Nov. 24: Palenque Ruins, Chiapas

On the 24th of November (day 54), Danielle and I left the hotel we'd stopped at in Cardenas, Tabasco, and headed towards the ruins of Palenque in the state of Chiapas. We were both excited to see what are considered some of the best Mayan ruins in Mesoamerica, as well as to only have to drive about 3 hours; far less than the last few drives we'd done.

We arrived in the Palenque area around late morning, and pulled into the Maya Bell campground, which I'd found online beforehand. The campground remains one of Danielle and I's favourites because it was right in the jungle, walking distance to the ruins, and had all the amenities we could want (I'd highly recommend this place if you're going to visit the ruins, other than camping they also have small rooms as well as cabanas). Further, while we stayed here we heard howler monkeys as well as saw fireflies and an agouti.

Once we'd set up at the campground, Danielle and I walked to the ruins and explored them for a few hours. What set the ruins of Palenque apart from those at Monte Alban was the fact that instead of being in the middle of a hot, open field, these ruins were surrounded by the thick jungle, with howlers patrolling the grounds, and a cooling, misty rain hanging in the air. After we'd explored the ruins, we walked back to the road and checked out the on-site museum for which admission is included in the ruins entrance fee. The museum was enjoyable, and featured some intricate and beautiful jade jewelry and death masks which the materials were imported from other Mayan sites in Guatemala.

We then spent the rest of the day hanging out in the campground, showering, making dinner, and surfing the internet.

A river which runs through the ruins.

Danielle 'posed candid' exploring the ruins.

The ancient ball courts.

The site's museum.

Our campsite in Maya Bell.