The alarm went off at 3.30 am I’m time for us to get up and out for our 4am departure. We met up with our driver for the next week, Fernandez, as the remainder of the trip is by private minibus.
The journey to Palenque takes about 5 hours, mainly because the roads are very windy and there are speed humps everywhere.
We stopped at 6.30am for some breakfast in a weird place that served a buffet style. It’s clearly the place that all tour buses stop as when we arrived it was empty but within 15 minutes the place was heaving! There was a rather odd arrangement with bring given a ticket before entering which was swapped for another ticket when you paid at the entrance. This was then collected sometime later from the table. We never did really find out why any of them were necessary!
After another 2 hours we arrived at our first stop, some natural waterfalls, Agua Azul. The setting was beautiful and we walked from the car park alongside the river seeing different waterfalls as we went. The route was also lined all the way up with loads of stalls selling crafts, clothes and also some restaurants serving food and drink.
At the top we were able to swim in the river. It was really refreshing as the climate has changed from the previous places that we’ve been.
We’ve now descended and will continue to do so all the way to Palenque, which is 60m above sea level, compared to our last town which was over 2200m. This means that it is now much more humid, and our route is lined with forests and jungle!
The journey to Palenque took about 2 hours and when we arrived it was hot and humid… About 10 degrees warmer than we’ve been used to. We checked in to our hotel and then went for some food.
For tourists, Palenque seems to be mainly a town that people visit to see the Mayan ruins and so there isn’t a huge amount to do. So, bearing in mind our early start, the afternoon was spent relaxing by the pool in the hotel opposite!
Dinner was back to the same place that we had lunch and we had a relatively early night.