In the middle of the jungle, Palenque was developed as one of the most notable cities of the Classic Mayan period, seat of a powerful dynasty that dominated the mountains of northern Chiapas and the plains of Tabasco, a territory that some researchers have now considered as the kingdom of Lakamhá. Renowned for its innovative artistic style and for the high quality of its architectural and sculptural works, the site reached its splendor between 600 and 90 AD.
The tour in Palenque must begin at the Site Museum that shows a collection made up of objects found during different seasons of exploration, among them are the characteristic Palencan clay cylinders that served as pedestals for censers, carved stone panels, stucco and glyphs . In front of the museum there is a path that goes up the mountain and crosses a jungle landscape adorned by the Otolum stream and its waterfalls. Groups of buildings such as Los Murcielagos, sit on this path that leads to the Great Plaza. In this place you can find the ball court, the northern group and the Temple of the Count. This last building was built during the Pakal government, it consists of five stepped bodies and a temple on the top.
The majesty of the Temple of the Inscriptions dominates the Great Plaza. This building gets its name from the glyphic boards carved in limestone that are inside. It is an authentic mausoleum ordered to be erected by Pakal to serve as a tomb for him. Its famous crypt is accessed by a hidden staircase until 1952, the year the tomb was discovered by Ruz Lhuille.
La majestuosidad del Templo de las Inscripciones domina la Gran Plaza. Este edificio recibe su nombre a causa de los tableros glíficos tallados en caliza que se hallan en su interior.
Se trata de un auténtico mausoleo mandado a levantar por Pakal para que le sirviera de tumba. A su famosa cripta se accede por una escalera escondida hasta 1952, año en que la tumba fue descubierta por Ruz Lhuiller.
The burial chamber shows a monumental sarcophagus covered with a tombstone, both decorated with bas-reliefs like the walls of the crypt. The scene on the tombstone presents Pakal between the Earth Monster and the cross that symbolizes the cosmic tree on which the celestial bird perches.
Next to the Temple of the Inscriptions there is a platform on which buildings XII and XIII were erected; This last one is also called the Temple of the Red Queen, based on the recent discovery of a tomb with the remains of a woman covered in cinnabar and accompanied by offerings.
The Otolum stream, partially covered by the construction called The Aqueduct, separates the central square of the Conjunto de la Cruz, whose construction has been attributed to Chan-Bahlum, formed by the temples of the Sun, of the Cross, of the Foliated Cross and XIV. The Temple of the Cross sits on an imposing stepped base. It does not maintain its facade anymore, but its cresting does. Inside Temple XIV there are panels with characters and inscriptions.
The Temple of the Sun is the best preserved as it maintains its cresting and much of its impressive stucco decoration. Inside there is a board, and its central attraction is a solar mask.
The Temple of the Foliated Cross also lost its façade, but it keeps the interior sanctuary, where the panel with the foliated cross can be seen representing the corn plant as the axis of the world in the symbolism of cultivated nature. In Palencan temples the presence of sanctuaries in the form of small interior temples is common.
On the banks of the Otolum, within the jungle are found the remains of the Temple of the Beautiful Relief. Inside the jungle there are also the temples XIX and XX.
The censers are a summary of the aesthetic quality achieved by the Palenca artists, in conjunction with the exuberance of the landscape, many of these censers have been found in the Las Cruces area. These objects had a great importance in the rituals because through them, the sacrificial blood was offered, which was burned together with the copal. They were the vehicle of communication between the rulers and the deities of the sky and the underworld.
From Tuxtla Gutiérrez, take the Federal toll road 190 towards San Cristóbal de Las Casas until the junction of Rancho Nuevo, and from this point take the free Federal Highway 199 passing through Ocosingo; until reaching the city of Palenque with a total route of 259 km. From this point take a 7 km deviation (road to the ruins) that leads to the archaeological site of the same name.
Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 17:00.
$ 80.00 MXN per person and $ 37.00 MXN for CONANP (The National Commission of Protected Natural Areas)
It has a site museum
Service Unit with stores
Chiapas Brand Store
Guided tours for school groups
Restrooms at the box office and inside the site
- Recorrido en Museo de Sitio.
The (The National Institute of Anthropology and History) INAH recommends not leaving the trails, respecting areas not open to the public, information and restrictive signs, and visiting the site with comfortable shoes, preferably tennis shoes.