Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico
The ancient Mayan City of Palenque is located in the northern section of Chiapas..  Palenque was first occupied
in 100 AD. However, most of the building and activity is believed to have occurred between 600 AD and 900
AD. The society flourished there under the rule these ruins encompass 4400 acres with over 500 buildings, many
of which remain unearthed as part of the jungle landscape. Those that have been excavated are immense and
awe-inspiring.  Since space and time are limited we are including a couple of websites for detail regarding this
area. We have put captions with the photos that should give a good overview.  For more info, check the official
website of some of the archaeologists:
www.mesoweb.com/palenque.

We took the trip in late February. The daytime temperatures were in the mid 80’s, the nights about 70. The first
day we had sunny skies and the park was not very crowded. A couple of tour buses arrived at 9 and left before
the noon heat of the day. We would strongly suggest wearing good shoes. Many of the steps are 18" tall; some
sites have more than 60 steps to climb. Often they are slanted either front to back or side to side. There are no
handrails to grasp. The knees will remind you of the abuse so wrap them if you're prone to knee pain.  The
second day it rained quite hard so we decided to move on. Otherwise, we would have returned to investigate the
“jungle” area that has yet to be unearthed. Admission to the park was $4.00 U.S.

Our hotel was located in the city of Palenque about 4.5 miles from the Park. It was much larger and more
populated than we had imagined. It was quite crowded with tourists and locals.  If we had it to do over again we
would stay in the town of El Panchan, about halfway between the two. El Panchan has cheaper
accommodations, plenty of selection and has a more rural flavor, at least at this time of year.  Since we had
arrived late in the day and were using an outdated guidebook (4 years old), we were not aware of the differences
and availability. Next time!

To learn more about the ruins of Palenque see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palenque
Palenque Site Museum
Pakal's Tomb.
Partial overview of the ruins.
Queen's bathing pool.
El Palacio (The Palace)
Passageways under the Palace.
We could hear howler monkeys in the jungle
from here.
Large panels throughout the city illustrate the royal
dynasty.
This photo gives the viewer a good
perspective of the jungle growth that
took over the ruins
Do you think Bridget has some
Mayan in her?
From the Queen's tomb.
The jade mask that Pakal was buried
with.
Incense burner.
The Queen's burial mask. All jade.
Pakal's jade burial necklace.
Palenque jade necklace.
Some of the ancient inscriptions that dot the site.
This woman, under 4' tall, only spoke her
native Indian language
John standing on the top step of this
building gives you an idea of the ruins'
size
buildings.