The Tikal ruins were first discovered in a rainforest in northern Guatemala in the 1840s and remain one of the best-kept travel secrets of the Americas. Believed by historians to have been called Yax Mutal during its time, the ancient city was built around 400 to 300 B.C., although traces of early agriculture at the site can be dated back to 1000 B.C. Today one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the ancient Maya civilization, Tikal includes the remains of temples more than 230 feet high, as well as large palaces, smaller residences, pyramids, administrative buildings and stone monuments.