Mystical, jungle-clad Palenque is the largest and most famous of the Mayan sites, which once commanded an area stretching across the coastal plain as far as the Gulf of Mexico.
Backed by the Chiapan mountains, it was home to tens of thousands of people and is a spectacular vortex of history, myth and reality. The setting is truly magical — right in the heart of the forest surrounded by the shriek of tropical birds and guttural growls of howler monkeys. If you take a moment to just imagine you can easily be transported back in time.
The ruins are located approximately a 15-minute drive from the town of the same name and although the town itself has no real attraction to speak of, a visit to these incredible ruins are a must for anyone with an interest in the culture of some of Mexico's most advanced ancient inhabitants.
The ruins are partially unexcavated adding to its mystery with temples and tombs looming out of the jungle and above grassy plains with carvings and murals appearing around every corner. Its most impressive features are perhaps its towered palace and pyramid tomb which date from the Classic period of approximately 300 to 900 AD, but the magic of Palenque is really in its tropical jungle location.
Map of Palenque
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Accommodation choices for Palenque
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