26 ancient ruins you should visit in your lifetime

Dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, Peru’s Machu Picchu was a royal estate or sacred religious site used by Inca leaders. The site — comprised of over 3,000 steps and more than 150 stone structures — was only discovered in 1911, centuries after Spanish invaders wiped out Incan civilization.

Pompeii was a thriving Roman city near Naples, Italy, before it was covered in ash from the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The eruption killed 2,000 people, but the city itself remained intact under the ash until it was discovered in 1748.

Drawing close to one million visitors a year, Stone Henge — 100 mysterious large stones in a circular layout — took around 1,500 years for our Neolithic ancestors to build. It’s one of the ancient world’s seven wonders.

The sacred site of Chichén Itzá in Tinum, Mexico, has a rich 1,000 year history as one of the main Mayan centers of the Yucatán peninsula. The first settlement of the site dates back to 415-455 A.D.

Not far from Mexico City, the holy city of Teotihuacán features incredibly large monuments such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. It’s no wonder the city’s name means “the place where the gods were created.”

Besides gorgeous beaches and great snorkeling and diving, Tulum, located in Yucatán, Mexico, offers impressive Mayan ruins that date back to 564 A.D. Tulum means wall in the Yucatec language, which refers to the fact that the settlement was surrounded by a large barricade.

Covering more ground than New York City’s five boroughs (400 square miles), Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was the site of multiple Khmer Empire capitals from the 9th-15th centuries. The 12th century temple of Angkor Wat is one of the most revered in Cambodia and even appears on the country’s flag.

Sitting in central Java in Indonesia, the Buddhist temple of Borobudur originated in the 8th and 9th centuries. The temple complex was built with three tiers and includes a total of 72 Buddhist statues. Bali Also has temples that resemble the Mayan architecture.

The site of many gladiator and wild animal fights, The Colosseum in Rome, Italy, was built by Emperor Vespasian during the years of 70-72 A.D. as a gift of entertainment for the Roman people.

Starting off as an Etruscan burial ground in the 7th century B.C., the complex now known as the Roman Forum — located in Rome, Italy — grew to be the social, commercial, and political center of the Roman Empire.

Located 2,300 miles off the west coast of Chile, Easter Island (Rapa Nui in Polynesian) is home to the mysterious Moai of Rano Raraku. Moai refer to the 900 stone statues — each weighing 13 tons — that sit isolated on the island. The purpose of the Moai is still unknown.

Thirty-four monasteries and temples built into the wall of a basalt cliff make up the Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, India. The impressive site dates back to 600-1,000 A.D., and pays homage to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

The Buddhist monuments which fill the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, India, tell stories that date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C. There are 29 caves in total; five were temples and 24 were monasteries.

The three pyramids of Giza that sit along the Nile in northern Egypt are named after the three kings they were built for — Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure — and date back to the fourth dynasty ( around 2575-2465 B.C.).

Known as a temple town, Bagan in Myanmar covers a significant 16 square mile area and includes about 2,000 monuments. In the 9th century, Bagan served as the central location of Burma, which King Anawratha had unified under Theravada Buddhism.


The Basis of adventure will be the mayan story:

He said that the prophets from Pleiades first came to Mesoamerica to establish the Maya, then they returned to Pleiades. (Note: The arrows in the figure show this back and forth movement.) Later, they returned to the earth again, this time to the area around Greece and Egypt and created the Cara Maya, returning, once again to Pleiades. They made four round trips, to India to create the Naga Maya, and then to the land where Cambodia is today.

Don Alejandros Drawing in the Dirt sm

Mexico (maya)

Greece / Rome / Egypt

India (Naga Maya)

Bali / Cambodia


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