About archaeology vacations

Our story

The "Lost City of the Manteños" is the setting for the most incredible experience of your life.   We have established the only place in the world where you can be an archaeologist on your vacation - and still be treated like the adventurer that you are!

Join a team of fellow adventurers from around the world and excavate a site that was the capital city of the Ecuador coast for 1000 years before the Spanish conquerors arrived in the 1500s.


There are lots of tours around the world that will let you 'look' at archaeological sites.  We are the first company to actually let you excavate and discover the wonders of archaeology.

This is not a university project looking for volunteers - Archaeology Vacations is specifically designed with the world traveller in mind.

You will work under the supervision of professional archaeologists and the work is done to scientific standards - but this is your vacation, so we're not in a hurry to get it done by 5pm on Friday.  You can relax and enjoy the thrill of discovering thousand-year old artifacts.  

You don't just sit there.
you do something!

You will excavate. You will recover artifacts. You will participate in an archaeological research project that has specific archaeology goals.

At the same time, you will be within an indigenous community and you'll interact daily with the descendants of the Manteño people. You will make a meaningful social contribution to the people and the modern community of Agua Blanca, Ecuador.

There is no other experience like this in the world!

OUr archaeologists

Luke Dalla Bona, M.A.

Chief Archaeologist

Luke Dalla Bona worked on his first archaeology project in the summer of 1987 in northern British Columbia, Canada.

Every year since then, he has led archaeological teams on multiple projects, large and small in the northern wilderness of Canada. Throughout the 1990s, Luke was one of a small group of archaeologists from North America and Europe involved in the development of archaeological predictive modelling - using computers to predict the location of archaeological sites.

Since 1999, Luke has focused on professional archaeological consulting and has led hundreds of archaeology projects - some with teams as large as thirty to forty crew members. By 2010, Luke's attention started to shift to Latin America.

In 2014, he started Archaeology Vacations and in 2015 relocated to Ecuador. He started excavating the "Lost City of the Manteños" in Agua Blanca, Ecuador on October 1, 2016.

He now lives full-time in the village of Agua Blanca.

Richard Lunniss, Ph.D.

Project Consultant

Richard Lunniss is an archaeologist with a PhD from the University of London.

He and his ecologist wife Deirdre and their children May, Guy and Martin, have their home a few miles from Agua Blanca, living in the coastal town of Puerto López.

In 1982, after four seasons working with the Anglo-Peruvian Cusichaca Project, near Machu Picchu, he travelled north to join in the investigation of the pre-Columbian settlement at Salango, a small fishing village not far from Puerto López.

From 1983-1987, he directed field work at Salango and, since then has, in one way or another, devoted most of his time to the study of that site, publishing his results in Ecuador and abroad.

Additionally, he has had opportunity to excavate on Cerro Jaboncillo, the largest known Manteño ceremonial center, and investigate other sites of the period in Central and South Manabí.

contact us

open every day
8:30AM - 4:30pm

You can make a reservation by calling us using the phone number below, by email, or by filling out the online reservation form.  Choose one of our packages or we will work with you to create a package that fits your itinerary or budget.
Contact us today!

+593 098 882 6196 (Ecuador) (Voice/WhatsApp/Text)