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An update from Evaneos

Palenque/Temp (Mexico)

Practical information about Palenque/Temp

  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Countryside
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Archaeological Site
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Unesco World Heritage
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
4 hours from San Cristobal de las Casas by bus
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Palenque/Temp

Delphine Teisserenc Travel writer
58 travel articles

Surrounded by jungle, Palenque is one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in Mexico, and stands as a testimonial to Mayan culture.

My suggestion:
Be the first to visit the site in the morning, when the spectacle it offers is all the more impressive and enjoyable.
Palenque, located in the northeast part of Chiapas, is an ancient Mayan city state which is today dominated by the surrounding jungle. To make the most of this famous place, I got there when it opened at dawn. As I made my way into the site, the mist that had been present began to clear, gradually revealing the ruins of the various temples. The intensity of this spectacle, which is difficult to describe in words, was heightened by the presence of the jungle all around and the incessant calls of the macaques. To me, it felt like nature had reclaimed the site from man and was trying to swallow up the remains of a past civilization.
The ruins of Palenque
Travel writer
30 travel articles

Unmissable Mayan archaeological ruins.

My suggestion:
Try to go there in a period when the heat isn't yet suffocating, or very early in the morning.
As I hadn't read a lot about it I was expecting a really big site, like Tikal. In fact, Palenque is less striking for its enormous size than for its interesting carvings. I recently read that only 2% of the site has been explored to date (that is, a visitable area of 2.5km²). For comparison, the gigantic Tikal has a surface of 18 km².

I particularly remember the tower of the Palace (the Observation Tower). I don't think I have seen the like on other pre-Hispanic sites that I have visited in Meso-America. I thought the most interesting part was the Temple of the Inscriptions, which houses the tomb of King K'inich Janaab' Pakal, probably because I had never been inside a pyramid before. Its welcome freshness gave me a few moments respite from the suffocating heat of the place.
The Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque
Travel writer
181 travel articles

One of the biggest Mayan cities in the country, nestling in an incredible setting between the jungle and the mountains of Chiapas.

My suggestion:
If you don't mind rustic places then sleep at El Panchan. The cabins are right in the middle of the jungle and close to the site. No need for an alarm clock - you'll have the howler monkeys!
Palenque is definitely one of the most beautiful sites that you will have the opportunity of visiting in Mexico. Lost in nature, a large part of it is still buried under vegetation, which will awaken your adventuring spirit!
The palace at Pelanque