Palenque

Palenque Waterfall II HDR LR

Waterfalls encountered on hike to the mountaintop ruins in Parque Nacional Palenque

It was an 8-1/2 hour trip to Palenque by ADO bus.  A long trip to be sure, but not as uncomfortable as one might suppose.  Good roads and comfortable seats, plus onboard movies (albeit in Spanish) made for a tolerable passage.  I should make one thing clear from the outset:  Palenque is not at the jungle; Palenque is in the jungle.  And our final destination, Hotel El Panchan, was another 6-kilometers down the road, and deeper in the jungle.

Once at the hotel we checked into our jungle cabana.  The price was right at $300 MXN/$23 USD per night (or $11.50 USD pp per night).  Each cabana was secluded down its own jungle walkway and surrounded by lush tropical growth and running water, providing a real sense of privacy and tranquility.  Don Muchos was the restaurant of choice and provided real value for money spent; prices were about 50% of what we typically spend in Merida. Great Italian and Mexican meals served with 2-for-1 alcoholic  beverages rounded out the deal.  This was our base of operations for the next six days—and Parque Nacional Palenque was only another kilometer up the road and within easy walking distance.

Heading out to the mountaintop ruins the next morning we followed a  brick walkway that paralleled the roadway, and provided a safe route to the parque entrance and the ruins within.  I photographed many of the tropical butterflies enroute as they were flitting ahead of us, and I recognized many of the same species I had first encountered in Costa Rica in 2010.  Once in the parque we climbed stone stairs and followed shaded walkways, past flowing waterfalls and beautiful jungle foliage, up into the mountains to view the ruins.  The ruins of Palenque are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen so far in Mexico.  In the days that followed we also visited Yaxchilan, Bonampak and Aqua Azul—I will share some of those other destinations with you in future posts.  Please enjoy the photos below (click on image to enlarge).

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7 responses to “Palenque

  1. All the photos are spectacular! I am particularly drawn to the butterfly pictures (no surprise :-)) and I love them all!! Glad that you are doing fine after the ambush ordeal.

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