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  • Day121

    Palenque mayan ruins

    March 1, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We'd heard on the grapevine about some spectacular Mayan ruins between San Cristóbal and Tulum so we stopped off in the town of Palenque for a couple of days. It was definitely worth it and the ruins were indeed spectacular. The Mayan city of Palenque (founded around 200 B.C and active till around 800 A.D) was originally known as 'Lakamha' literally "big water" after the large River that flows through the city. This was redirected by the Mayans to stop flooding and direct fresh water for drinking and agriculture. Which in itself is an incredible feat or engineering for a city built over 2000 years ago. The rest of the site is even more impressive. The huge temples are really imposing, each one a gigantic shrine to one of their many gods. One of them was so high that we had to take a 5 minute breather at the top after climbing hundreds of massive steps 😅 at the top of each stairway was the actual temple structure with stone engravings of their most successful king K'inich Janaab' Pakal doing ruler-ish stuff like vanquishing enemies or having dinner with a god made of corn. In the temple of the red queen there was even a tomb with the body of a woman (Probably a wife of Pakal) adorned with jade offerings and jewellery. She's obviously not there now but we got to look inside the tomb and at the sarcophagus which was pretty cool! A lot of the ruins have been restored to how they may have originally looked which was interesting but not authentic, I thought the temples that hadn't been restored were the most impressive. However, at the end we did a short jungle trek and got to see some of the totally unrestored ruins which looked like they were straight out of an Indiana Jones movie! 🤠Read more