Combi From Palenque to Yaxchilan
In Palenque, there are dozens of tour operators selling packages for day trips to Yaxchilan and Bonampak. These include van transportation, lunch, and tour guide. But, we found them unnecessary and relatively expensive. A more reasonable plan is to catch the "combi" at the main station in central town of Palenque. The Combis are local transport vans that everyone crowds into, and the service is very good. Just have the driver strap the luggage or backpack to the roof rack. Tour operators may pretend they know nothing of this service, hoping to make a more sizeable profit. But, the tour package will cost around $100- per person, while the combi to Frontera Corozal will cost about $8-, as I recall. Once at Frontera Corozal, a group can share the cost of the 45 minute boat ride to Yaxchilan. We chose to include this excursion as part of a through trip to Flores, Guatemala. So, early in the morning we caught the "combi", had an early lunch at the hotel in Frontera Corozal, and by late afternoon, after finishing the excursion down river to Yaxchilan, we caught another bus in Bethel, Guatemala for the 5 hour ride to Flores, arriving there about 8pm. Camping at Yaxchilan, or either campingn or hotel are possible at Frontera Corozal if the tour of Yaxchilan needs to be longer. Note though that there are no services in Yaxchilan, so pack all the food needed for the overnight stay there.
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
- Budget Travel
Hiring a Launcha on the Usumacinta
In order to get to Yaxchilan, a launcha must be hired out at Frontera Corozal, a tiny town on the banks of the Usumacinta River. Somewhat south, and well out of view, and on the opposite bank of the river from Frontera Corozal is the equally tiny town of Bethel, Guatemala. In our case, we hired a launcha to take us downriver to Yaxchilan, and then we had to return to Frontera Corozal, pay again, and continue upriver to Bethel, where we entered Guatemala, had our passports stamped, and caught a 3pm bus for Flores. The price of the launchas are very reasonable, but certainly more significant in terms of pocket money than the combi or buses in the area. Some people choose to share a boat to save money, but given our schedule, we simply took our own boat. Singles might chose otherwise to save pocket money, as there are plenty of launchas going up and down the river, and very little concern for getting stuck at Yaxchilan, for example. So hitching a ride is a distinct possibility. The launchas operate in conjunction with a government controled kiosk that issues "tickets" for money received, and then the driver's use their own boats. These boats are quite fast, and somewhat open to the weather, so it's important to have sunglasses, and possibly a poncho for the rain.
- Sailing and Boating
To the town
From the crucero on Caretera Fronteriza there are some 15 km to Frontera Corozal. You can take a taxi or ask anybody who pases by. And handel about the price.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel