Palenque -- the Star of the Chiapas Maya Show
Our final day tour began by walking out of our compound and catching a collectivo on the road into the park for 10 pesos. It stopped at the gate, we paid our modest entry fee, and rode on down to the drop-off point several minutes down the road. There we could hire a guide (we did not) to show us around, buy water, food, or souvenirs.
We walked on the nice, easy paths and climbed to the top of many incredible temples at this huge site. There are a lot of vendors here along the paths, but they don't holler at you or bother you -- unless you show interest in something as you walk by. Even with the number of tourists, it is still a fairly serene area. We even spotted several howler monkeys and spider monkeys in nearby jungle trees.
If you follow the signage to see the cascades, you are rewarded with some nice peaceful waterfalls and the almost secret stairs up to the area that has not been cleaned of jungle growth. This was my favorite part, but Loretta opted to wait for me instead of venturing very far in. I wandered among the ruins like an adventurer on discovery. I even wandered down holes and came up on top of small buildings. I only encountered two or three other people in there, and it was fantastic! I sat and listened to the jungle sounds, howler monkeys in the distance, and imagined life back then.
Reluctantly, I emerged from the jungle to join my friend to continue our explorations. What a spectacular day! Enjoy the photos -- there are a bunch of them!
More pictures from Palenque: