Movie lovers were introduced to Indiana Jones as he hunted for treasure in Peru. Choquequirao, near Lima, is less well-known than popular Machu Picchu, but just as impressive. South of Lima, the site was first mapped in the 1830s, but archaeologists didn't excavate it until the 1970s. Many of the ruins are still overrun with jungle growth.
Nepal, the home of Mount Everest and other famous peaks, isn't quite the backwater country where Marion Ravenwood won drinking contests in the first film. Kathmandu is a densely populated city with modern amenities and some unique hooch. Vendors at kiosks and booths scattered throughout Kathmandu and other cities sell raksi, locally produced liquor that's comparable to grain alcohol—and yes, it will combust when thrown into a fire.
While Egypt is, famously, a destination for relics from the ancient world, modern archaeologists say to not go looking for clues to the lost Ark or other biblical items in Cairo's sites. The real draw is pharaonic Egypt. The Archaeological Institute of America offers small group tours to several sites normally closed to the public, including the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara and the mountain of the great temple of Abu Simbel.
Shanghai has a vibrant nightlife, so you don't have to subject yourself to the bilingual Broadway music featured in the opening of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"—unless you're into that sort of thing. The Bund waterfront district offers a variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
There's no real Pankot Palace, the respectable overland façade of the "Temple of Doom," but Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta shares certain commonalities. Now a museum, it was a center of power during the long era of British rule in India. Like Pankot, Victoria Memorial Hall is a visually arresting display of opulence.
"TheLast Crusade" crew only filmed in Venice for one day. However, the Church of San Barnaba, portrayed in the film as a library, made a mark on movie-goers' minds. Overlooking the Rio di San Barnaba canal, the restored church is near the Ponte dei Pugni ("bridge of fists"), which was once a traditional site of fights and contests.
The Nazis hold Sean Connery's Henry Jones, Sr. captive in fictional Castle Brunwald, based on Castle Bürresheim in the Eiffel Mountains south of Frankfurt. Originally built in the 14th century, it wasn't completed until two centuries later. It's one of few castles in Germany that has never been conquered or destroyed.
Hand-carved into desert rock, the Treasury structure at the Jordanian ancient site of Petra is a visually appropriate home for the Holy Grail in the third Indiana Jones film. Dating back to Old Testament times, Petra was called one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by the Swiss organization, the New 7 Wonders Foundation, in 2007.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull producers are keeping tight-lipped about the movie's plot. But it's named for a supposed ancient Mexican icon, so Aztec or Mayan ruins must factor in. The most famous pre-Columbian site in Mexico is the World Heritage site Teotihuacán. Though it's well-traveled, major archaeological discoveries are still being made.