Logistics of Palenque and surroundings and priorities?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Nov 30, 2012 7:25 AM Last Post By: mclarjh
Nov 29, 2012 6:23 PM
Logistics of Palenque and surroundings and priorities?I plan to take the overnight bus from Oaxaca to Tuxtla Gutiérrez on Jan. 4, arriving Jan. 5. I am considering using the service provided by Wayak Bus to pick me up at the bus station at TG, and then take me on a tour of Cañon del Sumidero and Chiapa de Corzo before dropping me off in San Cristobal de las Casas in the afternoon. http://wayakbus.com
I want to have plenty of time to explore the city of SCC, and I would like to explore nearby villages as well.
I'd also like to explore Palenque, the architectural sites, the waterfalls, and so on, but I don't have a good sense of what's the best way to prioritize and arrange these.
I return on Jan. 13. My current plan is to fly back from TG to Vancouver on United. However, I see that for a similar price, I could fly back from Villahermosa airport.
I had been thinking of putting Palenque in the middle of the trip, and going back to SCC, but I wonder if it's best to put Palenque at the end of the trip for 2-3 days, and fly back via Villahermosa (arriving in Villahermosa on Jan. 12).
I'm sure part of my problem is that 8 days is not that much time, but I know I can see a lot. I'd rather not scramble, and I'm quite willing to use daytour packages to save time. For example, WayakBus from San Cristobal to Palenque seems much quicker than going to the bus station and going to Palenque that way.
I'd love to hear what sights and places you would prioritize in and around SCC and Palenque, and the best way to do this to avoid backtracking. I see what looks like a pretty good deal on Kin Balam cabanas near Palenque - would staying there fit into the trip easily?
I can speak Spanish well enough to manage basic communications (or at least I have so far), but I'd definitely want an English-speaking tour guide for the ruins.
Thanks for any tips.
Nov 29, 2012 7:07 PM
1How many days in San Cris and when? While in San Cris you want to visit Chamula and Zinacantam if you have more time El Chiflon a large waterfall. From Palenque spend a day visit the ruins. Day 2 visit Yavchillan and Bonampak and day 3 visit Agua Azul and Musol Ha waterfalls. I would do all of your San Cris trip at one time and save Palenque to the end and fly out of Villahermosa.. That would save two days travel.
Nov 29, 2012 7:19 PM
2Visiting Palenque at the end of your trip and then flying out of Villhermosa, instead of TG makes sense, I think.
Committing yourself in advance to hopping right on a sight seeing bus and boat immediately after getting off an all night bus from Oaxaca might not be so wise, however. It may be difficult for you to anticipate now just how tired (or perhaps how exuberantly energetic) you'll feel after completing that bus ride.
A more conservative plan might be to avoid making that Wayak tour reservation. You could instead simply arrive in TG and then, if you feel up to it, take a regular bus over to Chapa de Corzo and Sumidero. Or, if by chance you are exhausted after overnighting on the bus, simply proceed onward to San Cristobal. Later, in a rested state on a different day, you could do a Sumidero excursion from San Cristobal.
Nov 29, 2012 7:19 PM
3Heyduke, that sounds sensible.
I arrive at TG on Jan. 5, and I have to fly out of somewhere (either TG or Villahermosa) on Jan. 13.
It does sound like a good idea to leave Palenque to the end.
Does this itinerary make sense?
Jan. 5 - Arrive TG, take tour of Cañon del Sumidero and Chiapa de Corzo with WayakBus, arrive in SCC
Jan. 5-9 - Explore SCC and Chamula and Zinacantam, and El Chiffon
Jan. 9, evening bus to Palenque
Jan. 10 - Explore ruins
Jan. 11 - Yavchillan and Bonampak (this would seem to leave out Agua Azul and Musol Ha)
Jan. 12 - bus to Villahermosa
Jan. 13 - early morning fly out of Villahermosa
I am worried this might be too rushed, though.
Nov 29, 2012 7:21 PM
Nov 29, 2012 7:35 PM
Nov 29, 2012 7:56 PM
Nov 29, 2012 8:07 PM
7Heyduke, that is reassuring.
I'm continuing to think "aloud", so please forgive any repetition here.
I note that, for example, the hotel Posada La Media Luna offers 5 daytrips (including one to Palenque).
Thus, it seems I would have no problem using my time up in and around SCC, and just doing a daytrip to Palenque, but then of course I would miss out on a full exploration of the ruins and the museum, and a daytrip to Yavchillan and Bonampak.
Nov 29, 2012 8:42 PM
8Hi, I have not yet been to the area, but can give you my ideas based on how I have planned my trip.
I think that if you have the energy for it, your itinerary in post #3 sounds pretty good. (you can sleep when you get on the plane) I would leave out El Chiflon, if you are going to see Misol Ha. Of course I don't know (yet) how they compare, but you don't have a lot of time and it is the other direction. Mind you, I am going to go there, but I have a lot more time than you do and I will also be staying a couple of nights in Comitan.
I believe that you could still do the tour to Misol Ha and Agua Azul on Jan 12, and then take a late afternoon or early evening bus to Villahermosa. I have heard that the tours are six hours so you would be back by 4 in the afternoon.
We are really looking forward to the trip to Yaxchilan, so I don't think you should skip it and backtrack.
I have been looking into the buses and hotels for overnight in Villahermosa myself, just in the past few days. I live in Kelowna and it is much cheaper to get to here from Villahermosa than it is from Tuxtla Guitierrez, by at least $100. and the total time length is shortened considerably. So you are lucky to have both options. Alas, both places involve those 7:15 am flights.....
Good luck and have fun!
Nov 29, 2012 10:01 PM
9BCMum, it sounds like you have a great trip. Thanks for the suggestions.
I am pretty energetic, but I will be coming from Oaxaca after a volunteer stint just prior to this SCC/Palenque travel, and I need to be fully alert when I go to work on the morning of Jan. 13 (after arriving at YVR airport around 9 PM after 3 flights). So I definitely don't want to overdo it too much on this leg.
Nov 30, 2012 5:32 AM
Nov 30, 2012 5:34 AM
11Agree with heyduke and chrisOdaniel about flying out of Villahermosa.
As for the trip:
I'd plan at least three nights in Palenque (one day to explore Palenque itself and another for the all-day trip to Yaxchilan and Bonampak). Misol-Ha and Aquas Azules can be done on the way to San Cristobal from Palenque (an hour or two at Misol-Ha is enought, 2 to 4 at aguas azules).
I'd plan at least three nights or more for San Cristtobal - it's a really nice place. Bring warm clothes to San Cristobal in December - it'll be cold, possibly down to freezing at night. Also, last time I checked the Posada de Media Luna didn't have heat in the rooms, so be sure to have warm sleeping clothes and lots of blankets.
I struggle with hot and humid weather too, but In December even though the jungle still get pretty warm and humid, the nights cool off substantially even to the point of needing long-sleeve shirts, so you get some respite from the hot & humid and can sleep without AC.
Nov 30, 2012 6:59 AM
12Agree with #10 to wait on Sumidero... another problem is that, while it's quite nice (especially if you like... canyons), it's not a must-see and might be a bit much coming straight off a long trip (crowds of tourists, etc.) The trip is very easy to organize independently from SC, though it comes down to personal preference.
Nov 30, 2012 7:25 AM
13I have not been to the waterfalls near Palenque, but I really enjoyed my trip to El Chiflon waterfalls (five of them in fact, very high), swimming, hiking, museums, (clean bathrooms), and extra-cost zip-lining all make for a great day.
Note that ADO offers frequent shuttles from Palenque direct to Villahermosa airport, you might find this convenent.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$264.28 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$151.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$96.28 per night