Deservedly one of the top destinations of Chiapas, the soaring jungle swathed temples of Palenque are a national treasure and apparently one of the best examples of Maya architecture in Mexico. Modern Palenque town, a few kilometers to the east, is a sweaty, humdrum place, with little to offer the traveller other than shops and a few god restaurants.
The name Palenque (Palisade) is Spanish and has no relation to the city’s ancient name, which may have been Lakamha (Big Water). Palenque was first occupied around 100 BC, and flourished from around AD 630 to around 740.
Just eight kilometers from Palenque city, the ruins of ancient Palenque stand at the precise point where the first hills rise out of the Gulf coast plain. The dense jungle covering these hills forms an evocative backdrop to Palenque’s exquisite and unique Maya architecture. Hundreds of ruined buildings are spread over 15 sq km, but only a fairly compact central area has been excavated. The forest around these temples is still home to howler monkeys, toucans and ocelots.
Mérida to Palenque took a gruelling 7 hours on the bus, boy was I glad to eventually arrive at my accommodation – Casssa Vlanca.
I will not bore you with all the history stuff about Palenque, suffice to say it is an AMAZING place to visit. My photos do not do the place justice.