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“Small But Interesting”

Mayan Ruins of Bonampak
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Lacandona Jungle, Yaxchilan and Bonampak Day Trip...
Ranked #19 of 129 things to do in Chiapas
Certificate of Excellence
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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.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"wall paintings"
in 7 reviews
"small site"
in 3 reviews
"maya world"
in 2 reviews
"three rooms"
in 3 reviews
"amazing murals"
in 2 reviews
"small mayan"
in 2 reviews
"dirt road"
in 2 reviews
"mexico city"
in 4 reviews
"mayan ruins"
in 4 reviews
"frontera corozal"
in 2 reviews
in 11 reviews
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10 - 14 of 262 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2017

There is no other place like Bonampak. Anywhere. PERIOD. People can criticize the Lacandons, who manage the site, for taking advantage of tourists... but they miss the point of visiting the site... You should be able to endure anything to get here. Seeing the Murals live is a once a lifetime experience. They were discovered in 1946, and are the finest classical Mayan murals ever known. You can see reproductions, or photos but there is nothing like the real thing. Suggest to read as much as you can before you go about the meaning of each scene (room) so you can enjoy them more. A bit of history of the Mayan Ruler who commissioned the paintings helps.

Date of experience: June 2017
3  Thank agustin_farias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2017

If you have taken a tour from Palneque to Yaxchilan this is a site usually included on the way back. It is a very cleaned up site small but special. It takes a short ride through the jungle tracks by a local - they organise the site and control access. (In our case the journey was like a rally race with the driver flying along the bumpy road pointing out frogs snakes and tucans as he went!) The site is famous for the well preserved and highly colourful wall paintings which are accessed in two small rooms of a ancient building at the top of a pyramid. The time spent at the site itself is quite small but what a beautiful site to see having travelled so far. Worth the extra time and fees.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank 753anthonyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2017

Visited here early morning and there was hardly anyone about. It is a really interesting site but the main draw is the murals which are in such good condition and the colours still intact.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank Angel57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2017

It is a long drive from palenque. The road is safe and relatively well maintained. Be ware that when arriving at the entrance of the site, you will be subject to a few ticket scams from the lacondonian community (indegenous tribe owning the land rights of the road leading to the ruins and the ruins themselves).
--> obligatory taxi from the entrance (100peso pp) if you drive yourself.
--> preservation fee for the jungle (30peso pp) if you arrive by yourself.
--> entrance fee (70peso pp)
The visit itself only takes 1h. I personnaly found the murals worth my time and money (three brightly decorated chambers). We arrived here with the car, we didn't have time to go to yaxchilan that day. Otherwise I would have prefered to do it with an organised tour from palenque (rates are not that high and it'l probably save you the hassle of organising the boattour to yaxchilan). But in that case you are not you're own timemanager. I don't think it would be that interesting to take a guid extra (we already saw some exerpts from the murals in Merida en Campeche). Mini guides are on offer for 10 pesos. If possible read about the murals beforehand so you can skip the lacondonian guide.

Date of experience: April 2017
1  Thank Yannick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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