Savvy travellers plan their journeys to include visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Hot List: UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Hot List: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

There are currently 1,007 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world in 161 countries. Here are some of the most memorable from the Caribbean, Central and South America.



1. Copan, Honduras
This is a favourite among the many Mayan sites in Central America. The place is magnificent! Pyramids, sweeping courtyards, imposing vistas and ceremonial ball courts emerge from the jungle. Copan was the capital city of a major Classic Period kingdom between the fifth to ninth centuries AD. Vibrant images from the past leap out from the stones in the intricate carvings and hieroglyphics.



2. Pantanal, Brazil
In the centre of the South American continent, south of the Amazon basin and east of the Andes, lies an immense landlocked river delta called the Pantanal. Annual floodwaters regularly rise and fall, and have nurtured the greatest concentration of fauna in the Americas - greater even than the Amazon. Stay here on a remote fazenda (a ranch) beside the endless waters and watch the wildlife in awe.

3. Trinidad, Cuba
Step back centuries in time when you tread the cobbled streets of the colonial city of Trinidad. Founded in 1514, its greatest years were during the sugar boom of the 18th and 19th centuries when many fine palacios and homes were built. Then life and time itself moved on elsewhere, leaving this gorgeous city to dream of yesteryear, and leaving a treasure trove of history where you can wander today - accessible even from many of the Cuban beach resorts.