It took us most of a day to drive the 300 miles from Chetumal to Palenque. The roads were good for the most part but the bad parts were really bad. We had to go over 97 topes and that shook up lots of stuff in the coach that had to be rearranged when we finally parked at the Nututun Hotel.
The Palenque ruins are situated in rolling hills covered with a dense rain forest jungle. They are the best preserved of the ruins and their setting makes them the best of the ruins we have seen so far. The were discovered later than the other ruins because of their isolation.
This Maya city was very large, containing over 1400 buildings, of which only 24 have been unearthed and made available to the public.
The center piece of the museum is the tomb of Pakal, the man that ruled Palenque for 69 years, a very long lifetime for a Mayan. The tomb was discovered in one of the pyramids almost by accident, it was so well hidden. It had not been looted and therefore all of the things buried with the King were intact. The cover of his sarcophagus was inscribed with a finely sculpted relief depicting his life.