My Summer Vacation 2017 Part III - Palenque

Written by Rob Mukai on Sep. 28, 2017

Tags: Mayan Ruins Road Trip Summer Vacation 2017 Palenque

Palenque Archeological Site


Residential area

Part III of the trip, we stay in Palenque, one of the more famous Mayan ruins in Mexico. Of the over 1,400 buildings in the area, only a small fraction of them are restored. Most are still buried under the jungle. With Hurricane Harvey slowing our arrival to Palenque the day before, we ended up going to Yaxchilan and Bonampak the day before. So we only had a couple of hours first thing in the morning to see the Palenque ruins. You can see the post here on Yaxchilan and Bonampak



Entry of the site

Palenque is a fascinating ruin. It is so large, that there are a number of partially exposed buildings outside of the actual archeological site. Because we only had a couple of hours before we had to start the drive to Mexico City, we decided to use a guide. There are some English speaking guides, but they are really expensive. Their list price was $95 USD for 2 hours. We ended up negotiating that down significantly, and went on the tour. The guide, took us to a few of the buildings that are outside the site entrance, to give us an idea of what this whole area might have looked like before it was excavated.

Outside the excavation site

Once in the archeological site, it has some really well preserved buildings, including the only tomb of Mayan royalty that was found in-situ. It was in a small chamber in one of the buildings.

Tomb in situ

There were also a number of residential units, with courtyards, as well as multiple temples that are located on hilltops giving the whole site a very spectacular look.

Bas Relief

Given that we only had a couple of hours, we were able to see the whole site, including the aquaducts, and the temples and residential buildings. And the guide was really good at exlpaining what we were seeing.


After the two hour tour, we had to get on the road to Mexico City. See the next blog post for that part of it.

If you missed the first two blog posts check them out here:

Part I - Isla Holbox

Part II – Yaxchilan and Bonampak

Part III – Palenque

Part IV – Mexico City

Part V – San Miguel de Allende