Our main purpose in visiting the Mexican city of Palenque in the Chiapas state was to visit the Palenque Archaeological Site (Maya ruins)
. This site is medium in size compared to huge sites like Tikal, but is one of the most widely studied, written about, and well-known Maya sites.
After breakfast we walked out onto the main highway to catch one of many collectivos
to the site. These are inexpensive vans that run back and forth all day long. There are no set stops, you stand by the side of the road, and before too long, one will stop for you. In addition to tourists, they also transport vendors carrying their wares to sell at the site. There were a few vendors in the collectivo that we caught.
Riding in back of a collectivo
Entering the site.
After paying our entrance fee, we entered the site. Unfortunately we did not have a printed map and did not see any available there. If you're going, you may want to print a map
before you go, because it's easy to get disoriented -- this is a large place! Another tip: there is plenty for sale to eat and drink right outside the entrance for very reasonable prices, so you don't need to buy bottled water or anything to eat in town to bring along if you don't want to. We bought some water and a couple of snacks to supplement what we'd brought along.
Entrance to site
What lies ahead?
This map would have been really handy to have in hand. There are no more of these billboards once you pass here.
I wish it had been a sunnier day for photographs, but it was hazy and overcast for most of the day. That did help keep temperatures down. Here are just a small (?) selection of the many, many photos Barry took of the various structures at the site, in no particular order.
The Ball Court.
Temple of the Cross.
Temple of the Cross in the center of the photo
Temple of the Cross (right) showing all the stairs. Yes, we did walk to the top. In fact, Barry walked up them twice in pursuit of photos!
Temple of the Foliated Cross.
Temple of the Sun.
Temple of the Skull.
Emily climbing the Temple of the Skull
Please stay tuned for Part 2 of the Palenque ruins and much more!