Palenque Travel Guide

  • Palenque
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Temple of the Inscriptions
    Temple of the Inscriptions
    by Twan
  • Temple of the Inscriptions
    Temple of the Inscriptions
    by Twan

Palenque Things to Do

  • North Group, Temples X, XI, XV, Group IV

    The North Group adjoins to the north-east of Count's Temple. Among this group Temples II, III, IV and V were built between AD 695-730.It is located little more than one hundred meters to the north of the Palace after pass through the Ballgame and is part of the central zone of the city. It is conformed by one long platform that maintains five...

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  • Temple of the Count

    The Temple of the Count was constructed between ad 640 and 650. It is the oldest building yet excavated. Typical of the Palenque style are the two parallel passageways, the rear one divided into three chambers. The "mansard effect", created by the sloping outer walls, is apparent here for the first time. These follow the inner arches which slope in...

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  • Walbeck and Ball Courts

    This Court owes its name to the fact that Frederic de Walbeck once lived here.It is bounded by the North Group from the North, the Temple of the Count from the West and the Ball Court from the South.The Ball Court is one of the oldest structures at Palenque and one of the oldest in the Maya World. It's dated around 500 A .D. +- 50 years and it is...

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  • Temple XIV

    The Temple XIV is located north of the Temple of the Sun. It was probably constructed after the death of Chan-bahlam by his brother and successor Kan-zul ("valuable animal", also called Hok; ruled ad 702-722?). The bas-relief dated AD 705 shows Chan-bahlum's resurrection from the underworld Xibalba and the homage being paid by his mother Apo-hel....

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  • Temple of the Sun

    The Temple of the Sun is an essential part of the Cross Group.It is located on the west side of the Stephens’s plaza, with the best preserved roof comb at Palenque. Carvings inside commemorate the accession to the throne -in 684 AD- of Kan Balam , born in 635 AD. He is shown facing his father. This temple has a roof comb in very good conditions and...

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  • Temple of the Foliated Cross

    Having finished with the Temple of the Cross you must climb the pyramid of the Temple of the Foliated Cross. As the other buildings in the Cross Group, the Temple of the Foliated Cross, is a tall narrow pyramid surmounted by a temple with an elaborate stone roof comb. It contains a carved panel representing sacred rites. There is a Cross on the...

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Palenque Hotels

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Palenque Restaurants

  • Villa Mercedes Restaurant

    La Floresta Restaurant is a good choice to taste delicious regional, national and international dishes. Open from 7:00 to 23:00 hours and offering room service from 8:00 to 22:00 hours.The restaurant invites you to taste specialties such as our Sopa Chipilin or a rich Asado Chiapaneco.When we got to the hotel in was already late. I spent an hour in...

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  • Eat fast and go forward to the ruins!

    As I had a very rich and varied breakfast buffet in the hotel I didn't have a feeling that I was hungry and need a lunch or a dinner that day. The only possibility to have a snack we had when the excursion in the museum was over and we had fifteen minutes before departing to Campeche.I took a chance of the museum buffet where I drank a cup of...

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  • Good Food and Live Music

    Don Mucho's is a landmark in Palenque. Even in the off season when most of the lodgings are empty, Don Mucho's will be full.The open-air restaurant has lots of tables, but waiting for a couple minutes is not uncommon. There is a small stage and likewise a small clearing which often becomes a dance floor. If you sit in the dining area adjacent to...

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Palenque Nightlife

  • El Panchan has good live music

    Don Muchos is an open air restaurant with live music in the evenings. We listened to a talented Peruvian style musician and his female vocalists entertain audiences on two separate nights. The bar serves drinks, but it's also possible to eat and watch the music. Prepare for a crowded night though. The atmosphere is bohemian in style, and there's no...

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  • mexican cantina

    Apparently "bars"are not as common in mexico as they are in the states. Unsure if we should pop in and have a drink, Melissa and I looked in one of the cantinas only to realize they were filled with only men. Because of Palenque's size and the fact that it seems to be more of a family town, the night life was not much to talk about. We finally met...

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  • Palenque Hotels

    12 Hotels in Palenque

    1 Reviews

Palenque Transportation

  • How to get to the ruins from Palenque

    Our hotel was located in 3 km from Palenque modern town and 3km from the Archaeological Site. So it is about 6 km from Palenque to the ruins.It took us about 6 minutes to get to the entrance of the Archaeological Site by bus.There are 2 different ways to access the site of Palenque. The most common one is to access the site from the parking and to...

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  • How to get to Palenque

    Palenque is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is located about 200 km from San Cristobal de Las Casas, about 150 m above sea level.How to get there:1) by bus or by car from San Cristóbal de Las Casas via Ocosingo 205km/127mi on the MEX 199. 2) by bus or by car from Villahermosa 114km/71mi on the MEX 186 to...

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  • Bus Palenque to Tulum

    Took the ADO GL bus from Palenque to Tulum. Ejecutivo.528 pesos on friday 29 februari 2008.First time a bus came late and left late because the driver needed to eat.So we left 22.00 and not 21.00.checked in my luggage at 20.30at 5.00 we arrived at Chetumal. think at 8.30 in Tulum

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Palenque Shopping

  • Local Indian craft

    As usual in such tourist spots in Mexico can see a large number of traders souvenirs. In Palenque were especially many souvenirs for sale. At the edges of hiking trails were the local Indians, and offered a variety of goods. I am not a big fan of such purchases since then as my bookcase filled with guidebooks and a sideboard filled with mugs,...

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  • Everthing under the Yucatan sun!

    Don't worry about bring food and drinks and wondering if your going to be able to buy a trinket to remember your visit to Palenque because its already taken care of! Half of the parking lot in Palenque is dedicated to parking...which is nice....while the other half is filled with vendors selling Cokes, Gatorade, water, and food. Plus there are...

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  • MINI MARKET TO BUY SOUVENIOURS

    OUTSIDE THE PALENQUE PARK ENTRANCE IS A MINI MARKET WHERE YOU CAN BUY SOUVENIOURS FROM PALENQUE FOR YOU TO TAKE BACK TO YOUR FOLKS AT HOME. ALSO AVAILABLE TO BUY ARE SOME TYPICAL MEXICAN GOODS SUCH AS PONCHOS ETC. AND I THINK YOU CAN EVEN BUY A SET OF INDIAN BOW AND ARROWS.

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Palenque Local Customs

  • marinama's Profile Photo

    by marinama Updated Oct 3, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The people are offering everywhere in Chiapas their leather handicrafts. (more or less expensive, depends of your Spanish level)

    Mayan calendar
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Arts and Culture

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Palenque Warnings and Dangers

  • Palenque

    Palenque is a bit of a rough town. El Centro during the day is safe, but we were advised to take a taxi back to our hotel and not to stay out past 10 o'clock, even in a large group. The ruins of Palenque are safe as well.

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  • Night travel...Zapatistas on the road.

    Zapatistas are NOT friendly to anyone. Not even if you are a tourist or a local. If you decide to travel during dark hours (18:00 - 6:00) be sure not to take large amounts of money with you. With a hundred pesos in your pocket will be enough. Zapatistas usually stop buses (first, second, what ever class) on the road. They will search all passengers...

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  • HOT!

    Now, I've been to some pretty hot places, like Merida, Antigua and Veracruz, Mexico (Even Kansas City is hot) so I thought "hey, this won't be any worse, right?" WRONG I have never been so hot in my entire life! With the tempurature and humidity, as well as the placement of the city closer to the Equator, it was dreadful! So, take plenty of water...

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Palenque Tourist Traps

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    by wilocrek Written Jan 19, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like many of the popular Mayan sites there are many vendors both outside the site and within the site as well. I found that the vendors at Palenque went to great lengths to employ their children to use their cute innocence to sell their wares. I had many different children come up to me trying to sell stuff to me and it worked because they were so darn cute! If you really want to help them out have them follow you out to the entrance where the vendors are selling food and buy them a meal. I got the impression that they didn't get enough to eat so I think they appreciated that more than my being suckered into buying those worthless Mayan charms! Plus their parents just take the money from them anyway!

    How do you say no to that face?

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Palenque What to Pack

  • I didnt SEE any bugs!!

    If you spend any time swimming the waters of agua azul, bring lotion if you burn easily. With the water so cold, the burn sneaks up on you.Bring lots of water wherever you are in Palenque...it is a HOT town! I would definitely bring bug repellant if you spend any time in the jungle. Melissa and I camped unexpectedly in the jungle for a night. I...

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  • mosquitos...

    do not take with you a lot of luggage. it can be difficult to carry out everything. Use cotton wear and do not forget your sunglasses and an umbrella. It is very hot and wet there. Malaria can be a problem. So, be careful. Take your mosquito repellent and do not drink water from everywhere. take your camera with you. this is more important than...

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  • Dress lightly or suffer!

    As you can see from the picture, there is a light haze here. It's jungle country, so expect the humidity and hot sun! Light clothing here is a must! Shorts and a t-shirt is what I wore, and I was still hot!! Some good walking shoes are also recommended as you can lose your footing easily on the rocks and stairs. I didn't have a problem with...

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Palenque Off The Beaten Path

  • Misol Ha Waterfalls (2)

    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...

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  • Misol Ha Waterfalls (1)

    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...

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  • Is Palenque worth the trouble to visit?

    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...

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Palenque Favorites

  • Local inhabitants of Palenque

    Traveling around the world, I always miss my dogs who are waiting for me at home. So I am glad of any opportunity to talk with local animals. In Palenque my interlocutors were iguanas, parrots and turtles.I especially liked the iguana. She was very in harmony with ancient ruins and I had the impression that she knows all about the people who lived...

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  • Relax in the Villa Mercedes

    After a long excursion day in San Cristobal, Chamula and Zinacantan, and 5 hours driving through mountains and jungles I discovered in this hotel an exceptional tropical space to relax and rest, including a huge pool where I was almost alone in the late evening. It was a wonderful hour of rest and I enjoyed swimming very much. As I have already...

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  • Erich von Däniken's "Maya Astronaut"

    When in 1970 I saw the West German documentary film “Chariots of the Gods” (in Russian “Memories of the Future”) that was based on Erich von Däniken's 1968 best seller, Chariots of the Gods? I learnt for the first time about Palenque and the drawing "Maya Astronaut" on the sarcophagus lid.How could I imagine that I will see this lid in...

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Top 10 Less-Crowded Mayan Ruins: Palenque

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Palenque was the most important city of the low western lands during the late Classic period, reaching its peak between 600 and 800 A.D. Along with Tikal and Calakmul, it was one of the most powerful Classic Mayan cities, as well as the seat of the distinguished Pakal dynasty. Much of the architecture (tilted facades on the buildings, stucco-sections) is unique and uncharacteristic of the time period; it has become a real hot spot for archeological research interested in architecture and written language. One of the most notable aspects of Palenque is Temple XIII, where the Tomb of the Red Queen was found in 1994. This tomb is significant because it share the same platform as the Temple of the Inscriptions, suggesting nobility; the remains found are referred to as "the Red Queen" because the tomb was entirely covered in red cinnabar. A VirtualTourist member suggested getting to the park early in the morning, since the morning mist is great for photographs, and the site's location in southern Mexico means very hot afternoons.

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Explore Deeper into Palenque
Temple of the Cross
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Stephens’s Plaza
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Maudslay’s Plaza
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Otulum River and Aqueduct
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Palace Stucco Masks
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Palace Corbel arches
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Palace Observation Tower
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Palace Central Patio and Patio of the Tower
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Palace West Courtyard
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Palace East Courtyard
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Palace West Staircase
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Grand Palace
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Palenque Archaeological Museum
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Ruz’s Tomb
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K'inich Janaab' Pakal's Mask
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Tomb of K'inich Janaab' Pakal
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Temple of the Inscriptions
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Temple of the Inscriptions Court
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Mask of the Red Queen
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Temple of the Red Queen (Temple XIII)
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Temple of the Dying Moon or Temple of the Scull
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Maya hieroglyphs and Russian scientists
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Palenque Archaeological Site
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Maya tempels at Palenque
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The Palace
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Temple of the Inscriptions
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Tour Guides
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Swimming in the falls near the ruins
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Don Mucho's i loved it
Restaurants
Palenque Ruins
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Misol Ha & Agua Azul Waterfall
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Yaxchilan & Bonampak
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Palenque Ruins of course!
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Collectivo Palenque - El Panchan
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Daytrip from San Cristobal de las Casas
Transportation
Internet El Panchan
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Bonampak Ruines
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Hernadez tour to Yaxchilan and Bonampak
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Yaxchilan
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The Morning Mist
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Map of Palenque

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