Jungle Temples and Waterfalls
- Nature / Eco
- Price from:
- 98 GBP /person
- 01273 322046
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
Last updated: 02/19/2009
Visit the ruins of Palenque set in the dense, green jungle, giving the place a mystical atmosphere. Escape the heat in spectacular Agua Azul waterfalls. Stay in eco-village close to old Mayan cities.
A self-drive trip through Mexico is a comfortable and safe option; the roads are well-maintained, and there are plenty of petrol stations along the way, road signs are clear and with our English route description you'll be able to find your way with no problem at all. You can rent your car from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and this tour fits perfectly in between either Campeche or San Cristobal and the Mayan Riviera.
You will start by driving to Palenque which is in the heart of the steamy jungle (35 ÂºC). It's hot and sticky which is why we've arranged accommodation for you outside the village in bungalows surrounded by tropical gardens and with a large pool. The ruins are a 10 min drive away.
PalenqueToday you'll be visiting one the most awe-inspiring Mayan ruins on the continent so don't forget your camera, but also lots of water. It's usually very hot here so you'll be sweating buckets, though the spectacular views across the emerald jungle and the temples will soon make you forget the heat.
Palenque is one of the few Mayan cities where archaeologists were able to learn a lot about Mayan history thanks to well-preserved hieroglyphs that were found here. They tell stories of dynasties, conquests, wealth and destruction.Plan your visit early so you can explore the complex before the real heat arrives and then cool off in one of the nearby waterfalls. There are several hidden in jungle, but Agua Azul (blue water), an hour from the ruins are undoubtedly the most spectacular.The river drops roughly 1000m over a distance of 2km, causing a thundering cascade of white water with fast currents and turquoise pools. In rainy season (July - October) the waterfall swells up and though it does gain in power it temporarily loses its beautiful turquoise colour.At Agua Azul you can find a couple of restaurants as well as children selling fruit.On the way to Agua Azul stop off at Misol Ha, a wonderful cascade surrounded by lush vegetation. A path leads up to a cave behind the waterfalls. 30 minutes will probably be enough to look around. In the evening you can head into Palenque for dinner, though make sure the restaurant has air-conditioning!
Calakmul and Chicanna
The road from Palenque to the Caribbean coast is dotted with serene Mayan ruins. From Palenque it's roughly a 5 hour drive along flat roads to your hotel in Chicanna.About 30 minutes from your final destination you'll pass the turn off to the Mayan city Calakmul, approx an hour's drive from the main road. Unlike many of the other major sites Calakmul draws relatively few visitors, mainly because it wasn't discovered until 1931 when most of the other Mayan ruins had already been made public to the outside world.Still, covering 25kmÂ² Calakmul certainly competes with Tikal and Palenque in terms of size and boasts several high pyramids with dizzying steps, royal tombs with jade masks are rare vases. Because you'll be one of the few visitors there you'll notice the silence and serenity as you wander round the ruins. This is what makes Calakmul stand out from Palenque.Once you're templed-out, drive back to the main road for the last leg of your journey to your accommodation. For tonight we've booked a night in an eco-village close to the Mayan cities Chicanna and Xpujil. The two-storey wooden bungalows are built around a swimming pool in beautiful surroundings. The downstairs bungalow has a veranda with rocking chairs, on the first floor you'll find a large balcony. The rooms are spacious and have a modern bathroom.The eco-village is largely environmentally sustainable; electricity is generated by solar energy and the restaurant uses mainly home-grown ingredients to produce some delicious meals. Treat yourself to a home-made fresh fruit juices, chill out by the pool and enjoy some hard-earned time out after a long day of driving and climbing Mayan ruins.
If your appetite for Mayan ruins still hasn't been satisfied then there plenty more close by, some of which were discovered as late as 2004. We couldn't visit all of them but Kohunlich came highly recommended by our temple-savvy local agent. Plan about an hour to visit the site.From your hotel it's a six hour drive to the Caribbean coast. Seven hours if you want to stop at Kohunlich and eight if you also want to include lunch at a great little fish restaurant on Lake Bacalar.This is the end of your tour, and you can then enjoy some relaxing days on the beach.
- Inclusions -
- 2 nights Palenque and 1 night Chicanna
- Exclusions -
- Transportation, meals, admission fees (Palenque, Misol Ha, Agua Azul and Calakmul: total approx US$ 13)
Couldn't find what you're looking for? Check out more tours & excursions in Palenque
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Email the tour operator - Jungle Temples and Waterfalls
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