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Pre-Columbian Ruins I Have Visited

History is addictive. I visited my first Pre-Columbian ruin when I was 12. This site was a group of low earthen mounds a little southeast of Pittsburgh, PA. The mounds are now destroyed and have been covered with a shopping mall.

Updated November 4, 2010
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  1. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Acanceh, Mexico
    Acanceh a large Maya site is located 10 miles southeast of Mérida off of Highway 18 in the modern town of Acanceh. Acanceh was founded between 200 AD and 300 AD in the Early classic period. Acanceh grew to cover an area of more than 2 square miles a…
  2. Ake
    Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Ake, Mexico
    Aké is a post-Classic Maya ruin 19 miles east of Mérida, in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. This area was first occupied prior to 200 AD. The ruins date from the Post-Classic era. They were first described in print by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederic…
  3. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Belize City, Belize
    Altun Ha "rock stone pond" is 20 miles northwest Belize City. Head north to the small village of Lucky Strike, then turn west for about 2 miles. There is no fee to visit Altun Ha but there is a caretaker. He will want you to visit his small museum an…
  4. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Currituck, North Carolina, USA
    The Baum site is located on western shore of Currituck Sound in Currituck County. I presented a collection of bones and artifacts that I had collected from the waves of Currituck Sound to Dr. S. Phelps of East Carolina University in August of 1970. T…
  5. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in San Ignacio, Belize
    Cahal Pech "Place of ticks", a Maya ceremonial center on the southern outskirts of San Ignacio Town in the upper Belize Valley of the Cayo District, Belize. A 15 minute walk from San Ignacio. The site is on a crest of a steep-sided hill on the west b…
  6. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Calixtlahuaca, Mexico
    Calixtlahuaca (Place of the plain of houses) in the Tolucan Valley of central Mexico (Northwest of Toluca on the east side of Highway 55). It is an important site for studying Aztec post-classic meso-american urbanism. This site is unusual because it…
  7. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Caney Bayou Mound, USA
    Caney Bayou Mounds are located at Latitude 32.918 Longitude -91.77 in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana on Knox Ferry Road. This is a 6 mound complex with height ranging from 4 feet to 10 feet and the largest base is 160 feet x 195 feet. Mound B is the lar…
  8. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Cerros, Belize
    Cerros ("Spanish for Hill") Archaeological Reserve is more than 53 acres on the top of hill overlooking Chetumal Bay. Cerros is across Chetumal Bay from Corozal. Cerros sits on a peninsula at the mouth of the New River that empties into Chetumal Bay.…
  9. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Chalcatzingo, Mexico
    The mesoamerican archaeological site of Chalcatzingo is located in the Valley of Morelos in the State of Morelos on the west side of Highway 160 south of Cuautla. Currently Chalcatzingo is the only mesoamerican site in the Central highlands containin…
  10. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Chichen Itza, Mexico
    Chichen Itza ("At the mouth of the well of the Itza") is a large site in the North Central portion of the Yucatán Peninsula, in Yucatán State. The site includes a number of architectural styles, including Puuc Maya and Toltec. There are 2 cenotes o…
  11. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Coba, Mexico
    Coba is a large Maya site that is located in the state of Quintana Roo. It is 56 miles east of Chichén Itza about 26 miles west of the Caribbean Sea, and 29 miles northwest of the site of Tulum. The ruins are situated around two cenotes. Numerous sa…
  12. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Orange Walk, Belize
    I would make this a 4 star recommended site if it were not on private land. Permission can only be gotten during regular business hours of the distillery. This is a historically significant site. It is great that the large excavation has been left…
  13. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Dzibilchaltun, Mexico
    Dzibilchaltún (tzee-beel-chahl-TOON) meaning "writing on flat stones" is a large Maya site, 10 miles north of Mérida on the west side of Highway 261 at Latitude: 21.1887 by Longitude: -89.6869. You might also see Dzilbilchaltun spelled Tz'ibilchalt…
  14. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Edzna, Mexico
    Edzna "House of the Itza",is in the state of Campeche. Edzna is easy to get to, but there is not much else in the area to do or see, so combining this site with a visit to the capital city of Campeche. Edzna is just off Highway 261, about 35 miles so…
  15. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Ekbalam, Mexico
    Ek'Balam "Black Jaguar" is located 114 miles east of the city of Mérida, Yucatan, and can be reached over highway 295 to Tizimin. Ek'Balam sought and may have achieved a high status in public affairs and preferred trade in the eastern Yucatan based…
  16. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Cozumel, Mexico
    El Cedral is on Cozumel, 8 miles south of San Miguel. El Cedral is believed to be an important ceremonial site. It is the oldest Maya site on the island (700 AD) and it is the most accessible. Once the hub of Maya life on Cozumel, was the first site …
  17. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Cancun, Mexico
    El Rey is located between the Caribbean and Nichupte lagoon. Archaeologist believe that it functioned as a center for the maritime traders and a fishing port and distribution center. It is assumed that El Rey formed part of the commercial structure …
  18. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Acambay, Mexico
    This site is located about 3 miles north of Acambay on east side of highway 55. This site is not open on Mondays. This is a great small hill top Otomi site that may show some signs of earthquake damage. Some excavation and reconstruction has occurred…
  19. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Ikil, Mexico
    I would rate this site as 3 star "recommended" if I could guarantee it was not overgrown. There is a significant amount of carved stones scattered over this site. I have found two underground plastered chultuns (water storage vessels). There are hund…
  20. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Insley Mounds, USA
    Insley Mounds are located on Frankie Loftin Road at Latitude 32.387526 and Longitude -91.47811. This property is owned by W. T. Insley of Delhi, Louisiana. There currently are 3 mounds visible with evidence of several others. Historic accounts report…
  21. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Izamal, Mexico
    Izamal is 40 miles East of Mérida, Yucatán, at 20.93° North X 89.02° West. The modern town of Izamal is a small city, with a population of 18,000 individuals. Modern Izamal nick name is "The Yellow City" because most of its buildings are painted …
  22. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Uxmal, Mexico
    Kabah "strong hand" (also spelled Kabaah, Kabáh, Kahbah and Kaba)is a Puuc Maya site on Highway 261, about 90 miles southwest of Mérida in Yucatan State. Ruins extend for a considerable distance on both sides of the highway. Most of the more distan…
  23. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Uxmal, Mexico
    Labná "abandoned house" small Maya site on the Puuc Highway about 10 miles southeast of Kabah, 6 miles east of Highway 261. The site was built in the Late and Terminal Classic era. A date corresponding to 862 AD is inscribed in the palace. Labna was…
  24. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Lamanai, Belize
    I would rate this a 4 star recommended if the access was a drive to type. A 26 mile boat ride up the New River is the easiest way to get to Lamanai. The journey may be as interesting as the ruins of Lamanai itself for the "birder" or a nature lover i…
  25. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Loltun Caverns, Mexico
    These caverns, whose name comes from the Maya "Lol": Flower and "Tun": Stone, are one of the biggest known from the huge cave system that covers a great territory in southern Yucatan. Loltun cavern is located 73 miles from Merida, 4.3 miles southwes…
  26. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Walnut Grove/Lower Jackson Mound, USA
    I would rate this site a five star if you were able to walk around an on it. However, it is currently on private land, easily visible from the road. Lower Jackson Mound is a latitude 32.63 longitude - 91.41. From Interstate 20 go north on Route 17 to…
  27. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Lubaantun, Belize
    Lubaantun, "place of the fallen rocks" is a Maya ruin located (16.2811N X -88.965W) in the Toledo District of southern Belize. The site is 6 miles north of Manfredi which is 15 miles northwest of Punta Gorda. Lubaantun is at an 200 feet above sea lev…
  28. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Mayapan, Mexico
    Mayapan is a large Maya site in the state of Yucatán, 28 miles southeast of Mérida and 65 miles west of Chichen Itza on Highway 18. The average visit time is approximately 2 hours. At my last visit most temples could be climbed. The only one that w…
  29. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Nim Li Punit, Belize
    Nim Li Punit, "Big Hat" Classic Period (400-700AD) Maya site in the Toledo District of Belize, located at (16.31N x -88.78W) 22 miles north of Punta Gorda and 1 mile east of the Southern Highway. The elevation is 206' above sea level. The max populat…
  30. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Oxkintok, Mexico
    Oxkintok "Three Flint Suns" is in the northern Puuc Hills, 2 miles east of Maxcanú, or 38 miles south of Mérida on Federal Highway 180, Yucatán, Mexico. Latitude 20°33'40" North by Longitude 89°57'11" West. Oxkintok is open daily from 8:00 AM t…
  31. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Epps, Louisiana, USA
    Poverty Point mounds are a rare remnant of an advanced culture that thrived here from 1650 BC to 700 BC. Estimates are that it took about five million man hours to build the sites visible earthworks. Dirt was carried to the site in baskets with about…
  32. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Cozumel, Mexico
    San Gervasio a Maya site that is located on the island of Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean. San Gervasio is in a lush jungle setting in the middle of the island. The area is populated with bright colored iguanas, flowers and lush …
  33. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Corozal Town, Belize
    Santa Rita is a Maya ruin located beneath the City of Corozol west of the mouth of the Rio Nuevo. Santa Rita was an important Classic Period trade center. The location of Santa Rita permitted easy control over coastal and inland trade routes on the R…
  34. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Uxmal, Mexico
    Sayil a small Puuc Classic Maya site is located 2 miles south of Kabah on the Puuc Route, just 2 miles east of Route 261 at Latitude 20° 14' 0" North, by Longitude 89° 39' 0" West. on any of these structures. Sayil is located amongst small hills. I…
  35. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Tenango de Arista, Mexico
    Teotenango is located south of Toluca on the west side of highway 55. It is a large hilltop site with numerous temple platforms, step pyramides, ballcourts, residential areas and a top notch museum/book store. Labels and books are in Spanish. Extensi…
  36. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Mexico City, Mexico
    Five star site. Do not miss this one. Take several days to fully enjoy. Try to find the mica lined crypt. Check at the entrance to get the location and the schedule for the vault door to be open. Stay at the Hotel Archaeologico on the loop road aroun…
  37. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Utuado, Puerto Rico
    Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts site in located in barrio Caguana, Utado, Puerto Rico, in a tropical rain forest east of Aguadilla. Caguanais is the most important archaeological sites in Puerto Rico and one of the most important of the West Indies. T…
  38. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Tikal, Guatemala
    Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Mesoamerican Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén at Lat…
  39. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Mt. Gilead, USA
    Town Creek Mound is located in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Five miles east of Mt. Gilead on North Carolina Highway 731. The street address is 509 Town Creek Mound Rd, Mt. Gilead, NC 27306. The site phone number is 910-439-6802. The site hours …
  40. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Tulum, Mexico
    Tulum "Wall or Fence" a fortified Maya site was originally named Zama "City of Dawn". Located on Highway 307 about 30 miles south of Playa de Carmen. It sits at the edge of a limestone cliff high about the Caribbean. It is walled on the other 3 sides…
  41. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Uxmal, Mexico
    Uxmal, "Built Three Times", (Yucatec Maya: Óoxmáal), is a large Maya site located 34 miles south of Mérida on Highway 261. Many buildings have been consolidated and restored. Currently little in the way of serious archeological excavation and rese…
  42. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Winterville, Mississippi, USA
    Winterville Mound Center is located on Mississippi Highway 1, approximately 6 miles north of the intersection of Highways 82 and 1 in Greenville, Mississippi. The site is named for the near by community of Winterville, Mississippi. The site is open d…
  43. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Xcalumkin, Mexico
    Xcalumkin is difficult to find. A guide may be needed. If this were an easy site to find I would rate it 4 stars. Access to the ruins by car or truck is now easy due to the grading of these roads. There are hundreds of glyphs at this site and many st…
  44. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Xcaret, Mexico
    Xcaret means "small inlet" or "deal of merchants". Xacaret is a small Maya civilization archaeological site located on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the modern-day state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, 1 mile south of Playa de Carm…
  45. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Xel ha, Mexico
    Xel ha "inlet" is a small Maya site, south of the modern town of Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico and north of Tulum by approximately 11 miles on Highway 307. There are surviving Maya murals that should not be missed. The area around Xel ha …
  46. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Uxmal, Mexico
    Xlapak "Old wall' is a small Maya ruin located 16 miles southeast of Uxmal. It is 3 miles west of Highway 261 on Route 31. Xlapak is between Sayil to the east and Labna to the west. There was a number of handcraft vendors at the entrance to Xlapak th…
  47. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Xunantunich, Belize
    Xunantunich "Maiden of the Rock" a Classic period (300 AD - 900 AD) Maya ceremonial center located in the Cayo District of western Belize on the west side of the Mopan River across from San Jose Succotz. At the completion of the road and ferry (ferry…
  48. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Cancun, Mexico
    Yamil Lu'um, "hilly land" located in Cancún on the highest point of land. This archaeological site is lodged between the Westin Laguna Mar and the Park Royal Pirámides, Yamil Lu’umon. The ruins are on the land owned by the Park Royal Pirámides, …
  49. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Yaxha, Guatemala
    Yaxhá, "blue green waters", is a Maya site that sits between two large lakes located between Flores and the boarder of Belize. A climb to the top of Yaxhá tallest pyramid temple platforms with provide a view of The Rio Azul feeding into both the la…
  50. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Yaxuna, Mexico
    Yaxuná is a large second-rank Maya center at (20°27′N, 88°40′W) that is 13 miles south of Chichén Itzá This is about the geographic center of the Yucatan. Yaxuná is older than Chichén Itzá by at least 500 years. A recent survey has docume…
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