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Palenque Travel Information

Mayan Ruins of Palenque

Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada was utterly mesmerized by the huge temples and stone structures upon arrival at the ruins of Palenque. So he called it Palenque, in honor of its aboriginal name Otolum or city of strong buildings.

Palenque´s archeological site, located to the northwest of Chiapas, is one of the best examples of Mayan architecture. It lies exactly 220 km from San Cristóbal de las Casas and 290 km from the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The charm of this ancient city captivates its visitors while strolling along its magnificient temples which have been partly swallowed by the jungle. The visible section is  believed to be only 10 % of the whole area, the rest being hidden by the jungle.

The Palace is considered by many to be  the most impressive of the temples, erected in the center of an archaeological site and outstanding for its peculiar tower and bas-reliefs ornaments. A few other temples were constructed on top of pyramids, as is the case with the Temples of the Sun and the Cross. Perhaps the most striking of all is the Temple of the Inscriptions. Its hieroglyphs tell the intriguing story of Mayan royalty. More specifically that of Pacal The Great, whose tomb lies in the very heart of this temple.

This ancient city rests within the boundaries of the 1 700-ha Palenque National Park, carpeted by lush tropical jungle, suitable for trekking and immersion in nature.

The nearby town of Palenque offers plenty of accommodation, restaurants and local crafts. Tours for extreme sports are also available from here, including paragliding and kayacking down the Usumacinta River, one of the widest in Mexico.

Agua Azul and Misol-Há Waterfalls are surrounded by amazing landscapes and are huge attractions in this area. The first, 50 km from Palenque inside Agua Azul Waterfalls National Park features fascinating waterfalls and dense tropical forests. At Misol-Ha, 30 km from Palenque there is a 30m-high waterfall over the Tzaconejá River. This place also also has  bungalows and restaurants. Also tour guides are available for hire.

Palenque Tours: coming soon!

Mayan Ruins
Traverse America

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