Tucked into the folds of the jungle in Mexico’s Chiapas region stands the mostly buried and only very partially exposed Mayan ruins of Palenque. If you haven’t already experienced this place or you’ve come to feel ruin fatigue in this part of the world, consider a visit. For us, it’s become one of our favorites.
One part impressive grandeur, another part illuminating detail, Palenque exists in multiple layers and feels like a never ending dig. It consists of a complex full of classical Mayan structures on one level — palaces, temples, living quarters, funeral chambers and elaborate chunks of stone once carved with Mayan glyphs — and features a mysterious, differently-styled almost subterranean jungle world beneath.
And this is only what you are able to see. It’s estimated that the visible bits of the site represent only 10% of what’s actually there. Upon stepping foot on Palenque’s grounds, you can almost imagine this figure an underestimate.
The panorama below was taken from the edge atop the Palace and features the uber-grand Temple of the Inscriptions, a funerary monument built for K’inich Janaab’ Pakal, a ruler of Palenque during the 7th century.