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The Best Ruin in Mexico is
Palenque, Chiapas

The winner is Palenque

Lovers of Maya lore come for the fabulous ruins, and Yaxchilan and Bonampak are a long day trip away. Palenque town is hardly scenic, but en route to the archaeological site, magical Panchan draws wanderers and New Age types with music, theater, and cheap digs

The Maya ruins of Palenque are magnificent, with a "lost in the jungle" feel1

And the runners up are....


Southern Yucatan State, Yucatan
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A half dozen Maya ruins along the Ruta Puuc include must-see Uxmal, a gorgeous site. Other nearby ruins are not extensive but the lack of crowds makes you feel like an early explorer.


Chichen Itza, Yucatan

Fabulous, extensive Maya ruins with Toltec influence


Calakmul, Campeche

An excellent destination for independent travelers, extensive, out-of-the-way Calakmul still has bands of monkeys and parrots, plenty of climable pyramids and extensive vistas


Teotihuacan, Mexico
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Predating the Aztec cities by many centuries, Teotihuacan is a magnificent ruined city of mysterious origins. Easily accessible from Mexico City.


Uxmal, Yucatan
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Perfectly proportioned Maya city with excellent icons, due south of Merida in the Yucatan peninsula


Oaxaca, Oaxaca
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Excellent archaeological sites: Monte Alban and Mitla


Monte Alban, Oaxaca
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Wonderful ruins of Zapotec and Mixtec origin overlooking the Valley of Oaxaca


Edzna, Campeche

Maya ruins outside Campeche City, with drainage system and climable Five-Story Pyramid


Ocosingo, Chiapas

Excellent Maya ruins of Tonina within walking distance; few visitors


Merida, Yucatan
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An excellent base for visiting nearby ruins as daytrips or overnight excursions


Ek Balam, Yucatan
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Less-visited and wonderful Maya ruins reasonably near Cancun and Merida


Cancun, Quintana Roo
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Major ruins within state and neighboring states; closest is Tulum, several hours away


Tulum, Quintana Roo
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Maya ruins at Tulum overlook the sparkling Caribbean Sea


El Tajin, Veracruz

An impressive step pyramid dominates this ancient and artistic ruin


Puebla, Puebla
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Ruins in the vicinity include those of Cholula, Cacaxtla, Teotihuacan, and Mexico City.


Valladolid, Yucatan
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excellent ruins, including Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Coba and more 35 km or less


Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi
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Remains of the silver mining days are everywhere.


Campeche, Campeche
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Remnants of defensive walls and bastions ring the inner city; extensive Maya ruins throughout the state, including nearby Edzna


Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo
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Many Maya ruins nearby, including Tulum, Cobá, and Muyil, in Sian Ka'an Protected Area.


Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato
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A handful of ruined mines to explore


Pozos, Guanajuato

A handful of ruined mines to explore


Mexico City, Federal District (DF)
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most of the treasures from the Aztec temple adjoining the Zocalo are in the adjacent, in situ museum; Teotihuacan an hour's drive north


Veracruz, Veracruz
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Ruins of 16th- through 18th-century San Juan de Ulua Fort