Given the tendency of societies to build upon previous settlements, older cities have a great wealth of history and can reach much further in the past than we might even expect.

In Cancun for example we discovered this ruin dating from the pre-Columbian Maya civilization within the Hotel Zone, and in our case a close enough walk to the resort that we didn’t even need to take the bus.

This is in fact one of the larger ruins located on Cancun Island and is said to be a contemporary of the more extensive San Gervasio site situated in the centre of Cozumel. Which funnily enough is also known for a large population of iguanas.

They were literately everywhere we turned – and pretty big!

Excavations at the site indicate that fishing was the principle occupation of the residents, but given the breadth of goods from along the Caribbean coast found at this and similar sites in the region, it illustrates just how extensive a trade network the Mayans had before the arrival of the Spainards.

What surprise bit of history did you stumble upon while traveling? Let us know in the comments.