Pre-Columbian Sites

If you’re looking to explore Pre-Columbian sites and want to find the best places to view Pre- Columbian history then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great selection of Pre-Columbian historic sites and ruins and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your trips. Once you’ve explored the list of Pre-Columbian sites and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Pre-Columbian ruins.

Our database of historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Pre-Columbian sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Historvius now by visiting our upload page.

Pre-Columbian: Site Index

Photo by jnissa (cc)

Aguateca

Aguateca was an important Maya capital city in Guatemala which was dramatically destroyed.

Photo by Václav Synáček (cc)

Cahuachi

Cahuachi is an ancient site of the Nazca civilization in Peru.

Photo by liberalmind1012 (cc)

Calixtlahuaca

Calixtlahuaca is an Aztec archaeological site near Toluca in Mexico.

Photo by Ted and Jen (cc)

Casa de Colon

Casa de Colon is a museum of the history of the Canary Islands, particularly as relates to Christopher Columbus and the Americas. It exhibits collections ranging from pre-Columbian pieces to items that belonged to Columbus himself.

Photo by Chixoy (cc)

Ceibal

Ceibal is an ancient Maya settlement site in northern Guatemala.

Cerro Patapo

Cerro Patapo was the site of a city of the Wari civilisation only discovered in 2008.

Photo by roger4336 (cc)

Chacchoben

Chacchoben is a Maya site in Mexico housing some impressive pyramid temples.

Photo by sancho_panza (cc)

Chauchilla Cemetery

Chauchilla Cemetery is a fascinating ancient burial ground with Peru’s largest display of mummified bodies in their original graves.

Photo by Historvius

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is a site made up of two impressive and well preserved cities, built by the Mayas and then captured by the Toltecs.

Photo by tyo. (cc)

Ciudad Perdida

Ciudad Perdida is a remote ancient city in Colombia which dates to the 8th century AD and now operates as archaeological park.

Photo by joyosity (cc)

Cobá

Cobá is an important and vast archaeological Maya site in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region.

Photo by Adalberto.H.Vega (cc)

Copan

Copan in Honduras was an important Maya city, the impressive ruins of which are UNESCO listed.

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Dos Pilas

Dos Pilas was a major Maya city which succumbed to the ravages of warfare.

Photo by GOC53 (cc)

Dzibilchaltun

Dzibilchaltun in Mexico is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a Maya settlement.

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

Ek Balam

Ek Balam is a Maya site on the Yucatan Peninsula with some impressive ruins.

Photo by Veronique Debord (cc)

El Brujo

El Brujo is an early Chimu archaeological site in Peru.

Photo by Ixtla (cc)

El Tajin

El Tajin in Mexico was a city of the Totonac people and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Guatemala National Archaeology and Etymology Museum

The Guatemala National Archaeology and Etymology Museum has a comprehensive Maya exhibit.

Photo by geoced (cc)

Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is a famous hiking route which winds through Inca sites in Peru including Machu Picchu.

Photo by robertoliebig (cc)

Kabah

The ruins of Kabah are those of a Maya settlement in Yucatan, Mexico.

Photo by morrissey (cc)

Kuelap

Kuelap is an imposing 9th century fortress, once the stronghold of the Chachapoyas people.

Photo by Olivier Bruchez (cc)

Labna

Labna is a Maya site in Yucatan State in Mexico.

Photo by szeke (cc)

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the world’s best preserved Inca sites, located in Peru and protected by UNESCO.

Photo by gripso_banana_prune (cc)

Mexico National Museum of Anthropology

The Mexico National Museum of Anthropology is one of the world’s best renowned museums of pre-Hispanic history.

Photo by eduardo.robles (cc)

Mitla

Mitla was a Zapotec religious centre later taken over by the Mixtecs in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Photo by RussBowling (cc)

Monte Alban

Monte Alban is a remarkable UNESCO listed pre-Columbian site in Mexico.

Museo Popol Vuh

Museo Popol Vuh in Guateala City has an extensive collection of ancient, particularly Maya, pieces.

Museo Regional de Arqueología Maya

Museo Regional de Arqueología Maya is an archaeological museum related to the ancient Maya settlement of Copan.

Museo Regional de Oaxaca

Museo Regional de Oaxaca houses many of the pre-Columbian finds from nearby Monte Alban.

Museum Manuel Chavez Ballón

Museum Manuel Chavez Ballón is the museum of the famous Machu Picchu site.

Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are ancient earth drawings in Peru and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Photo by Historvius

Palenque

Palenque in Mexico is a UNESCO listed Maya archaeological site of a city which thrived between 500 and 700 AD.

Piramide de Cuicuilco

Cuicuilco is a Mesoamerican archeological site in Mexico City, believed to have been a large, ceremonial city that existed prior to the foundation of Teotihuacan.

Quirigua Archaeological Park

Quirigua Archaeological Park is a former Maya settlement and is now a small, yet important UNESCO listed site in Guatemala.

Sayil

Sayil in Mexico houses the ruins of a small Maya settlement built in the Puuc style.

Templo Mayor

Templo Mayor was a holy temple in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, now modern day Mexico City.

Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan was the Aztec capital, established in 1325AD and destroyed by the Spanish in the 16th century.

Photo by Darij & Ana (cc)

Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is a well preserved ancient Mesoamerican city near Mexico City.

The Moche Temples

The Moche Temples are two ancient adobe pyramid temples in Peru.

Photo by Historvius

Tikal

Tikal in Guatemala was a major Maya site of great ceremonial importance. Its well-preserved ruins are listed by UNESCO.

Tulum

Tulum is a cliff-top Maya site in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region with some interesting and quite well preserved ruins.

Photo by fortes (cc)

Winaywayna

Winaywayna is an Inca site in Peru near Machu Picchu.

Photo by Herr_Bert (cc)

Xcaret

Xcaret houses the ruins of a Maya city which reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

Xlapak

Xlapak is a small archaeological site in Mexico’s Yucatan region.

Xochicalco

Xochicalco is an important pre-Columbian site in Mexico and a World Heritage site.

Photo by maximalideal (cc)

Yagul

Yagul was a fortified Zapotec settlement in Oaxaca in Mexico.

Photo by clandestino_20 (cc)

Yalape

Built around 1100 AD, Yalape contain the ruins of an ancient Chachapoyan city. Though largely overgrown, it contains the remains of a huge urban settlement.

Photo by Walter Rodriguez (cc)

Yaxha

Yaxha is an impressive ancient Maya site in Guatemala’s Peten region.