Peten, Guatemala: Mayan Pyramids of Tikal
Tikal was an important urban and ceremonial center for the Maya from about 300 to 900 A.D., and they built many monuments here, including five pyramidal temples. The tallest---Pyramid IV, topped by the Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent---is 213 feet high. After the Maya abandoned the site, these pyramids lay largely forgotten in the rainforest for nearly 800 years. European explorers re-discovered them with great excitement in the 1850s, leading to several major archaeological expeditions and digs. The area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.