Day 11 - Thursday 10th July: Palenque Mayan Ruins & some impressive waterfalls
Booked my onward bus ticket out of Palenque for 9pm this evening - I'd been tipped off by an Austrian guy in Mexican City that there wasn't anything other than the ruins to see here, so to stay only a day at most. So when I arrived at my hostel last night to be offered a tour of the ruins and some local watefalls that finishes at 6.30pm it fits perfectly.
Palenque is the first of the Mayan ruins I will be visiting which if I'm honest is the main reason I wanted to come to Mexico. I hope in the coming week or so to see Calakmul, Uxmal, Chichen Itza and Tulum in Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala.
The Palenque ruins are set to the backdrop of Jungle and you can hear howler monkeys in the trees (didn't manage to spot one unfortunately). The ruins date between 100BC and 900AD and are very impressive, certainly amongst the most amazing sites I've seen. From the top of some of the taller structures you can see right over the Yucatan plain. Whilst the main ceremonial ruins
are set about in open, manicured lawns, the outer ruins where the commoners are thought to have lived in the city are in the middle of the Jungle.
After wandering the ruins followed by the museum at the site in the morning the bus heads to two seperate waterfalls in the afternoon. The first, Misol-Ha you can walk round the back of, and then explore some caves to the side. The second Agua Azul are larger, there must be 7 or 8 seperate falls which cascade down stream. Unortunately it rains at Agua Azul which puts end to any thought of a quick dip at the end of a steamy day in the Jungle.
Head back to Palenque town, had a great day but can't wait to get out of the town which is scruffy. A 5-6 hour bus journey awaits......can't wait!
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