When we think of ancient ruins, we are often transported to a different time and place. These remnants of past civilizations are windows into the cultures and lifestyles of our ancestors, and they have stood the test of time to tell their stories. From the towering pyramids of Egypt to the lush jungles of Central America, the world is filled with magnificent ruins waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best ancient ruins in the world:
Discover the heart of the ancient Mayan civilization at Tikal, a sprawling city that once housed around 100,000 people. Built between 200 BCE and 900 CE and nestled in the jungles of northern Guatemala, visitors today can explore the towering pyramids, ball courts, and plazas that comprise this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Perhaps the most famous of all ancient ruins, Machu Picchu is a bucket list destination for many travelers. Built by the Inca civilization in the 15th century, this mountaintop citadel is an engineering marvel. It is thought to have been a royal retreat or a spiritual center, and it was abandoned shortly after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
Carved into the rose-colored cliffs of southern Jordan, Petra is a breathtaking sight. This ancient city was the capital of the Nabataean kingdom from the 4th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, and it was a center of trade and commerce in the region. Today, visitors can explore the impressive facades of the Treasury and the Monastery, as well as the Roman-style theater and the ancient tombs.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Located in the lush jungles of northern Cambodia, Angkor Wat is one of the most impressive ancient ruins in the world. This sprawling temple complex was built by the Khmer Empire in the 12th century, and it was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Today, visitors can explore the ornate carvings and towering spires that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza, which was once the political and economic center of the ancient Mayan civilization, is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of the Americas. The ancient Mayans built this complex of pyramids, plazas, and temples between the 6th and 12th centuries CE, and it houses the iconic stepped pyramid known as El Castillo.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
No list of ancient ruins would be complete without the Pyramids of Giza. These towering structures were built by the ancient Egyptians over 4,500 years ago and were once tombs for the pharaohs. Today, visitors can explore the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, as well as the Sphinx and the Valley Temple.
In conclusion, the world is filled with incredible ancient ruins that are waiting to be explored. Whether you’re interested in the Mayan civilization, the Inca Empire, or ancient Egypt, there is something for everyone. So grab your camera, your hiking boots, and your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore the wonders of the ancient world.