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“Palenque Chiapas Mexico”

National Park of Palenque
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Palenque Archaeological Site Tour
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Palenque Mayan Ruins, Misol-Ha and Agua Azul Waterfalls Full Day Tour from...
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Full Day Tour: Wonders of Agua Azul Cascades and Palenque Ruins
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Palenque
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Owner description: A wide variety of pyramids, temples and sculptures have all been found at this famous Mayan archaeological site.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Palenque Chiapas Mexico”
Reviewed July 16, 2008

The National Park of Palenque is absolutely beautiful and in my opinion, does not compare to any other ruins in Mexico. You are allowed to to climb one ruin which I highly recommend. The view of the city is perfect and worth the climb. As you make your way down to the museum, the waterfalls are amazing. Clear blue water and very refreshing after walking and sweating for a few hours.

7 Thank Disko21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“The Most Enchanting Location Ever”
Reviewed April 26, 2008

Palenque is the place I now long to go back to more than anywhere I've ever been in the world. A friend of mine who had visited there some years ago urged me to go there on a recent trip to Mexico and it was by far the highlight of the entire trip by a mile and then some.

Completely off the beaten path and nestled in the middle of the jungle is the most amazing setting I have ever beheld. Imagine undulating land, steamy and luscious jungle spotted with howler monkey's and the most gracious ruins rising majestically from the bright grassy hills and shrouded in early morning mist. Sounds too good to be true - but it isn't. Besides the visual feast of towering elephant ear's, palm trees, mosses and creepers, a veritable rainbow of butterflies decorates the cascading green like multi-coloured Christmas decorations.

Breaking the silence, Howler Monkeys - who rule these forests - bring the canopy to life and can be seen at all times of day (though they seem to prefer howling earlier and later in the day). If you don't know what these Monkey's sound like check out this online mp3 http://www.naturesongs.com/howler5.wav - apparently they're the loudest mammal in the world - and definitely with the eeriest sound. Their roar echoes through the jungle and commands even the smallest of creatures attention. Keep your eyes peeled on the upper-most canopy and you'll be sure to see these rather small dark friends swinging from branch to branch; if you're lucky with a baby or two on their backs.

Then there are the ruins; as you follow the path up into the park the trees suddenly clear and on a sunny day, the light reflects brilliantly off the first stretch of pyramids. This is truly a majestic place. The pyramids seem to soar out from the earth, touching the sky and taking their rule over this area of jungle.

When my partner and I went it was rather quiet, by way of tourists, and we spent an entire day climbing every pyramid on site and taking 100s upon 100s of photos. Be ready for a workout if you're up for it, as you're still able to climb and explore pretty much every monument in this park. We didn't bother with a guide but eavesdropped on a few talks given by local archaeologists and discovered some amazing facts about the site. If I had it over to do again (which i plan to as soon as i have more dollars in my piggy-bank) I would have looked into paying a qualified archaeologist to take me for a guided tour. Apparently the site is still actively being worked on so there are a few archaeologists in the area who are happy to give guided tours.

One of the most amazing aspects on this park is the fact that you can actually walk deep into the buildings which are dark, moist and dimly lit - but oh-so-fascinating. Be sure to keep an eye out for their ancient toilets (very interesting!), the tomb of Pakal's mother and also look out for the remnants of original paint which can be seen as blue and red flecks, particularly in the upper most eaves of the structures. There's an old national geographic which reconstructs an image of Palenque as it would have looked in it's heyday - mighty and statuesque in it's rich terracotta red and trimmed in a royal blue - look out for this pinned to the wall of the Internet cafe at El Panchan.

Palenque is truly a destination worth visiting and I simply can not wait to go back there. To top off the experience stay at El Panchan and you will not be disappointed!

23 Thank Headwealth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 432 helpful votes
“Best ruins in Mexico”
Reviewed March 15, 2008


I visited these ruins 2 years ago, but looking at the reviews listed I found some detail missing, so I am writing this review now. First of all I truely enjoyed my time at Palenque. I have seen several ruins in Mexico (Tulum, Chichen Itza, Coba, Monte Alban and others) and Palenque is the best by far (although the others are nice, too.). Only Tikal in Guatemala beats it as far as Mayan ruins go.

What makes this ruin so spectacular is that it is up against the jungle background setting and has a nice layout of many buildings. Some of these buildings have nice detail. In the background you can hear howler monkeys (although I did not see any.), and see other wildlife. It truely is a picture perfect ruin to visit. Take a look at the photos I submitted to get a feel for it.

I agree with the previous reviews of Palenque in their content and on the recommendations of the guides. The guides give your very basic information which you can find out ahead of time by reading the basics before visiting the ruins, and they do not take you to any special areas that you cannot visit on your own.


The only negative thing I can say is that the Mexican government charges tourist at every opportunity. First, upon entering the "jungle/wildlife zone". Second, admission to the park. And third, for a permit to use a video camera. While the charges are not huge, they are annoying. And since I visited the park on two different days, I got to pay each of these charges all over again!

Helpful Hints:

1. If you stay in the city, you can take a mini van to the ruins by standing on the road to the ruins and looking like a tourist. They will stop ask if you want a ride to the ruins, and charge you around 10 pesos (price 2 years ago.) to go to the ruins.
2. In route to the park the mini bus will stop for the guards that are"protecting"(aka toll booth) the park. You will have to pay a fee to enter the protected area (aka tourist tax - others in the minibus from Mexico, or appeared to be from Mexico were not approached to pay the fee.). Go ahead and pay it, but MAKE SURE that your receipt has the correct date stamped, or you might get charged again. I was given a ticket they stamped in advance from the day before. So especially if you arrive early, make sure that you ticket has the correct date and is not a leftover stamped from the day before.
3. Arrive early. You can see the entire park in one day, but it will be a full day.
4. Take a lunch break and go visit the museum. Two reasons. First to cool off. Second to visit the office and to ask special permission to enter one of the temples that was excavated. Near the end of the day at a very specific time you can climb down the long staircase and visit the tomb inside for 15-20 minutes. This is worth doing. In order to get permisson, you will have to write a letter requesting so at the museum office. Once you do this, they will give a limited number of tickets out to the first that come. So take an early lunch to do this. Be advised that this option is only on certain days, so ask in advance.
5. Make sure that your hotel has AC. In Palenque it is very hot and humid. It is very refreshing at the end of the day to come back to a cool hotel room.

I hope that this added information helps you in your visit of Palenque. Please take the time to rate my review below. Thank you.

43 Thank travelingmike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2007

The ruins of Palenque are located in the jungle and this unique l set up enhances the mystery of Palenque. It is difficult to describe Palenque as words cannot capture the majestic atmosphere. Standing on top of the highest building looking at the beautiful mixture of the Mayan architecture raising from the jungle is an unforgettable experience. If you have the time - you can go deep into the Jungle and learn more about the Mayans culture and its linkage to nature. A word of recommendation - hire a good guide! It is almost impossible to understand the site without one.

4 Thank artman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Avoid the Guides”
Reviewed March 6, 2006

The site of Palenque is stunning. The setting is much more breath-taking than that of Chichen Itza or Uxmal or the other Yucatan sites. It is definitely worth a visit. My recommendation, though, is to stay away from the guides. While the guides at Chichen Itza were incredibly helpful, my guide at Palenque told me such things like: the Mayans were wiped out by a meteorite collision that formed the Gulf of Mexico, the Mayans were in contact with Asia and India, and that the Mayans were advanced metalworkers. All demonstrably untrue and counter to current archaeological opinion. The guide added no value so avoid at all costs no matter how much they pester you.

9 Thank mrn2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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