Palenque is an almost compulsory stop for travelers visiting the state of Chiapas in Mexico. Better known for its extensive Mayan archeological site ("las ruinas"), Palenque is also a place for backpackers with a love of nature and simple living to rest, recharge energies, and, in the process, reconnect with the natural elements that will be all around.
The main thing to do in Palenque is definitely visiting the ruins. The site tends to be quite busy, as a lot of tours come here; however, the place is so large that you will still be able to find a relatively peaceful spot within the complex to admire the grandiosity of the Mayan constructions and temples.
Accommodation can be found in two majorly different places -- in the town of Palenque itself or close by to the ruins, by the main road that leads there. Both are separated by several kilometers (but not walking distance) -- there are taxis and "collectivos" (shared vans) operating all day until evening. After dark, your best bet is a taxi as the shared vans tend to stop working by the time the archeological site also closes and the number of people going around becomes less.
In the town, expect to find regular Palenque hostels that will cater to your needs, although many say that there is nothing going on in Palenque after dark and it might get boring for those wanting to party until later. The most happening alternative to this would be to stay closer to the ruins, where different cabins have been built on the edge with the rainforest, on a more idyllic (but also rustic when it comes to level of comfort) surrounding, offering late night entertainment.
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Palenque hostels. Welcome.