Cultural Exploration Overview
Historical and cultural tourism can loosely be defined as visiting historical destinations. Historical destinations can be translated as ruins, battlefields, cities, pyramids, churches, temples, or simply the location of a significant event. There are big sites, such as the new seven wonders and also small sites that are relatively unknown and untouched. Sometimes these destinations sit beside a highway or an airport, while other times they are weeklong treks through jungles and forests or across mountain ranges. Many of these places represent the highlights in human history. These are locations that have seen extraordinary events. These are the places you read about in history class and have seen come alive in movies.
There isn’t really much separating a beginner and an advanced histo-tourist apart from time spent. The beginner may not get as involved with seeing ancient sites on their vacation as others. Beginners stick to the main trails. They don’t need to see every rock or ruin. They want the major ones. They want the introduction. An ancient ruin may be the highlight of their trip and the main reason they go to a far off place, but they want to experience the food, culture, and other activities that a place has to offer.
The beginner is content with the big sites like the pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu, the Coliseum, the Taj Mahal, and other world wonders. The places that are supposed to be amazing and the places that someone else says you should go to are the main objectives for beginners. They don’t need to see every last piece of stone or even know the exact history about the location.
There is no amount of skill level or amount of degrees that separates the beginner and advanced, only that the advanced histo-traveler is prepared to spend more time at historical sites and is willing to spend more time getting there. They are more involved and more dedicated to seeing what they want. Instead of the 2-day pass at Angkor in Cambodia, these guys go for the weeklong pass or more and go to every ruin hidden in the farthest reaches of the jungle. They might spend a week with a metal detector walking around in circles looking for shrapnel in the battlefield of a two hundred year old war.
The advanced will read books on the destination or might attend a lecture. They might have even done archeological research before or majored in history or archeology. They are willing to get their fingernails dirty and willing to trek long distances in rugged conditions to get to the most rare and least visited sites. For instance, now that helicopters are no longer allowed to the site, you will have to trek for a week through the thick Colombian jungle to get to Ciudad Perdida. Some of the advanced are just hard core adventurers that want to go where no one else has been.