Palenque is located 142-km (89 MI) southeast of Villahermosa and 229 km (143 MI) northeast of San Cristobal de las Casas.
Although Palenque was inhabited around 1500 BC, the most important ruins discovered date from the 6th to 9th centuries. Around 800 AD, the city was abandoned for an unknown reason. The Maya people shaped stucco, stone, and ceramics into elaborate designs. In 1740 a Spanish priest dug into a buried wall while trying to plant crops. This led to the discovery and exploration of the ruins. In 1923 Franz Blom began a serious excavation of this area and continued until 1952. Archaeologists, astronomers, and linguists continue to explore this area today.
There are several luxurious hotels in Palenque. The Mision Palenque has a restaurant, steam room, shops and stores, a bar, and a travel agency. Many hotels offer shuttle service to the ruins. Rates for accommodations range from US$18 to US$125.
There are many restaurants located around town and in the main plaza. La Chiapaneca is considered Palenques best restaurant. Most hotels have a restaurant and bar located on the premises.
The lobby bars offer a relaxing atmosphere after a day of hiking around the ruins.
There is a small handicrafts store and snack shop located at the ruins site.
You will find that traditional Mexican food and dishes are the main cuisine served in Palenque. The Casa Grande offers some seafood dishes. Tacos, chili, fried bananas complement Mexican plates.
Banks: Banks are generally open from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. Several banks will cash travelers cheques. Exchange desks are open from 10 am until 12 pm.
Transportation: Taxis charge a flat rate of one dollar around town, and more to travel to the ruins. Buses travel to and from the ruins every ten minutes. Check to see if your hotel offers a shuttle service first.
Misol-Ha: There are waterfalls, caves, and subterranean pools in Misol-Ha, located 18-km (11 MI) southwest of Palenque. There are a few restaurants, rest rooms, and a campground here.
Agua Azul: Located 64-km (40 MI) southwest of Palenque, Agua Azul has several spectacular waterfalls and connecting pools. Trips to Agua Azul and Misol-Ha can be arranged through several travel agencies in Palenque.