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Palenque, Mexico Travel Guide

Introduction to Palenque There is pretty much only two reasons that most travelers to come through the small city of Palenque, Mexico — and that is to visit the Maya ruins by the same name 8 KM away or to stop off for a night before going to Flores and Tikal in Guatemala. But don’t [...]

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Introduction to Palenque

There is pretty much only two reasons that most travelers to come through the small city of Palenque, Mexico — and that is to visit the Maya ruins by the same name 8 KM away or to stop off for a night before going to Flores and Tikal in Guatemala. But don’t leave this town too fast, it is a nice place to visit in the sunny and hot stretches of southern Mexico.

Navigating Palenque is easy, almost all of the streets are marked and everything that you will probably need is within a five block radius.

Where is Palenque, Mexico?

Palenque is in the south of Mexico and is a good transition point for getting between Yucatan and Guatemala and Chiapas or the rest of Mexico.

Palenque mexico map

Palenque, Mexico map

Cheap travel map for Palenque

The following is a cheap travel map of Palenque which shows a few of the cheaper accommodation options as well as good, well priced places to eat. To use this map when traveling, download and print it out, or click on the “print” button at the bottom of this page to get a hard copy of this entire page.

Palenque Cheap Travel Map

To add to this map, download it, add in your vagabond travel suggestions, and then re-upload it to the same position. Click on the “edit this page” link at the bottom to re-upload the map.

Cheap hotels in Palenque, Mexico

There is an abundance of hotels in Palenque, and, as of August of 2010, most of the seem pretty empty. There is a little room for bargaining.

Hotel Maranatha

Hotel in Palenque, Mexico

Hotel Maratha in Palenque

This hotel is colored bright blue and is located on Ave 20 de Noviembre a little over one block from the park. The rooms are decent, with fans, cable television, private bathrooms, and hot water. There is also good WIFI internet throughout the hotel. A decent place to stay, though don’t lock your key in the room as they don’t have spares.


Double room with private bathroom- 150 pesos, 11.50 USD

Hotel Chiapan

Hotel in Mexico

Hotel Chiapan in Palenque

This is one of the cheapest accommodation options in Palenque. The rooms are decent, the hotel is up to vagabond standards. It is around a 10 minute walk from the park on Ave 5 de Febrero. A good choice if you do not need internet access or couldn’t care less about watching television.


Double room with private bath- 100 pesos, 7.50 USD

Posada Shalom

A good, quick option on the main street of Palenque, Ave Juarez, a short walk from both the bus stations and the park. This hotel is sparkling white and clean, and quiet. A standard hotel where you check in, pay, and then drop off the key when you leave. It is not a place to socialize, but a place to sleep. The price is at the upper end of a vagabond’s budget, but it is still within range. This hotel is nice, the rooms are top notch with cable TV, a fan, private bathroom with hot water, and WIFI internet. There is also a balcony that rises over the main pedestrian street of Palenque, good place for watching people.


Double room with private bath and fan- 200 pesos, 15 USD

Single rooms are also 200 pesos.

Cheap eating in Palenque

Most of the good cheap eating houses in Palenque are around the east and south side of the park. There are also some cheap restaurants down Ave 20 de Noviembre. For grilled chicken look around near the bus stations. Expect to pay between 24 and 40 pesos, two or three USD for a good meal.

Cheap food in Palenque, Mexico

Cheap restaurants near the park in Palenque

Grilled chicken restaurant in Mexico

Grilled chicken restaurant near bus stations

Transportation to and from Palenque

There is frequent transportation to and from Palenque. Most of the bus stations are on Ave 5 de Mayo near where the main roads fork. The Flores, Guatemala shuttle will drop you off a little outside of the city center, just take a left out of the station and walk until you get to a large Maya head, go right, and you will end up in the town’s center.

Mexican bus

Mexican bus in Palenque


Transportation in the south of Mexico seems to cost around one and a half USD per seat hour.

Palenque cheap travel guide conclusion

The city of Palenque may not keep most travelers but it is a very real and raw place to stay. It is more or less a transition town, but it is in no way a bad one. Sit in the open air restaurants by the park, drink a beer, enjoy this little city before you invariably travel on soon after you arrive.

If you have anything to add to this travel guide please click on the edit link below. This is a WIKI site, so all travelers are free to contribute.


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Filed under: Mexico

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3722 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

1 comment… add one

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  • Colleen August 13, 2012, 12:07 am

    I know this is an older post, but I just found it while looking for information on Palenque and wanted to say thanks! It was very informative and helpful.

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