Agua Azul, Misol Ha and Palenque
Palenque Travel Blog› entry 36 of 184 › view all entries
It was finally time to move on from San Cristobal de las Casas which we liked very much. We decided to go with a tour to Palenque instead of taking the bus because the price difference was actually very small considering all the entrance fees that were included in the tour. The deciding factor for us though was that this way we could do Agua Azul, Misol Ha and Palenque all in one day which would have taken at least two days otherwise. It obviously ended up being a bit rushed but for Agua Azul and Misol Ha one actually didn't need more time and only Palenque would have been better with more time available.
The first thing that changed as soon as we got to Agua Azul was the temperature. Although it is only slightly more than 100km away from San Cristobal the climate is completely different, namely hot and humid like you would imagine the jungle to be and thus very different from the cool mountain climate of San Cristobal.
Agua Azul and Misol Ha were both beautiful although I prefered Agua Azul because it is a bigger site and the water has an amazing blue tint to it due to some minerals in the water. Misol Ha is a largish waterfal and the main attraction is that there is a secured walk that takes you behind the waterfall.
In the afternoon we got to Palenque which is a beautiful Maya city. We had to rush through it somewhat, which meant rushing up and down pretty big pyramids in tropical heat and I worked up quite a sweat. Here I really would have liked to have had some more time. We also didn't do a guided tour because they were quite expensive but listening in on some of the other tours that were going on I think it might have been worth it. The most interesting factoid that I picked up this way is that apparently some of the inscriptions refer to Chinese and Egyptian jargon so the guide was saying that the Mayans must have been in contact with these civilizations which I certainly didn't know and find quite incredible if it is true.
We had initially planned to stay in Palenque overnight but as we were dropped off at 5pm at the bus stop we started playing with the idea of just catching an overnight bus somewhere and thus saving a day and one night's accomodation costs. WHere to go though? Campeche, Merida, Cancun, Tulum, ...? We settled on going to Campeche since this had been highly recommended to us. The problem though was that it wasn't far enough away, so although the bus left at 9pm or 10pm, we would get there latest by 4am and thus would have to sit at the bus station for a couple of hours before it would be light. The 8am bus would get there by 13h00 which we decided was early enough and given that we probably would be in much better shape after spending the night in a bed instead of on the bus we decided to stay in Palenque for the night and rather get the 8am bus. We found a really cheap hotel right next to the bus station with a double room that for both of us came to only 100 Pesos (less than 10 USD) which is the cheapest accomodation we have had yet and the room was decent and we even had our own private bathroom. The only problem was the tropical heat that made it difficult to sleep even with only boxer shorts on and the fan going at full blast, this after we had spent the previous night only 250 km away wearing full thermal underwear and covered by three blankets on top of each other. Really quite amazing the contrast!