World Wonders April

Machu Picchu panorama, Peru

Machu Picchu, photo by Martin St Amant.

Best Ancient Sites to visit in April

Beware crowds, price rises and world wonders accommodation problems around Easter.

Machu Picchu, Peru

‘Lost’ Inca city, picture above. Amazingly scenic and well and mysterious old city built by the Incas on a hilltop surrounded by virgin mountains. Best: April-June, September-November. OK July, August. (winter). Avoid: December-March (rain).

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The Sphinx and four pyramids at Giza on the desert’s edge near Cairo, are a sensation – if you can survive the hawkers. Best: October-May.

Luxor, Egypt

The variety of spectacular temples, tombs and bizarre monuments astride the river Nile make this a tourist must-see. Best: January – April, October, November. Avoid: July, August. (heat).

An arid fairyland of temples and other monuments in multicoloured rock, unlike anything else on the planet. Best: March-June, September-November. Avoid: winter (cold) & summer (hot).

This decayed but atmospheric, jungle enveloped Maya city, featuring the planet’s most perfect pyramid and other fascinating structures. Best: November-April. Avoid: May-October (rains).

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile

Rapa Nui, aka Easter Island, is a distant South Pacific island hosting few people but hundreds of huge, stone statues known as moai. Best: September – April but OK most of the year. Avoid: May (wet) and June-August.

A truly magnificent and timeless piece of engineering, offering terrific walks too if you have the time. Best: April-July, September, October. Avoid: winter.

Persepolis & Isfahan, Iran

Persepolis is packed with tombs, palaces, sculptures and friezes in a beautiful location near Shiraz while Isfahan contains an ebullient scattering of colourful architecture. Best: April-June, September, October. Avoid: winter.

Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal is the largest Mayan pyramid group, a wonderfully atmospheric place fighting off a screeching, buzzing jungle. Best: November-May. Avoid: June-October (rains).

Kyoto and Nara, Japan

A large number of superb temples, Zen gardens and ancient tea houses surrounded by modern Japan. Best: March – May, October – November. Avoid: June-August.

An intact and intricately carved 9thC Buddhist temple housing a thousand Buddhas. Best: April-June, September, October. Avoid: December and January.

Palmyra, Syria

An ancient and ruined city in the middle of dusty, Syrian nowhere and now inaccessible due to civil war. Best: March-May, September-November. Avoid any season unless you are a jihadist.

The extraordinary marble tomb of Shah Jahan’s wife, in a calm, rural setting around a river bend from Shah Jahan’s Red Fort makes a sensational day’s sightseeing. Best: October-March. Avoid: the summer (extreme heat).

*Bhaktapur, Khatmandu, Nepal

A gorgeously restored medieval town, saturated with monuments and carvings, some very rude. Best: October, November, February, March. Avoid: July-September (rains).

These fairy chimneys are more of a geological wonder than a man made one, although men have dug homes into many of them. Best: May-September. Avoid: November-March.

*Stonehenge, England

Enormous shaped stones dating from 2100 BC, Stonehenge is a short distance from London and near some other excellent ancient sites. Best: May-September. Avoid October – February.

* Not the best month for this sight, but ok.