México Sur! Palenque
**Southern Mexico Series
I am in love with Southern Mexico! Most people think only of the Riviera Maya (Cozumel – Cancun – Playa del Carmen – Tulum) when they think Southern Mexico – indeed, a great place to spark a love affair with this region, but there is so much more! Permit me to take you on a speed tour through Southern Mexico, to some of the places that have captured my heart!
Moving on to the state of Chiapas….
I recently read Graham Greene’s The Lawless Roads, set in 1938 when he took a trip through Southern Mexico, ending in San Cristobal de las Casas, where we live. His account of the journey does not paint a pretty picture of Southern Mexico, as he did not seem to enjoy much of his journey. However, it was interesting to read his tale of traveling through what was then mostly uncharted territory. When he arrives in Palenque, a Maya City that was at its peak in the 7th century, he talks of the ruins peaking out from between thick trees. It was nearly untouched and magical. That is how I have felt each time I’ve entered the archaeological zone of Palenque: It’s Magical!
Nestled in the jungle, the site as a whole is not huge….although it is still being excavated and will be for a long time to come. Howler monkeys have marked all of my visits, as well as heavy jungle rain showers. The trees are magnificent, and a visit is something to never forget.
Most who come to Chiapas make an effort to visit Palenque. When I first stumbled almost unknowingly into Chiapas in 2007, the ruins did not make my agenda. When I returned in June of 2008, I made my first visit:
In March 2009, I had the pleasure of having some of my family join me for a repeat visit. Even my brother, on crutches, enjoyed exploring the ruins!
Recently with family down from Wyoming, I had the chance to explore the ruins again. It never gets old:
A trip to Palenque, in my book, isn’t complete without an evening stay in a jungle cabaña! Even when we’re just transiting through Palenque without visiting the ruins, we try to overnight in our favorite cabins and eat at Don Muchos. We have often stayed at the cabins at El Panchan, but recently discovered the cabins across the street, Kin Balam.