You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the stories, artifacts, and structures that have helped build a culture. Central America has a long and rich history dating back thousands of years, and many of these historic sites are open to the public. If you visit this corner of the world, you should not miss these incredible places.
- The Panama Canal
This waterway plays a vital role in connecting ships sailing from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. This canal was successfully built between 1904 and 1914 after a long history of ideas, discussions and planning. It was built 50 miles from the Isthmus of Panama. The completion of this passage had a major impact on trade routes around the world over the past century. A die the best way to see the canal is on a Panama Canal cruise.
- Tikal National Park
The Mayan ruins of Tikal are located in Peten, Guatemala. This historical place is known as the largest and oldest of the Mayan cities identified over the years. The city of Tikal is estimated to have been occupied from the 6th century BC until the 10th century AD and was designated Unesco World Heritage in 1979.
- stone spheres
There are over 300 stone spheres, also called petrospheres, located in Costa Rica. These stone structures are believed to be the work of the Diquis people, who existed from around 700 to 1530. Although no one knows exactly why these mysterious stones were created, it has been speculated that they may represent the phases of the sun and the moon. . The Costa Rican Stone Spheres and surrounding settlements have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Ruins of Copan
These ancient Mayan ruins are located in Honduras and were built between the years 400 and 800 AD. In the mid-1970s, archaeologists began excavating the space, and even today the area continues to be explored. These ruins are known for their fascinating hieroglyphs and distinctive structures. The Copan Ruins were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
- Joya of Ceren
This site, located in El Salvador, presents the Mayan ruins of an agricultural community that dates back to the beginning of the 3rd century. This fascinating settlement was destroyed by the eruption of the nearby volcano, Loma Caldera, prompting a comparison between this settlement and Pompeii, which was also destroyed by an erupting volcano. Joy de Ceren received the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
- Leon Cathedral
The impressive Leon Cathedral is located in Nicaragua and was consecrated by Pope Pius IX. Originally designed by a Guatemalan architect, the cathedral is known specifically for its eclectic design with major Gothic, Renaissance, and neoclassical influences. The building includes several domes, tunnels and cellars, many of which have been designed to withstand earthquakes. The historical significance of this structure includes the fact that the cathedral represents one of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the Americas.
- Huellas de Acahualinca
The Huellas de Acahualinca, known in English as the Ancient Footprints of Acahualinca, are located in Nicaragua. The area is home to fossilized human traces dating back 2,000 years. The reason for these tracks is unknown, although there is speculation that the individuals were escaping from a volcanic eruption. Despite being discovered in the 1870s, major excavations in the area did not begin until the 1940s. Today, there is a museum displaying the footprints as well as artifacts from this site and other sites in Nicaragua.
The beautiful beaches and warm climate of this region are well known around the world and are a major reason why the tourism industry is such an important part of Central America‘s economy. That said, the long history of each of these varied and distinctive cultures is another aspect of these countries worth exploring and studying.