The Incans and Aztecs and Mayans are some of the most significant ancient civilizations of our world’s past. Hundreds or even thousands of years ago, these powerful groups built massive structures in which to live and worship. Over the years, many of these civilizations faded away, their once thriving cities fell into ruin and many were swallowed up by forests as nature once again reclaimed her place. Over the years, many of these cities were once again discovered and reclaimed by man. While these ancient ruins may no longer house great civilizations, they still play a role today, now as a link to our past. Coconut Club Vacations invites you to come with us as we take a closer look at 3 of the most amazing ancient ruins you can still visit around the world today.
Considered one of the world’s best preserved and important archaeological sites to date, Machu Picchu was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1983. Built by the Incan’s in the 1400’s, it is considered the most familiar of all Incan sites. Located some 8,000 feet above sea level, high in the mountains of the Cuzco Region of Peru, it is a complex maze of plazas and palaces. Long abandoned, this amazing site was not brought to light to the Western world until the early 1900’s when American historian Hiram Bingham made his discovery. Today, Machu Picchu is considered a top attraction in all of South America and welcomes visitors from around the world. For those looking for a real adventure, choose to travel the legendary Inca Trail, a trail which winds its way through the mountains. For those who prefer the day experience, just hop on a train from Cusco.
Encompassing over 350 square miles of jungles and ruins, Tikal is actually part of Tikal National Park and the much larger Maya Biosphere Reserve created in 1990 to protect the thousands of ancient structures throughout this part of Guatemala. First settled by the ancient Mayans in 900 BC, Tikal was one of the most powerful of all kingdoms of the ancient Mayans. A military, political and economic capital in Mesoamerica, Tikal is believed to have been home to a population of close to 100,000 at its height. Like others, Tikal fell into ruin and was abandoned for hundreds of years until Spanish explorers rediscovered it in the 1800’s. Today, it represents one of the most well preserved and popular sites in South America. Visitors can get here by car or bus from Belize City or take a tour from Flores.
Last on our list is Teotihuacan. Like both our first two sites, this site has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 thanks to its significance to our history. Located just outside of Mexico City in Mexico, this holy city is considered one of the most architecturally significant pyramids in Mesoamerica. Actually pre-Aztec, this city is believed to have been built around 100 BC, with construction continuing until around 250 AD. The largest and most populated center in the New World during its height, it was home to over 125,000 people, making it the 6th largest city in the America’s at the time. The most visited archeological site in Mexico, this site, unlike others was never completely lost however, and excavations didn’t begin until the 17th century. Today, millions come to see this unique and significant site. Easily accessible, the site is just 31 miles north of Mexico City.
Three of many unique and historic sites found throughout the world, we encourage you to take time to learn more about our past when you travel.