The Ruins at Palenque

Palenque is one of the many Mayan cities in Mexico. It was a center for government, commerce and life in the 7th century. Palenque was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site almost 30 years ago, and it’s an incredibly place to visit. The Temple of the Inscriptions was built in the late 670s as a tomb for Janaab Pakal, who ruled the city in the 600s and its the most recognizable of the edifices here.
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As we wander along the footpath from the side entrance to the main grounds we wander along moss and vine covered stone walls and the remains of foundations. It reminds me of an Indian Jones movie. The tree roots have grown up through and down into the stones and toppling the old structures back to the land below, as the Earth slowly reclaims all that was hers.
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About 10 years ago the area of ground included in the currently explored area was over a square mile. And it is estimated that only represents 10% of the city, leaving most of it covered by jungle. There are Howler Monkeys and Toucans here, providing the jungle soundtrack.
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You can wander through and under the Palace, climb the stairs to various temples and get lost on the grounds here.
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There are streams, small waterfalls and pools and lots of creatures here. I watch leaf-cutter ants carrying their work home with them along the edge of the trail.
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The detail in some of the carvings and the stucco and painted walls must have made for a stunningly beautiful city.
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The museum houses an enormous sarcophagus from the Temple of Inscriptions and hundreds of artifacts from the ruins. It’s an incredible place to visit.
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