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What is the town of Palenque like?

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Atlanta, Georgia
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What is the town of Palenque like?

I see pictures of the ruins, the river etc... but what is the town of Palenque like? Can you compare it to places I have been... Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Coba? (Cancun-im sure its not like Cancun.)

Is it a tourist town? Is it a party town? etc...

Thanks in advance.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

Planning my own trip to Mexico so haven't been, but all my reading says there is nothing in the town, I doubt very much that it is a party town or like any of the other places you mention which are coastal. Sounds like a small inland town that is there only to service tourists going to the ruins.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

Thats what I would have thought also, but looking at the google map there is an international airport? I did just some map sized estimates to try and compare with the towns from which I just returned. Buy looking at the street layout it appears to be much bigger than Tulum and definitely bigger than Coba.

(But please keep in touch with me here, I would like to compare timing and routes that you are planning.)

Edited: 17 June 2014, 16:52
London, United...
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3. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

Palenque town is functional, but not a tourist spot. The area of La Canada is the nicest area with hotels and restaurants but the rest is pretty basic.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

That being said is it tourist friendly? Traveler friendly in this case.

Edited: 27 June 2014, 08:32
London, United...
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5. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

I would say so. I am a female solo traveller and I felt safe there.

I would say that tourism is probably one of their main industries so they would want to nurture that.

Near the bus station there are lots of agencies selling trips to the various ruins and waterfalls. I think they all charge about the same. The more you get into town it is more of a normal small Mexican town. It's got convenience stores (Oxxo) and a post office and places to eat. I walked a bit further off the beaten (tourist) track to go to the big supermarket. It was very hustle and bustle and local but I didn't feel threatened in any way. People are just curious to see a single white woman walking about :o)

As I said, the more relaxed and leafy area is La Canada. I only had breakfast there one morning to use their wifi and it seemed like a nice area to stay. It's still in the town, just to the side of it.

Hope this helps.

BC
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6. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

LOL, Palenque is nothing like Playa del Carmen. I haven't been to Tulum or Coba, but its a pretty safe bet that it isn't like anything on that Yucatan coast.

Before going there, the guidebook I used described the town as dreary, or something like that. So I wasn't expecting much. But I loved Palenque town! It is a real Mexican town, it is not a tourist town. It is not a party town.

I stayed four nights. We ate great food at really good prices. Loved wandering the main street with the locals hanging out in the evenings. Loved the little boy selling his mother's handmade items--little Viktor was only 7 but boy he could really do good math in his head to add up the costs of items.

There is another area with accommodations near the ruins, I think that is where people stay who want to do illegal things and party. But as I wasn't there I can't say for sure.

London, United...
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7. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

Ah yes I agree. Nice review on Palenque town Pumpermum. I stayed in 'the other area near the ruins' its called El Panchan. It was OK but I found it very restricting as there is only one place to eat and I needed to go into Palenque town several times for provisions. I'm sure parties go on there but I didn't see any and I was there for a week. I think El Panchan would suit younger back packers (I hate being ageist but I'm just thinking about what I was into back in the day). I suspect that La Canada which I have spoken about before is a bit more expensive whereas Palenque town is more reasonable.

BC
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8. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

I stayed in a hotel in La Canada, it was a reasonable price for the quality, but I reserved ahead on a booking site and got a good deal.

But the food prices in that area were quite high, especially for breakfast. You can get great breakfasts on the main street in Palenque for much less, so yummy especially if you like freshly made tortillas, as we do.

The exception to this in La Canada was a fantastic place called El Huachinango Feliz where we got huge plates of shrimp for 98 pesos, absolutely delicious. It was a very nice restaurant, licensed with beer and cocktails.

I found the reference from the guidebook describing Palenque: "The town itself is rather grubby and nondescript". I guess some would describe it like that, but as I said, I really liked the place.

Grimsby, Canada
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9. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

Eric3737, Palenque is for sure bigger than Coba town, way more businesses. Banks, tiendas, shops of all types. Two or three 'main' streets running up a small incline to a zocolo at one end of town where a lot of people gather in the evening, and as usual a number of restaurants nearby. Ive been in a lot of towns in Mexico smaller than this one with less services. Stayed at Posada Canek in roughly the centre of town. 200 pesos per night for the rooftop penthouse (Rm. 1 ). Easy to walk down to the main road junction and flag a collectivo to the Arc. Site. Never stayed out at some of the places near the site, but others who have suggested that although quite sociable, lacking in some basic needs, and have to go to town anyway for cash or extra food. Also they called going to bed "feeding the mosquitoes" (ouch). A visit to Ocosingo about 70 Km. south along route 199 is an option in order to visit the Tonina site and the charms of this very mexican town. (try Hotel San Juan...130 pesos , single). Great public market here full of some unusual items. You might be the only white people here, (I was,) so enjoy the experience.

London, United...
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10. Re: What is the town of Palenque like?

Oh yes Pedro, Ocosingo is wonderful. I was there for two nights and wish I had chosen to stay longer. Tonina is absolutely amazing and if you go early enough you are almost alone (although there are guards and guides, etc. so you feel safe). And a great museum at the site. get a collectivo, it's so cheap and drops you right at the ruins. I was in Ocosingo on the weekend and on Sunday afternoon/evening the plaza/square comes alive. I was the only non local there but everyone was lovely. Another option to stay a bit more expensive is Central Hotel (350 pesos for second floor room with balcony overlooking the square and good wifi). :o)