Palenque Mexico: The Greatest Attractions Guide

Want to know some attractions in and near Palenque, Mexico?

How can you get to each attraction?

Wondering what to do in these places?

In today’s guide, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about Palenque Mexico attractions.

Keep reading this ultimate guide and get ready to know and explore Palenque, Mexico. Let’s do this!


Mariana

1. Palenque, Chiapas Archeological Zone

Discovered in 1740, the Archaeological Zone of Palenque Chiapas was a Mayan City during the Classic period.

Moreover, nowadays the ruins and the surrounding National Park are considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This place is truly a masterpiece!

A place where time and the present collide in these majestic ancient ruins. Certainly, you can still feel that sensation of power and war.

Check out our post: Mayan Pyramids in Mexico (& where to see them)

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This place is pretty important for Mesoamerican history. Its most important structures are:

The Temple of the Inscriptions

“The Impressive Temple of the Inscriptions is noted for its hieroglyphic inscriptions.

In 1952 a crypt was discovered under the temple, in which were found the jade-ornamented remains of what may have been a ruler-priest of the 7th century.

The Temple of the Sun is noted for a large stucco bas-relief of a beautifully modeled throne and figures”. Info by Britannica.

palenque mexico

The Palace and the Aqueduct

“The Palenque water-work system included 50 natural springs, nine rivers, and streams that fed the aqueducts, channels, and pools. Some archeologists believe that they invented the first pressurized water system in the New World.

People built a walled channel under the palace and the main ceremonial plaza to ensure a large open space for religious and political ceremonies.

You can see part of the amazing stonework when you follow the path from the Palace to the Plaza of the Crosses. The roof of parts of the channel collapsed giving a partial view.

A carving of an alligator on a huge stone symbolizes the importance and protection of the waterway”. Info by On the road in.com

palenque mexico

The temple of the Red Queen

“Surrounded by treasure and covered in blood-red dust, the Red Queen was discovered in a seventh-century Maya tomb, but her true identity remains unknown.

In the vaulted burial chamber of Temple XIII at Palenque, Mexico, a researcher examines the stained interior of the stone sarcophagus of the Red Queen”. Info by National Geographic.

palenque mexico

The Temple of the Count

“It was named after Jean-Frédéric Waldeck an eccentric scoundrel who lived for two years inside the temple with his Mayan mistress.

In fact, it is a classic Palenque Maya pyramid and sits directly adjacent to the North group of structures and faces east towards the Ball court. The temple has three entrances with a rear and front passageway leading to a central room and two side rooms.

The pillars were covered with stucco sculptures and images. On the top, it is adorned with a richly decorated roof comb. Constructed between ad 640 and 650, it is the oldest excavated building so far.

Three tombs with a number of human bodies and sacrificial offerings were found underneath the portico’s floor”. Info by On the road in.

chiapas ruins

The Ball Game

“If you’ve ever visited an archaeological site in Mexico – think Chichen Itza, Palenque, or Monte Alban – the chances are you’ve come across at least one Mesoamerican ballcourt in your time.

By 1400 BCE at the very least, the Mesoamerican ballgame was in full swing across much of southeast Mexico.

To date, there are thought to be some 1300 ballcourts still in existence, although the addition of the now iconic ‘hoops’ was actually something introduced by the Mayas, before being copied by the Aztecs and Toltecs”. Info by The Culture Trip.

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What to do?

Here you will find the archeological site’s museum which holds two permanent exhibition rooms, a temporary one, an auditorium, replicas, and a souvenir shop.

Besides, there are some pieces recovered in the ’40s by foreign archaeologists. Public access hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from Tuesday to Sunday.

How to get there?

The archaeological zone of Palenque is about 4.97097 miles from the city. First, you have to get to Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport. From there, you can take cabs that can take you to the archaeological site of Palenque.

However, the costs is very expensive to leave directly from the airport. Indeed, you can ask the locals how to get there by collective transport, or by non-airport cabs.

The collective transport leaves from the Maya traffic circle, next to the ADO Bus station for a cost of $28 pesos. By Taxi, somewhat more expensive but not subject to schedules.

palenque mexico pyramids
Palenque, Mexico is a Maya city in the state of Chiapas. This city is full of history, ancient energy, and astonishing landscapes.

2. Agua Azul Waterfalls

You will find this spot just two hours away from Palenque, Chiapas.

These waterfalls were declared a biosphere reserve in 1980 for being a natural refuge for the howler monkey, jaguar, toucan, and other species of the region. In addition, Cascadas de Agua Azul comes from the turquoise blue color that has characterized them.

What to do?

Here you can freely swim and relax, on the other hand, if you’re feeling adventurous there are rafting and snorkeling tours available too. Admission to the general public is from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

How to get there?

It can be reached by road from the city of Palenque, which is approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes away.

But if you are in Tuxtla Gutierrez, you must go to San Cristobal de las Casas and from there to Palenque, although it will take you about 5 to 6 hours to get there by this route.

You can also get there by transportation, in the city of Palenque, there is a bus that goes directly to the entrance of Agua Azul.

cascadas agua azul

3. Misol Há Waterfall

If you are around the Agua Azul Waterfalls, you might as well visit Misol Há. Although you can visit both places on the same day, it is best to dedicate a whole day to each place.

By the way, did you know that here was filmed the Arnold Schwarzenegger film ‘Predator’?

Misol há is a waterfall 30 meters deep and a fall 45 meters high. There is a path that allows you to see behind the waterfall, offering stunning views.

If you want to be in touch with nature not too far from the main town, this is the place you were looking for. This refreshing place is located in the high tropical jungle of the Chiapas Sierra, in the middle of a super-rich vegetation area. 

What to do?

You can do some hiking to the viewpoint. One of the secret corners of the waterfalls and one of the most special of this place.

In addition, you can go into the grotto of the waterfall and swim and cool off for a while. It is advisable to be accompanied by a guide to better orient you in these subway places.

Finally, you can take amazing pictures of the surroundings of the jungle. You will find wonderful angles to admire the splendor of the crystalline waterfall.

How to get there?

It is located 11.8061 miles from Palenque on federal highway 199 to Ocosingo, where there is a detour of approximately 0.932057 miles (20 minutes).

More information on how to get there: https://guiasdeviaje.mx/en/destinosydirectorio/misol-ha-waterfall-chiapas-mx/

4. Aluxes

Aluxes eco-park is an ideal place for all travelers who come to Palenque Mexico with the desire of jaguar-sighting. It is a center for the conservation and rescue of plants and animals in the region. Moreover, there are endless activities to do here. 

This ecological park is inspired by the Maya Culture and although it has been created to help endangered animals, it is also designed for tourists. That is to say, its design is perfect for family recreation and environmental education.

What to do?

From boat rides and night tours to the feeding of different species and being in contact with the giant tortoise, everyone is bound to have fun in this place. 

You can see beautiful animals in a natural environment and learn more about their conservation and reproduction systems.

This place seeks to continue preserving and conservating endangered animals, so you can learn more about their history. Moreover, you can learn how can we save these species, plants, and our world in general.

How to get there?

This eco-park is located on the road to the Palenque Archeological Zone, at 2.6 kilometers. Get there by car or with a tour operator. 🚗

palenque mexico jaguar

5. Lacandona Jungle

The Lacandona Jungle is located in the eastern mountains of the state, between the municipalities of Las Margaritas, Altamirano, Ocosingo, and Palenque, Chiapas.

What to do?

Inside the Lacandona Jungle, there are great tourist attractions such as Bonampak and Yaxchilán.

Equally, there are Ecotourism Centers such as ‘Las Guacamayas’ and ‘Las Nubes’ where you can spend a pleasant night in rustic cabins surrounded by the sounds of the wild-life of the jungle.

Here you can enjoy many adventure activities, such as rafting, kayaking, and walking tours. Also, the definition of the trails is amazing and the landscapes you see are truly impressive.

How to get there?

It is just two hours and a half away from Palenque, Mexico, and it is worth the ride.

The most convenient for any type of travel is to arrive at the Tuxtla Gutierrez airport. You can stay in San Cristobal de las Casas, Comitan, or Chiapa de Corzo.

In fact, all these places are very close to Tuxtla, so you can get there by car or public transportation. There are buses from Palenque to the community of Lacanjá, ask at the market for the route that goes there. Info by Alma de Chiapas.

chiapas mexico selva lacandona

6. Lak Puj Kul Museum

If you want to know the history and culture of Palenque, Mexico you can start by visiting one of its museums. The Maya name of this museum means “our clothing.”

In this textile museum, you will find different garments full of color and with a very particular Mexican style.

What to do?

Here you will learn how fabrics are made, colored, and woven. Additionally, you can learn the different uses they may have. The garments of the town you need to know are the huipil, the “jorongo”, the skirts, and the tunics.

Finally, you may have the opportunity to create your own shirt or skirt like a local. It is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm and from 5 pm to 9 pm.

How to get there?

This museum is located in the heart of Palenque, Chiapas Central Park. Exactly at the central avenue, corner with the central street, col. Tuxtla Gutierrez Center, Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas.

From Tuxtla Gutierrez airport you can take a taxi or ask for collective transport to the locals. They are very easy-going and friendly!

indigenous mexico
The Chiapa’s textiles are some of the most famous textiles in the world in terms of art, production, and history.

7. Catazajá Lagoon

This splendid paradise and fishing tradition place is located just 30 minutes away from Palenque. This place is a beautiful place to relax while admiring the amazing views of the lagoon and its surroundings.

The gastronomy of this place is something that every foodie has to experience at least once in a lifetime. For instance, after getting to know the fauna through a boat trip on the lagoon, you can try the exquisite dishes in the community of Catzajá.

What to do?

Here you can take a boat ride and see a variety of local and migratory birds. Catazajá has approximately 16,000 hectares of water and is home to the manatee.

However, if you enjoy bird watching here you will find a great variety of flying species.

Nonetheless, if you want to get to know the plants and animals of this jungle region of Palenque, the traditional boat tour is a must-do activity. To conclude, visitors can enjoy the gastronomy of the place, based on fish and shellfish, in the different restaurants found in the surroundings.

How to get there?

In Palenque, take federal highway 199 again and head north. At 17.3984 miles is the intersection of the Villahermosa – Escárcega highway and 0.621371 miles further you will find the town of Catazajá. The best way to get there is by car.

catzaja
Photograph by joesantanab (Instagram)

8. Plaza del Artesano

You have to visit this place before leaving Palenque, it’s a must. Here you can find a large number of crafts typical of the region such as ceramics and textiles.

It has more than 98 artisanal premises where artisans expose their work to national and foreign tourism in its different categories. Most crafts are hand-made and inspired mainly by the Maya culture. 

Briefly, this space was created in 2006 by the government of Chiapas to provide talented artisans a space for the exhibition, elaboration, and sale of their products. You can visit Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. 

What to do?

In Plaza del Artesano you can buy different hand-made souvenirs that you will remember for the rest of your life. What’s more, you can appreciate the way many textiles are made and see diverse beautiful works of art you can only admire in Palenque, Mexico.

How to get there?

Highway to the Archaeological Zone KM 0.5, Palenque. In front of the sculpture “La Madre Chol”. Plaza del Artesano, Ruinas-Palenque, Siglo XXI, Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico it’s the exact location.

palenque mexico handicrafts

Palenque, Mexico is a unique magical town where you can experience many adventures.

Whether visiting its archaeological site or exploring the jungle, you will find a natural paradise with spectacular views. What are you waiting for? come and explore it!


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