Palenque, Chiapas

Palenque, in the state of Chiapas, is located in the western frontier of the lowland Maya region. It is about 130 km west of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche and a two and a half hours drive or 90 miles southwest of Villahermosa, Tabasco.

Palenque is at the foothills of the Tumbala mountains in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. It is close to the Usumacinta river which divides Mexico from Guatemala. Palenque archaeological site lies 8 km. from the modern town with the same name.

Tourists and scientists alike have been astonished when it comes to visit Palenque, where a nearby modern village shares the name. Perhaps the village was named after the ancient city. It is also thought that the sound of the name bahlam kin - jaguar sun - refers to the place where the sun descends into the underworld, the realm of the jaguar.

Although Palenque is much smaller in size compared to Copan or to Tikal, this old Mayan city features samples of the finest architecture of this civilization.

According to research, Palenque builders used wit skillfully. They built with multiple piers and doorways on the front to let air and light into the interior.

The temple of Inscriptions and The Palace are two major buildings that reflect the greatness of Palenque's architecture.

The Temple of the Skulls and the Temple of the Dead Moon are also known as Temple XII and they are the first visitors can see upon arrival to the ruin city. The north group consist of 4 temples which are all aligned.

The information recovered at Palenque has shown the dynastic history of a series of rulers. The most famous of these rulers is Pakal, who is buried in a coffin in a chamber below the Temple of the Inscriptions. Amazing drawings featuring a spaceship and a space traveler can be seen on the top of the coffin.

Tour guides at Palenque archaeological site are available. At Palenque town, hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, shops, and businesses allow visitors to stay for short periods or longer vacations.