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Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
29 posts
9 reviews
8 helpful votes
Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

We will be in Palengue around May 5, 2012 and would like to visit Bonampak & Yaxchilan. Can/ Should we drive to the sites? Are there overnight accommodations?

Level Contributor
103 posts
50 reviews
79 helpful votes
1. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

Your best bet is to base yourselves in Palenque and take a day tour. For one thing, you can't drive to Yaxchilan; it's across the river. For another, if you show up at Bonampak in your car, you'll be charged an outrageous fee to see the site.

I had a good experience doing this day trip with Kukulcán Travel Agency.

I spent the night in a Lancondon community, but they are very shy people, even the children, and I had zero contact with the locals while staying in very basic accommodations with very limited food options. You're much better off staying in Palenque.

Level Contributor
758 posts
151 reviews
144 helpful votes
2. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

You could stay in the village of Lacanha Chansayab as Ray did, or you could stay in Frontera Corozal at either the Escudo Jaguar Hotel or Nueva Alianza Hotel. There are also restaurants there. You'll catch the boat on the river at Frontera Corozal, when you visit Yaxchilan.

Bergen op Zoom, The...
Level Contributor
24 posts
125 reviews
92 helpful votes
3. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

Me and my friend are visiting Palenque in April this year. We like to do tours to Bonampak and Yaxchilan and also Tikkal in Guatamala. Can anyone recommend a trhustworthy travel agency in Palenque where we can book trips and get information about the cost?

Will apprecaite all information you can share.

Thanks, John

Bergen op Zoom, The...
Level Contributor
24 posts
125 reviews
92 helpful votes
4. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak


The Escudo Jaguar hotel looks good. We just want some more advise if possible from you. We will stay for 2 days in Palenque and than drive up to Frontera Corozal. If we want to visit Bonampak and Yaxchilan and Tikal how many days should we book in this hotel? Also can you recommend any thrustworthy travel agencies that we can use for visiting Yaxchilan and Tikal?

We will apprecaite your reply.

Thanks, John

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1 post
82 reviews
43 helpful votes
5. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

We just got back from doing the "Palenque pilgrimage", and it was effortless. We too took all our tours to Yaxchilan and Bonampak with Kulkucan out of Palenque (El Panchan, where we stayed). All our travel we did either with a bus (from San Cristobal) or the vans with the tour agency. They can also arrange the trip across the border to Guatemala, in order to visit Tikal. We didn't do this, but were told that it's possible to do these 3 sites, in 3/4 days. Once you get across the border (it's the river) you will be driven to Flores, and from there onwards to Tikal. You'll spend the night both in and out (2 in total) in Flores, but I'd see if I could stay at Tikal (I've done it before and it's magical). As mentioned previously, you can't drive to Yaxchilan, but will take a river boat to the ruins. If you'll have a car, I'd frankly leave it in Palenque, or El Panchan, and take the tour. One of the benefits is that the driver will deal with all the military checkpoints, and you get a bit of a "pass" with a local handling this. I was skeptical, but they really do have all the logistics figured out, and although I like to go it alone myself, this enabled me to turn my brain off and just enjoy the sites. The day tour I took even included the meals, which while not brilliant, did the job adequately.

Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
2 posts
13 reviews
17 helpful votes
6. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

After reading: http://lacanja.com/campamento-en-lacanja.html I traveled to the Lancondian community, in the south of Chiapas with "Kukulcan Travel" (I'll discuss them shortly). I was very disappointed on several counts, although the Bonampak and Yaxchilan tours were both adequate (relatively speaking).

The Lancondian guide, a 15 year old just out of high school, was very friendly and kind, yet totally clueless about the history of the culture and couldn't even name the Ruinas he walked us through the jungle to observe. This was made even more difficult to accept when we realised on our return, there was nobody else available in the resort to talk to or even in the restaurant to feed us and the head of the tribe, had apparently decided to go to Palenque city. We'd just traveled from there, and we found out that he could be days and nobody had no idea when he'd return.

Having discussed with the travel agent, "Miguel Angel Rodriguez", of Kukulcan Travel, Palenque before committing to our purchase that the most important feature of our tour was the cultural exchange and meeting the Lacandonian people, this was most disappointing. I expected him to be able to help, I promptly sent him an email in Spanish for clarity... Several hours later there was still no reply, no Collectivo to return us to civilisation and still nobody around to discuss history or their way of life, even though I'd made special arrangements to stay two nights instead of one so we could talk about the culture for longer. I made a phone call from a ridiculously expensive ($3pes p.min) pay phone from the next resort... At this point Miguel realised it was me and could only repeatedly say: "Hello, hello, it's a bad line! Sorry I can't hear you!" This was a lie. My partner then called and spoke with him in Spanish to help clear things up. He was less than helpful over the phone, but that was nothing in comparison to what transpired when we returned to Palenque: we spoke with him in person as soon as we could. He got particularly upset as I explained to him that "we had paid over $2000pes and if he took the money for the tour it was his responsibility to honour our agreement and deliver the tour we had asked for" he was getting more and more angry. Then he hit me on the arm trying to get me out of his shop. I was not intimidated by him and wouldn't move. My partner continued to explain in Spanish that he has a responsibility after taking so much money... I would like people to be aware that he came on recommendation from a friend who lives in Mexico city, but his friendly tone and "can-do attitude" rapidly turned sour as soon as he realised that *another* customer was disappointed. His advertised tours are a sham. He is violent and immature and eventually he turned to cheap insults in Spanish and English as we left his shop disgusted with his conduct.

Please take this warning, buyer beware - these guys are looking to exploit the Lacandonian people and your hard earned travel money. I expect you won't see anything close to the value of $2300pes we paid, here is his website so you know exactly who to avoid: http://www.kukulcantravel.com/

7. Re: Visiting Yaxchilan & Bonampak

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