JR Tours

Cortez, Colorado

Nestled between gorgeous mountains and deserts, Cortez, Colorado is arguably one of the prettiest cities in the United States - it’s also recognized as the number one archaeological center of America!

Of course, Cortez has more than just a pretty face; it’s also chock full of educational activities that are sure to bring a new perspective to students of any age.

Visitors to Cortez or the surrounding cities within the Mesa Verde community should not miss a trip to the Mesa Verde National Park. Advertised as “the #1 historic site in the world,” the park offers a host of scenic views, as well as multiple archaeological sites.

Mesa Verde RuinsThe park serves as a monument to the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloans, and students can choose to explore this majestic park by walking, driving or taking a bus tour through the area. Night tours are also available, and the ruins are illuminated (as in this photo) and are really very striking.

You’ll also want to stop by the Cortez Cultural Center to learn about upcoming events happening in and around the city. What’s more, the center also boasts a museum that allows students to explore amazing historical and cultural artifacts, documents, and photographs.

Of course, most visitors stop by the center to ask about Hawkins Preserve, which was donated to the Cortez Cultural Center in the early 90’s. Hawkins Preserve encompasses 122 acres within the city of Cortez, and provides an astonishing variety of different plant and animal species, as well as historical and cultural significance.

Don’t visit Cortez without visiting Hawkins Preserve!

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center should also be a place of interest on your itinerary, as it offers a wealth of educational opportunities and hands-on archaeological experiences that simply cannot be beat.

Additionally, the center hosts a variety of programs throughout the year, especially during the summer months. Educational programs vary, so plan your trip around one in advance!

Students will also fall in love with Canyons of the Ancients, a national monument that contains over 6,000 archaeological sites to visit and explore.

You’ll be able to explore every inch of the canyons; canyons that once housed Native American tribes for thousands of years. The canyons are testament to multiple cultures and traditions that thrived at one time, so they are of great historical and cultural importance.

Rather than offer a guided tour through the canyons, they are open for self-exploration. You’ll be so immersed in the gorgeous outdoors, you’ll forget you’re learning - and you will learn!

A visit to Cortez, Colorado will expose students to a wide variety of natural beauty and scenic views, but it’s more than that. Quite simply, Cortez offers students an experience of a lifetime - one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history behind this great city, and explore the various sites of archaeological importance that Cortez is known for.

Learn how the Ancestral Puebloans managed to survive in Cortez for so many years, and discover what sorts of traditions and culture they left behind.

Visit Cortez, Colorado and you’ll not only learn about the history of this wonderful city, but you’ll enjoy yourself immensely - and want to return!