Palenque

Palenque is in Chiapas, Mexico famous for the ruins of a Mayan city dating from about 600 to 800 CE. Set amidst thick trees, Palenque still evokes some of the wonder that the early Spanish visitors must have felt when they first came across the ruins. The pre-historic city and the national park have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Mayan ruins at Palenque

Understand

Palenque is a medium-sized archaeological site, much smaller than Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest sculpture, architecture, roof combs, and bas-relief carvings of the Mayan era.

Get in

By air

The closest airport is Villahermosa, about two hours away by road. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the airport for San Cristobal de las Casas is five to six hours away by bus. Both airports are well serviced with flights from Mexico City and other points in Mexico.

By road

The easiest way to get to Palenque is by bus. There are many buses daily from San Cristobal de las Casas (five hours), Tuxtla Gutiérrez (six hours), Villahermosa (2.5 hours), Merida (10 hours), Campeche (5 hours), Cancún (13 hours). Daily (one or two buses) also ply from Mexico City (16 hours), Oaxaca (15 hours), Playa del Carmen (12 hours), and Tulum (12 hours).

It is also possible to get to Palenque from Flores in Guatemala by bus (6h, leaving Flores daily at 5am, US$35).

Get around

The ruins are about 6 km from the town of Palenque and minibuses run between the town and ruins every 10 to 15 minutes during the day. Combis - shared taxis - are also available. Just wait at the park gate at El Panchan. A colectivo will pick you up.

See

View of Palenque ruins
Palenque temple

Buy

You can get some Maya-style artwork from outdoor vendors who set up unobtrusively at the ruins.

Sleep

Sleeping accommodation can be found either in the city of Palenque, or just outside the limits on the road to the national park.

Near Ruins

In town

Eat

Don Muchos is a great restaurant at El Panchan as well. Great stone-oven pizza's and live music. The stone-oven pizza's cost 60 pesos and are very good.

Go next

Other ruins in the general area are Yaxchilán and Bonampak. These can be arranged by day trip or overnighter with any agency in town.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.