Palenque

The drive over the mountains from San Critobal to Santo Domingo de Palenque is under 250 km, but takes almost 5 hours because of the curvy road and the hundreds of topes.

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The town of Palenque was fairly quiet, but there was a traditional dance competition one night in the main square.

The Archaeologic zone is a 7 km ride up the mountain from the town. Palenque was a Mayan city whose ruins date back to 226 BC. It was abandoned around 1123 AD and it was overtaken rapidly by the jungle. Most of the site has been excavated and much of it has been restored.

Palenque is a medium-sized compared to its rival city Tikal, but it contains some really nice architecture, sculpture, and carvings. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on many of the monuments.

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We were a bit disappointed by the number of vendors inside and the extent of the Disney-like manicuring of the park which both detracted from the magic of the site. The lower less visited part of the park contains several clusters of un-restored ruins.

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This also leads to the museum which is very well done.

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One Response to Palenque

  1. Michaela says:

    Wow, it looks like you had the place to yourselves.

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