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What to do in Palenque Chiapas

How do I explain this to you?…. In a few words Palenque is one of the most important places in Chiapas because it has one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico.

Palenque is a little more than 1700 hectares of jungle that was decreed as a National Park in 1981, containing pyramids, foundations, stone sculptures and paintings with thousands of years of cultural history.

Here we will focus mainly on sharing with you a guide to visit the archaeological site of Palenque Chiapas.

The Best Things to do in Palenque Chiapas

If you are wondering what to do in Palenque Chiapas, here are the 7 activities and 4 tourist attractions you should consider during your visit:

Visiting the Archaeological Zone of Palenque

archeological zone of Palenque

This place served as one of the major ceremonial centers of the Mayan culture, distinguished for having belonged to the dynasty of Pakal, one of the most important Mayan rulers. Of course, this place is declared a World Heritage Site.

The interesting thing is that, in the archaeological zone, you will be able to enter the tomb of who may have been the king’s spouse, known as the “Red Queen” of Palenque.

Despite the extent of the site, it is believed that only 10% of its totality has been discovered, as many constructions of the old city are still under the thick jungle and are confused with small hills covered with undergrowth. So you could literally be stepping on history on your tour.

To visit Palenque archaeological site we recommend using: Entrance fee + Guided tour

Visiting the Lak Puj Kul Textile Museum

This museum is focused on showing examples of the famous Chiapaneca clothing, those colorful textiles that have become representative of Mexico.

In addition to observing the different designs and types of clothing, here you will learn about the elaboration of fabrics, how they are colored, how they are woven and the different types of uses given to the materials.

Exploring the Lacandon Jungle

If you like exploration and adventure this is one of the activities you must do in Palenque Chiapas. It is necessary to use an excursion to do so and you can book it from Palenque.

The experience consists of walking a hiking route accompanied by a guide who explains everything about the flora and fauna of the place. With a little luck you will see howler monkeys, macaws and even harpy eagles.

To perform this activity it is necessary to hire this excursion: Hiking in the Lacandon Jungle.

Toniná Archaeological Zone

Besides the archaeological site of Palenque, you can also visit Toniná in Ocosingo, another Mayan archaeological site with Mayan remains more than 700 years old.

Taste Chiapaneca food

There are several places in Palenque Chiapas where you can try the typical food of the region.

This is the list of dishes we suggest you try if you are visiting Palenque:

  1. Corn Tamales
  2. Chipilín Tamales
  3. Duck in chirmol
  4. Sweat fish
  5. Venison Salpicon
  6. Chipilin Cream

We also recommend you to try some traditional drinks:

  1. Tascalate
  2. Regional coffee
  3. Chocolate Drink

Visit the Artisan’s Square

The Artisan’s Plaza is a place with about 100 stores dedicated to show and sell the region’s handicraft products. Here you will find stone carvings, wood carvings, scale replicas of Palenque’s archaeological sites, ceramic objects, amber jewelry, baskets and textiles.

Visit the Church of Santo Domingo and La Cañada

Santo Domingo Church: Representative building of the magical town of Palenque where every year the celebrations of Santo Domingo take place.

La Cañada: a neighborhood famous for its hotels, restaurants, cafes and one of Palenque’s most emblematic monuments: the Mayan Head, a huge lime-colored sculpture of the Mayan people.

Sightseeing in Palenque Chiapas

Below I share with you the tourist places you can visit from Palenque Chiapas.

Roberto Barrios

Roberto Barrios Waterfall Chiapas

These waterfalls stand out for their spectacular emerald green color.

Although they are not as famous as other attractions in Chiapas, they are worth considering since they offer activities to spend the whole day in the place.

The waterfalls are close to Palenque.

To visit this place we suggest:

Bonampak and Yaxchilan

Bonampak and Yaxchilan

This place is considered one of the treasures of pre-Hispanic muralism; it is an archaeological zone in which much remains to be discovered.

Bonampak is in the middle of the Lacandon jungle and it is advisable to take an excursion to explore it.

To visit this place we suggest:

Misol Ha Waterfall

Misol-Ha Waterfall

This attraction is a 22-minute drive from the magical town of Palenque.

The waterfall is so beautiful that it has been the setting for Hollywood movies.

To visit this place we suggest:

Agua Azul Waterfalls

Agua Azul Waterfalls Chiapas

One of the most representative and well known natural sites in Chiapas.

The Agua Azul Waterfalls are beautiful and are an attraction near Palenque.

To visit this place we suggest:

How to get to Palenque Chiapas

How to get there

I’m not going to lie, getting there can be a challenge so I’m going to share some tips with you.

Flights to Palenque

There are no direct flights to this destination so you have 2 options to get there:

  1. You can arrive at the airport of Villahermosa, which is 2 hours from the archaeological site of Palenque and from there you can take a bus to the site.
  2. Or you can get to Tuxtla Gutierrez which is about 8-9 hours from the tourist site and from there hire a tour to take you to Palenque.

Find the best prices on Airplane Flights here

▷ Encuentra los mejores precios en vuelos a Guatemala aquí

By Bus

You can get to Palenque by bus from:

  • San Cristobal de las Casas (9 hours)
  • Villahermosa (2.5 hours)
  • Mexico City (15 hours)

We recommend you to check prices here

🚌 To buy your bus ticket

We recommend you to do it here

Arrives by car

Just a tip, if you are thinking of arriving by car download the map on your cell phone before you go because Chiapas is not known for having a good signal and put “Palenque archaeological zone” in your gps, don’t just put “Palenque” because it will probably take you somewhere else. Be sure to head to the right place!

Where is the archaeological site of Palenque?

🚗 F or car rental

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Palenque Archaeological Zone

Palenque Ruins

Here are the most important attractions of the archaeological zone of Palenque.

The Tomb of Pakal and the Red Queen:

Probably the most important area of the archaeological zone because it was here that the tomb full of pre-Hispanic jewelry of the Mayan ruler, Pakal, was found.

Unfortunately, due to irresponsible tourism it is no longer possible to visit this tomb; however, the museum of the site within the Palenque National Park has a replica that can be visited. There is also another replica of the tomb in the jade museum in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Next to the tomb of Pakal is the tomb of the red queen (the wife of the Pakal ruler) and the temple of the Skull, this tomb can be entered.

The Palace

An area that maintains evidence that the Maya had internal conflicts, as it is interpreted that within the Maya communities there were wars and alliances.

Pakal and the Mayan nobility were supposed to have lived in “the Palace” and, as long as you go with a guide, you will be able to learn about the astronomical advances of this pre-Hispanic culture.

Conjunto de las Cruces

Here we will be able to admire 3 of the most important temples of the Mayan city and it is here where one can climb the highest temple to get a spectacular view of the place.

To visit Palenque we highly recommend this excursion: Entrance to Palenque and guided tour.

Costs at the Palenque archaeological zone

  • National Park Entrance Fee: $37 pesos per person
  • Entrance fee to the Archaeological Zone: $85 pesos per person
  • Tourist Guide: $600 pesos (charged per groups)
  • Parking: $20 pesos per car
  • Recording permit: $55 pesos
  • Entrance fee + Guided tour: $850 pesos

Palenque Schedules

You can visit the area from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am until 5 pm, although access is until 4 pm.

  • Museum of the site: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 -17:00
  • Archaeological Zone: Monday to Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Excursions to consider

Where to Sleep

For lodging in Palenque we recommend these 2 hotels:

Maya Tulipanes Palenque

Hotel Maya Tulipanes Palenque

This hotel is in the ecological tourism zone of La Cañada, 8 km from the archaeological site of Palenque.

The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, karaoke bar, children’s playground, bar and restaurant serving regional and international cuisine.

The hotel has a good location and offers excellent prices.

Ideal for couples and families looking to stay in Palenque.

View Price

Maya Rue

Hotel Maya Rue Palenque

Hotel Maya Rue is located 200 meters from Palenque’s main square and offers a cafeteria and air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi.

For those looking to reduce lodging costs, this hotel offers good services and facilities at an excellent price.

Ideal for families

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🏨 If you need accommodation, we recommend looking here 🏨

How much does it cost to visit Palenque?

BackpackerTouristLuxury Traveler
Visit the archeological zone of Palenque800800800
Budget per Person per day130017502600
Prices are approximate and are intended to give an idea of the travel budget, they may vary or change over time.

To visit Palenque we recommend this excursion: Entrance to Palenque + guided tour.

Tips for your visit to Palenque Chiapas

Best time to visit Palenque

If you are looking for the best weather: It is generally going to be hot; however, November through February is said to be when the weather is most pleasant.

If you are looking to avoid rain: Visit this place from November to May and avoid from June to October.

Low season: This destination is too touristy, it has tourism all year round; however, months such as February, October, May and November can be the best options.

Festive dates: If you want to visit Palenque Chiapas during an important celebration you should consider the Festival of Santo Domingo (First fortnight of August). It is the most important festivity of the place.


Hot, hot, hot, hot and humid

What to wear

Wear comfortable shoes, remember that you will be visiting an archaeological site.

Light clothing is essential.

Mosquito repellent is a good idea, better if it is natural.

Buy it here

Bring water, there is no sale of products inside the archaeological zone.

Wear sunscreen or a hat: whatever it takes to protect you from the sun.

Buy it here

If you are going to hire a guide directly at the archaeological site, it is convenient to join with another group to reduce the price per person.

Prices are quite high in high season, take this into consideration.

Go well fed and with water, because outside the archaeological zone the prices are over inflated, so it is better to look for food a little removed from the tourist attraction.

We suggest that you carry some extra money in case the people of any community ask you to cooperate in order to continue your trip; this is usually between 40 and 50 pesos per car.

Yes, the warm tropical weather is delightful, but don’t forget to bring light clothing, a hat, sunglasses, your sunscreen and mosquito repellent because they tend to lurk.

The place is full of impressive buildings with lots of information in every detail, so it is ideal to hire a certified guide to offer you a tour full of stories. We recommend booking the tour here: Palenque + Guided Tour

Palenque, in Chiapas, is one of the most visited sites due to its immense natural and cultural wealth. Undoubtedly, Palenque and its surroundings will captivate you because, in addition, in the town of Palenque there is a lotto do and to know.

Where to eat

You can eat in the town of Palenque, where you will find a wide variety of restaurants and places for all budgets.

Especially the areas of “Pachán” and “la Cañada” are the best places to find food.

Restaurant recommendations:

  • Maya Cañada
  • Bajlum
  • Yara’s Café
  • The Mango Restaurant (Hotel la Aldea)

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