Our last stop before heading north through the Yucatan peninsula were the ruins at Palenque. Eric and I aren’t huge on catching a lot of attractions if you will, but we were excited for the first ruins of the trip. We had honestly heard multiple stories about the road from San Cristobal to Palenque being dangerous, with unofficial tolls, armed roadblocks, etc. After not having any trouble so far we were pretty nervous to hear this but pressed on, as it was the only direct way north without adding at least one more travel day. We only had one road block with men holding a flag and rope, as well as a board with nails across the road. Expecting the worst we pulled up and they only wanted 10 pesos. To just pay this amount and avoid any trouble was a no brainer. Although normally we do not consider bribes an option, sometimes the principle of the thing can be thrown out the window to maintain that safe feeling, especially for less than $1. Other than that stop we made it to Palenque without any issues and enjoyed the pool, holler monkeys and huge rainstorm at our campsite, Maya Bell, that evening before walking to the park the next day.
The pictures say it all. The ruins were impressive. I loved that you could still see some of the reliefs on the temple walls and Eric gawked a bit at the underground aqueducts. We tried to go in the morning to beat the heat and the tour bus crowds, but even by 10:30 AM we were sweating uncontrollably. All in all, it was a great experience and the thought that we barely scratched the surface of what is visible, versus the minimum of 90% of the ancient ruins that remain untouched is pretty unbelievable.
We’re headed for a whirlwind trip around the Yucatan to get to Cozumel by May 1st for an awesome surprise!