Ancient pyramids cloaked in jungle that rise above the forest canopy through swirling mist – welcome to Palenque, Mexico’s most beautiful Mayan site!
Palenque was discovered by the outside world in 1773 by Don Ramon de Ordoñez y Aguilar within the foothills of the Tumbala mountains long after being abandoned by the Maya. However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that it was properly excavated and the extent of the ruins understood. Little is known about the site’s origins although it is believed to date back to 300BC and to have reached its zenith around 650AD under the Mayan kings, K’inich Janaab’ Pakal. Today, only an estimated 10% of the site has been uncovered, the rest still engulfed in dense vegetation, yet for visitors it offers a magical glimpse into the lost civilisation of the Maya. Wander into Palenque and the iconic Temple of Inscriptions towers above you and draws you on to the Temple of the Cross, Temple of the Sun, the Aqueduct and the Temple of the Lions among others. Best of all, as the temperature rises, you can seek shelter in the surrounding jungle and discover ancient ruins strangled by creeping figs amidst the flicker of colourful birds.
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