The Mayans mysteriously disappeared in 900 AD and what they left behind were steep pyramid temples depicting their past. Often in remote jungle locations, most of which are yet to be explored and even excavated, they are fascinating to discover. Living among the ruins are howler monkeys, whose loud calls only add to the mystery of this hidden world.
Tikal is one of the most impressive to visit due to its remoteness and sheer size. Here the temples are so high they break the jungle canopy and have an atmosphere like no other. This is one of the few remaining Mayan sites where you are still allowed to climb these sacred temples giving you superb views above the jungle canopy.
Around Tikal are smaller but no less impressive Mayan ruins which are worth spending time to visit. We would recommend visiting Yaxha with its twin pyramid complex, Ceibal with its intricately carved stelae and even crossing the border into Belize where you can find Xunantunich known for its impressive friezes and hieroglyphics and the remote ruins of Caracol which once had a population twice that of the modern day capital.
Tikal is the most impressive city of the ancient Mayan world and an absolute must. It doesn’t get much better than this – an enormous site, encroached by tropical forest with steep pyramid temples that pierce the jungle canopy. Watching the sun set from temple 4 as you hear the booming roar of the Howler Monkeys is a magical experience.
Manor Cottage, Papermill Lane, South Moreton, Oxfordshire, OX11 9AH