10 MEJORES actividades y visitas turísticas en Palenque

Visitas turísticas en palenque.

  • Tours en autobús
  • Tours de arqueología
  • Tours históricos
  • Tours culturales
  • Tours turísticos
  • Tours privados
  • Tours a pie
  • Tours de varios días
  • Hasta 1 hora
  • De 1 a 4 horas
  • De 4 horas a 1 día
  • 5.0 de 5 burbujas
  • 4.0 de 5 burbujas y más
  • 3.0 de 5 burbujas y más
  • 2.0 de 5 burbujas y más
  • Se agota rápidamente
  • La clasificación de tours, actividades y experiencias disponibles en Tripadvisor se determina según varios factores, incluidos los ingresos generados por Tripadvisor a partir de estas reservaciones, la frecuencia de los clics de los usuarios y el volumen y la calidad de las opiniones de los clientes. A veces, es posible que se priorice a las ofertas recientemente publicadas y que aparezcan en un lugar más alto de la lista. La ubicación específica de estos nuevos perfiles puede variar.

tour palenque chiapas

1. Misol-Ha, Agua Azul y Palenque, lo mejor de Chiapas

tour palenque chiapas

2. Cascadas Agua Azul Y Misol-ha

tour palenque chiapas

3. Bonampak y Yaxchilán de Palenque

tour palenque chiapas

4. Zona Arqueológica Yaxchilan Y Bonampak

tour palenque chiapas

5. Excursión para grupos pequeños por el yacimiento arqueológico de Palenque desde Villahermosa

tour palenque chiapas

6. Escapada de un día a las cascadas de Agua Azul y Palenque desde San Cristóbal

tour palenque chiapas

7. Palenque y Cascadas de Roberto Barrios

tour palenque chiapas

8. RUINAS MAYAS DE PALENQUE (Privado)

tour palenque chiapas

9. Palenque y las cataratas selva de Tuxtla Gutiérrez

tour palenque chiapas

10. Recorrido en Zona Arqueológica de Palenque Con Guía Incluido

tour palenque chiapas

11. Tesoros de Chiapas

tour palenque chiapas

12. Tour Full Day a Zona Arqueológica Palenque con Cascadas

tour palenque chiapas

13. Recorrido de medio día a las cataratas Agua Azul y Misol-Ha desde Palenque

tour palenque chiapas

14. Tour a Palenque y Cascada de Misol Ha

tour palenque chiapas

15. Cascadas De Roberto Barrios

tour palenque chiapas

16. RUINAS DE PALENQUE, AGUA AZUL y MISOL-HA (Privado desde Palenque o San Cristóbal)

tour palenque chiapas

17. Recorrido de un día completo por las ruinas mayas de Palenque, Misol-Ha y las cataratas de Agua Azul desde Palenque

tour palenque chiapas

18. Zona Arqueológica Palenque Y Cascadas De Agua Azul Y Misol-ha

tour palenque chiapas

19. Excursión al yacimiento arqueológico de Palenque

tour palenque chiapas

20. Excursión combinada a Palenque (zona arqueológica), Agua Azul y las cataratas de Misol-Ha

tour palenque chiapas

21. Lacandona Jungle Adventure 4 días 3 noches

tour palenque chiapas

22. Tour a Cascadas de Agua azul y Miso-ha desde San Cristóbal

tour palenque chiapas

23. Recorrido de día completo en Agua Azul con traslado desde San Cristóbal a Palenque

tour palenque chiapas

24. Tour Privado de 3 dias a Palenque Bonampak y Yaxchilán.

tour palenque chiapas

25. Cascada turquesa El Salto y sitio arqueológico maya de Pomoná

tour palenque chiapas

26. Aventura en la selva Lacandona y yacimiento arqueológico de Bonampak desde Palenque

tour palenque chiapas

27. Villahermosa - Tour Misol Ha Y Agua Azul

tour palenque chiapas

28. Traslado de Chiapas a Flores Guatemala

tour palenque chiapas

29. CATARATAS AGUA AZUL y MISOL-HA (Tour privado desde Palenque o San Cristóbal)

tour palenque chiapas

30. Traslado Privado al Aeropuerto de Villahermosa Tabasco

Qué están diciendo los viajeros.

César Antonio C

  • Cascadas Agua Azul Y Misol-ha
  • Escapada de un día a las cascadas de Agua Azul y Palenque desde San Cristóbal
  • Recorrido de un día completo por las ruinas mayas de Palenque, Misol-Ha y las cataratas de Agua Azul desde Palenque
  • Recorrido en Zona Arqueológica de Palenque Con Guía Incluido
  • RUINAS DE PALENQUE, AGUA AZUL y MISOL-HA (Privado desde Palenque o San Cristóbal)
  • Con Ciencia Indígena
  • RUTAS MAYAS DEL SURESTE
  • Tours y guias en palenque chiapas
  • Tulum Transportadora Turistica

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Palenque Tours & Trips

Find the right tour for you through Palenque. We've got 132 adventures going to Palenque, starting from just one day in length, and the longest tour is 58 days. The most popular month to go is October, which has the largest number of tour departures.

132 Palenque tour packages with 646 reviews

Escape to Paradise in the Heart of Chiapas Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Christmas & New Year

Escape to Paradise in the Heart of Chiapas

Chiapas Experience Tour

  • Sightseeing

Chiapas Experience

Wonderful experience of the lesser known parts of Mexico. Guide was knowledgeable and seamlessly transitioned from Spanish to English. I do wish we would have had time to wander Palenque on our own. The last hotel I was booked in had a race finishing at 6am the next morning- loudspeakers and music that was very loud-which was brutal since we had a 3:30am start the previous day.

Magic Chiapas Tour

Magic Chiapas

Mayan Adventure Tour

  • Coach / Bus

Mayan Adventure

Very good. The bus and driver and the men who told us everything. The hotels was very close to the center

Classic Mexico Adventure Tour

Classic Mexico Adventure

When you're traveling through a developing country in hot, muggy conditions for so many days with strangers, you need a comfortable hotel to relax in for the night. G Adventures didn't deliver on the quality of hotels. The hotels were a let-down and seriously dampened the tour experience. Unreliable wi-fi in hotel rooms, dirty rooms, some places had no hot water for showers, some rooms were too moldy and musty. Staff didn't speak good English, couldn't help with day trip bookings post tour. As well, the food we tried in Mexicio wasn't as good as people had hyped about. As for the itinerary, it focused too much on ruins and archaeological history, not enough on contemporary socio-econ-political insight. The quality of the optional excursions for the jungle hike & biosphere reserve also lacked a naturalist context. As well, an optional excursion to do snorkelling would've enhanced my experience.

San Cristobal de las Casas City Break Tour

San Cristobal de las Casas City Break

Mayan Route Tour

Mayan Route

  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Mayan Discovery Tour

Mayan Discovery

Overall a very good trip but lots of travel to get to each destination

Mexico Unplugged Tour

Mexico Unplugged

8 Days Customized Mexico Cancun Holiday, Daily Start Tour

8 Days Customized Mexico Cancun Holiday, Daily Start

  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

Unforgettable Mexico ( 16 days ) Tour

Unforgettable Mexico ( 16 days )

The Mariachi route ( 17 days ) Tour

The Mariachi route ( 17 days )

The Taste of Mexico Tour

The Taste of Mexico

For the price, it is a good deal. It is a good tour if you want to be by yourself and you want to see a bit of everything in a short period of time. The accommodations were very well located and the buses couldn't be any more comfortable. The places we visited were great and the time was efficiently distributed. However, the operator is not very detail-oriented, so you need to have an Internet connection in Mexico to be able to communicate with them very often to clarify things. They didn't start booking our accommodations/buses until the day before the tour started. They were still booking some of them even a few days after it had started. It was stressful and gave a sense of uncertainty that is not what you expect to have during your holidays. The evening before the first local tour they changed the morning departure time twice by email, so if you don't have Internet, you can't be certain of anything in this tour. On the positive side, they always answered e-mails very quickly. Except once or twice I made practical questions (e.g. do we need to take our passports to the tour?, or is it safe in Oaxaca after the police confrontation yesterday?) and they chose to ignore them and not reply. At least twice we arrived to accommodations and the receptionist said we hadn't paid. We had to contact Marvelus and wait until the information arrived to the receptionist that we didn't have to pay. Another time we arrived to a hostel that told us they were expecting us the day before but since we didn't arrive, they gave the room away and now they were fully booked. We had to wait an hour before the situation was clarified. In the end we always go the rooms, but after some struggle due to miscommunication between Marvelus and the accommodations. The last day we went to take a bus at 9:30am as stated in the booklet of the tour we agreed upon, but it turned out that the bus ticket they booked for us was at 6:15am, so we had to buy ourselves another bus ticket. However, Marvelus said they would refund us the amount. In short, the tour itself is worth it (nice visits, comfortable buses and well-located accommodations), but you need to have patience with the operator and a permanent Internet connection.

Mexico Differently Tour

Mexico Differently

Beautiful country and interesting sites. However I would have liked to have a bit more time to see them. Some placed were very rushed and in particular Mexico City. I also enjoyed the food and all guides were great. Overall a good experience. Thanks

Viva Mexico Tour

Viva Mexico

Mexico was a dream, perfect contrast of culture into beach life! Group leader Ethan was a great laugh while also very attentive to people's needs, Jaun Pablo the Tour guide was very Informative, food was better than I could of imagined. All and all I would give this tour 10/10.

What people love about Palenque Tours

The tour was interesting, well balanced, so that it was possible to also independently enjoy each and every city we stayed at. The only thing I disliked was the fact that in the offer was included only American breakfast. So it was not possible to chose anything else, although the hotel's offer was much bigger.
Excellent guides. Should prepare travellers that the local tours accept only cash payments, I almost didn't have enough because I had thought they could be paid by card.
  • to Latin America (1)
  • Mexico Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
  • 10 Best Mexico Vacation Packages 2024/2025 (with Reviews)

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Palenque tour: Explore Wonderful Chiapas and Beauty Waterfalls (10 Days)

🇲🇽 Mexico Chiapas Palenque tour: Explore Wonderful Chiapas and Beauty Waterfalls (10 Days)

Chiapa de Corzo

With the Palenque tour, journey to an enchanting realm and have a vacation full of unique adventures and experiences! Immerse yourself in the echoes of Mayan history at the renowned Palenque Archeological Zone. Feel the colonial charm of Chiapa de Corzo, setting the stage for wonderful discoveries. Sail through the awe-inspiring Sumidero Canyon and cool down in impressive cenotes. Dive into turquoise-blue lagoons and explore the misty jungle of Chiapas. Experience the region’s rich biodiversity, and visit Lagunas de Montebello National Park, a 140-year-old coffee farm, and the gorgeous town of San Cristobal de las Casas. Embrace the captivating blend of Mexican history, culture, and nature in this fantastic adventure!

  • Swim in the crystal-clear waterfalls and multiple cenotes on a tour of Mexico, Chiapas.
  • Explore the astonishing Sumidero Canyon.
  • Discover the rich colonial history, culture, and architecture of the Magical Towns of Chiapa de Corzo, Comitán de Domínguez, San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque.
  • Visit the fascinating UNESCO-listed Mayan ruins of Palenque.
  • Discover the stunning Lagunas de Montebello National Park.

How is this tour different?

Authentic    how this tour provides an actual image of the destination, life, and practices of the host community..

We do our best to make our trips educative and fulfilling, in which travelers can interact with local populations, learn about their traditions, and culture, and connect with their core values.

A tour with impact   ? How this tour positively affects the destination and local communities on economic, socio-cultural, and environmental dimensions.

We support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Our tours are aligned with SDG 8 and 12, focusing on empowering local communities and promoting sustainable consumption and production practices. We take tourists to underdeveloped regions, creating opportunities for economic growth while respecting local traditions and educating communities on sustainable approaches.

Other   ? Other advantages this tour offers to travelers.

  • Small groups of up to 12 travelers: closer communication, easier coordination, more adventures, and fun!
  • Off-the-beaten-track tours with maximum immersion in local nature, culture, and traditions.
  • The easy-going atmosphere of our tours is perfect for informal travel and making new friends among co-travelers and locals.

Day 1: Chiapa de Corzo

Start the Palenque tour in colonial Chiapa de Corzo. Considered one of the oldest towns in Latin America,  it’s well-known for being an entry point to the spectacular Sumidero Canyon. Arrive at the airport at any time and take an independent transfer by taxi/shuttle bus to your accommodation. Once there, take your time to rest or explore the town. In the evening, meet your Tour Leader and the rest of the group for a welcome meeting and dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Chiapa de Corzo
  • Meals Included : welcome dinner
  • Activities Included : welcome meeting

tour palenque chiapas

Day 2: Chiapa de Corzo - Cañón del Sumidero National Park - Tuxtla Gutiérrez - Puerto Arista

In the morning, leave Chiapa de Corzo and visit the impressive Sumidero Canyon by boat. After that, head to the regional capital Tuxtla Gutierrez to discover its historic center and visit the famous Marimba Museum. Then, go to Puerto Arista, a quiet regional beach town famous for its extensive golden-sand beaches. Once there, ride an ATV and enjoy the stunning sunset on the beach. Finally, join an optional dinner and get-together with your group in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Puerto Arista
  • Meals Included : breakfast
  • Activities Included : boat tour in Sumidero Canyon; ATV ride in Puerto Arista

tour palenque chiapas

Day 3: Puerto Arista - Iglesia Vieja Archeological Zone - Finca Argovia - Huixtla

In the morning, continue the tour with a guided visit to Iglesia Vieja, one of the 10 archeological sites in Chiapas. Those fascinating ruins use to be an important Mayan city in the Early Classic period of Mesoamerica. Later, go to the lush tropical highlands of the Sierra Madre to visit a coffee farm founded by the Swiss family in 1880. After that, transfer to the nearby town of Huixtla and join your Tour Leader for an orientation walk of its compact historic center. Finally, have an optional dinner and get together with your group in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Huixtla
  • Activities Included : guided visits to Iglesia Vieja Archeological Zone and coffee farm near Tapachula; orientation walk of Huixtla

tour palenque chiapas

Day 4: Huixtla - Piedra Partida - Cascadas De Monte Cristo - Comitán de Domínguez

In the morning, continue our “Mexico Chiapas, Palenque, San Cristobal & Waterfalls Tour” in Piedra Partida, a fascinating place where you can see the stunning sunrise. Thereafter, explore nearby Cascadas de Monte Cristo and swim in its sweet thermal waters. Later, continue to a Magical Town of Comitán de Domínguez famous for being the cradle of the state’s independence. Once there, join your Tour Leader for an orientation walk of its charming colonial center. Finally, finish the day with an optional dinner and get-together in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Comitán de Domínguez
  • Activities Included : visits to Piedra Partida and Cascadas De Monte Cristo; orientation walk of the historic center of Comitán de Dominguez

tour palenque chiapas

Day 5: Comitán de Domínguez - El Chiflón Waterfalls - Chukumaltik Cenote - Lagunas de Montebello National Park

In the morning, check out and transfer to El Chiflón Waterfalls. Once there, tour around and discover several stunning waterfalls such as “El Suspiro”, “Ala de Ángel”, “Arco Iris”, and “Velo de Novia”. Additionally, explore this impressive place with a guided hike, and then, swim in its refreshing waters. After that, transfer to Chukumaltik Cenote to see a unique underground cave, perfect for swimming and diving. Then, head to Lagunas de Montebello National Park, a magical place consisting of 52 beautiful lakes. In the evening, see a breathtaking sunset over the lake before an optional dinner and get-together with your group in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Lagunas de Montebello
  • Activities Included : guided visits to El Chiflón Waterfalls Ecotourism Center and Chukumaltik Cenote

tour palenque chiapas

Day 6: Lagunas de Montebello National Park - Ya´ajche Ecotourism Center

In the morning, wake up early to see the gorgeous sunrise. After that, take a balsa trip on Lake Pojoj , a unique place with multi-color waters, beautiful nature, and a little charming island. Thereafter, transfer to Ya´ajche Ecotourism Center, a peaceful beautiful place next to the jungle, and immerse in its enchanting nature. Finally, in the evening, join your group for an optional dinner and get-together in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Ya´ajche Ecotourism Center
  • Activities Included : balsa trip on Lake Pojoj

tour palenque chiapas

Day 7: Ya´ajche Ecotourism Center - Bonampak & Yaxchilán Archeological Zones - Palenque

In the morning, visit the famous archeological site of Bonampak. Once there, learn about this enigmatic ancient place located in the middle of Lancandon Jungle in the state of Chiapas. After that, go to explore the ancient ruins of Yaxchilán Archeological Zone famous for the important Mayan texts found there. Then, transfer to Palenque, one of the Magical Towns in Mexico. It’s a paradise for lovers of archaeology, history, and nature. Eventually, after check-in and rest, join your Tour Leader and the rest of the group for an orientation walk of the center of Palenque followed by an optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Palenque
  • Activities Included : guided visits to Bonampak and Yaxchilán Archeological Zones

tour palenque chiapas

Day 8: Palenque - Palenque Archaeological Zone - Agua Azul Waterfalls - San Cristóbal de las Casas

In the morning, continue our “Palenque tour” to discover Palenque, one of the most important archaeological sites in Chiapas and Mexico. Once there, appreciate its UNESCO-listed monumental structures and learn about their history. Then, visit Agua Azul Waterfalls, another must-see attraction in this area, known for its fascinating turquoise waters. After that, transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas, a Magical Town famous for its beautiful colonial architecture, traditions, and gastronomy. Once there, have some rest before taking an orientation walk to its charming historic center. Finally, get together with your group for an optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation : conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Activities Included : guided visit to Palenque Archeological Zone; entrance to Agua Azul Waterfalls; orientation walk of San Cristobal de las Casas

tour palenque chiapas

Day 9: San Cristóbal de las Casas  - Zinacantán - San Juan Chamula - San Cristóbal de las Casas

In the morning, experience a 1200-year-old Mayan ceremony of temazcal, a therapeutic steam bath with pre-Hispanic roots. After that, visit Zinacantán, a Tzotzil village famed for its traditional textiles, fruits, flowers, and handicrafts.  Later, transfer to a nearby San Juan Chamula, another self-governing Mayan village. Once there, visit its mysterious centuries-old church where locals keep practicing unique religious syncretism. Afterward, transfer back to San Cristobal de las Casas to continue exploring this charming colonial town. Finally, get together with your group for an optional farewell dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Activities Included : temazcal ceremony; orientation walks of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán

tour palenque chiapas

Day 10: San Cristóbal de las Casas

Last day of our “Palenque tour” . Thus, decide by yourself what time to leave or extend your vacations and stay longer!

  • Accommodation : n/a
  • Activities Included : n/a

tour palenque chiapas

  • This tour is private : only your group will participate.
  • The price per person is variable and depends on the size of your group (please choose the number of participants in the booking calendar ➡️ to see the final price).

Local Expert Guides

English/Spanish bilingual Tour Leader service.

Accommodation

9x nights in conveniently located, locally-owned B&Bs/hotels

Transportation

Private vehicle

8x breakfasts, 1x dinner

Walking tours & orientation walks: Chiapa de Corzo, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Huixtla, Comitán de Domínguez, Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, San Juan Chamula, Zinacantán Guided visits: archeological zones (Iglesia Vieja, Bonampak, Yaxchilán, Palenque); Museo de la Marimba; Finca Argovia, waterfalls (El Chiflón, Monte Cristo, Agua Azul), Chukumaltik Cenote and Lagunas de Montebello National Park Other activities: balsa trip in Lagunas de Montebello National Park, ATV ride on the beach in Puerto Arista, entrance to Ya´ajche Ecotourism Center, temazcal ceremony in San Cristobal de las Casas

Personal expenses

Flights are not included: check our partner deals .

Travel insurance is not included: find insurance tailored for you.

Cancellations

Most of our 1-day tours can be canceled up to 48 hours prior to the departure.

Please see our Cancellation Policy for more info.

tour palenque chiapas

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to book.

To reserve the tour, please choose the date and complete the booking form. Once finished, you will receive a booking confirmation in your email.

How can I contact the tour organizer?

You can find the contact phone number and email of the tour organizer in the confirmation email.

Can I talk to someone?

Except for the information on this page, you can see full terms & conditions from each tour organizer before completing your booking.

About Vibe Adventures

Unless expressly stated otherwise, the tour and activity providers (“Organizers”) listed on vibeadventures.com are independent third parties and are not agents or affiliates of Vibe Adventures. Therefore, Vibe Adventures shall not be held liable for any injuries, sickness, accidents, delays, neglect, fraud, poor weather conditions, negative consequences, or expenses arising from or associated with the Organizers, their tours and activities, or those of their affiliates. If the tour does not include insurance, the travelers are responsible for obtaining travel insurance, as well as passports, appropriate visas, and necessary vaccinations.

Cancellations & Modifications

To cancel or modify your booking, please contact the Organizer directly using the email or phone number provided in the booking confirmation. Cancellations and modifications are subject to availability and the approval of the Organizer in accordance with their booking terms and conditions, which are made available to you during the booking process.

If you have any other questions please contact us .

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Get 5% off this tour with "Back2Travel" promo code or check similar tours 🌎 Keep safe & travel soon!

tour palenque chiapas

Por Temas de COVID 19, algunos tours han modificado su tarifa temporalmente.

Zona Arqueológica Palenque

El sitio ofrece al visitante una excelente muestra de la lograda arquitectura y escultura maya que se manifiestan en los edificios como el famoso Templo de las Inscripciones, que fuera la última morada del poderoso Rey Pakal.

Zona Arqueológica Palenque + Playas de Catazaja

Paquete Incluye: - Entrada - Barca - Transporte Privado

Cascada Misol-Há + Cascadas Agua azul

Emblemáticas Cascadas en Chiapas.

Zona Arqueológica Palenque +

Zona arqueológica palenque + eco parque aluxes, zona arqueológica calakmul + chicanná.

No incluye Entradas, Alimentos y Guía

Zona Arqueológica Palenque + Cascadas Roberto Barrios (El Bazcan)

Zona arqueològica de yaxchilàn & bonampak.

DESAYUNO - LUNCH - VIAJE LANCHA

Metzabok + Nahá

Paquete Incluye: - Entrada - Paseo en Barca - Comida - Guía Lacandón

Palenque Full Day

Paquete Incluye: - Entrada - Guía certificado - Souvenir de Regalo - Desayuno Lunch - Comida de 3 tiempos

NUESTRAS MARCAS

Agencia de viajes Palenque Tours

Consulta precio de tours en palenque.

tour palenque chiapas

Guías de tours en Palenque

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  • Palenque Tours
  • Términos y condiciones

Français

How to Visit Palenque (Chiapas): The Definitive Guide

  • Palenque: The Ultimate Guide to the Maya Ruins

Palenque , a national park and a UNESCO world heritage site , is one of the highlights of Chiapas .

I visited this region a few years ago, but I missed Palenque then. The truth is: Mexico is huge and you need time to enjoy a road trip through Chiapas.

So this time, after leaving Bacalar , we decided to stop at Palenque before heading to San Cristobal de las Casas .

The experience was amazing, because besides the archaeological site , which is fascinating, I also discovered other wonderful attractions in Palenque that I didn’t know about!

To help you plan your visit, I have created this comprehensive guide to Palenque with all the practical information you need to explore the city of Palenque , the archaeological site , and surrounding area.

I will tell you how to get there by car, by public transportation, or by tour, and I will share my experience on the road between Ocosingo and Palenque , a route that you may have heard about.

I have also included my best restaurant and hotel recommendations for all budgets .

So, what are the best things to do in Palenque? Where to stay?

Book your Tickets for Palenque

Structures to see in palenque, my opinion about palenque, the map of palenque, how much does it cost to enter palenque, what are the opening hours of palenque, with an organized tour, by public transportation, 2. motiepá trail, 3. aluxes ecopark, 4. ecomundo park, 5. visit to the center of palenque, 6. around palenque, where to stay in palenque: the best hotels, by public transportation (bus, colectivo), the ocosingo-palenque route (roadblock), where to eat and drink in palenque, what to bring to palenque, what is the best time to visit palenque, you’re traveling in mexico these articles will help you.

If you want to book your tour to Palenque now , without reading the article (although I advise you to do so, to learn more about the archaeological site and its practical information!), you can click on the ticket that suits you:

  • Palenque Tour with one-way transportation – the day begins in San Cristobal de las Casas and ends in Palenque City
  • Tour to Palenque   with round-trip transportation to San Cristobal de las Casas

1. The archaeological site of Palenque

Palenque is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico !

The ancient city of Palenque was founded in the 1st century B.C., but most of the buildings that you can admire today date from the 5th to the 8th centuries.

It was one of the most advanced cities of the Maya civilization, along with Calakmul and Tikal (Guatemala). It had a complex social and religious system.

It is famous for its architecture and, especially, for its hieroglyphs , which reveal a lot of information about the city’s calendar, history, rituals, and more.

jeroglíficos palenque

The archaeological site covers only 10% of the city’s total area , but it already offers many impressive sights.

Here are some of its main attractions:

Temple of the Inscriptions

This is the most famous and photographed temple in Palenque . It is very close to the entrance, but unfortunately it is closed to visitors.

Inside, they found the tomb of King K’inich Janaab’ Pakal , also known as Pakal the Great , along with many offerings (jewelry, precious objects, etc.).

If you are in Mexico City , I recommend you visit the Museum of Anthropology .

It is a huge and absolutely amazing museum, where you can see a replica of King Pakal’s tomb with his famous jade mask . It is worth a visit!

Templo de las Inscripciones Palenque

This complex is the largest in Palenque, and it probably functioned as a center for politics, administration, and even residence for the elite.

Its four-story tower is easy to recognize, but it also has courtyards, underground passages, stairs, and more.

palacio palenque

The Cross Group

From the top of the Temple of the Cross , you can enjoy a stunning view: on the left, you can admire the lush and beautiful vegetation, as well as the Temple of the Foliated Cross . On the right, you can see the Temple of the Sun and Temple XIV , with the Palace in the background.

This is the perfect spot for photos!

templo de la cruz palenque

The North Group

After passing behind the Cross Group and along the Palace , we arrive the ball court and the North Group .

This group has five temples, the most important one being the Temple of the Count .

grupo norte palenque chiapas

The jungle trail

We discovered this trail by chance, when one of our friends had some stomach troubles (those things that happen on a trip😅) and had to run to the restroom.

I was waiting for her outside and saw a small handwritten sign that said “ waterfalls ” with an arrow. But the arrow seemed to point to a service area, so I ignored it.

But since the whole family went to the restroom and I was tired of waiting, I asked two workers if we could follow that trail. They said, “Yes, it leads to the waterfall”.

So instead of going back to the exit, we decided to take the trail to end our visit to Palenque, and it was a great idea, because we loved it as much as the ruins !

The trail let us explore the jungle where there are several structures covered with vegetation and huge trees.

From above, the howler monkeys announce their presence with their loud howls, which are frightening at first, but then simply fascinating.

selva de palenque

The Museum of Palenque

The Alberto Ruz Lhuillier Museum is named after the French-Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier , who uncovered the tomb of King Pakal in the Temple of the Inscriptions in 1952.

It is one of the most important museums dedicated to the Maya culture with its collection of more than 200 artifacts found in different areas of Palenque.

It has six rooms displaying various aspects of the city (warfare, gods, daily life, political life) as well as tombs, with a replica of King Pakal’s tomb . You should not miss this museum in Palenque!

  • The entrance ticket to the archaeological site includes admission to the museum, but remember that the museum is closed on Mondays.

This is one of my favorite archaeological sites in Mexico because it is not too big and it has a wild beauty with lush vegetation around it.

And the best thing: it is never as crowded as Chichen Itza or Teotihuacan .

We were three women in our thirties, with two girls aged 14 and 11, and we all enjoyed it!

Palenque familia con niños

This is the map of Palenque where you can see all the structures accessible to the public.

mapa de palenque

You need to buy tickets at the red-orange-roofed building on the right side of the road, where there is a large parking lot. That’s where the museum of Palenque is also located.

You have to pay the first entrance fee (105 pesos for adults, or free for children under 12 and seniors) which gives you access to the ruins of Palenque and the Alberto Ruz Lhuillier museum .

Then, on your right, you will see another ticket booth where you need to pay the second entrance fee , which is for the national park (90 pesos or free for children under 13 and seniors over 60).

After that, you can continue up the road (1 mile) to the entrance of the Palenque ruins .

boletos palenque

The archaeological zone of Palenque is open from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 5 pm (last admission at 4 pm) and the Palenque Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.

How to visit the ruins from the city of Palenque?

The Mayan ruins of Palenque are located 5 miles from the center of Palenque . Here’s how to get there:

The archaeological site of Palenque is only a 15-20 minute drive from the city center of Palenque , on the Palenque-Ruinas Highway.

Palenque has two parking lots. The first one is on the left and easy to spot, but it fills up fast. The second one is on the right and more hidden. You can reach it by a small path behind the restrooms.

Don't Fall for this Scam Parking at Palenque is free .

estacionamiento palenque

A tour to Palenque lets you visit the archaeological site without having to worry about the logistics and transportation.

Here are my suggestions for tours to Palenque , from San Cristobal de las Casas or from the city of Palenque itself:

  • Visit the archaeological site of Palenque with hotel pick up in San Cristobal de las Casas , and see the waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol-Ha:

The most affordable way to reach the ruins is by colectivo (white van).

There is a stop (here) in front of the ADO bus station.

However, it might be full when you get there (especially on holidays and weekends), so you can also catch it here .

The ride takes 15-20 minutes and costs 25 pesos each way.

The Motiepá trail is in Palenque National Park, near the archaeological site. You can access it for free after paying the entrance fee to Palenque!

The trailhead is on the side of the road, where an arch with a wooden sign says “ Sendero Motiepá ” (Motiepá Trail).

The trail is well-marked and takes you through the jungle to the small Motiepá waterfall, where you can swim in its natural pool, and to the Forgotten Temple, a temple that was part of the Maya city of Palenque.

The hike is very pleasant and we only saw two couples in 1h30, so we felt like we had the jungle to ourselves, with the howler monkeys’ sound. It was amazing!

If you are looking for a fun activity for your family in Palenque after visiting the ruins, this is the perfect choice!

This is a large park run by a non-profit organization that rescues animals that have suffered from cruelty (illegal trafficking, exploitation).

The organization works with a team of veterinarians to feed, care for, and rehabilitate them in their natural habitat when possible.

Besides saving the animals, the organization has also restored an entire ecosystem, planting more than 10,000 trees and plants, and creating different microclimates. This area is now home to many wildlife species.

There are two easy trails to follow, one short and one long, that let you see parrots, crocodiles, monkeys in the trees, raccoons, flamingos, tapirs, jaguars, and more.

The experience was awesome, but we had to hurry up at the end because the park was closing. So I suggest you plan for 1h30 to 2h of visit to enjoy it fully.

  • Admission: adult 180 pesos, child from 90cm to 1m30 60 pesos, child under 90 cm free.
  • They also offer night tours, but you need to book in advance with a minimum of 8 people (450 pesos for adults, or free for children under 90 cm)
  • Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (last admission at 4:30 pm)
  • Aluxes website

los aluxes palenque

This is a family-friendly park , located near the archaeological site of Palenque.

It has a lake, a restaurant, waterfalls, hanging bridges, viewpoints, and various activities to choose from (biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, zip line, guided hike along the trails).

  • Open only on weekends from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Address: Km. 4 Corredor Turístico Palenque a Zona Arqueológica, 29960 Palenque, Chiapas

Palenque doesn’t have much to offer besides the archaeological site and its surroundings.

But since you have to go through the town anyway, why not enjoy it?

You can visit Parque Central , the square that is the heart of the city.

There you can see the Parroquia Santo Domingo de Guzman , the colorful sign for taking photos, a handicraft market , and the Lak Puj Kul Textile Museum.

You can also stroll along Central Pte . where you can find everything (shops, souvenirs, bakeries, pharmacies, etc.)

parque central palenque

Palenque has more to offer than just the archaeological site and the town.

You can also visit some of the natural wonders of Chiapas, such as the Roberto Barrios Waterfalls , the Asunción Waterfall , the Misol Há Waterfall , the Agua Azul Waterfalls , the Catazajá Lagoons , the Welib Ja Waterfalls , or explore the Lacandon Jungle and learn about the communities of Nahá and Metzabok.

If you have some time on the road between San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque, I suggest you check out the archaeological site of Toniná (near Ocosingo).

It is not very famous, but it is a 700 year old site with a huge 7-story structure, called Acropolis, that is taller than Teotihuacan ’s Pyramid of the Sun, and you can still climb to the top!

Toniná Chiapas

Palenque is not a very nice town and, with a few exceptions, the best hotels in Palenque are outside the city or even in the jungle.

Here are my accomodation recommendations , for all budgets:

  • Mitico El Castillo : this is the most unique hotel that looks like a movie set. It’s a castle that houses a room, a shared room, a swimming pool, and a kitchen. This is the best budget hotel  in Palenque, starting at only 14 $usd for a bed or 38 $usd for a room!
  • Cabañas Kin Balam Palenque : another affordable hotel in Palenque that has the advantage of being in the jungle, with fruit trees and exotic animal sounds and within walking distance of the ruins . Includes a pool and a restaurant, starting at only 24 $usd for a dorm or 43$usd for a private room!
  • Adriana Villas : an  oasis of tranquility ideal for couples,  with rooms and villas in the jungle, a swimming pool, hammocks, large gardens, and a rooftop terrace.  With delicious breakfasts included, starting at 80 $usd per night!
  • Chan Kah Resort village : ideal for relaxing during a family trip to Palenque , offering excellent value for money . Bungalows for 2 to 4 people, 2 large natural pools, a bar, restaurant and spa, from only 100$ usd for a bungalow!

How to get to Palenque?

To reach the ruins, you must first go through Palenque city. Here’s how to get to Palenque:

If you want to know how to get to the ruins from the city, I have already explained How to Get to Palenque Archaeological Site above. 

The city of Palenque is 6h30 from Bacalar , 4h50 from Campeche , 6h45 from Mérida and 5h10 from San Cristóbal de las Casas .

Of course, these are approximate GPS times, but with speed bumps, curves and tolls, I suggest you add more time to your schedule.

Since Palenque is quite far from other destinations in Mexico , I suggest you spend one day to the road and then visit the ruins the next morning.

My advice Palenque has few gas stations compared to the demand, because it is the largest city in the area. Many people fill up several cans, so the queues can be long.

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Palenque and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Rentalcars.com, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies , so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

llegar en coche Palenque

From San Cristobal de las Casas

It takes 9h with by OCC bus (there is a day bus and a night bus). Buses prefer to take the longer route to avoid the checkpoints on the short route to Ocosingo.

To save time on your trip, I suggest you take the night bus. You can also take a colectivo to Ocosingo (2h30, 90 pesos), and then another colectivo to Palenque (3h, 120 pesos)

From Tuxtla Gutierrez

First take an ADO or OCC bus to San Cristobal de las Casas (1h30, several departures a day) and then follow the same route as above.

My advice  Many travelers are wary of the San Cristobal-Ocosingo-Palenque route, either by car or colectivo, because of the negative things they hear, especially about the roadblocks.

station bus ado palenque

Palenque has no airport.

The nearest airport to Palenque is Carlos Rovirosa Pérez airport in Villahermosa, Tabasco State (87 miles, 2 hours).

You can travel from Villahermosa airport to Palenque by car or by ADO bus ( leaving here ). You can check schedules and buy tickets on the ADO website

Villahermosa airport has flights from several Mexican destinations such as Mexico City , Monterrey , Guadalajara , Cancun , Merida and Reynosa .

To find a cheap flight to Villahermosa or anywhere else in Mexico , I recommend you use our flight comparison service in partnership with Skyscanner – it’s the best way to get the best price!

You may have heard about the safety issues on the road between Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas , especially near Ocosingo.

Sometimes, members of the local communities set up a roadblock and ask for money.

This is what I experienced on my last trip to Palenque:

There was a lot of traffic on the highway and we wondered if there was an accident.

Since there was a long line of cars that were completely stopped, we couldn’t see where the traffic jam began. After about 20 minutes, the cars started moving again and that’s when we realized that there was a roadblock on the road.

We couldn’t see the cause of the traffic jam because there were too many cars in front of us. After about 20 minutes, the cars started moving again and we saw that there was a roadblock.

There was a large banner with the demands of the local communities to the government. They put a piece of wood with nails on it in front of each car and asked for money to remove it.

The man who approached our window gave us a paper with the demands and asked us for 100 pesos. We stayed calm , politely told him we only had 50 pesos, and he let us go without any hassle.

It only happened once on our way, but the idea is always the same: they put up a rope and ask you for money, so it is very important to have some cash in change . It is not dangerous, but it is annoying because you lose time on the road and you have no choice but to wait.

Besides the possible roadblocks, the road is also very curvy and there is only one lane on each side, so you can’t drive very fast (25-37 mph), so plan for more time than what your GPS tells you …

ruta ocosingo palenque

  • Ha’Ki : I really liked this restaurant in Palenque , with its terrace near the central park and great service. About 100-120 pesos per person – breakfasts, salads, desserts, crepes, soups, soups, meats, sandwiches, pasta. The fried bananas with cream and cheese stole the show!

platanos fritos cafe ha ki palenque

  • Las Tinajas : if you prefer a more “complete” restaurant, this place has a great selection of dishes with quite big portions (120-240 pesos). I really liked the chicken milanesa with cheese (190 pesos) and the caldo tlalpeño.

It is a covered restaurant with a terrace (very practical in the rainy season! We just had a heavy downpour…)

Caldo Tlalpeño méxico

  • Café de Yara : the perfect place to try organic coffee from Chiapas, with a small dessert. And the service is very friendly!

PS: I was also recommended Café Fuga and Café Jade as cafés to visit in Palenque , but I didn’t have time to go.

cafe palenque

Palenque is always hot and humid, no matter the season, but it gets even hotter in the rainy season!

Here’s what you should pack for your visit to Palenque

  • A hat or cap and sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes to avoid slipping on the temple stairs or on the trails
  • Mosquito repellent because there are many mosquitoes in the jungle
  • Lots of water , as it is hot, and you will need it after climbing up and down the many steps of the different structures
  • A raincoat because when it rains, it POURS!
  • Cash for entrance to the ruins, souvenirs, etc.
  • Good travel insurance

The best time to visit Palenque is from December to February, when the weather is drier and cooler.

I visited Palenque in early August, during the rainy season, and it was very humid.

It rained frequently during our two days in Palenque. Sometimes it was a downpour, sometimes just a sprinkle, but it didn’t stop us from exploring the ruins and hiking the trails.

Discover all my articles about Mexico : All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

  • TOP 35 Things to Do and Must See Attractions in Mexico – All the best places to discover
  • Chiapas : Top 15 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions
  • El Chiflón Waterfalls (Chiapas): How to Plan Your Visit
  • How to Visit San Juan Chamula , the Mystical Town of Chiapas
  • Montebello Lakes (Chiapas): The Ultimate Guide + My Tips
  • San Cristobal de las Casas (Chiapas): Top 15 Things to Do
  • Sumidero Canyon (Chiapas): The Definitive Guide
  • Zinacantan : A Guide to the Tzotzil Community in Chiapas
  • Itinerary : 10 days in Mexico – Mexico City, Chiapas and Yucatan
  • Itinerary : 2 weeks in Mexico   – Best itinerary to discover the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas!
  • Itinerary : 3 weeks in Mexico – Mexico City, Puebla , Oaxaca , Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Riviera Maya
  • Itinerary : 1 month in Mexico – My Epic 30-31 Days Itinerary from Mexico City to Cancun
  • Road trip in Mexico : The best itineraries for 10, 15, 21 days and a month
  • Itinerary : 1 week in Yucatan – The Ultimate 6, 7 or 8 days Itinerary
  • Itinerary : 10 days in Yucatan – Best Itinerary for 9, 10 or 11 Days in Yucatan
  • Itinerary : 2 weeks in Yucatan – Epic Itinerary + All my Best Tips!
  • Itinerary : 3 weeks in Yucatan – Best things to do in 20-21 days
  • Itinerary : 1 month in Yucatan – Yucatan Peninsula in 29, 30 or 31 days from Cancun
  • Road trip in Yucatan : The best itineraries for 7, 10, 15, 21 days and 1 month

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I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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  • All our Guides about Mexico

tour palenque chiapas

Yaxchilan & Bonampak Tour

Quick Details

  • Globe Region: Mexico
  • Map Marker Location: Chiapas
  • Hour Glass Duration: 10 hours

Get to Know Two of the Most Popular Sites of the Maya World!

On this tour, you get to know two of the most popular sites of the Maya world located in Chiapas in one day.

First, we take you to Bonampak’s archaeological site, where you’re able to see the best murals in the Maya world. Bonampak’s pre-hispanic murals are the most meaningful and best-preserved works that belong to Maya culture. These paintings lie on the walls of the Murals’ Temple. (Bonampak means “dyed walls” in Mayan). This archaeological zone is located in the middle of the Lacandon Jungle, in Chiapas.

The quality and preservation of the murals by the time they were found allowed for complete studies and interpretations of the paintings, through which lots of cultural and historical findings regarding life in those times were made. Besides, they served as a reference on how the paintings on the other Maya sites could have been.

Next, we go to the Corozal border, where you sail for about an hour through the Usumacinta River, and you visit the archaeological site of Yaxchilan. In the Late Classical Period, Yaxchilan was one of the most powerful Maya states across the Usumacinta River. It reigned over the smaller sites, such as Bonampak, and had a long rivalry with Piedras Negras, as well as with Tikal and Palenque, against whom Yaxchilan faced a war on the 654.

  • Round transportation from Palenque City
  • Entrance to the mentioned sites
  • The drop-off takes place at the bus terminal in Palenque.

What to Bring:

  • Don’t forget to bring your camera and sunscreen!

Related Tours

  • Tag Shared Tour
  • Hour Glass 18 horas
  • Map Marker Chiapas

Palenque, Agua Azul, & Misol-Ha Waterfall Tour

Embark on this adventure and visit two important sites in the Mexican territory: the Waterfalls of Agua Azul & Misol-Há! Without forgetting to mention that you will be also visiting the archeological site of Palenque. All of this is a single day!

  • Hour Glass 8 hours

Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo Tour

Enjoy a boat ride through the impressive Sumidero Canyon, while you admire amazing waterfalls, caves and cliffs, and the local species of fauna that inhabit the place. And you will also visit Chiapa de Corzo, an adorable village that will delight you!

tour palenque chiapas

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tour palenque chiapas

Mayan Route Gastronomy

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Palenque Gastronomy

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Comitán Gastronomy

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San Cristóbal de las Casas Gastronomy

tour palenque chiapas

Palenque is one of the most notable cities of the Classic Maya period, seat of a powerful dynasty that dominated the mountains of northern Chiapas and the plains of Tabasco; territory that some researchers have now recognized as the kingdom of Lakamhá. The pre-Hispanic site is one of the most impressive archeological cities in the world. To know this town is to discover the soul of the Mayan world, understanding myths, rituals, beliefs and admire the majestic architecture of our ancestors. The town of Palenque Pueblo Mágico is located 6 km from the archaeological zone and the national park, it offers lodging services, restaurants, stores and markets. Combining the history and mysticism of the Mayan culture, this area offers an infinity of attractions of singular beauty: waterfalls, rivers and the interaction with the indigenous Lacandon communities that invite us to carry out adventure activities. All framed by the greenery of the evergreen jungle.

 Palenque

Places you can't miss!

There are so many secrets of Palenque that will leave you wanting to come back to this wonderful land full of myths and contrasts: the rituals, the architecture of a wonderful culture and its rich and varied vegetation. Here we mention what you shouldn’t miss when visiting this city:

canon-del-sumidero

Archaeological Zone of Palenque

catedral-san-marcos

Metzaboc Ecotourism Centers

canon-del-sumidero

Alberto Ruiz Lhuiller Site Museum

catedral-san-marcos

Los Aluxes ecological center

parque-de-la-marimba

Agua Azul Waterfalls

zoomat

Misol Há Waterfall

jardin-botanico

Roberto Barrios waterfalls

casa-de-las-artesanias

Archaeological Zones of Bonampak

casa-de-las-artesanias

Lacanjá Ecotourism Centers

casa-de-las-artesanias

Archaeological Zones of Yaxchilán

Palenque's gastronomy includes pre-Hispanic ingredients, such as chili, corn and cacao, as well as special touches to the wide variety of dishes that make up the vast culinary legacy of the Mayan ancestors. Enjoy a gastronomic experience and don't miss the following recommendations:

  • Sour atol or sour pozol with chili
  • Cassava in syrup or sweet potato in syrup 
  • Shote broth with momo
  • The pacaya capeada

Our recommendations for your trip

Palenque is a city with a hot and humid climate with abundant rainfall. We recommend you to take into account the following:

  • The best months to visit are from November to mid-June, when there is less rain.
  • Keep in mind that April, May and June are the hottest months (between 35º to 42º). Wear cool clothing, preferably cotton, linen or a hat to mitigate the sun's rays.
  • It is essential to wear comfortable shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen as well as insect repellent.
  • During the months of June to the beginning of October the rains are very frequent in the afternoon and at night, so don’t forget to carry an umbrella or raincoat.
  • The turquoise color of the river waters is best seen in the months with less rainfall.

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How to get to Palenque?

To get to Palenque, there are several ways, either by land or by air. Here are some of them:

Approximate flight time: From Mexico City 1 hr 40 min.

  • Omnibus Cristobal Colon
  • Aexxa buses

Take the Pan-American Highway 190 to Ocozocoautla, when you reach the detour in the direction of Highway 145 to Mexico, take the deviation to Huimanguillo, until you reach the short road of Raudales Malpaso Highway 187, passing through Huimanguillo to Cárdenas, then Continue in the direction of Villahermosa Tabasco on Highway 180 towards Chetumal along Mexico Highway 186 until you reach the Catazajá junction, there you take the detour from Pakalná Highway 199 to the town of Palenque Chiapas.

Note: on this road there are 3 toll booths that are crossed (Ocozocoautla - Huimanguillo - Villahermosa and the approximate cost is $ 350.00)

WHY CHOOSE PALENQUE?

  • Because it is a starting point to get to know the Mayan Forest of Chiapas and the Mayan Route in general.
  • For its exuberant vegetation and fauna.
  • For the wide variety of tourist attractions.
  • For its archaeological wealth.
  • Because it is a border city with Guatemala.
  • For being a guarantee of unforgettable experiences.

With its characteristic hospitality, the people of Chiapas offer the best of themselves to visitors. The varied ethnic composition of the State is one of its greatest assets, so getting in touch with its people is a better understanding of one of the most complex areas of Mexico.

Ven a Palenque

Capacity Max. 300 people Assembly: Auditorium.

Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque

Capacity Max. 340 people Assembly: Auditorium.

Tulijá Express Palenque

Capacity Max. 250 people Assembly: Auditorium.

Hotel Nututun

Capacity Max. 100 people Assembly: Auditorium.

Hotel Maya Tulipanes

Capacity Max. 150 people Assembly: Auditorium.

Ecomundo Parque recreativo

VIP room 300 people Assembly: Auditorium.

tour palenque chiapas

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Mexico, Chiapas, Maya Temple of the Inscriptions

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Swathed in morning jungle mists and echoing to a dawn chorus of howler monkeys and parrots, the mighty Maya temples of Palenque are deservedly one of the top destinations of Chiapas and one of the best examples of Maya architecture in all of Mexico. By contrast, modern Palenque town, a few kilometers to the east, is a sweaty, humdrum place without much appeal except as a jumping-off point for the ruins and a place to find internet access. Many prefer to base themselves at one of the forest hideouts along the road between the town and the ruins, including the funky travelers’ hangout of El Panchán.

Leave the planning to a local expert

Experience the real Palenque. Let a local expert handle the planning for you.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

Templo de las Inscripciones Group

Templo de las Inscripciones Group

As you walk in from the entrance the vegetation suddenly peels away to reveal many of Palenque’s most magnificent buildings in one sublime vista. A line…

tour palenque chiapas

Templo de las Inscripciones

Perhaps the most celebrated burial monument in the Americas, this is the tallest and most stately of Palenque’s buildings. Constructed on eight levels,…

Temples of the Cross Group at the Mayan ruins of Palenque.

Grupo de las Cruces

Pakal’s son, Kan B’alam II, was a prolific builder, and soon after the death of his father started designing the temples of the Grupo de las Cruces…

Acrópolis Sur

Acrópolis Sur

In the jungle south of the Grupo de las Cruces is the Southern Acropolis, where archaeologists have made some terrific finds in recent excavations. You…

Palenque Northeastern Groups

Palenque Northeastern Groups

East of the Grupo Norte, the main path crosses Arroyo Otolum. Some 70m beyond the stream, a right fork will take you to Grupo C, a set of jungle-covered…

Templo XIX

In 1999, in Templo XIX, archaeologists made the most important Palenque find for decades: an 8th-century limestone platform with stunning carvings of…

Templo del Sol

Templo del Sol

The Templo del Sol, on the west side of the Acrópolis Sur plaza, has the best-preserved roofcomb at Palenque. Carvings inside, commemorating Kan B’alam’s…

Templo de la Cruz

Templo de la Cruz

Steep steps climb to the Templo de la Cruz, the largest and most elegantly proportioned in Grupo de las Cruces. The stone tablet in the central sanctuary…

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Palenque Ruins: My Guide to Chiapas’ Pyramids

  • by Nellie Huang

Chiapas is home to one of the most spectacular Maya archaeological sites: Palenque. Here’s a everything you’d need to know about visiting the Palenque ruins.

Located in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas , the ancient city of Palenque is widely regarded as one of the most impressive Mayan ruins in Mexico . Yet, it receives a fraction of visitors compared to famous sites like Chichen Itza and Tulum ruins . Once buried under thick jungle growth, the massive complex remains only partially restored, with vines dangling over palaces and roots jutting out of steep pyramids.

Palenque was an important Mayan city during the Classical period from 500 AD until it was abandoned at 900 AD. Palenque’s mightiest ruler, King Pakal, who reigned for 80 years, chose this spot to build his palaces and ceremonial complexes. Today, only 10% of the area has been excavated , but you can already get a sense of the grandeur of this ancient city.

Since moving to Mexico, I have visited countless archaeological sites — and the Palenque ruins remain my favorite. To help you plan your trip here, I’ve compiled a detailed guide to Palenque ruins: from how to get there to which tour to take and where to stay.

PALENQUE RUINS - palenque mayan ruins - palenque guide - things to do in palenque

Table of Contents

  • Why Visit the Palenque Ruins?

 Palenque Pyramids Facts

Best time to visit palenque ruins.

  • By Air 

By Day Tour

How to get to palenque ruins from town, palenque ruins entrance fees, palenque hours, how much time to visit palenque, do you need a tour, best palenque tours, see pakal’s tomb in temple of inscriptions, see the red queen’s tomb, get lost in the palace.

  • Admire the Carvings on Temple of the Sun
  • Climb up Temple of the Cross
  • Visit the On-Site Museum

Frolick in Agua Azul

Admire misol-ha , swim in roberto barrios, visit the aluxes eco park, where to eat at palenque, where to stay near palenque ruins, visiting palenque with kids, what to pack for palenque, rules at palenque, final tips for visiting palenque, enjoy your trip to palenque ruins, a guide to the palenque ruins, why visit the palenque  ruins.

Visiting Palenque is one of the highlights of any Chiapas itinerary, for good reason. Palenque stands out from other Mayan ruins in Mexico because of its incredibly preserved structure in the middle of the jungle. The hieroglyphics found in the Palenque ruins also gave important insights for historians to understand what life was like during the Mayan civilization. Because of its historical significance, Palenque was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

What I love most about the Palenque ruins is its pristine, natural setting . Nestled at the base of the Sierra de Don Juan, alongside verdant lowlands replete with flowing streams and cascading waterfalls, Palenque’s original Maya name, Lakam’ha , aptly translates to “Place of many Waters.” Wandering through the Palenque ruins, you’ll undoubtedly notice the gurgling streams and refreshing waterfalls that dot the dense jungle.

The national park that surrounds the Palenque ruins is also home to a myriad of wildlife: you’ll probably hear the yowl of howler monkeys, smell an iguana nearby, and see scarlet macaws soaring overhead. Unlike other popular Mayan ruins where you’ll have to jostle with the crowd, Palenque allows you to soak up all its history, in a calm and peaceful setting backed by nature.

palenque ruins - palenque mayan ruins

Between 500 and 900 AD, the site of Palenque thrived as a bustling city, reaching the pinnacle of its influence during the 7th century. Palenque’s prosperity was attributed to its capable rulers, who oversaw the construction of impressive pyramids and palaces, which still stand today.

The most famous king who ruled Palenque was Kinich Janaab I, also known as Pakal the Great (603 – 683 AD). Ascending to the throne of Palenque at the tender age of 12, Pakal started a dynasty that transformed Palenque into a thriving trading and political center in the Mayan civilization. His reign endured until he died at 80.

The region saw various cities, big and small, vying for supremacy, with prominent contenders being Calakmul, Tikal, and later Tonina (now an archaeological site near the Palenque ruins). Sadly, Palenque’s final downfall came when it was defeated by the city of Tonina.

mayan ruins palenque

The best time to visit Palenque Ruins is in the dry season, which runs from November to April . The weather is drier: there’s less chance of rain, and the temperature is milder. But keep in mind that it’s also the peak tourist season, so there might be more crowds compared to other times of the year.

I visited Palenque in May, at the start of the wet season (May to October) but the weather was perfect. While this season does bring more rain and humidity, it also offers some advantages. The landscape is lush and green, making for beautiful photos and a more picturesque setting. Additionally, the rainy season sees few tourists. Just be prepared for occasional heavy rain showers.

chiapas pyramids

How to Get to Palenque

By air  .

Palenque has a small domestic airport, however flights are not frequent and they only fly out of Mexico City. The other airport near Palenque, Villahermosa Airport (VSA) is 133km away in Tabasco. It’s a small airport and planes that land there tend to be smaller.

There are regular flights from Mexico City, Cancún ,  Mérida , Monterrey and Guadalajara. ADO runs a direct service in comfortable minibuses from Villahermosa airport to the bus terminal at Glorieta de la Cabeza Maya in Palenque town. Check for flights.

how to get to palenque

The closest tourist town to Palenque is San Cristobal del las Casas , which is just about 3hours 20minutes away by car. However, the road between San Cris via Ocosingo to Palenque is not safe mostly because of road blockades and armed gangs patrolling this stretch of the road.

You can catch the overnight ADO bus, which takes a detour via Tuxtla Gutiérrez. The journey takes much longer, around 7 hours, but ADO bus takes the longer and safer route to Palenque. You can save a night of accommodation and arrive in Palenque in the morning.  Book your seat here.

bus to palenque

Another way to get there is to book a day tour from San Cristobal de las Casas that will also bring you to a few waterfalls on the way (I’ll talk more about the waterfalls below). These day tours include transportation, admission, and a guide in Palenque. It’s a great option if you want to learn more about the Palenque ruins and have someone else handle the logistics.

waterfalls near palenque - things to do in palenque

The Palenque ruins are located about 7km (miles) away from Palenque town, where most hotels and restaurants are located. To get to the Palenque Ruins from the city center, you can take the colectivo minibus with a sign that reads ‘Ruinas’.

They depart from the ADO bus terminal every 15 minutes and make stops in town along the way, operating from 7:00am to 7:00pm every day. Tickets only cost 40 MXN (US$2) and the Colectivo takes you directly to the entrance of Palenque ruins. Generally, you can wait for the ride anywhere on the road leading to the ruins and just flag down the driver.

palenque ruins guide

When you enter Palenque, you have to pay two separate entrance fees. The Palenque National Park charges 50 MXN (US$2) for admission ; it’s the area surrounding the archaeological site.

Then it’s an additional 90 MXN (US$4.50) per person to visit the Palenque ruins . This includes admission to the museum on the main road. There’s no need to book your tickets in advance.

On Sundays, it’s free for Mexican citizens and foreign residents of Mexico (as with all archaeological sites in Mexico). Avoid visiting on Sundays as it tends to be more crowded.

palenque ruins - carvings

The Palenque Archaeological Site is open every day from 8am to 5pm, 365 days a year.  The last entry is at 4pm. The site staff don’t allow any leeway for this time. The museum opens from 9 am to 4 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays. Make sure you time your visit to coincide with those days.

The best time to visit Palenque is early in the morning, around opening time.  This is when the site is the least crowded and you can avoid the heat of midday. I was one of the first to enter the Palenque ruins when they opened; and it was spectacularly seeing the sun piercing through the mist that hovered above the pyramids.

visiting palenque - palenque ruins hours

You could easily spend a whole day at the Palenque Ruins,  but if you’re short on time, I would allocate at least 3 hours. Of course, this all depends on your interests and how much detail you want to go into while exploring the site.

The on-site museum itself can take up to an hour or so each. It’s absolutely worth visiting; the exhibit on the Red Queen is particularly interesting (scroll down to read more). If you’re looking to eat lunch at the ruins, that will take some time too. 

Palenque town itself is a modern city with not much to see; all the interesting sights lie outside the city. I spent three days in Palenque and that gave me enough time to explore the ruins and visit all the waterfalls nearby. In the intense heat, it’s really refreshing to dip in the nearby Agua Azul and Roberto Barrio, considered some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico .

how to visit palenque - things to do in palenque

At the entrance of Palenque ruins, you have the option of hiring a guide for an in-depth tour. A good guide can make a big difference. The Maya guide associations offer private, two-hour tours in English for 1300 MXN (US$65) starting at the main upper entrance. For a Spanish speaking guide, the price is around 800 MXN (US$40) depending on group size 

If you are visiting Palenque without a guide, I highly recommend that you read up on the history behind the ruins before going as there is limited information inside the park. 

visiting palenque solo

If you’re just doing a day trip here from San Cristobal de las Casas, I suggest booking a day tour. Most day tours to the Palenque ruins will also bring you to the beautiful Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls (read about them below). Both waterfalls are breathtaking and cannot be missed if you’re in the area.

This tour for instance has good reviews. It includes a guide, transportation from San Cristobal de las Casas, pickup and drop off at your hotel, and entrance fees for both waterfalls. The only downside of taking a tour is you only get a certain amount of time at each place.

mayan ruins palenque - waterfall

Things to Do in Palenque

Here are some of the key pyramids, temples, and sites you should visit when exploring the Palenque ruins. Besides exploring the site, some of the best things to do in Palenque lie in its vicinity.

This is one of the most famous structures in Palenque. As you venture through the entrance, the first thing you’ll see is a majestic row of pyramid-shaped structures. Among them, the most imposing is the Templo de las Inscripciones , which houses the burial ground of King Pakal.

This eight-story pyramid boasts a central staircase that guides you to a cluster of small chambers. Adorning one of its inner walls are three panels adorned with intricate Maya inscriptions, narrating the rich history of Palenque. Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier bestowed the temple’s name in honor of these unique carvings.

Beyond these inscriptions, a staircase ascends to Pakal’s burial site, which is presently not open to the public. An accurate replica of Pakal’s tomb and his mask can be found in the Museo Nacional de Antropología , one of the best museums in Mexico City .

mayan ruins palenque - temple of inscriptions

Adjacent to the Templo de las Inscripciones stands Templo XIII, the final resting place of the Red Queen , Tz’ak-b’u Ajaw, the wife of King Pakal. In 1994, archaeologists unearthed her tomb, revealing her remains colored red due to cinnabar, along with a trove of 1000 jade pieces and an exquisite malachite mask.

Today you can enter the chamber where her tomb was found through a stone walkway, but the chamber is empty. You can see a replica of her mask are on display in the on-site museum.

red queen tomb - things to do in palenque

Diagonally opposite the Templo de las Inscripciones is El Palacio (which translates to mean “Palace”), a monumental complex used for ceremonial and political functions, including hosting foreign dignitaries. The sprawling structure comprises a labyrinth network of 12 rooms interconnected by a web of corridors and subterranean passages.

The palace’s crowning jewel is its tower — a four-story structure that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, although entry into the tower is restricted. Archaeologists believe that during the winter solstice, royalty may have observed the sun’s rays from this vantage point. Adjacent to the palace, a stream flows towards an aqueduct, reputed to hold over 50,000 gallons of freshwater.

mayan ruins palenque

Admire the Carvings on Templ e of the Sun

To the southeast of the Palace, within the Grupo de las Cruces (Group of the Crosses), lies a cluster of temples devoted to Palenque’s trinity of gods. These three pyramids were masterminded by Pakal’s son, Kan B’alam II.

Among them, the Templo del Sol , or Temple of the Sun, stands out with its remarkable roofcomb. Inside, you’ll encounter impeccably preserved carvings depicting the birth and ascent to the throne of Kan B’alam II. Some suggest that this astonishing structure hints at the influence of local hallucinogenic mushrooms on Palenque’s builders.

mayan ruins palenque - temple of the sun

Climb up Templ e of the Cross

Ascend the steep steps of Templo de la Cruz, or the Temple of the Cross, to enjoy the finest view of Palenque. From this elevated perch, the vast archaeological site sprawls beneath you, framed by lush greenery in the distance.

Kan B’alam constructed this temple to house panels commemorating his ascension to the throne after King Pakal’s passing. The bas-relief carvings also narrate Kan B’alam’s ancestral lineage and the origins of his dynasty.

palenque ruins - temple of the cross

Visit the On-Site Mus eum

As with other Mayan ruins in Mexico , all the precious masks, jewelry and artifacts that have been dug out here are on display at their on-site museum. It’s best to see the ruins first and leave the Museo del Sitio for the last as it’s located at the bottom of the hill. I took the trail behind the Aqueduct to a series of unrestored ruins, hanging bridge and swimming hole; it eventually led to the museum.

The spacious, climate-controlled sanctuary showcases artifacts excavated from the ruins and presents historical insights in both English and Spanish. A highlight not to be missed is the special exhibition dedicated to the Red Queen , providing a glimpse into the discoveries from her tomb, along with captivating videos documenting the excavation process.

museum at palenque ruins

Things to Do Near Palenque

There are three epic waterfalls near Palenque that are absolutely stunning and within easy access from the town. After a day of exploring the Palenque ruins in the tropical heat, you’d want to take a refreshing dip in these waterfalls to cool off. If you’re coming from San Cristobal, I suggest booking a day tour , so you don’t have to worry about transport and you can visit all three falls at one go. 

Considered one of the best waterfalls in Mexico , Agua Azul is a spectacular cascade just an hour from Palenque. The name translates to “blue water,” Agua Azul is famous for its stunning crystal clear blue tones . However, this color is only visible during the dry season (October to April). During the rainy season (May to September), the consistent rain will make the water look brown. When I was there, the water was so brown and turbulent that swimming was allowed.

If you’re visiting during the dry season, don’t forget your swimsuit, towel and dry bag!There are life jackets rentals if you’re not a strong swimmer. Water shoes are also highly recommended as the rocks to walk on can be very slippery. It takes around 2 hours from Palenque to get to Agua Azul.

agua azul - things to do in palenque

Misol-Ha is the largest waterfall in Palenque , at over 110 feet (35m) high. Misol-Ha stands out from the other waterfalls because it has a single drop, so you can explore the cool networks of caves behind the falls. You are allowed to swim in the plunge pool at the bottom of the waterfall. From Palenque, the colectivo takes about 40 minutes at 90 MXN (US$5) per person. The entrance fee is 30 MXN (US$2), although sometimes an additional 10 MXN maintenance charge is also applied.

misol ha - waterfall near palenque

This is my favorite waterfalls in Palenque! Although it’s not as well known as Agua Azul, the Roberto Barrios waterfall is less crowded and has many pools for you to relax in. For those who are more adventurous, there are spots to jump into the water. There are a few food stalls and amenities like washrooms at the Roberto Barrios Waterfalls, however there are no lockers so keep your valuables safe.

It costs 30 MXN (US$2) for the entrance fees. There are tours that bring you to both the Palenque Ruins and Roberto Barrios. Book here. If you have time, the cheapest way to get there is public transport. The colectivo only costs 50 MXN (US$3) one way and takes around 45 to 60 minutes from Palenque center. 

roberto barrios

If you’re interested in wildlife, the Aluxes Eco Park is a great place to visit, especially with kids. The park is a 10 min colectivo ride away from the Palenque ruins. All of the animals in the eco park are rescued and the entry fees collected are used to support conservation efforts and the continuation of rescuing wild animals that are abused or abandoned.  Admission costs 150 MXN (US$8) per person.

howler monkey - things to do in palenque

There are a few different options for food right by the Palenque ruins entrance: If you’re looking for something quick and affordable, there’s a row of restaurants in the carpark. Otherwise, wait till you get back to Palenque town for lunch/dinner.

Tropi Tacos

A budget friendly restaurant close to the central square with lots of tacos options to choose from. Make sure to try their agua de guanabana , a drink made with water, sugar and the guanabana fruit (similar to a guava). Read reviews.

Close to Palenque ruins, Bajlum is an upscale spot featuring unique dishes inspired by the cuisine during the Mayan civilization. The family run restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients and rare meats like boar and stag. 

Located along the road to the Palenque ruins, El Panchan has live music and spectacular fire shows at night. There are a variety of Mexican and Italian food options on the menu and the price is not expensive. 

tour palenque chiapas

There are two main areas to stay in Palenque: the city center and the area along the road to the Palenque ruins. Staying in the city center offers more amenities and food options, on the other hand the hotels along on the road to the ruins are surrounded by nature and you can even hear the howler monkeys at night! 

Luxury: Hotel Nututun Palenque

Hotel Nututun Palenque is a 4 star hotel in Palenque that offers a comfortable stay for families, couples and friends. Surrounded by beautiful nature, the Hotel Nututun Palenque has air conditioned rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, onsite parking and free Wi-Fi. Just a short 10 minute ride away from the Palenque ruins.  Check rates here.

Mid Range: Axkan Palenque

Axkan Palenque is a great option to stay without breaking the bank. Located just outside of town, you can catch the colectivos outside the hotel that head to the ruins. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool and restaurant on site.  Check rates here.  

Budget: Cabañas Kin Balam

Cabañas Kin Balam is conveniently located just 5 mins away from the Palenque ruins. Cabañas Kin Balam offers affordable yet charming cabins surrounded by gardens and an outdoor swimming pool for guests to relax in.  Check rates.

where to stay in palenque - palenque ruins

The Palenque ruins give kids a chance to see Mayan history up close and learn how ancient Mayan rulers used to govern their people. That said, Palenque is a huge archaeological site with a lot of jungle surrounding it, so watch the little ones and make sure they don’t wander off into the wilderness.

If you’re traveling with younger kids, I suggest carrying them in a sling or hiking carrier. It would be a pain to transport tiny toddlers in a stroller on the rocky, earthy trails. Pack lots of water, hat, and maybe an umbrella for kids who don’t do well in the sun.

The swimming holes and pools at the waterfalls in Palenque are also a hit for kids to splash around and play in. Most of the restaurants and hotels around Palenque are also catered to families and kids. 

trails in palenque ruins

Palenque is in the middle of the jungle and the weather can get very hot and humid. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle, insect repellant, a hat and sunscreen for your day of exploring the ruins. For a whole day of exploring and walking, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. 

The walking isn’t too difficult as it’s mostly flat. You won’t need hiking boots. I wore my  Teva sandals  for the whole day and they were fine. Climbing the Chiapas pyramids can be tedious, but absolutely doable for people of all ages — my daughter loves climbing pyramids!

Here’s the list of what I packed/wore:

  •  Teva sandals  
  • Hiking t-shirt
  • Hiking shorts
  • Lightweight daypack
  • Sunscreen  – SFP50+ if possible
  • Wide-rimmed hat 
  • Water bottle  (2 liters)

misol ha falls near palenque - palenque tours

The Palenque Ruins is a protected UNESCO world heritage site, in order to maintain the archaeological park, here’s a list of rules: 

  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere within the park.
  • Stay within the designated areas and entering the restricted areas is not allowed.
  • You can climb and enter some of the Chiapas pyramids, however, depending on the current regulations. 
  • Picking or cutting down any of the vegetation are not allowed within park premises.
  • Do not litter in the park.
  • Do not feed the wild animals.
  • Do not graffiti, touch, lean or sit on any archaeological monument.
  • Drones and unauthorized filming for commercial purposes are not allowed.

tour palenque chiapas

  • Arrive just as gates open at 8am to avoid the crowds.  Book an early access tour  if you want to be the first through its gates!
  • Take plenty of water and snacks with you. There are many vendors selling cold drinks in the archaeological site, just make sure the bottled drinks are sealed before opening them.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes – it gets hot!
  • Be careful when you’re climbing these Chiapas’ pyramids, some steps are rocky and uneven.
  • You will need cash for the entrance fees, so make sure to bring some Mexican Pesos with you.
  • You might encounter locals selling mushrooms along the road to the ruins. Be aware that they are hallucinogenic.
  • If you only have a day to spend at Palenque, take the day tour to the Palenque ruins , Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls. You won’t have to worry about transportation and you’ll get to see the best of what Palenque has to offer.  

palenque ruins in the morning

Thank you for reading this far. If you have any questions on the Palenque ruins, please leave them in the comments below and I will be happy to reply to any questions you have.

Since you’re already in Palenque, I recommend planning a Chiapas road trip , and also visiting the spectacular Sumidero Canyon and small pueblo mágico (magic town) of Chiapa de Corzo! Don’t miss San Cristobal de las Casas , a beautiful colonial city in the highlands of Chiapas. Chiapas is one of my favorite states in Mexico — it’s extremely diverse, packed with so many natural sights and outdoorsy pursuits.

Read my articles on Chiapas below:

  • 15 Best Mayan Ruins in Mexico
  • Things to Do in San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Best Restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casas
  • 10-Day Chiapas Itinerary
  • 10-Day Yucatan Itinerary
  • 10-Day Oaxaca Itinerary
  • 10-Day Guanajuato Itinerary
  • 10-Day Baja California Itinerary
  • My Guide to Ek Balam Ruins
  • Monte Alban: My Guide to the Oaxaca Pyramids
  • Visiting Teotihuacan: Mexico City Pyramids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!

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I've Been to 40 Pueblos Magicos in Mexico — These are My Top 10 Picks

Want to visit some mexico pueblos magicos.

Smart choice! The pueblos magicos, which means “magic towns,” are some of the best places to visit in Mexico.

You might say I have a bit of an obsession with visiting pueblos magicos in Mexico. To date, I’ve been to 40 of them, and I have to say — some are better than others.

I have been living in Mexico since 2018 , so it’s easy for me to visit pueblos magicos. If I don’t really like the pueblo magico I visit, it’s not a big deal.

However, for people visiting from other countries, it is a big deal. With only a limited amount of travel time, I know you only want to visit the best Mexico pueblos mágicos.

Hence this article! In it, I’m highlighting my list of the Top 10 best pueblos magicos in Mexico for you — so you know which ones to add to your bucket list.

What is a pueblo magico (and why are they important)?

The Mexico Pueblo Magico Program highlights small towns that have “magical” qualities — like history, culture, architecture, folklore and natural wonders.

As small towns as opposed to the top tourist destinations like Cancun , Mexico City and Cabo , many haven’t heard of the off the beaten path pueblos magicos.

That’s why the Mexican government’s Pueblo Magico Program was created — so visitors would be able to discover these hidden gems that are worth checking out.

How many pueblos magicos are there?

As of the most-recent revision to the official list on August 1, 2023, there are currently 177 pueblos magicos in Mexico .

However, the answer to the How many pueblos magicos are there in Mexico? question changes depending on when you ask it.

Every few years, the Secretary of Tourism in Mexico reevaluates the list. Some towns are added, while some get removed if they are no longer meeting the qualifications.

The 10 Pueblos Magicos You NEED on Your Bucket List

1. san cristobal de las casas, chiapas.

One of the most-visited Mexico pueblos magicos, San Cristóbal de las Casas boasts colorful colonial architecture, gorgeous nature, and a friendly bohemian vibe.

Known for beautiful textiles, you can shop for them in the local mercados (markets), or see them on display at Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya (Mayan Textile Museum).

Outside of town, don’t miss the surrounding nature like the Cañón del Sumidero Canyon . This massive canyon has walls 3,300-feet-tall (1,000 m) in some areas.

A bit further out, there’s amazing waterfalls like El Chiflon, Aguas Azules, and Misol-Ha, as well as the massive lakes at Lagos de Montebello.

2. Bacalar, Quintana Roo

Bacalar pueblo magico is a quiet town in the southern part of Quintana Roo state, which is one of the three states that make up Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

It became so popular because of Bacalar Lake, AKA the Lake of Seven Colors.

The second biggest freshwater lake in Mexico, the best way to experience it is on this Bacalar boat tour where you’ll visit sites like Canal de Los Piratas (Pirate’s Channel).

You’ll also want to check out the balnearios (beach clubs) like Los Rapidos Bacalar, and swim in the Bacalar cenotes, like Cenote Azul and Cenote Cocalitos.

3. Teotihuacan, Estado de Mexico

 Teotihuacán (pronounced tay-oh-tee-wok-con) is one of the 35 Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and also one of the most important ruins in Mexico .

The origins of this mysterious site are unknown, though it has connections to various ancient civilizations, including the Toltecs, Aztecs and Teotihuacanos.

With so much history, you’ll want to book one of these top-rated Teotihuacan tours so you have a knowledgeable guide to explain it all.

The site sees about two million annual visitors each year and many head there to climb the Teotihuacán pyramids: Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon and Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl.

4. Taxco, Guerrero

Taxco de Alarcón (usually just called Taxco) is a delightful hillside town in Guerrero, Mexico — and the only pueblo magico in Guerrero state.

Its Parroquia de Santa Prisca Church is among the most beautiful churches in Mexico. However, Taxco is best known as one of the top Mexico silver mining towns.

In town, you can sometimes see artisans hard at work in their tiny talliers (workshops), and you can buy silver directly from them.

Semana Santa (Holy Week), the week leading up to Easter, is a special time to visit Taxco, Mexico.

It is one of the most important Mexican holidays , but Taxco has one of the country’s most elaborate celebrations (though some describe it as gruesome).

5. Xilitla, San Luis Potosi

The oldest town in San Luis Potosí, Xilitla (pronounced he-leet-la or she-leet-la; I’ve heard both) dates back to the 16th Century.

Though there are several things to do in Xilita, the main draw is the Surrealist Gardens of Edward James (AKA Los Pozas, which means The Wells or The Pools).

Inspired by his love of surrealist art, eccentric Englishman Edward James began building his dream home. Sadly, he passed away before completion.

For many, you visit Xilitla as part of a trip to La Huasteca Potosina . This lush Mexico region is famed for beautiful nature, particularly its waterfalls.

6. Valle de Bravo, Estado de Mexico

Known as “the Hamptons of Mexico City,” Valle de Bravo is an affluent town that sits on Lake Avandaro. The lake offers everything from boat tours to water sports.

For the adventurous, book this Valle de Bravo hang gliding experience and jump off one of the town’s mountains or cliffs and soar like a bird over the lake.

Back on land, there’s many things to do in Valle de Bravo like hiking to the Mirador La Pena overlook, and the short hike to the Cascadas Velo de Novia Waterfalls.

Make sure to also stroll the beautiful cobblestone streets around Plaza de la Independencia in downtown, when you can do some shopping at the boutiques.

If you visit during the Mexico butterfly season (approx. mid-November to early-April), there’s a sanctuary not far from Valle de Bravo called Piedra Herrada.

7. Tequila, Jalisco

Did you know bottles can only be labeled as tequila if the drink comes from here in Tequila, Mexico (and a few surrounding areas)?!

Tequila the town is a fun, colorful pueblo surrounded by beautiful blue agave plant fields. This Blue Weber Agave is the only plant used to make tequila.

The Plaza Principal (Town Square) is the main area of town, if you’re a true tequila fan, you’ll want to visit distilleries outside of town in the non-touristy areas.

I did this Fortaleza Tequila Tour at one of the best artisan distilleries in Tequila. Their tequila is AMAZING, and I took home a bottle of Fortaleza Añejo.

8. Valladolid, Yucatan

With so many things to do in Valladolid , it’s no wonder this is becoming a Mexico must see spot.

On your visit, don’t miss the Parque Principal (Main Park) to see the Iglesia de San Servacio Church, as well as colorful, colonial buildings, shops and restaurants.

The picturesque Calzada de los Frailes is one of the nicest streets in town. At the end of the street, you’ll find the 16th Century Ex-Convento de San Bernardino de Siena.

Located only minutes from downtown, you’ll want to visit Cenote Zaci . This partially-open cenote sinkhole is a popular swimming spot with locals and visitors alike.

A bit further out, but still less than an hour away, you’ll be at Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins — one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

9. Palenque, Chiapas

The small town of Palenque (pronounced pull-lan-kay) is located in the Selva Lacandona (Lacandon Jungle). This giant rainforest stretches into Honduras!

Among the best things to do in Palenque, the Palenque Mayan Ruins is an ancient pre-hispanic city and UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Here, don’t miss the Temple of the Inscriptions, the largest Mesoamerican stepped pyramid on Earth, with eight levels.

It’s named after the hieroglyphic Inscription Tablets found inside, which shed light on some mysteries of the Maya civilization .

10. Tulum, Quintana Roo

Tulum pueblo magico is one of the most popular travel destinations in Mexico, and among the best beaches in Mexico .

In fact, most travelers don’t even realize Tulum is a Yucatan pueblo magico because it’s so popular without the designation.

If this will be your first visit, you’re in for a real treat because there are just so many cool things to do in Tulum !

There’s amazing snorkeling in Tulum , lazing at the beautiful beach clubs on the Caribbean Sea, swimming in the gorgeous Tulum cenotes , and so much more.

However, an absolute must do activity when you’re in town is to visit the Tulum Mayan Ruins .

They are located right on the beach, just 10 minutes from Tulum Town (Downtown Tulum), and considered among the best Mayan Ruins in Mexico .

Want to discover more about the Mexico magic towns?

We’ve reached the end of this list! Did you discover any new places you want to add to your Mexico bucket list ?

While we only scratched the surface of the best Mexico pueblos magicos , I plan to keep exploring as many as I can — and I’ll be updating this list when I do.

For now, if you want detailed guides to visiting some of the best pueblos magicos Mexico has to offer, here are the ones I have dedicated articles about:

  • Teotihuacan
  • Valle de Bravo
  • Zihuatanejo
  • San Pablo Mitla
  • Tlaquepaque

Want to check out the best pueblos magicos in Mexico? I've been to MANY Mexico magic towns, and my Top 10 picks are listed here in this article.

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  1. Palenque Ruins Guide: 1 or 2 Day Palenque Tour Itinerary with Hotels

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  2. Palenque, Chiapas

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  3. Enamórate de la magia de Palenque, Chiapas; un paraíso natural de

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  4. Palenque, Chiapas, un paraíso para los amantes de la arqueología

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  5. Tips on Exploring Palenque Chiapas: A Guide to Mexico’s Ancient Mayan

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  6. Palenque, Chiapas

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COMMENTS

  1. Tour Palenque Chiapas

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    6. Escapada de un día a las cascadas de Agua Azul y Palenque desde San Cristóbal. 25. Tours de todo el día. Más de 6 horas. En este día, déjese impresionar por la hermosa belleza natural de las cataratas de Agua Azul y las maravillosas construcciones…. Cancelación sin cargo. desde. $1,162.

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    Tour to the Mayan Archaeological Zone of Palenque, the Roberto Barrios Waterfalls and El Panchan, the most representative…. Free cancellation. from. $110. per adult. 8. Tour in the Archaeological Zone of Palenque With Guide Included. 1. Historical Tours.

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    10 hours. Free Cancellation. from. $60.00. From Palenque Zona Arq. Misol Ha, Agua Azul and Transfer to San Cristóbal. 1. Because you can enjoy the Palenque Ruins, visit the Agua Azul and Misol Ha waterfalls. At the end of the Tour we will transfer you to San Cristóbal de las Casas.

  6. 10 Best Palenque Tours & Trips 2024/2025

    Palenque Tours & Trips. Find the right tour for you through Palenque. We've got 131 adventures going to Palenque, starting from just one day in length, and the longest tour is 58 days. The most popular month to go is October, which has the largest number of tour departures. ... Chiapas, Pacific Coast Mexico +1 more Operated in English, Spanish ...

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    Day 8: Palenque - Palenque Archaeological Zone - Agua Azul Waterfalls - San Cristóbal de las Casas. In the morning, continue our "Palenque tour" to discover Palenque, one of the most important archaeological sites in Chiapas and Mexico. Once there, appreciate its UNESCO-listed monumental structures and learn about their history.

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    Set out from Palenque for a day full of natural wonders and cultural exploring. Visit the UNESCO-listed Palenque archaeological site and spend a couple hours touring this ancient, jungle-clad city, learning about its role in Mayan civilization while perusing its temples and artifacts. Afterward, pay a visit to two local waterfalls: the towering 115-feet-high (35-meter) Misol-Ha, and Agua Azul ...

  9. LOS 10 MEJORES Tours y Excursiones en Palenque en el 2024

    7. ZONA ARQUEOLÓGICA DE PALENQUE - CASCADAS DE MISOL-HA - CASCADAS DE AGUA AZUL- SALIENDO DESDE PALENQUE CHIAPAS Salida 8:00 A.M. desde la recepción de su hotel, nos dirigiremos a la Z.A. de Palenque, donde conoceremos los vestigios arqueológicos de la cultura Maya, conformada por su exuberante riqueza natural, con un recorrido de 2 horas.

  10. Full Day Tour to Palenque Archaeological Zone with Waterfalls

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  11. Palenque Mágico agencia de viajes en Chiapas

    Ecoparque Aluxes Situado a 2.5 km del centro de Palenque, Chiapas en la Carretera Palenque-Zona arqueológica. Podrá apreciar flora y fauna del estado y muchas más especies de la región. ... TOURS FAVORITOS Tours compartidos desde Palenque. Entradas y transporte incluido. Zona Arqueológica. Costo por persona $430.00 (28 USD) Visitar. Zona ...

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    TOURS Tours compartidos desde Palenque | Entradas y transporte incluido. Por Temas de COVID 19, algunos tours han modificado su tarifa temporalmente. Zona Arqueológica Palenque * Salida 8:00 hrs ... Emblemáticas Cascadas en Chiapas. Recomendado. Costo por persona: $555.00 (37 USD)

  13. Palenque Archeological Site Tour

    Get to know the archaeological site of Palenque, Chiapas, one of the most popular places for tourists, explorers, historians, and archaeologists for over three centuries. The tour starts early in the morning with a visit to Palenque's archaeological site so you can admire the ancient Maya constructions. This is an impressive zone filled with ...

  14. The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Palenque in Mexico

    The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Palenque in Mexico. Richard Collett. July 29, 2023. Shrouded in mist and hidden by the deep jungles of southern Mexico, the Mayan ruins of Palenque are a startling historical site to behold. Lost for centuries, visiting this ancient archaeological site today means taking a step back in time.

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    Venture on a captivating journey through the natural wonders and ancient mysteries of Mexico's Chiapas region. This tour takes you to three remarkable destinations, starting with the mesmerizing Agua Azul Waterfalls. ... Chiapas Tours & Activities Palenque, Agua Azul, & Misol-Ha Waterfall Tour Amigo Tours. México +52 (55) 5512 5207 [email ...

  16. Private Tour to Mayan Palenque Pyramids and Two Waterfalls 2024

    History and nature-loving travelers will enjoy this fun, informative private day tour from Palenque or San Cristobal. You'll visit the amazing Mayan pyramids at Palenque, learning all about this ancient culture. Following this, visit some of the most beautiful waterfalls in this part of Mexico, the Misol Ha Falls and the Cascadas de Agua Azul. This is an easy way to visit the Cascadas de Agua ...

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    Guías de tours en Palenque. Somos un grupo de profesionales de la industria turística de Chiapas comprometidos en brindar al visitante lo mejor del destino Chiapas en cada segmento de servicio al mejor costo del mercado.

  18. Palenque Ruins (Chiapas): The Definitive Guide (+ Tips)

    Palenque: The Ultimate Guide to the Maya Ruins. Palenque, a national park and a UNESCO world heritage site, is one of the highlights of Chiapas.. I visited this region a few years ago, but I missed Palenque then. The truth is: Mexico is huge and you need time to enjoy a road trip through Chiapas. So this time, after leaving Bacalar, we decided to stop at Palenque before heading to San ...

  19. Yaxchilan, Bonampak, & Palenque Tour

    All Chiapas Tours Menu. Chiapas Tours & Activities Yaxchilan & Bonampak Tour Yaxchilan & Bonampak Tour. Book Now Person Ages 3+ $ 105 Infants Ages 0-2 Free. Quick Details. ... The drop-off takes place at the bus terminal in Palenque. What to Bring: Don't forget to bring your camera and sunscreen! Related Tours. From $ 51. Shared Tour; 18 ...

  20. Palenque

    Palenque. Palenque is one of the most notable cities of the Classic Maya period, seat of a powerful dynasty that dominated the mountains of northern Chiapas and the plains of Tabasco; territory that some researchers have now recognized as the kingdom of Lakamhá. The pre-Hispanic site is one of the most impressive archeological cities in the world.

  21. Palenque travel

    Palenque. Swathed in morning jungle mists and echoing to a dawn chorus of howler monkeys and parrots, the mighty Maya temples of Palenque are deservedly one of the top destinations of Chiapas and one of the best examples of Maya architecture in all of Mexico. By contrast, modern Palenque town, a few kilometers to the east, is a sweaty, humdrum ...

  22. Lacandona Jungle, Yaxchilan, Bonampak Tour from Palenque 2024

    Combine visits to Yaxchilan, the ruins of Bonampak, and the Lacandona Jungle on this full-day tour from Palenque. With your guide in the lead, learn about the Maya history at Bonampak, then take a boat on the Usumacinta River. Explore the pre-Hispanic sites in the ruins of Yaxchilan, then stop in Frontera Corozal for a traditional Mexican lunch. All entrance fees and transportation are included.

  23. BEST Palenque Chiapas Tour

    In this Palenque Chiapas Tour we explore the Palenque Ruins, Agua Azul Waterfall and Misol-ha Waterfalls. Palenque Chiapas is a must see destination in Chiap...

  24. Palenque Ruins: My Guide to Chiapas' Pyramids

    The Palenque National Park charges 50 MXN (US$2) for admission; it's the area surrounding the archaeological site. Then it's an additional 90 MXN (US$4.50) per person to visit the Palenque ruins. This includes admission to the museum on the main road. There's no need to book your tickets in advance.

  25. Waterfalls Agua Azul and Misol-ha 2024

    Palenque, Chiapas. From Palenque Misol Ha, Agua Azul and Transfer to San Cristóbal de las Casas. 4. from $60.00. Viator earns higher commissions on experiences featured here.

  26. I've Been to 40 Pueblos Magicos in Mexico

    The lake offers everything from boat tours to water sports. ... Palenque, Chiapas. The small town of Palenque (pronounced pull-lan-kay) is located in the Selva Lacandona (Lacandon Jungle). ...