Best of Palenque

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Palenque
The awe-inspiring temples of Palenque draw visitors from across the globe, eager to lay eyes on Mexico’s finest Mayan architecture. Founded over 2000 years ago, the ancient city is marked by towering monuments from the past, including the eight-tiered Temple of the Inscriptions and the aptly-named Palace, with its maze of corridors and sculpture-fringed courtyards. The setting amid tropical rainforest adds to the magic of Palenque, and there are wildlife-watching opportunities on the trails connecting the various archaeological sites. The nearby town of the same name makes a useful base for exploring the area.  

Previous kimkim travelers have immersed themselves in the Mayan world on guided tours that explore the site’s greatest archaeological treasures. The on-site museum displays some of the exquisite finds unearthed in Palenque, and its air-conditioned halls provide a welcome break from the heat. Nature plays a starring role in any Palenque visit, and you can look for macaws and howler monkeys on a trail that passes yet-unexplored ruins in pristine rainforest. It’s well worth overnighting in the area, so you can experience a guided sunrise visit to Palenque. Gazing across the temples at first light without the crowds is an unforgettable experience.
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Agua Azul Waterfalls
Mexico Rainforest Exploration & Indigenous Culture: Palenque & Nahá - 5 Days

Explore the best of Central Mexico's indigenous cultures and rainforest on this whirlwind five-day trip. You'll land in Palenque, then make your way to Villahermosa by way of Naha. Your expert driver will deliver you to all of your planned stops: visits to ancient Mayan ruins, oasis-like waterfalls, and traditional handicraft lessons.

Ancient Ruins
Mexico Rainforest Exploration & Indigenous Culture: Palenque & Nahá - 7 Days

From ancient archaeological sites to relaxing waterfall oases, this weeklong exploration of Central Mexico packs plenty of adventure. You'll explore the ancient Mayan cities of Yaxchilan & Bonampak, learn to make a traditional bow & arrow, and cool off at the Roberto Barrios waterfalls. To top it off, there's no driving — your personal driver will make sure you get where you're going.

A Relaxing Oasis
Mexico Rainforest Exploration & Indigenous Culture: Palenque & Nahá - 6 Days

Spend six days visiting ancient Mayan archaeological sites, swimming in turquoise waterfalls, and learning about the indigenous cultures of central Mexico. Throughout it all your expert driver will accompany you from location to location, ensuring that you're only focused on relaxing and spending time in nature — not navigating the roads.

El Chiflón waterfalls, Chiapas
Map of Highlights of Chiapas - 10 Days
Highlights of Chiapas - 10 Days

Experience the best of Chiapas with this 10-day itinerary. Start with a mix of nature and culture in San Cristobal de las Casas with a walking tour of the city and day trips to Sumidero Canyon and Montebello Lakes National Park. From there, spend four nights in Palenque, where you’ll visit craft markets and archeological sites, and learn about the indigenous Tzotzil people.

Bacalar lagoon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas and Quintana Roo - 14 Days
Highlights of Chiapas and Quintana Roo - 14 Days

Take in the views from atop ancient Mayan pyramids and underneath waterfalls with this two-week trip through some of the region's top spots. You'll wander through complex Mayan ruins, along turquoise shores, and into jungles as you learn about Mexican history and ecosystems.

Crossing the Water
Explore Mexico's Chiapas Region: San Cristóbal de las Casas, Palenque & Nahá - 9 Days

If you want to explore Mexico's Chiapas region but are short on time, this nine-day trip is a perfect blend of history, culture, and nature. Start with a river ride through Sumidero Canyon, then head to historic San Cristóbal for walking tours and a traditional cooking class. Continue to Maya archeological sites and indigenous cities for cultural exchanges while stopping en route at turquoise waterfalls.

Ancient pyramid of Uxmal reflected in young boy's sunglasses.
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Yucatán Peninsula - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Yucatán Peninsula - 14 Days

The beaches and jungles of southern Mexico beckon on this adventurous, two-week family vacation. Start in Chiapas with the kids in tow to explore lost Maya cities, paddle across jungle lagoons, and join in the crafts and rituals of the native Lacandon people. Then it's on to the Yucatán Peninsula to cool off in turquoise swimming holes and tour colorful colonial cities before ending your trip on the white sands of Holbox Island.

Board a "trajinera" and cruise historic canals in the capital's neighborhood of Xochimilco
Map of Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Palenque, Nahá, Calakmal & Bacalar  - 15 Days
Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Palenque, Nahá, Calakmal & Bacalar - 15 Days

Get to the heart of Mexico's rich culture over 15 days that will take you from the Spanish colonial plazas of the capital to the Caribbean beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula. It begins in Mexico City, where you'll visit museums, enjoy delicious street food, and tour historic enclaves like Coyoacán. Then immerse yourself in the indigenous culture and ancient ruins of beautiful regions like Chiapas before finishing the trip by sailing around the lagoons of the Yucatán.

The archaeological site of Palenque in the state of Chiapas
Map of Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days
Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days

Discover Mexico, a country home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (35) than any other nation in the Americas. Over 15 days, you'll tour many of these archeological marvels, like the ancient cities of Teotihuacán, Palenque, Chichén Itzá, and more. Beyond that, you'll visit natural highlights like the majestic Sumidero Canyon, the waterfalls at Agua Azul, and the marine reserve at Puerto Morelos.

Agua Azul Waterfall
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days

On this family-friendly two-week itinerary, you'll discover the diverse state of Chiapas, with its jungle waterfalls, colonial cities, and Mayan communities. Then you'll pick up a rental car and drive yourself around the Yucatán Peninsula, stopping to relax on the beach, swim in cenotes, and visit archaeological ruins perched high above the Caribbean Sea.

Ancient Maya ruins of Ek'Balam
Map of Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas &  Yucatán - 12 Days
Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas & Yucatán - 12 Days

This family-friendly itinerary of southern Mexico combines cultural activities with plenty of natural exploration. The first half of your trip will see you exploring Chiapas' Sumidero Canyon, el Chiflón and Misol-Ha waterfalls, and the impressive ruins of Palenque. From there, you will head to colonial-era Campeche where you will pick up your rental car and tour the Yucatán: from modern Mayan communities to ancient ruins, from refreshing cenotes to the white sands of Holbox Island.

Tulum, Mexico
Map of Mayan Discovery:  Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days
Mayan Discovery: Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days

Get a full dose of sun and sea while learning about Mexico's rich Mayan history as you travel from the beaches of Tulum to the wonders of Chichén Itzá pyramid. This journey through a few regions of Mexico will give you ample time to relax while experiencing the country's mystical, handicraft, and culinary traditions, and seeing its significant architectural monuments.

Join a boat tour through captivating Sumidero Canyon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days
Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days

This 13-day adventure covers the highlights of two of southern Mexico's most historic and naturally beautiful states: Chiapas & Yucatán. In the former, you'll tour natural wonders like Sumidero Canyon and the Agua Azul waterfalls. In the latter, you'll visit its most famous archeological sites, like Palenque and Uxmal, while also enjoying the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island and Playa del Carmen.

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Yucatan Peninsula · Mexico City · Tulum · Valladolid · Holbox · Oaxaca · Puerto Morelos · Merida · Chiapas · Cancun · San Cristobal de las Casas · Cholula · Bacalar · Campeche · Playa del Carmen · Uxmal · Chunhuhub · Puebla · Calakmul · San Miguel de Allende · Morelia · Guadalajara · Cabo San Lucas · Pisté · Los Cabos · Guanajuato · Querétaro · La Paz