"Palenque" Top 5 Page for this destination Palenque by atufft

Palenque Travel Guide: 218 reviews and 735 photos

Palenque Ruins are scattered across a hillside

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.

Palenque is very popular with tourists

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.

During daylight, I retraced my steps

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 and Cons
  • 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
  • Last visit to Palenque: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (10)

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2007 at 7:52 AM

    A very interesting paage. I love ruins, and this one seems to have a lot to offer.

  • monina_c's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2007 at 12:21 AM

    Hahaha! Your con is the reason I hesitated to post a favorite destination in Trekki's (Ingrid) listing. Selfish of me! BTW, thanks for the Sagada ratings!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2007 at 10:16 PM

    Palenque is high on my list of ruins to be seen. Have you read Rose McAuley's "The Pleasure of Ruins" - she says it all. leyle

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2007 at 6:35 PM

    Thanks for Palenque. Have not been there. Interesting that you went there twice, a first quick taste at night closing and then a more relaxing thorough visit next day. Happened to me also for a few places, gives a different travel experience.

  • tpk2's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2007 at 12:03 AM

    Nice pics!

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2006 at 11:49 PM

    Another excellent report - i love the picture of the falls - just an umbrella. Luc

  • mary2u99's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2006 at 8:32 AM

    Alan another great page.. wow look at those steps!!!

  • triplehelix's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2006 at 8:50 PM

    surely a future place to travel to as i'm a big history fanatic!

  • Bavavia's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2006 at 11:05 AM

    Very beautiful pictures, i do not know anything about Mexico at all, but would not have expected to see such architecture. Very nice!

  • Barbie2138's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2006 at 7:10 AM

    Thanks Alan for the pics. They are stunning. All that walking! I hope you had a cerveza afterwards.


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