All 72 North American UNESCO World Heritage Sites: From Aztec Temples to Yellowstone

UNESCO has identified 1092 sites worldwide for protection because of their cultural, historical or scientific value or other significance. Here are the ones in North America.
Mesa Verde National Park
All 72 North American UNESCO World Heritage Sites: From Aztec Temples to Yellowstone Getty

From monuments of the ancient Mayan civilization in Mexico to the Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor, North America enjoys a wealth of attractions designated World Heritage sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Some date back millennia—like Monte Albán, the ruined capital of Zapotec civilization; others are more modern, such as the house and studio of architect Luis Barragán, built in 1948. And some are timeless—geological formations and natural wonders that pre-date humanity—and may well outlast it, too.

"Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage," the UNESCO website explains. "[These] sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located."

Each year, UNESCO's list of sites gets longer—as of July 2017, 1,073 sites were listed across 167 countries. But ongoing conflict, development and climate change means man heritage sites are under threat. This gallery runs through all 72 of North America's World Heritage sites, with information about each. (Spoiler: Mexico boasts the most by far, with 34.)

Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro, Mexico (1996): "The old colonial town of Querétaro is unusual in having retained the geometric street plan of the Spanish conquerors side by side with the twisting alleys of the Indian quarters. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together peacefully in the town, which is notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries." (UNESCO). Getty Images