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Ways to Experience Mayan Ruins of Bonampak
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All reviews wall paintings three rooms small site maya world amazing murals mexico city visitors temple ruins sites jungle palenque road middle stelae templo preservation
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had a really bad feeling about Bonampak, Yaxchilan and the Lacanjon region. We drove all the way there from Palenque to discover the culture and the ruins but we just felt like they were after our money there.

After 3 hours drive from Palenque, we headed to Yaxchilan, after paying 30$Me/pers for the community (which seems completly normal, because the region and the culture are struggling to survive ans tourism is a good way to help) we paid 70$Me/pers (also reasonable and hopefully the money goes to the community too) but then, bad surprise, the lancha (motor boat) to join the site cost 1200$Me (~58€) which is too expensive for us. We were the only turists on the sites. We waited for other turists to come in order to share the lancha but nobody came and of course tickets cannot be reimbursed and nobody would tell us lancha pour before we votre to the River.

No better luck with Bonampak, again 30$Me/pers for the community and 70$Me/pers for the ruins ticket. But then you cannot go to the site with your own vehicule, you have to cet there with a Lacanjon taxi, we Say ok let's help again the community but they asked for 350$Me while the book guide recommands 70$Me/pers and the hotel 100$Me/pers max. We did not want tout participate in this masquarade so we said no and never get to see Bonampak ruins neither.

What a disappointment after a 6 hours go and back drive from Palenque... Our only reward was our great afternoon and night on our campamiento Rio Lacanja, alone in our cabin in the middle of the jungle.

Thank Marion A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2018

The site is very small and the only reason to go actually are the murals. But these murals are indeed spectacular if partly in a bad condition so that some parts are hard to recognise. Make sure you have information at hand, provided by a tour guide or book. The biggest challenge is getting there. I travelled there from Palenque in a rental car which took me 3 hrs. Once you arrive in the village you'll have to switch to a Lacandon taxi which needs another 20 mins on dirt road to take you to the site. I wouldn't drive all the way there again and book a flight instead to save time and nerves.

Thank michawow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2018

If you take a tour to Yaxchilan/Bonampak from Palenque they arrive to Bonampak pretty late in the day as reaching Yaxchilan takes most of the day. So run to the Templo de las Pinturas, the site's main attraction, as the attendant locks it up for the night starting around 4:30 and there may be a separate line waiting to get inside of each of its three chambers. The Maya murals are terrific, in a surprisingly good state of preservation. Also, they recreated the temple at the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) in Mexico City and painted the murals with bright vivid colors so one can see the details better there.


OT: I stopped writing reviews on TA since past summer as TA editors, being the jackasses that they are, deleted some of my reviews for not adhering to their standards even though some of those reviews were marked as helpful by other TA readers. But of course TA editors in their infinite wisdom know better what's helpful. So from now on I will write reviews only when I think the info may be very important and helpful to other members. Sorry for making you read my rant.

Thank Ron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2018

There's really one main reason to come deep into the Lacondan jungle to see Bonampak, and it is these fantastic colorful murals. The walls and ceilings of three rooms atop the pyramid are coated in well-preserved paintings showing scenes painted by the ancient Mayans. The murals depict 270 individual people, along with a lot more. It's really something to see and remember how long ago it was painted.

The main acropolis/pyramid itself at Bonampak is very impressive and is 77 feet high above the plaza. You can see by the rubble at the top that it used to be a bit taller even. Back down in the ground level is the tallest stellae in the Maya world, which is also pretty impressive.

Come see Bonampak now, before the murals decay further or are closed to visitors to preserve it.

1  Thank TravelingFamilyTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2018

The Bonampak Mayan ruins contain the most famous and best preserved Mayan wall paintings of any site. The colors are still fantastic to see in three small temple ruins at the near top of the ruins site. This is a small Mayan site around a small ceremonial plaza. It is really hard to take in all the murals-paintings in each room, as there is so much being depicted on the walls. This site is a must if you are traveling in this part of Mexico south of Palenque and going to Yaxchilan Mayan ruins site down the river from the river border town with Guatemala of Frontera Corozal. If you are on a tour of this area, then Bonampak ruins will be part of the tour. If you are not on a tour, recommended to hire a guide to explain the murals before you climb up to see them. After arriving via the local vans, there are bathrooms and handicraft stands on the walkway to the site.

From the visitor center entrance all tourists whether self-driving or on a tour must utilize and pay for local Mayan Indian real old vans transport down the road to the site. This is not a rip-off, but a way for the government to help the local people with a source of income. The vans are old and creaky but its all part of the experience and fun/anticipation of visiting this site. Back in the 1980's the only easy way to see this site was via small plane roundtrip landing on a small grass runway- so having to pay an additional fee to take these old local-owned vans to the ruins (and help the local Mayans with revenue), is a small inconvenience in comparison !!

Also, if you are in Mexico City before visiting this part of Mexico & this Bonampak site; at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, in one of the courtyards is a complete reconstruction of these 3 temple rooms murals, as the paint looked when first found and restored. At the actual Bonampak site, the murals have faded some since their first discovery.

Thank Jack M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2018

The big draw here are the well preserved murals inside one of the temples. Otherwise, the place is rather small and there's not much else to see. Worth a stop to see the murals.

You cannot drive there yourself, and must use transport provided by the local peoples.

Thank Stefan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2017

Obviously here you find one of few murals preserved from the Mayas. If you undertake the trip to Yaxchilan, this will come with it. Take a guide and make him explain the murals before you go to see them. This will let you have a better experience.

Thank Jochen-v-S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2017 via mobile

The charge a road toll of 30 pesos per person to get further 5km. After that they charge you 250pesos per Person to get into their Van. You are not allowed to drive there with your own car. The actual entrance fee is 65pesos per person. Such a rip off. Thanks for wasting my time.

Thank trasys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2017

The pyramid is not large, but the fact that it is in the middle of the jungle makes it really special. It is one of the few pyramids that has paintings with color that are still visible.

Thank Eduardo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2017

The Mayan city state of Bonampak is usually visited in conjunction with that of Yaxchilan, both a distance from Palenque where most travellers stay but close to one another. It is a small site compared to those of Yaxchilan and Palenque but interesting none the less.

Bonampak is most famous for the three rooms in the main temple in which the walls and ceilings are covered amazingly well preserved paintings. Each room has a different historical theme so it is a good idea to read up about them first or be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide to provide the explanations.

Aside from the ruins and paintings, I was surprised to find an old grass landing strip near the entrance to the site. In the 1950s and 60s, before a road was constructed through the jungle to allow Bonampak to be easily reached, the only access to the site was by hiring a small private aircraft which would land on this narrow runway carved out the forest.

Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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