Once the most powerful Mayan city-state in the northeastern Yucatán, this 26-square-mile site, crisscrossed by raised limestone roads called sacbéob and home to three pyramids, remains relatively untouched by excavators’ hammers and tourist traffic. A highlight is Nohuch Mul, the Yucatán’s tallest pyramid; the distinctive architecture bears more of a resemblance to Guatemala’s Tikal than to neighboring ruins. Paths large and small make exploring easy.
Insider Tip: Plan your ascent of Nohuch Mul early or late in the day to avoid crowds and heat—sea breezes, coming from 26 miles away, don’t penetrate.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.