Trip to the Chiapas – Palenque Ruins – Day 3

Group at Best Western waiting..

Group at Best Western waiting..

Last day of our weekend getaway to the Chiapas! After a hearty breakfast, again at the Best Western in Palenque, we were off… Well almost…we were fed and packed and waiting at the entrance for our trusty guides…and after 30 minutes of waiting for them, we called at 9:05am, and found that they would be arriving shortly… Our understanding of 8:30am and Pedro’s was a little bit off this morning but when they arrived — we were off! It did give us time to take a very unrushed photo of our little group at the hotel.

NOTE: bring water with you for this day! there are no vendors inside the site and by the time you climb all the stairs and tour the entire site, you are very thirsty. They do sell beverages at the entrance/exit so make sure you have an extra one. There is lots of shade and great paths to walk around the ruins, but if you are climbing them all — and Why wouldn’t you!- you will need water. Snacks wouldn’t be a bad idea either, after 4-6 hours of exploring you are famished!

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A bas-relief repoduction that depicts Upakal K’inich, the son of K’inish Ahkal Mo’ Naab III

The Palenque ruins date back to 226BC to around 799 AD. Palenque is a medium sized Mayan site but it is one of the best that we have visited so far. Definitely require a guide to fully explore and understand these ruins. The jungle surrounding the ruins is quite amazing and this is where we started our day, searching for Howler Monkeys! We did manage to find some very quickly into the jungle tour but they are at the very tops of the trees and very hard to photograph. Make sure you have your camera settings ready to go before you venture into the jungle because you have very little time once you are walking. It is very dark and shaded in the trees and they are very high- I wish I had a setting on my camera that said “howler monkeys” then my shots would have been perfect! We found a small cluster of 3 monkeys, one was a mother with her baby on its back. Hard to see in the picture but it was there!

Definitely be careful and pay attention to where you are walking! Lyn saw a snake slithering away and many of the trees have very pokey spines on them. Don’t reach out to grab one! You can see a lot more Mayan ruins throughout the jungle walk that are still mostly covered. These are where the common folk must have lived as it is separate from the main palace and temples.

Pedro was definitely a wealth of knowledge as he walked us through the site. I definitely appreciated the fact that we had first visited the Palenque Museum as we had a base understanding of what we were seeing. Whether he was describing the red tomb or the inscriptions on the temples, we sure did learn a lot.

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Lots of stairs for climbing.

 This was a great way to spend the day. We managed to walk up every staircase that we were allowed to with minimal complaining and whining from Lyn… and the boys! Definitely a day to wear good running shoes, take lots of breaks and enjoy the view from the top.

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