I. The El Pilar Archaeological Reserve for Maya Flora and Fauna
Imagine how Frederick Catherwood and John Lloyd Stephens must have felt upon seeing the vine wrapped, overgrown, abandoned cities and temples of the ancient Maya in their expeditions of the 1830s and 40s. Re-discovered only 25 years ago, the unique Maya site El Pilar on the border of Guatemala and Belize offers that same experience: the monuments are still embraced by the forest, showcasing the Maya foliage as much as the Maya city itself. The style of presentation practiced at El Pilar is called "Archaeology Under the Canopy," where the ancient monuments are protected by the forest that envelops them.