Chiapas Ruin Sites, Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan,
Izapa, Chiapas, Mexico

Views of Palenque's temples from the Temple of the Cross

Reach Palenque Ruin Site, Other Sites

Vans, Cabeza Maya to the Ruins
Palenque ZA, Zona Archeologico, on this map  can be reached by collective taxi from the nearby City of Palenque.  Cabs make frequent runs and pick up passengers along the way.  The sculpture called the Cabeza Maya is a handy place to wait for a cab.

  • Bonampak and Yaxchilan
Reach Bonampak Ruin Site and the Frontera (Frontier) for boat trips on the Usumacinta River to the Ruin of Yaxchilan.  See the collective vans near the Cabeza Maya, just across the street to the northwest.  This will be an all day trip.  Vans start at 5:00 am.
  • Tikal  
The vans will transport travelers to the boat landing at Frontera Corozal.  (formerly Echeverria) From there boats cross the river and go upriver to Bethel Guatemala for transfer to Flores Guatemala and lodging for the Ruin of Tikal.  Arrangements can be made with tour agencies in Palenque City for the transportation or you can arrange your own.  Buses run from Bethel; three a day make the four hour trip.  The other option is San Juan Travel which runs vans from Bethel to Flores.  San Juan has gotten bad press over the years but in January 2012 they ran a solid trip on both the Belize City to Flores leg and the Flores to Bethel leg.
  • Palenque City  
The small City of Palenque (85,000) occupies a hillside 8 miles from the  Palenque Ruin Site.  ADO bus service is  available as is other service and tours to nearby sites such as Bonampak and Yaxchilan.   
Tours also leave the area for the
cascades of Agua Azule and for  the Ruin Site of Tonina and for San Cristobal de las Casas.  
Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions above the tomb of the Emperor Pacal, ruler from 615 AD to 683 AD
available at Palenque's museum bookstore:  "Yucatan Before And After The Conquest. "
Occupied from 100 AD, the site's Classic Period buildings that still stand, took shape between 600 AD and 900 AD.
Legend and stone inscription suggest that the first inhabitants were Olmec people and the artifacts in the small museum show Olmec influence.
View of the Palace
Palenque's most notable leader was 7 Th Century king or emperor Pacal who ruled from 615 to 683 AD. He built the so-called Temple of the Inscriptions dedicated in 692 atop the pyramid enclosing his tomb.

After the decline of the center the area farmers continued to live in the valley below the city but according to reports the area was nearly deserted when the Spanish arrived in 1520.

American travel writer John Lloyd Stephens and English artist Frederick Catherwood made trips to the area in 1839 and 1842, documenting the sites with text and drawings in their publication,  "Incidents of Travel In The Yucatan"  published in 1843.
Controlled archeology commenced with a Tulane University expedition headed by Franz Blom in 1923. Later Mexican researchers headed by Albert Ruiz  Lhuillier,  working from 1949 to 1952,  would discover the tomb of Pacal at the ground level within the pyramidal platform supporting the Temple of the Inscriptions. Scientific work continues within the site which is presently 10% excavated and stabilized.

Temple of the Inscriptions, Above. Albert Ruiz  Lhuillier,  working from 1949 to 1952,  would discover the tomb of Pacal at the ground level within the platform supporting the Temple of the Inscriptions.
Palenque's Temple of the Cross
Palenque's Temple of the sun
Tonina can be reached from Ocosingo ADO bus stop
Yaxchilan reached by van service/collective taxi from Palenque and then by boat from Frontera
Emperor Pacal, ruler from 615 AD to 683 AD
The carved stones are placed throughout the site, several on the Acropolis and others on the main plaza of what was the ritual center of a much larger city, most still cover by the thick jungle along the Frontera  and the watershed of the Usumacinta River.   

Chiapas Ruin Site, Bonampak

Izapa  Ruin Site Chiapas State, Mexico

Izapa Ruin Site view of the entrance to the complex (right) called group F, first settled in 1200 BC
Izapa Chiapas Tapachula; an ancient city with Olmec influence that was at its height from 600 BC to 100 AD
Izapa Ruin Site, is an abandoned stone city built by the local settlers starting in 1200 BC.  The settlement was influenced by the Olmec culture through trade and migration from 900 BC to 100 AD. The city reached a high point between 600 BC to 100 AD.
Izapa was the center of a large culture settled along the coastal plain and river delta near what is the current border with Guatemala and the present day city of Tapachula in Chiapas State, Mexico.
Reach Izapa via the Talisman (Talisman Bridge) Collective taxi that passes by the first class bus station in Tapachula.
Chiapas Ruin Sites, Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan, and Izapa can be reached by collective taxis from the nearby Cities.  
Cabs run from Palenque to the Bonampak Ruin Site and the Frontera for boat trips on the Usumacinta River and the Ruin of Yaxchilan.

Izapa Ruin Site can be reached by collective taxi in Tapachula Chiapas.

Palenque Bus Travel
Palenque Ruin Site
Palenque Area Ruin Sites
Where Is Palenque Ruin
Index Mexico Ruin Sites
Maya Ruin Sites
Palenque Area Ruins Tour
Palenque Lodging, Hotels  
The Cabesa Maya, a sculpture at the entrance to the town of Palenque
The Cabeza Maya sculpture,  Palenque
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