Montezuma Castle National Monument (Nearby Hotels)
Montezuma’s Castle is a true relic from the past, and while it may not be a grand royal palace, this apartment-style dwelling that was carved into the side of a limestone cliff by the Sinagua, a Native American tribe that occupied the area more than 600 years ago, is no less fascinating. Located near Camp Verde, about an hour-and-a-half from Phoenix, it’s one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the nation. Used by the Sinagua civilization, the five-story structure features 20 rooms and is built into a recess in a white limestone cliff, sitting about 70 feet above the ground, resembling an ancient high-rise apartment complex. When first re-discovered, the ruins were believed to be Aztec in origin, with European-Americans naming it after the Aztec emperor, but it actually predates the birth of Montezuma II by a century. The site also includes a visitor center and museum displaying a wide array of artifacts and relics like stone tools, bone needles, millstones and shell ornaments.