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PALENQUE

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PALENQUE

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Wrapped in magic, mist and mystery, Palenque reveals itself as one of the most impacting Mayan cities in Mexico. A complex of monumental structures, with temples of startling beauty and magnificent stone palaces that rise - indestructible, millenarian, and eternal -, in a jungle of maddened greenness.

Admirable walls and partitions that perpetuate the grandness and wisdom of one of the most important civilizations of the pre-Hispanic America: the Mayas, who "seeded" a colossal city in the forest, probably sacred, that had its period of splendour between the years 600 and 900 A.C.

And even though time has trimmed great sectors of its original grandeur - only a tenth part of its original dimension can be currently appreciated -, there are still places of interest, such as the Temple of the Inscriptions, a pyramidal building on which walls hundreds of engraved hieroglyphic figures are found; or be impacted before the palace, the biggest construction of the compound.
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These are only two pearls on a magnificent pre-Hispanic necklace that due to its historic, cultural and artistic value was included in the list of UNESCO's World Patrimony in 1987.

History goes that the ancient inhabitants called its city Otulum (term of the Chol language meaning fortified or enclosed site), but with the arrival of the Spaniards the name would be changed to Palenque, a denomination that was also used for the plain town that Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada founded in 1567, only at a 7 kilometres distance from the Mayan constructions.

But Palenque is not the only pre-Columbian vestige resting in this green wilderness. Some distance away, Yaxchilan and Bonampak are found; two mysterious and impacting Mayan edifications standing in the middle of the boundless jungle of Lacandona, a natural realm on the border to Guatemala.

And the haunted enchantment of the archaeological complexes unites with the fascinating and everlasting flow of beautiful cascades and waterfalls, such as the Misol-Ha and the Agua Azul respectively, where nice eco-tourist centres with rustic cabins, restaurants and other services are found; ideal places to enjoy with much placidity the geography of Palenque.

The only thing left to say is that Palenque is an inescapable destination located 284 kilometres from Tuxtla Gutierrez (the capital of the state of Chiapas) and 1081 kilometres from the City of Mexico D.F., in a geographical zone of humid weather with almost permanent rainfalls, characteristics that may cause visitors to feel uncomfortable, but that will never "drown" the experience of enjoying a city full of mystery, a city wrapped in mists.

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