I woke up in the night bus, about one hour before arriving in Palenque town. The first thing I saw after leaving the unique beaches of Playa del Carmen was the Usumacinta River surrounded by jungle, at the crack of dawn. The lighting was perfect, nor bright nor dark. Mist was hanging over the river, through the trees. The water of the river was high, it mirrored that perfect morning light through the scenery.
Chiapas is known throughout Mexico for its beauty. Waterfalls, jungle, ruins, great cities, can all be found in the Mexican state of Chiapas. And it is cheap! It is the place to be.
The Pre-Hispanic city of Palenque is a national park and a UNESCO world heritage site. The Maya city of Palenque flourished in the seventh century. Palenque is a medium-sized site, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings the Mayan produced. After its decline it was absorbed into the jungle, it has been restored and it is now a famous archeological site that attracts thousands of visitors.
Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscription on the many monuments, and historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 7th century and extensive knowledge of the city state’s rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque is Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the temple of the inscriptions.
Accommodation in Palenque: El Panchan, Jungle Palace, Palapas (straw huts) along the river, clean bathrooms, 10$ per room for 2P/night.