"Palenque" Top 5 Page for this destination Palenque by atufft
Palenque Travel Guide: 217 reviews and 728 photos
Unlike most of the Mayan ruins to the south, Palenque was a city built into a vast hillside region. The city flourished from around 300 to 900 AD, but the long rules two related kings provided a 60 year period of peaceful and productive stability during the 7th century AD. Most of the ruins visited today date from this period and images of these rulers are in numerous reliefs on the buildings.
Well maintained by the Mexican government, Palenque is very popular with tourists. Climbing around the trails and up to the tops of buildings requires some stamina though, so it's possible to get away from the crowds too. Most of the ruins can be visited in one day, as the city isn't so spread out. We arrived in the evening in time to follow a closing guard who flushed out the tourists as he walked from the exit to the entrance of the park.
Retracing the trail the guard had showed me, I retraced and expanding upon the exploration of the ruins, taking many photos. My wife and I split up and we met again at the tourist center where there's a restaurant and gift shop. Palenque was the first of several Mayan cities that we visited. We also visited Yaxchilan, Tikal, and El Ceibal (near Sayaxche). These were part of a tour that included stays in Flores and Sayaxche. We also visited on this trip several Mayan towns in the highlands of Guatemala, including Coban, Uspantan, Sacapulas, Lago Atitlan, Huehuetenango, and, in Mexico, San Cristobal de Las Casas, respectively.
- Pros:Rainforest Shrouded Mayan Ruins of First Tier Interest
- Cons:Somewhat Overrun by Tourists
- In a nutshell:Palenque is One of the Great Mayan Ruins That Shouldn't Be Missed
From the main terminal in Villahermosa to Palenque is only a couple of hours by first class air conditioned bus. We left... more travel advice
Off on a trail to the left from the entrance is a series of buildings from which one can also take a steep trail down... more travel advice
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