Achaeological Vacations Worth Considering.

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There are many places, mainly in low-lying valleys of ice age-covered North America where there are a wealth of Dinosaurs, other rather old fossils, and other collectibles of pretty much the entire history of North America to be easily andreadily found.  One of the best archaeological vacation hot-spots in the Continental North American boundaries is located in Alberta, Canada. Rain forests, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, the Sahara, many mountain ranges, the remote islands and the Galapagos all offer pristine, currentarchaeological vacations.

One of the most prime geological preservation conditions, preserving artifacts over millions of years at the bottom of an extremely cold and deep lake, with high pressure due to the extreme depths and immense size of the lake, made for a wealth of ancient artifacts in pristine condition.  Where is this wonderful place?  Alberta, Canada!

In the midst of the Canadian Shield, the plains of the Prairies were once the bottom of the largest inland lake to ever be on the planet at any time in recorded history. Archaeological vacations cover all forms of plant and animal life that interact in any given time period, for one specific geographical location, and past-gazing is more complete in the Albertan badlands.

The ancient artifacts that can be found in many Albertan locations range from early man to early Indian, early Mammoths to early dinosaurs, and everything in between.  Just walking along a marked trail can have the hiker come along a find that nobody else had noticed before, and lead to a new find of a previouslyunknown species.  The most infamous of this event was the finding of Albertosaurus and the Edmontonsoraus.  Finds can be found on the surface, and many lead to finds that change recorded history.

There are a few well maintained and extremely important archeological parks in Alberta, and one of them is Dinosaur Provincial Park.  Located about 125 miles East of Calgary, Alberta, the Park has found over 35 species of dinosaur from each and every known family of Dinosaur that lived during the Crestaceous period.  Museum quality dinosaurs are the hardest to find throughout the world, yet the Dinosaur Provincial Park has managed to unearth over 300 of these rare finds.

Also found in Alberta is the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, which also has many plant recreations in their educational displays.  You can go dinosaur and fossil hunting here, but you have to turn in all finds, under law.  Of course, the gift shop has all sorts of souvenirs for sale.

However, when thinking of ecological vacations these days, the focus in more on preservation of existing ecosystems than that of learning of past ecosystems.  Ecological vacations in Canada have moved to more isolated areas (development wise, anyways), and can be found in remote areas of Labrador, to the cold North and the base of the Rocky Mountains.  The forests that are surrounded by the peaks of the Rockies hold treasure troves for ecological campers, hikers and researchers alike.

The United States has many ecological vacation spots, but not many come close to the splendours of the Grand Canyon, Alaska or Montana.  But for the real deal, the Amazon should be at the top of your wish list for an ecological vacation.  Visit Mayan temples, where hundreds of thousands were sacrificed, and an untold number killed for sport and humour.The Amazon Rain Forest should be on the list of top ecological vacation hot spots, but could be a challenge to the not-quite physically fit and mentally sound.  The insects,venomous spiders, snakes and other critters make up just a short part of the dangers faced in these areas, and that does not include paramilitary groups, drug cartels and kidnapping gangs.  However, a true eco-tourist would look at these problems as a minor nuisance in finding paradise.

Across the Ocean, the Sahara Desert is an ecological area of no worldly competition.  Try an expedition into the heart of the Sahara, and try to figure out how the Beouins managed to eke out livings, let alone simply to live in such climes.  Angel Falls, and the area surrounding them is considered one of the most unique ecological areas on the planet, above the top of the seas.

To find a truly unique and possibly never before seen ecological system, try diving, in submersible watercraft, to the bottom of theMarianas Trench.  The deepest part of the ocean holds many secrets, and many animals and plants that seem to ignore the rules of what life forms need to survive.

No matter where you go for your ecological vacation, make sure that you get all of the shots necessary for that part of the world, and have some anti-venom, anti-viral and anti-biotics in various strengths in great supply mixed in with your first aid kits.  Take strong binoculars, good digital SLR cameras, and lots of extra batteries and storage cards.  Oh, and some bug spray or lotion just may come in handy.

Cothing is a most important aspect of any archaeological, ecological or other vacations.  For the harsher environments, good hiking boots (2 pairs), canvas and silk clothing, bug suits, lightweight camping gear and lightweight cooking gear are a necessary evil of survival.  Ensure that your entire group will be hydrated and fed, warm enough, dry enough, and safe from local disease and animal encounters.

Enjoy your trip.  Travel safe, travel informed.

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