The ancient city of Palenque is both grand and mysterious. Some of the most fascinating ancient ruins of Mexico can be found here. Palenque Chiapas showcases one of the most famous sites in the Mayan civilization. Stone temples look out over the jungle from atop a ridge that hangs above surrounding mountains and travelers who spend time in Palenque will not forget the experience.
Transportation to Palenque can be tricky, but for any history enthusiasts, these ancient ruins of Mexico are well worth viewing. If you plan to rent a car, the drive from San Cristobal, the nearest city, to Palenque will take about five hours. Watch for potholes and other road obstructions as you drive, as some of the highways will not be paved. Also, be sure to keep your passport and other travel documents with you, as there are military roadblocks set up along the highway frequently and your car may be searched.
Travel to these ancient ruins of Mexico by bus will also take about five hours from San Cristobal. Palenque Mexico has two bus stations, both offering first class service to and from nearby cities. Bus service is also the best way to travel from downtown Palenque Mexico to the Palenque ruin site. White VW buses make trips from the city to the Palenque ruin site about once every ten minutes between 6am and 6pm. Cost is around $1 per person and buses may be flagged down at any point along their route.
Tourists making a trip to the Palenque ruin site will want to bring rain gear. Even on the warmest days, the jungle environment is wet and can even become chilly. During the rainy season, Palenque Mexico is incredibly humid and a good rain jacket will provide protection from the soaking precipitation.
Once you arrive at the Palenque ruins, you"ll see why historians and archeologists have studied these ancient ruins of Mexico for decades. The Palenque Maya civilizations were complicated and the temples that remain to this day are just one example. The architecture of the temples is inventive with a particular building style that allowed light and air into the temples. The interiors feature stone sculptures and representations of rulers and gods of the Palenque Maya people.
Perhaps the most famous of these rulers was Pacal of Palenque, also known as Pacal the Great. The name Pacal means "shield" in the Palenque Maya language and Pacal of Palenque commissioned much of the building projects that resulted in the intricate temples we see today. After his death, Pacal of Palenque was worshiped as a god and laid to rest in an elaborate pyramid tomb.
Whether you choose to stay in Palenque for a week or simply as part of a broader Mexico vacation be sure to check out these ancient ruins of Mexico. As one of the only untouched villages of its kind, the ruins of Palenque are inimitable.