Latin America is bursting with World Heritage sites that range from the ecologically significant Galapagos Islands to the enigmatic Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca in Peru. Ancient Latin American civilizations left many sites worthy of World Heritage status, including the historic Sanctuary of Macchu Picchu in Peru and the ancient Mayan city of Calakmul in Mexico.
Cueva de las Manos, Argentina: Located in the province of Santa Cruz, Cueva de las Manos (the cave of hands) is famous for the 9,000 year old paintings on the cave walls, thought to be the creation of the Tehuelches indigenous forefathers.
Bahia State, Brazil: With European, African and Amerindian influences, this historic city (former capital 1549-1763) has been beautifully preserved with many outstanding features including an array of first rate Renaissance buildings.
Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil: Boasting cave paintings - some in excess of 25,000 years old – the park’s ancient treasures are remarkable examples from the oldest know human communities in South America.
Ancient Maya city of Calakmul, Mexico: Located deep in the tropical jungle of the Tierras Bajas, Calakmul is a magnificent and well-preserved Mayan site that provides a glimpse into ancient Mayan culture.
City of Cuzco, Peru: Situated in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco is an important historic city with well- preserved examples from the pre- and post-Hispanic periods, which include Inca ruins and Spanish Baroque structures.
Historic Sanctuary of Macchu Picchu, Peru: Rated as one of the most amazing urban creations of the ancient Inca, the ruins of Macchu Picchu are located in a stunning Amazon setting - on the eastern slopes of the Andes - that stands 2,430m above sea level.
San Pedro de la Roca Castle, Cuba: Home to the most complete example of Spanish – American military architecture, this huge 17th century fortification includes forts and bastions that were based on Renaissance design.
Historic Centre of Lima, Peru: Otherwise known as the ‘city of the kings’, Lima was the former 18th century Spanish capital of South America. While earthquakes have caused serious damage to the city, many magnificent and well-preserved buildings still remain, including the Convent of San Francisco.
Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana, Peru: Depicting images of creatures, stylistic plants and geometric figures - some several kilometers long – the geoglyphics of Nasca date back to between 500 BC and 500 AD and are thought to have had astrological significance in ancient times.
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay: Founded during the 17th century, Colonia de Sacramento is a well-preserved urban dwelling with spectacular example of Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial styles.
Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile: Created by Polynesian settlers during the period from the 10th to the 16th century, the island’s fascinating and powerful stone figures (moai) attract thousands of visitors each year.