The Finder app is here! 🥳

Get your savings sorted.

15 incredible places like Machu Picchu you need to explore

Explore the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins that aren’t Machu Picchu.

Last updated:

The ruins of Machu Picchu are famed around the world and no trip to Peru would be complete without an excursion to this 15th century Inca citadel.

But its popularity comes with a price – the number of tourists increase every year, with June through August being the busiest months. If you are looking for worthy, breathtaking alternatives without the infamous crowd, consider these ancient ruins. We’ve also included deals for flights and exciting local tours you can take when you’re there.

15 places like Machu Picchu

ChichenItza

Image source: Chichen Itza

1. Chichen Itza, Mexico

These ancient Mayan ruins belong to a UNESCO World Heritage site. While not as famous as Machu Picchu, the huge stone pyramids, the great ball court and the stone carvings dating back to 600A.D. draw in over a million visitors annually.

  • Ruin highlights: El Castillo, Great Ball Court, Tzompantli, eagles and the jaguars, Ossario
  • Nearby things to do: Party in Cancun, swim with whale sharks at Isla Holbox, hang out in Playa de Carmen

Compare flights to Cancun


Tikal

Image source: Tikal Park

2. Tikal, Guatemala

The ruins of the ancient city of Tikal are found in the heart of the Guatemalan rainforest. The largest excavated site in the American continent contains ruins of temples, palaces and dwellings.

  • Ruin highlights: Temple One, Central Acropolis, Pyramid Five, Three and the Lost World
  • Nearby things to do: See the ceramic museum, watch sunrise and sunsets from the ruins, hike up a volcano

Compare flights to Guatemala


Teotihuacan

3. Teotihuacan, Mexico

Known as “The City of the Gods”, Teotihuacan is home to two gigantic pyramids and was one of the most powerful cultural centres in Mesoamerica. Today, it is one of the most visited ancient sites in Mexico.

  • Ruin highlights: Pyramid of the Sun, Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Pyramid of the Moon, Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan Art
  • Nearby things to do: Hot air balloon ride over the ruins, botanical garden, learn more about the culture at the museums

Compare flights to Mexico City


Image source: Peru Tourism

4. Nazca Lines, Peru

Spread over the arid plains of Peru lie the mysterious Nazca Lines. Flying is the best way to see these ancient lines drawn by the Nazca culture.

  • Ruin highlights: Zoomorphic (animals), figures, phytomorphic (plants and vegetables) and geometric designs
  • Nearby things to do: Mummies at Chauchilla cemetery, walk the Pardeones ruins, explore the desert

Compare flights to Peru


Choquequirao

5. Choquequirao, Peru

The lesser known sister of Machu Picchu involves a two day trek on mules. But those who brave the journey will be rewarded with lush wilderness, sweeping mountain views and a chance to explore the ruins minus the crazy crowds.

  • Ruin highlights: White rocks in the shape of the llama, large structures with strong walls, places of worship and to store food
  • Nearby hotspots to visit: Visit the historical city of Cuzco, check out the view from The Sacred Valley of the Incas, visit the terraces of Moray

Compare flights to Peru


Pisac

6. Pisac, Peru

Pisac is famed for its lively markets and ancient ruins. This hilltop Inca citadel has an impressive agricultural terracing and impressive examples of masonry.

  • Ruin highlights: Agricultural terracing, Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Moon, Qorihuayrachina, Qanchisracay
  • Nearby things to do: Shop at the Pisac markets for artisan and antique goods

Compare flights to Peru


Moray

7. Moray, Peru

Reminiscent of Roman amphitheatres, the ruins of Moray were built for agricultural purposes. The concentric terraces make for a perfect photo opportunity and, since it is less accessible than other places, there are no crowds.

  • Ruin highlights: Concentric agricultural terraces that look like giant craters
  • Nearby things to do: The small town of San Sebastian, visit the Church of San Pedro of Andahuaylillas and Paucartambo

Compare flights to Peru


IslaDelSol.Bolivia.Shutterstock

8. Isla del Sol, Bolivia

At the tip of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, over 80 ruins of the remnants of the Inca civilisation can be found. Among the most spectacular are the Chincana Ruins, with its maze of stone walls with a small well of sacred water in the middle.

  • Ruin highlights Face of Viracocha, Refuge of the Sun, Refuge of the Moon, Footprints of the Sun, Labyrinth
  • Nearby things to do: Visit Copacabana, check out the panoramic views of Lake Titicaca, stay in Yumani

Search flights to La Paz


TakedaCastle

9. Takeda Castle, Japan

Known as Japan’s Machu Picchu, the Takeda Castle is one of the most famous castles in Japan. In autumn, the castle is shrouded in fog, giving an illusion that is floating in the sky.

  • Ruin highlights: North part (Kita Senjo), the South part (Minami Senjo), the West part (Hanayashiki) and the Centre where the highest spot (Tenshudai)
  • Nearby things to do: Hike up Mount Rokko, relax at the Arima Onsen, visit museums in Kobe

Search flights to Osaka


Image source: Intrepid Travel

10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat contains the remains of the great Khmer empire and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. The architecture of these ruins embodies cultural, religious and symbolic values.

  • Ruin highlights: Statue of Vishnu, galleries, bas-relief decorations, temples and towers
  • Nearby things to do: Head to Siam Reap, visit the National Museum, shop at the Old Market

Compare flights to Siem Reap


Stonehenge

Image source: English Heritage

11. Stonehenge, England

This prehistoric monument dates back to 3000BC and is one of the wonders of the world. To date, no one knows why the site is built but it continues to draw in visitors worldwide, making it the most popular European ruins.

  • Ruin highlights: Ring of standing stones, Neolithic houses, explore the ancient landscapes, visit the museums and exhibitions
  • Nearby things to do: Explore Avebury Complex, Wiltshire town and villages, water-based activities on the Kennet and Avon Canal

Browse flights to London


Ayutthaya.Intrepid

Image: Intrepid Travel

12. Ayutthaya, Thailand

The historical city of Ayutthaya is characterised by large towers and monasteries which serve as an indicator of the past glories of the Siamese empire. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Ruin highlights: Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit, Wat Phra Mahathat, Phet Fortress, Phra Chedi Suriyothai
  • Nearby things to do: Shop in Bangkok, explore Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, visit the Royal Palace ruins

Compare flights to Bangkok


Luxor.Egypt.Shutterstock

13. Luxor, Egypt

Luxor lies on the site of the ancient city of Thebes and is dotted with many well-preserved ruins. Explore temples, sphinx statues and funerary tombs of some of the most powerful figures in ancient Egypt.

  • Ruin highlights: East Bank Ruins, West Bank Ruins, The Valleys, City of Temples, Tombs of the Nobles
  • Nearby things to do: Luxor museum, relax on Banana Island, visit the Temple of Horus

Compare flights to Luxor


Newgrange

Image source: New Grange

14. Newgrange, Ireland

This 5,200 year old passage tomb is located in Ireland. Older than the Stonehenge and Egyptian pyramids, it is a place of prestige and worship and used as a burial site for dignitaries.

  • Ruin highlights: Mound and passage tombs, Neolithic rock art, illumination by winter solstice sun, Knowth, Dowth
  • Nearby things to do: Hill of Tara, Trim Castle, Duleek Abbey

Search flights to Dublin


MountNemrut

15. Mount Nemrut, Turkey

The burial complex atop a mountain in Turkey is home to the beheaded gods of the past. This magnificent religious sanctuary was built so that the ancient kings can be closer to the gods.

  • Ruin highlights: Well preserved statue heads of kings, ancient heroes and animals
  • Nearby things to do: Tigris River Roman Bridge, Diyarbakır city walls, town of Elbistan

Compare flights to Turkey


Ready to fly? Book using these travel coupons and deals:

Hotels.com Hotels.com

Extra 8% off on hotel bookings

Save on hotel stays before 31 December 2020 in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, USA and more. Available at select hotels.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 25% off last-minute tours worldwide

Available for travel on select dates in May 2020. Book a range of last-minute Contiki tours, from week-long jaunts to month-long journeys, to destinations including Italy, France, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, Canada and more.

Last verified

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

$50 off packages, tours and cruises

Book your Luxury Escapes package with a Mastercard and enter the code to get $50 off. Save on packages to Bali, Thailand, Fiji, Vietnam, Maldives, Singapore and within Australia.

Last verified

Deal ends

Otel.com Otel.com

Extra 9% off hotel bookings

Valid on select hotel stays worldwide like Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, USA, Europe and more on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some restrictions apply.

Last verified

Destination International Destination International

50% off 15-day Egypt luxury tour

Available for travel on Saturdays in 2020. Package includes 14-nights accommodation, airport transfers, meals, Egyptologist guides and donkey ride.

Last verified

Deal ends

TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 55% off Asia tours

Available on select travels from May - December 2020. Destinations include Cambodia, Vietnam, New Delhi, Thailand, Laos and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 50% off Latin America tours

Available on select travels from January - December 2020. Destinations include Cusco, Mexico, Machu Picchu, Cuba, Belize and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Wendy Wu Tours Wendy Wu Tours

Save up to $600 on tours

Available on select tours from 15 April - 31 December 2020. Destinations include India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Anantara Anantara

Up to 40% off on advance purchase

Available for stay until 31 March 2021. Destinations include Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 70% off holidays

Book holidays to Thailand, Bali, Fiji, Maldives, Vietnam and across Australia at up to 70% off, plus earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Tucan Travel Tucan Travel

Up to 33% off America tours

Available on select dates from July 2020 onward to Peru, Mexico and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 50% off 8-night Thailand getaway with flights

Available for travel until 31 October 2021. Package includes accommodation at Le MĂ©ridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa, breakfast, drinks, transfers and more. Valid for 2 persons.T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 50% off 5-night Thailand getaway

Available for travel from 1 February 2020 - 15 July 2021. Package includes accommodation at Conrad Koh Samui, meals, transfers, one 60-minute massage per person, daily cocktail drink and more. Valid for 2 persons.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cudo Cudo

Thailand: 4-night getaway from $999

Available on travel date until 20 December 2020. Package includes accommodation in Centara Grand, meals, aromatherapy and more. Valid for 2 persons and 1 child aged 11 years and under. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cudo Cudo

Thailand: 8-night getaway from $1,999

Available from travels until 24 December 2020. Package includes accommodation in Mövenpick Resorts in Hua Hin & Bangkok, meals, transfers and more. Package is valid for two people and 1 child 11 years and under. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

STA Travel STA Travel

South America flights from $639 each way with LATAM

Available on flights from June - November 2020. Sample fare is Melbourne–Santiago, Chile. Other destinations include Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia.

Last verified

Deal ends

Destination International Destination International

Up to $500 off 15-day Egypt and Jordan escorted tour

Available on select travel dates from 4 April - 6 December 2020. Package includes accommodation, 3-nights Nile River luxury cruise, flight from Cairo-El Sheikh, local guide and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Wendy Wu Tours Wendy Wu Tours

$100 off tours for senior card holders

Valid on select dates from 15 April 2020 onward. Destinations include China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Wendy Wu Tours Wendy Wu Tours

Up to $600 off hotel with flights packages in Asia

Available on select dates from 15 April - 31 December 2020. Destinations include India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Topdeck Topdeck

Up to 10% off multi-trip worldwide

Available for travel on select dates in May 2020. Discount applies when booking three trips at once. Extra 5% off for bookings of four trips and more. Destinations include Balkan, Ireland, Britain, Thailand, Canada, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Athens and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

STA Travel STA Travel

Up to 10% off Contiki tours + up to $1,000 credit

Available from in May 2020 to Las Vegas, New York, Toronto, Mexico and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 30% off South America tours

Available on select tours from in May 2020. Destinations include Peru, Colombia, Galapagos, Brazil and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 30% off Asia tours

Available on select tours in May 2020. Destinations include Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Bali, Japan and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 25% off Central America tours

Available on select tours from in May 2020 to Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, Mexico and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 15% off North Africa and Middle East tours

Available on select tours from in May 2020 to Morocco, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Egypt and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Uniworld Uniworld

Early booking sale: Up to 10% cruises worldwide

Available for travel from 23 April 2020. Destinations include Asia, Europe, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Russa and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 20% off Peru tours

Available for travel 3-28 May 2020. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Up to 20% off stay and dining for members worldwide

Available for stay until 31 March 2020. Destinations include Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, London, Los Angeles, UAE and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Nexus Holidays Nexus Holidays

Up to $1,000 off Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos tours

Available on select travel dates. Includes Sappa Trekking tour, Phu Quoc island tour, Angkor Temples and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Accor Hotels Accor Hotels

Up to 25% off stays in America stays

Available for stays until 30 April 2020. Destinations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mexico, Montreal and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Alamo Rent a Car Alamo Rent a Car

Free single upgrade + 5% off Insiders car rentals

Valid for travel on select dates across United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Dusit Hotels Dusit Hotels

Up to 20% off advance bookings

Valid for stays on select 2019-2020 dates across China, Kenya, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, UAE, USA and more. Discount applies when you book in advance on dusit.com. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

5% off hotel bookings

Available on your first Trip.com pre-paid hotel booking. Discount available worldwide including in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, Fiji, US, UK and more.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 5% off tours and attractions tickets worldwide

Available in select cities in China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, South Korea, Macao, Dubai, Paris, Taipei and London.

Last verified

Go Airport Shuttle Go Airport Shuttle

5% off airport transfers and car hire

Valid on select dates and locations worldwide. Destinations include USA, Canada, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Sydney, and the Czech Republic. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Related Posts

Latest travel offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site