Visit the Mayan Ruins

Chichen Itza in Mexico is probably the most famous and best restored of the Mayan ruins. Although somewhat overcrowded this site will still impress even the most seasoned traveler. Chichén Itza is located about 3 hours away from the Mayan Riviera, a stretch of green jungle and white sandy beaches that runs along the Caribbean coastline. The Mayan Riviera is famous for its large scale all-inclusive resorts that includes the famous beach resorts Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. A popular Mayan site on the Mayan Riviera coast is Tulum while the Coba ruins are located some distance inland.

The Mayan ruins are also popular tourist attractions in Belize. Caracol was once one of the largest ancient Maya cities with an estimated population of about 150,000, more than twice as many people as Belize City has today. And its largest pyramid is still the tallest man-made structure in all of Belize. Copan in Honduras is not as grand or imposing as Caracol, but it’s beautiful decorated buildings and sculptures, especially the enormous carved stelae make it a must see Mayan site.

Temple I and the Central Acropolis buildings in Tikal.

Temple I and the Central Acropolis buildings in Tikal.

The Tikal ruins in Guatemala are somewhat different from other great Mayan sites because they are located deep inside the jungle. Tikal’s many plazas and pyramids have been uncovered and partially restored but as visitors walk from one monument to another they pass beneath the dense canopy of the rainforest providing a unique ambiance.