Introducing Bonampak, Yaxchilán & the Carretera Fronteriza
The ancient Maya cities of Bonampak and Yaxchilán, southeast of Palenque, are easily accessible thanks to the Carretera Fronteriza, a good paved road running parallel to the Mexico–Guatemala border, all the way from Palenque to the Lagos de Montebello, around the fringe of the Lacandón Jungle. Bonampak, famous for its frescoes, is 152km by road from Palenque; the bigger and more important Yaxchilán, with a peerless jungle setting beside the broad and swift Río Usumacinta, is 173km by road, then about 22km by boat.
The Carretera Fronteriza is the main thoroughfare connecting a number of excellent ecotourism projects including some in the Lacandón village of Lacanjá Chansayab as well as the wonderful Las Guacamayas ecolodge and the gorgeous watery wonderland at Las Nubes. For information on other ecotourism projects in the area, check out www.laselvadechiapas.com. In addition, the Carretera Fronteriza is the main route from Chiapas to Guatemala’s northern Petén region (home of several major Maya sites, including mighty Tikal) via the town of Frontera Corozal. Phones in this region usually have satellite service or Guatemala-based numbers.
Bonampak, Yaxchilán & the Carretera Fronteriza destination guides
Mayan ruins peeking out from verdant jungle, street vendors hawking their wares on colonial streets, pristine white sand beaches sparkling under the Caribbean sun—now this is the real Yucatán. On this unique 15-day journey, you’ll tour the ruins at Chichén Itzá and Palenque, and head deep into the jungle of Guatemala to experience the ruins of Tikal.