El Panchán

Area in Palenque

Just off the road to the ruins, El Panchán is a legendary travelers’ hangout set in a patch of dense rainforest. It’s the epicenter of Palenque’s alternative (and slightly grungy) scene and home to a bohemian bunch of Mexican and foreign residents and wanderers.

Once ranchland, the area has been reforested by the remarkable Morales family, some of whom are among the leading archaeological experts on Palenque. Today El Panchán has several (mostly rustic) places to stay, a couple of restaurants, a set of sinuous streams rippling their way through every part of the property, nightly entertainment (and regular drumming practice), a meditation temple, a temascal (pre-Hispanic steam bath) and a constant stream of quirky visitors from all over the world.