Wednesday 20th January 2016 – Palenque 

Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day, having spent the whole day in the bus going from Merida to Palenque, about an 8 hour bus trip.

We arrived to our hotel, Hotel Mayabel in the Palenque jungle and archeological site.

We had dinner at a restaurant just down the road called “Don Mucho’s”

I had the most amazing food there! I ordered the pulled pork tacos with fries on the side.

It was a nice outside and vibrant restaurant that had a local live band playing some Spanish music. As our meals were coming to an end, more and more people we arriving all dressed up, the place seemed to be the nightlife of the area.

We tried a bit of fun salsa dancing before heading back to the hotel to call it a night. I haven’t been having too many late nights here on tour, my leg has been playing up and it is quite a different vibe to the contikis that I have gone on.

Today we had breakfast at the hotel then left for the site of Palenque, just up the road from our hotel.

We learned about King Pakal who is talked about in the inscriptions on the buildings.

The Palenque archeological site is only about 10% uncovered and the rest is still covered and over taken by the jungle.

Because the site is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the ruins in the jungle can’t be touched at this stage.

We completed our guided tour of Palenque and had some free time before lunch and then our jungle tour!

We walked down the road to the entrance site of the jungle.

We had a local guide by the name of Gabriel who took us through the jungle.

FYI- book Gabriel at the Don Mucho’s restaurant for a local jungle tour, he’s amazing, and even better, he’s a local!

We adventured through the jungle and he told us about the kinds of trees and plants that grow in the area as well as the animals that reside in the jungle.
We then stopped to pick up some orange earth jungle clay to carry with us until we reached a waterfall.

At the waterfall, we changed into our swimmers then sat in the water, and before we knew it, we were having a fish pedicure 🙂 it tickled at first and felt funny, but it was so cool!

We used the clay that we had found to put all over our body until it set, re applied another layer then eventually after some time, we washed it off under the waterfall and it was a natural skin exfoliation and nourishment!

Gabriel (local guide), Monika, me, Paula & JC.

Excuse the quality of the photo, it was screen shotted from a video.

As sad as it was to have to leave, we finished up with our spa treatments to continue our jungle adventure!


The rest of the jungle tour was phenomenal!

As we explored, we could see parts of old ruins in the jungle walls that are yet to be uncovered, or possibly never uncovered. We walked through caves and up small waterfalls, through the remains of old and fallen banana trees and then right at the end of the tour, we heard monkeys not too far away from us.

We had nearly ended our tour and Gabriel asked us if instead of going back to the beginning straight away, if we wanted to get closer to the monkeys we could hear (he has clearly done this before) and all of us were extremely eager and said yes!

So we turn one way and immediately we have to keep our voices down to not scare away any monkeys nearby. Gabriel then turns and starts to send out monkey calls. He was very good at it and instantly, we heard the monkeys calling back!!

After about 20 minutes though, the monkeys stopped calling back and it was time to turn around and go back.

Earlier tonight, back at the hotel, we heard monkeys directly behind our hotel rooms! I can’t believe believe how close they are!!!


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