snow-capped mountains.

Inca Trail Trekking

5 Days 5 (3)

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru
Adventure Level: Challenging
Minimum Age: 12

A woman wearing a traditional Peruvian hat hikes up rock steps high above Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Hiker

7 Days 5 (1)

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru
Adventure Level: Moderate
Minimum Age: 10

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Sea Lion on the Nature Wildlife OARS trip.

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