We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
399 posts
263 reviews
Save Topic
Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Hello!

I'm busily planning my upcoming trip to Mexico and am trying to find any recommended one-day tour operators to go from Palenque, where we will be staying, to Yaxchilen and Bonampak.

Preferably affordable. We are a family of three budget travelers who don't mind waking up early, but want a personable guide who can show us the area OR let us roam a bit independently of other tourists. Ideally, we would love a personal guide but doubt they exist and if they do, suspect they would be out of our price range. Good food is a plus.

I have googled it but wondered if anyone has actually been on these tours and can speak to one that was particularly good?

London, United...
Level Contributor
106 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Hi, I did this trip in March. There are lots of agencies in Palenque town who offer the trip. I just went into the first one and took pot luck. I did walk into the centre of town rather than book from one near ADO station (sorry I can't remember the name). Palenque isn't a big place so you could shop around. Make sure you check what's included. I think most of them offer pretty much the same thing. Large mini bus, pick up from your hotel, 2 meals (breakfast and lunch) entry to both sites and lancha to Yaxchilen. I paid M$600 for all of this. Pick up at 6am, back by about 7.30pm. Do your own exploring. Hope this helps.

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
399 posts
263 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Yes, it sounds like it's pretty easy! Very helpful. Thank you.

BC
Level Contributor
4,333 posts
171 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Tequila describes it perfectly.

But what I didn't know until afterwards, is that you book the same trip anywhere. The agencies collect a commission and all the trips are pooled together, allocated to the vans. But prices might be slightly different, so you could look around (wouldn't vary by much, maybe $5 or so).

When you arrive at Yaxchilan, you can hire a guide at the admission gate; we did not do that. However, I did have a map of the ruins that I had gotten from a book.

London
Level Contributor
117 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Hi Aquisite

I wonder if you have done this yet? We are going in a few weeks and want the same - a Yaxchilan & Bompanak trip with recommendation. However we arrive late-ish one day and need to do this 6:00am the next day, so no time to shop around at all - hence why we want to book in advance.

Any advice? All help much appreciated :-)

Thanks

BC
Level Contributor
4,333 posts
171 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

I don't think you have much chance of booking this in advance, I tried and it couldn't be done.

However, how late is your late arrival? The agencies on the main street in Palenque stay open late--I think you would be okay until 9 pm or so. Also, if you are late I am quite sure that your hotel would be able to just phone one of them and have you booked in, it is all centralized.

I had a recommendation for an agency and went there--they were closed (at a time when everything would be expected to be open) so I just went next door. As mentioned above, it is all the same trip no matter who you book with.

London, United...
Level Contributor
106 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Hi, most of the hotels/cabanas will also have this tour on offer. Depending on how high end (high end will probably add a 'hefty' percentage) your hotel is it might just be easier to book through them if you can book it in advance. I went into town to an agency and I paid 600 pesos for the day which included transport, admission, lancha boat and two meals (breakfast and lunch). So it might be worth asking your accommodation first.

hope this helps, :o)

London
Level Contributor
117 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Hey and thanks everyone.

we have asked our hotel and their price for the three of us together is 4900 pesos! Very steep considering what we can get it for on the street agencies - but it does have the major bonus of being a private tour, not on the group bus.

My husband seems pretty keen on that (he is even more tour group-averse than I am!) So much for all my attempts at money-saving holiday planning.

:-)

BC
Level Contributor
4,333 posts
171 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

I think that our van had about 9 people in it, so that price is about right for having the van to yourself.

I dunno, I wouldn't want to pay that much more. You may still need to wait a long time at the boat launch for enough people to fill the boat going up the river.....or, seeing as you have paid for 9 people, would the boat leave right away? Even if they assured you of that, it probably wouldn't happen.

It could be worth the extra if you had more time at Yaxchilan itself. We had a map of the ruins area and went first to a spot where no one else ventured, it is very dense there and it seemed we were all alone in the jungle with the howler monkeys. My son later said that was the best part of the trip to Chiapas for him! So we had to rush a bit to get through the entire site and back to the boat dock area within the allotted time. We had 2 hours there, an extra 30 to 60 minutes would have been better. The one hour allotted for Bonampak was just right.

I've dug out my receipt from our tour, you could see if you are able to contact this agency:

http://viajesnachankan.com.mx/

I see that they say english is spoken on one phone line. No english in the office, which is in a central park of Palenque. I had tried to contact another agency recommended to me ahead of time, this is the one that was open right next door when I went to the recommended one in person. We paid 650 pesos per person. As mentioned above, admission is included in the price, but not a guide to the sites.

Have a great time, I loved Chiapas and already want to go back.

BC
Level Contributor
4,333 posts
171 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

I also wanted to clarify, as you say you are group tour adverse. This Day Tour is transportation, meals and admissions. You don't go around the sites as a group, you are on your own. But you do sit together at a big table for the lunch, which is a set meal served to you. They ask you in advance if you want beef or chicken (and I guess vegetarian was also an option). It is a delicious Mexican comida corrida style meal. You could also be sitting with people there on separate tours/vans. The nationalities were a mixed bag, no guarantee that your fellow passengers would speak english. Breakfast is a self serve buffet, the coffee was good.

London
Level Contributor
117 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Recommended Yaxchilen and Bonampak Day Tour from Palenque?

Hi

Thanks again for your help :-)

I have actually now lost the argument of private tour vs lower cost, and my husband wants to take the hotel's offer. To be honest I have too much other planning and reading to do for this trip to think about it anymore so I've given in and booked it.

It will be a private boat though (apparently) And one good thing about our van being private is that I'll have a bit more control if I have to ask our driver to pull over due to travel sickness (which I tend to get) Also an English guide/driver. I"m just telling myself it's a bargain by London standards :-)

BTW, I contacted your tour guide recommendation in San Cristobal (Alex) but unfortunately they are moving to Merida and no longer operate in SC.

Thanks again