Jungle 1 - Mayan City 0

Jungle 1 – Mayan City 0

If you had to build a city entirely out of stone, without the use of the wheel or animal or machine power, would you build it in the middle of a hot and humid jungle? The Mayans did.  And then they abandoned it.  I speculate that this was because it was hot and humid and in the middle of a jungle, so all of the local teenagers decided to go to college elsewhere

The jungle didn’t waste any time reclaiming its lost territory, and since the modern world rediscovered the ruins sometime around the birth of the United States, only about 5% of the city has been excavated.  Over 1000 buildings are still buried under dirt, vines, and trees. Home maintenance is important in this part of the world

2013 April Chiapas MX-006-40

Partially Excavated

On a wonderfully hot and humid day in May, we explored the approximately 2.5 sq. km. that has been excavated.  Did I mention that it was hot and humid?  Fortunately many of the vendors in the parking lot sell cold water at reasonable prices, along with a variety of hallucinogenic mushrooms.  I recommend waiting until after exploring the ruins before sampling the local fungi, it will make climbing up and down the steep stairways more enjoyable and less likely to require a medevac


The View From Upstairs

As in the ruins at Teotihuacan, climbing on the monuments is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged, so of course I attempted to do my best Lara Croft impersonation despite the fact that I lack the proper hardware to pull it off properly

Lara Croft I Am Not

Lara Croft I Am Not

On top of several of the pyramids rests a small temple with elaborate stone carvings.  They are the worse for wear, but impressive none the less.  Imagine what they looked like in their prime, with no erosion and with a fresh coat of paint

Temple with Stone Carving

Temple with Stone Carving

Inside the main palace, there are numerous other interesting stone carvings

What's Up?

What’s Up?

You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

Most incredible though is the 3 story watchtower resting on top of the palatial pyramid, about 6 stories in height total, seen below from a distance

All Along the Watchtower

All Along the Watchtower

As historical sights go, this one is definitely worth a visit. It is best explored in the early hours (they open at 8 am), and be sure to bring lots of water


Welcome to Palenque

Financial info:
Entrance fee: 51 pesos (~$4.25)
1.5L bottle of water: 10 pesos (~$0.80)
A small bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms: ?
3 overpriced mystery tacos in the parking lot: 40 pesos (~$3.30)
An evening of Montezuma’s Revenge from said mystery tacos: Priceless