A great Mayan civilization
Palenque Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
A very important Mayan civilization that fluorished in the 7th. century, located in the vicinity of the sierra, dominating the Tabasco and Chiapas lowlands is in fact situated just 8km. from Santo Domingo de Palenque city. This is considered as one of the most important capitals built by the classic period Maya (A.D. 200-900) its greatest splendor is linked to the dinasty of Pakal the Great between (A.D.650-750)
This settlement comprises 17 square km. and has more than 1,500 buildings including the temple of the inscriptions containing the funerary crypt of Pakal the great, the palace, the North group, the Cross group and a wide variety of residences, temples and works of urban-land-use such as aqueducts to channel rivers that originated in the northern highlands in Chiapas.
In prehispanic times this place was known as "Bakal-Ham" which means mucha agua or lot of water. After its decline, the place was absorbed for long time by the jungle and it was until 1740 when the Spanish priest Antonio Solís discovered this important archaeological place that actually attracts thousands of visitors every year.
So from San Cristobal we got to Palenque city, right there we heard about some hostels located near these ruins site, most of them are very simple and ecological, without any luxury of course, so everything is very rustic. So, we decided to choose one of these hostels located sort of 5km. from the ruins. My experience at the hostel was incredible because this is a rainforest area so you are really in touch with all the nature and the environment is very special, in the nights you can hear the sounds of lot nocturnal animals and even early morning lot of birds singing all of this was something very new for me.
Next early morning we decided to go and visit the ruins. to get there if you are in Palenque city, you can take a colectivo and pay sort of $5 pesos or so, or even take a taxi, but this is a very short distance, I think it takes around 15 or 20 minutes to get the ruins from the city. As we were very close to the ruins we decided just made our walking, something very important is to wear comfortable cloths and shoes to walk without problems there.
Then a few kilometers before the ruins there is a obligatory police stop, for all visitors and you have to pay a fee for the preservation and conservation of this nature protected area, but tough I do not remember exactly the price is not expensive at all. So after walking up around maybe 25-30 minutes to get to this place, under the hot sunlight we made it and finally saw this amazing place so our walked worth a lot!
We visited and hiked up the most important buildings and took beautiful photos at top, the view from there is just incredible.
At the museum you can find lot of important objects from this Mayan site but one of the most important and interesting things to see is the Pakal's tomb, which originally was located in the temple of inscriptions and also you will find this big stone of Mayan calender.
As you can think of, this place is really worth to visit.