Temple of the Giant Jaguar
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Tikal National Park, Guatemala

The Temple of the Giant Jaguar rises 170 feet, its steep staircase ascending to a doorway crowned by a mammoth limestone block bearing the faint image of Ah Cacao (Lord Chocolate) surrounded by serpents.  (Diego Lezama / Getty Images)
In 1962, archaeologists discovered the tomb of Ah Cacao under the temple along with 16 pounds of jade ornaments now in the park museum.  (Romulo Rejon / Getty Images)
A giant mask of Chaac, the Mayan rain god.  (David Kelly / For The Times)
Tourists trek through Tikal National Park. (David Kelly / For The Times)
Temples breaking through the jungle canopy as seen from the top of Temple IV. (David Kelly / For The Times)
Sunrise in Tikal with the black bodies of some howler monkeys filling a tree toward Pyramid III as it rises through the mist. (Peru Serra / Getty Images)
Flores is a tranquil island in Lake Peten Itza, with pastel-colored hotels and houses. In 1697, it was Tayasal, the last Maya kingdom to fall to the Spaniards. (Doelan Yann / Getty Images)