Palenque  Archaeological Site, Chiapas, Mexico

Today the modern town of Palenque occupies a hillside a few miles from the  site  where ADO, long-distance, first class bus service is  available as is other services and tours to nearby archaeological sites such as Bonampak and Yaxchilan.
  Tours also leave the area for the cascades of Agua Azule, the ruin site of Tonina, and for the Archaeological site of Tikal in Guatemala.
To reach the Palenque Archaeological site and museum find the white collective taxi vans that make runs to the ruin about every 15 minutes and cost 20 Pesos. The collective vans round the rotary at the Cabeza Maya, a large sculptured head at the entrance to the town.Campgrounds, hotels, and posadas are plentiful in the  town of 85,000  with campgrounds  and inns on the entrance road to the ruin.
Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions above the tomb of Pacal,II ruler from 615 AD to 683 AD
Palenque Archaeological Ruin Site view of the complex called the Palace from the  Temple of the Cross
Views of Palenque's temples from the Temple of the Cross
View of temple XIV from the Temple of the Cross

Palenque Archaeological Site

The name Palenque was given to the site by the Spanish when they found this group of stone  buildings built by the Mayans between the 3rd and 9th centuries AD near the Usumacinta River in Mexico's southern most State of Chiapas.
According to archaeologists, Palenque was once a regional Mayan political center that reached its population maximum between 600 AD and 800 AD.  The population reached an estimated 8000 people during the active building stages but at around 900 AD the complex of buildings was abandoned by the Maya for unknown reasons.

Palenque Archeological History

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

Friar Diego de Landa (1524-1579) described Palenque in 1567 writings available in a book at Palenque's museum bookstore:  "Yucatan Before And After The Conquest. "

Temple of the Cross
View of the Palace from the steps of Temple XII.  (The Skull)

Palenque Early Archaeological Investigation And Documentation

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.
This book brought a series of investigators from Europe to the site but it wasn't until  1932 that modern, controlled archaeology commenced with a Tulane University expedition headed by Franz Blom.

Palenque's Modern Archaeology, Pacal's Tomb

In the early 1950s Mexican researchers headed by Albert Ruiz  Lhuillier, working from 1949 to 1952, discovered the tomb of Pakal at the ground level within the pyramidal platform supporting the Temple Of The Inscriptions.
The archaeological investigations had uncovered a stairway at the top of the platform that led to the tomb of Palenque's most notable leader, the 7 Th Century ruler K'inich Hanab Pakal II.  Inscriptions indicated that this leader ruled Palenque from 615 to 683 AD.

According to archaeological researchers. Pacal built the temple now called The Temple Of The Inscriptions and dedicated it in 692 atop the pyramidal platform that would enclose his tomb.

Scientific work continues within the site which is presently 10% excavated and stabilized.

Reach Palenque

Bus: ADO Station in Palenque.  First class ADO buses reach Palenque from Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, Villahermosa, Merida, and Mexico City. 
Flights reach Villahermosa Airport for ADO van service to Palenque

Palenque Temple of the Inscriptions

Palenque Archaeology

Palenque is an ancient Mayan city and ritual center in what is now Chiapas State, Mexico.
Palenque was first settled in 100 AD and reached its height between 450 AD and  900 AD.
After 900 AD the Mayan complex of buildings was abandoned for reasons unknown.

Palenque's modern archaeological investigations began with a Tulane University expedition headed by Franz Blom in 1923.

Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions as seen from the Palace

Palenque Hotels  

 The area called La Cañada is a handy place to find a hotel.  Just a short walk from the Cabeza  Maya statue where white vans make frequent runs to the ruins, and close to the ADO Bus station.   Several hotels are located in the area called La Cañada ( pronounced Canyada) ranging from 350 to 1000 pesos per night.   ( $25 to$100 USD per night)  Best Western Photos, Map
 El Chechen Hotel,  WiFi, hot water, air conditioning, TV  350 pesos   multi-night 300
 ($30 USD) 
Hostel  Yaxkin
 300 pesos, private, restaurant, bar, in the Cañada ( La Cañada)
Outside La Cañada on the road to the archaeological site:  Lodging Mayabell  Walk to Archaeological site
Camping:  Maya Bell RV and Camping  Park   (on the road to the Archaeological site)  Phone: 011-52- 916-345-0798

Shop over 30 Hotels In Palenque, Room Rates, Photos, Maps, Reviews

Palenque Archaeological
Ruin Site Chiapas, Mexico

Palenque  archaeological site is considered by many to be the most beautiful ruin site in Mexico.  The archaeological ruin site was a Mayan political center at its height between 600 AD and 800 AD.   
Palenque  Ruin Site Chiapas State, Mexico
Palenque  Archaeological Site Pacal's Tomb building
Palenque's Temple the Palace as seen from the Temple of the Skull
Palenque's Temple  called the Palace, thought to be an observatory
The collective vans round the rotary at the Cabeza Maya, a large sculptured head at the entrance to the town.
The archaeological site of Palenque , abandoned by the Maya in 900 AD, was deserted when the Spanish arrived.
Palenque Ruin Site
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