After checking out from your hotel, you will depart early this morning with a guide and driver for Palenque
, a four-hour drive from San Cristóbal. One of the greatest Mayan cities, Palenque was at its peak during the Early Classic (200 to 600 C.E.) and Classic (600 to 900 C.E.) periods and some 1,400 buildings have been identified, though only 10 percent of them excavated.
In Palenque, you will stay at either the Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal
, just minutes from the archaeological zone. The Quinta Chanabnal is arguably the best hotel in Palenque. It has only nine suites, some with private plunge pools, and lush landscaped grounds.
After settling into your room and having lunch, you will visit the ruins of Palenque with a guide from the local Mayan community who will provide an introduction to both ancient and contemporary Mayan culture and life. Palenque is not the largest Mayan city to have been discovered by archaeologists, though it is still estimated to have covered a remarkable 25 square miles. But it is perhaps the most atmospheric, located in the misty jungles of Chiapas. The ruins are also celebrated for their expressive relief sculptures. The largest building is the Temple of Inscriptions, which stands at 88 feet tall, while smaller palaces, temples, and ball courts have also been restored.
Afterwards you’ll visit a local market in Palenque where you’ll be able to sample typical dishes like deer stew, river snails, and honey sweets, many of them dating to the ancient Maya.