Five Extraordinary Mayan Temples That Will Leave You Speechless

The Maya civilization was once spread across the Central American area, including the territories of present-day nations like southern Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, Western Honduras, and Guatemala.

The period from 250 to 900AD was when the Mayan civilization reached its peak, and some of the largest buildings were made. The temples are the most epic monuments of this period and still stay witness to the Mayan age.


There were magnificent temples in almost all large Maya cities. Plenty of them are well-preserved until the present day. However, we won’t go through each of them, just the most impressive ones. The ones that will keep you in awe when you visit them.

#5 Calakmul

Once it was part of the greatest Mayan cities. The temple can be found inside the jungle of the state of Campeche in Mexico. When archaeologists discovered the city, more than 6,500 structures were uncovered.

In the center of this massive city sits a 55-meter pyramid, which is the largest building in the city. Much of it was built upon an older temple so it can reach its current size.


#4 Tikal

Tikal was once the center of the Mayan civilization with a population that varied from 100,000 to 200,000. The city had six very tall temple-pyramids. Temple pyramid No.4 is the highest, standing at 72 meters. Climbing on top of the pyramid offers one of the most epic panoramic views in the region.

Tikal guatemala

#3 Palenque

Palenque is not a massive Mayan city, but an average-sized one. However, it contains some of the most exquisite architecture ever seen in a Mayan city. Most of the buildings in the city were made somewhere between 600 AD and 800 AD.

The Temple of Inscriptions is in the middle of the city and is a true marvel of Mayan builders. It is the only Mesoamerican pyramid that once served as a funerary monument. Palenque is located in what is now the state of Chiapas in Mexico.


#2 Tulum

Located at the east coast of Yucatan, Tulum was one of the most important port cities in the Mayan civilization. The temple was built around 1200 AD, which is the period of the decline of the Mayan civilization. Because of that, the temple lacks the finesses and elegance seen with other temples.

But the tropical beach backdrop compliments the temple perfectly. That makes it one of the unique monuments of Mayan civilization, one that will stay with you long after you leave it.


#1 Lamanai

Lamanai is located in the northern parts of Belize. It is considered that once it was one of the biggest Mayan cities even though much of it not uncovered yet. Currently, archaeologists are working relentlessly to restore its largest structure, which is known as High Temple.

This 33 meters tall temple was inhabited by Mayans when the Spanish landed on their coastline. The name Lamanai is from Mayan origin, and it means “submerged crocodile”. It is one of the rare Mayan sites that kept its traditional name.