If you make it to Misol Ha waterfalls, you may find yourself a bit hungry or thirsty. Since the cataratas are 18km from the town of Palenque (see my other tip for how to get here), it is not very convienient to return when hunger comes.
Just to the side of the parking area of Misol Ha, there is a decent restaurant. The menu is full of typical local Mexican dishes. There are a few salads and options for vegetarians, but in local style, there's lots of meat dishes.
Cost is relatively cheap considering the tourist nature and remote location.
contact details of the restaurant (if you need directions or assistance) are listed below.
Many people have commented on Misol Ha, but I believe it is worthy of yet another entry. The 30m tall cascades are quite impressive, thundering down into a large pool.
The large pool has some ropes across the rocks indicating where it is possible to swim. The water is cool and refreshing!
If you want, you can follow the path around the back side of the falls and enter the cave or simply see the falls from the other side. To do this, you must traverse on the path behind the falls. The spray and moisture will get you damp, so protect your electronics and cameras. The path is paved and has a handrail for some of it, but the water is free flowing over the top of it. Your shoes will get very wet, so either wear proper footwear or go barefoot. There should be a guide in the small cave who will provide you with a short tour and flashlight. It is free, but be polite and give the man a tip.
The falls are about 19km south of Palenque center. To get there, you can either hire a taxi, take a tour, or if you are driving yourself:
Take Carretera Federal 199 south, while on the highway, the signs are well marked and will take you all the way.
The park will charge ~5pesos to drive down the access road. Once you're at the waterfalls, they will again charge ~10pesos for parking.
For someone who doesn't have a particularly strong interest in archaeological zones representing a specific culture or time period, I find Palenque to be one of the more over-rated ones I've visited in Mexico. If you'll be in the area, yes, stop-by - but I don't think it's worth a special trip. If you have a special interest then, yes, find your way there. For most travelers, I think, after you've seen three or four large zones of this type - the ones which follow become a blur and tiresome.
Some of my photos of Mexico: http://community.webshots.com/user/billmasterson
When you enter the site you will see the Temple of the Inscriptions to your left and to the right is a small dirt path that leads toward the dense jungle. There is a barely noticeable entrance to the jungle that your can take that leads into the dark, green world of the fierce jungle! There dozens of "tour guides" who will offer to give you a tour to the waterfall hidden within the jungle for about $15. When I was offered that I turned it down thinking I could find my way around as I'm normally pretty good with that, however I was wrong. The jungle is like a different world, it was a bright, blue, sunny day but as soon as I set foot into the jungle is was dark and foreboding. The path I was following was barely visible and was hard to follow. Plus after awhile everything started looking the same and the sounds of the jungle started making me a bit nervous. It took me quite a while to find my way out. I never did find that waterfall, although I could hear it at one point. Bottom line is next time I come to Palenque I'm coughing up the $15 and taking the tour because I really want to see that water fall!
Going 50 km south of Palenque you can visit spectacula cascades of Agua Azul. The cascades got their name after the beautiful blue colour of the water.
But it wasn't that blue when we wewre there. Actually it was brown, due to heavy rains (september is rainy season). We were all prepaired for a swim (yes you can swim there) but change our minds after seeing the condition of the water. But the short walk along the river and cascades and waterfalls was also nice
My Agua Azul Page
about an hour and a half away from the Palenque ruins on a very poor road lies the waterfalls of Agua Azul. There are many waterfalls that make up this park. Along side there are venders selling food and sovineers. There is also a area that you can pitch a tent and stay the night. Just a warning, that after a strong rain Agua Azul (Blue water) becomes Agua Cafe (Brown water)
Palenque is way underexplored. There are many more buildings located underneath the jungle canopy of trees and brush! So, what I would recommend is explore the places out in the open first in the morning, then spend the rest of the day under the cooler canopy exploring the back woods places. You really only see about 1/3 of the city from what has been uncovered. Let your mind wander as you explore this Mayan spectacle.
If you head further into the Chiapas jungle you will find the waterfall Misol Ha. It is quite nice, a swimable pool below the falls and a cave going behind it.