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With its remote location, hidden away in the Lacandon Jungle, it’s not surprising that Bonampak was only discovered by explorers in 1946. Encompassing a mere 2.4 square kilometers, the ancient Mayan settlement pales in comparison to the sprawling ruins of nearby Yaxchilán, but despite its diminutive status, Bonampak still stands out.

The undeniable highlight of Bonampak is its remarkably preserved murals, which rank among the most important of all Mayan artworks, dating back to 800 AD. The series of colorful frescos inside the Templo de las Pinturas are the most famous, featuring detailed depictions of court rituals, ceremonies and human sacrifice previously unseen by archeologists.

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