Guatemala's northernmost department of Petén contains hundreds of astonishing Maya sites; other ruins are scattered around the country.
1 Lago de Petexbatún
Stunning jungle-fringed lake ringed with Maya ruins – Aguateca is the main attraction but Dos Pilas also has a fascinating history.
2 Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park
This protected reserve harbours the huge Maya site of Yaxhá in a breathtaking location on the banks of an emerald lake, and Nakúm, with well- restored ceremonial buildings.
Lording it above the surrounding rainforest, Tikal's giant temples, palaces, plazas and monuments make it a superstar Maya attraction.
4 El Mirador
Two thousand years ago this Preclassic city was approaching its peak, today it's the most enigmatic, remote and ultimately rewarding of all Petén's ruins.
This affluent Maya trading town is little-visited but worthwhile, with a stupendous palace and a lovely location.
A modest site in the south of the country, with a collection of giant, carved stelae out of all proportion to its size.
Just over the border in Honduras, Copán boasts an astounding hieroglyphic stairway, some exquisite carving and, close by, the lovely town of Copan Ruinas.