Rising high above the vast expanse of the Peten forest in southern Campeche are the towering pyramids of Calakmul. Calakmul was perhaps the most powerful state in the Classic Maya world, dominating the likes of Tikal for centuries and creating a network of alliances with other major players in the Maya empire. Climbing up and down the steep sided pyramid structures at the site is a real workout in the steaming jungle heat, but the views over the surrounding stretches of forest canopy punctured by other massive structures is worth it. In addition to the archaeological attractions at Calakmul, the site is crawling with wildlife as it is located about 70 km south of the main highway, straddling the boarder of Guatemala. The sound of howler monkeys fills the air as you wander the park enjoying the breathtaking scenery and spotting the occasional animal.