Getting There & Departing
By Car -- Hwy. 186 from Villahermosa should take about 2 hours. Drive only during the day. You may encounter military roadblocks that involve a cursory inspection of your travel credentials and perhaps your vehicle. The 230km (143-mile) trip from San Cristóbal to Palenque takes 5 hours and passes through lush jungle and mountain scenery. Take it easy, though, and watch out for potholes and other hindrances.
By Bus -- ADO/Cristóbal Colón (tel. 916/345-1344) has regular service to and from Villahermosa and San Cristóbal, as well as Campeche (six per day, 5 hr.), Villahermosa (nine per day, 2 hr.), Mérida (two per day, 9 hr.), and Playa del Carmen (once per day, 12 hr.). The station is located on Avenida Juárez between the town center and La Cañada.
Visitor Information -- The downtown tourism office is a block from the main square at the corner of Avenida Juárez and Abasolo. It's open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 9pm, Sunday from 9am to 1pm. There's no phone at the downtown office. To get info over the phone, call the tourism office's business office (tel. 916/345-0356).
City Layout -- Avenida Juárez is Palenque's main street. At one end is the plaza; at the other a traffic circle adorned with a monument imitating the iconic figure of a Maya head, which was discovered at the ruins. To the right of the statue is the entrance to La Cañada; to the left is the road to the ruins, and straight ahead past the statue is the highway to Villahermosa. The distance between the town's main square and the monument is about 1.5km (1 mile).
La Cañada is a restaurant and Hotel Zone tucked away in the forest. Aside from the main plaza area, this is the best location for travelers without cars, because the town is within a few blocks, and the buses that run to the ruins pass right by.