We have a selection of guidebooks to some of our most popular countries in Latin America. Written by our specialists, they detail destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send this via a PDF to your email.
Central America’s Mayan civilisations are wildly mystifying for both visitors and historians alike. Located across Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala, the relics of these ancient citadels are a testament to the formidable kingdoms that once ruled over much of Mesoamerica. Many indigenous Mayan people continue to inhabit the land of their ancestors and these sacred sites are amongst the most cherished of national treasures. Whether its ticking one of Mexico’s famed ruins off your bucket list or discovering a jungle shrouded temple in Belize, following in the footsteps of this remarkable civilisation is bound to enthral and delight the whole family on an adventure in Central America.
Chichen Itza - Mexico
Located within striking distance of Cancun, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza, is perhaps the most famous of all Mayan sites. Its crowning glory is arguably El Castillo, the iconic temple which dominates the surrounding city. On each side, 91 steps lead to the top, representing the number of days in the Mayan calendar and whilst climbing to the top is decidedly off limits, the pyramid itself is an impressive sight from below. The key to seeing Chichen Itza is undoubtedly by beating the crowds and arriving early to get the best views of this magnificent site.
Tulum - Mexico
The idyllic location of Tulum on Mexico's Caribbean coast confirms its appeal. Whilst it does not boast the same grandeur of other Mayan cities, the dramatic location of this Mayan ruin, atop a cliff overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea makes it an unforgettable spot. Stay on the beach below for a while, soaking up the balmy weather and picturesque setting of the temple for a fantastic day on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Palenque - Mexico
Palenque is a unique complex of limestone pyramids, tombs and temples, and arguably one of the best examples of Mayan architecture in Mexico. These jungle clad ruins which once stretched as far as the Gulf of Mexico serving as a home to tens of thousands of people are now only inhabited by a myriad of tropical birds and howler monkeys. The allure of Palenque is arguably its magical setting which has gained it a reputation as Mexico’s very own Lost City of Atlantis.
Teotihuacan - Mexico
The sheer size of Teotihuacan is simply awe inspiring. Jutting out of the beautiful Valle de Mexico, this vast archaeological complex sits just 50km northeast of Mexico City and was once home to a staggering 125,000 people. The history of this formidable city has been blurred somewhat by the passage of time, yet a climb to the top of the site's Pirámide del Sol will be rewarded with spectacular views across the entire ancient city.
Coba - Mexico
Set deep in the jungle, Coba is the stuff of Indiana Jones. Exploring the sites of Coba along the 16 causeways or ancient sacbes which link the great Maya cities makes for a real adventure on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The longest of these limestone avenues runs a whopping 60 miles west to Yaxuna, giving a unique glimpse into Mayan civilisation. Largely undeveloped, this relatively undiscovered Mayan ruin sits only three hours from Cancun, ensuring visiting Coba gets you unequivocally off the beaten track.
Tikal - Guatemala
As one of the most powerful kingdoms in Mayan history, the impressive structures of Tikal are a testament to its grand history and long standing reign which spanned for about 900 years. The complex itself is a dot to dot of towering, steep sided temples, surrounded by dense jungle. As you pass beneath the dense rainforest canopies of Tikal, keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, agoutis foxes and ocellated turkeys for a unique wildlife encounter in the heart of Guatemala.
Yaxha - Guatemala
Standing majestically overlooking the Lago Yaxha, the ancient city of Yaxha is an impressive maze of magnificent temples which were once the beating heart of the Mayan kingdom. The luscious setting of Yaxha lends itself to wildlife sightings, and catching a glimpse of howler and spider monkeys, toucans, parakeets, coati and grey foxes isn’t a rarity.
Lamanai - Belize
Reached by boat ride through dense, wildlife rich jungle, Lamanai is tucked away in the heart of Belize. Meaning ‘submerged crocodile’ in Mayan, Lamanai is intertwined with its jungle setting. This unique former city is best known for its long standing occupation which spanned an incredible three millennia, yet it wasn’t until a series of excavations in the 1970s which revealed the city’s countless intricately carved temples that the site was discovered by the world.
Xunantunich - Belize
Xunantunich is one of the most impressive Mayan archaeological sites in Mesoamerica and getting there is an integral part of the adventure. Take a cable ferry across the Mopan River before arriving at this spectacular lost city. Climbing to the top of the dominant structure, El Castillo, is rewarded with 360 degree views which stretch as far as Guatemala