THE RUINS OF PALENQUE
WHAT TO DO IN PALENQUE? MY JOURNEY
The city center is small and the streets aren’t really pretty. There are quite a few shops and restaurants, as well as a cool bar or two. The Zócalo main square is pretty, you can take a photo in front of the Palenque letters and a nice little church. But I think you understood, I didn’t have a big crush on downtown Palenque. There isn’t much to do.
THE RUINS OF PALENQUE
Waterfall in the jungle to go to the ruins
Juego de Pelota
The archaeological area of Palenque is Mayan ruins dating from 100 BC. To access it’s quite simple. Go to Allende street to take the collectivo which goes to the ruins in about twenty minutes. They drop you off at the entrance. You have two tickets to buy, one for the national park and one for the entrance to the archaeological area. Then there are 2 entrances, one which is right next to the office where you cross the jungle a few meters before arriving to the ruins, and another further which allows you to go to the ruins directly. I advise you to do the one in the jungle, bring mosquito repellent. It immediately puts you in the atmosphere. The further you go, the more ruins you see appearing in the jungle, where the vegetation has regained control. It’s very beautiful ! You pass over a bridge, you see a beautiful waterfall, and sometimes you can also see animals. Then at some point, you arrive in front of these huge ruins! I had done Teotihuacán and Monte Albán before, and it was the first time I saw ruins in the middle of the jungle. It’s impressive to see! You can climb on some ruins to get an overview of the archaeological area. The best view is from the Cross Temple! I advise you to arrive as soon as it opens to see the site without too many merchants and organized tours. There are some explanatory panels on the history of the ruins which allow you to visit without a guide. After the ruins, go to the museum located at the entrance (right next to the cash desks where you bought the tickets) to learn more about the place and the civilization. It’s very interesting and it completes the visit to the ruins. We took 3 hours to visit the whole site. For the return, there are quite often collectivos that leave for the city center.
After the ruins, we went to Aluxes Ecopark. It’s a park where there are several species such as crocodiles, snakes, monkeys and many more. But the cages are dirty, sometimes way too small for the animals. I didn’t like this visit too much to be honest. I felt worse for the animals than anything else. Up to you.
Collectivo to go to the ruins: 20 pesos
Entrance to the national park: 97 pesos
Entrance to the ruins of Palenque: 85 pesos
Entrance to the ecopark: 150 pesos
Palenque is a destination to do only for the ruins. The city itself does not have much charm, and there isn’t much to see.
Some people takes a tour that goes to Misol-Ha Waterfall and Laguna Azul, and then drops you off at San Cristóbal de Las Casas. But I had several returns on the fact that the Laguna Azul was not at all blue if it had rained during the day or the day before. So to see according to the weather. Click here to watch the different excursions you can do.
WHEN TO GO?
We were there in mid-October, the weather wasn’t nice, a lot of rain.
I think one day is enough to visit the ruins and the city center. Plan an extra day if you take the excursion that goes to the Misol-Ha waterfall and Agua Azul.
WHERE TO SLEEP? MY ACCOMMODATION
HOTEL NAJ KIN
Primera Avenida Nte. Pt. No. 72, Center,
29960 Palenque, Chis., Mexico
Price: €10 / night / person in a private room.
Click here to book.
Accommodation in the city center quite decent. A good price for what it is. The only disadvantage is that it is expensive if you are alone.
MY 3 TIPS TO VISIT PALENQUE
- Go to the ruins as soon as it opens because it’s the point of interest for all tourists who go to this city.
- Don’t necessarily stay more than a day, there isn’t much to do.
- If it rained a few days before, know that Agua Azul won’t have the blue color as seen everywhere in the photos, but rather brown.