Where to stay in Palenque? This jungle town in southern Mexico has the most beautiful luxury hotels and budget hostels spread over the center, the cozy La Cañada and along the road to the famous Mayan ruins of Palenque. But it takes some searching between that overwhelmingly large selection to find those extraordinary places to stay in Palenque. As one of the most beautiful jungle destinations in the south of Mexico, there is a lot to choose from. This blog will help you make a choice. What are the best areas to stay in Palenque? And which unique hotels in Palenque are the best for an unforgettable travel experience?
How to get to Palenque in Mexico?
Palenque is located in the south of Mexico in the state of Chiapas. You might think of Mexico as the perfect beach destination with its Caribbean coast at the Yucatán Peninsula. Chiapas will then surprise you with its green jungle and hills. This is an entirely different side of Mexico.
Which destinations in Mexico are near Palenque? Well, nothing really. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Campeche (over 5 hours) and Maya city Calakmul (6 hours) are the closest tourist destinations, but it takes quite a few hours to get there from Palenque. The beautiful Bacalar Lake is even more than 6.5 hours of driving away. In the Chiapas state, the colorful San Cristobal is closest. It takes about 5 hours of driving to get there. Villahermosa is a 2,5-hour drive away. From Palenque you can also travel to Guatemala, where the tourist destinations Flores and the nearby Mayan ruins of Tikal are nearest.
Palenque is easily accessible by public transport from other destinations in Mexico. Public transport in Mexico is well organized with comfortable and clean ADO buses. If you are looking for a rental car, we recommend that you read our extensive blog about renting a car in Mexico to learn how to find affordable options, how to make sure you don’t pay (too much) extra for insurance and how to drive the Mexican roads safely.
Safety tip: if you want to drive from Palenque to San Cristobal with a rental car, check with your hotel in advance about the current safety of this road. Disgruntled tribes and gangs are said to cause trouble in this region, which is why the police and government cannot always guarantee safety on this road.
Why Palenque is worth visiting
Palenque is one of the most interesting destinations in Mexico because of its iconic Mayan ruins, dazzling jungle environment and dramatic waterfalls. The special location of the Mayan ruins in the middle of a green jungle with howler monkeys, hills, waterfalls, tropical birds and wild cats make the Palenque Maya city a special place to visit. Another unique thing about these ruins: you can visit a Mayan pyramid from the inside! In addition, the area around Palenque has magical waterfalls, like the well-known highlights Agua Azul and Roberto Barrios. Although Palenque is a bit away from other popular tourist destinations in Mexico, we believe this jungle town is well worth a visit.
Read more: best things to do in Palenque.
The best areas to stay in Palenque
Palenque is known for its Mayan ruins just outside the city and you will find many beautiful hotels in Palenque along the road from the city to the ancient Mayan temples. You can book the most beautiful jungle resorts with exotic gardens, waterfalls, outdoor pools and the sound of howler monkeys! Another great option, is looking for a great hotel in Palenque itself. You’ll then have to choose between the center and the green district of La Cañada. We especially loved La Cañada, where you can find better and more comfortable hotel options than in the center. The center is good though for the best budget hotels in Palenque.
Where to stay in La Cañada
Our favorite neighborhood of Palenque is the cozy and green La Cañada. It is a green oasis on a hill in the middle of the city. With a green environment and lots of great restaurants, La Cañada is one of the best areas in Palenque. The neighborhood may be a bit traveler-oriented, but we didn’t mind that. We simply enjoyed the wonderful restaurants and great vibe of this district. Food recommendations in La Cañada? Chivo’s and the popular Café Jade are great restaurants. During our time in Palenque, there was always a queue for the Maya Cañada restaurant, so that must be a top spot as well.
Practical: if you are traveling without a rental car, La Cañada is a practical place to base yourself, as the ADO bus station is very conveniently located right next to this district.
The best hotels in La Cañada:
#1 Hotel Canada Internacional for a beautiful and attractive hotel with basic rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and family rooms.
#2 Maya Tulipanes Palenque for a budget-friendly hotel in La Cañada. The rooms are spacious and have large comfortable beds. We also enjoyed the swimming pool with lounge beds. It is a fine and comfortable hotel, but not spectacular.
#3 Hotel Chablis Palenque for a family-friendly hotel with a swimming pool, family rooms, free parking and an on-site restaurant.
Unique places to stay near the Palenque Mayan ruins
Palenque is a 10-minute drive from the Palenque Mayan Ruins and along that road are many beautiful resorts. The location is perfect for visiting the Mayan city and you are also in the middle of the beautiful jungle. Many of these hotels in Palenque are like a jungle fairytale and make an unforgettable place to stay in Palenque! One last great thing about this area: at the end of the road to the ruins, before the gate to the national park of Palenque, you will find Don Muchos. The thin-crust pizzas were the best.
The most beautiful hotels near the Palenque ruins:
#1 Hotel Boutique Quinta Chanabnal is by far the most beautiful hotel in Palenque. Set in tropical gardens with waterfalls and wild monkeys, this hotel has the style of a Mayan palace. It has a swimming pool, parking, restaurant, spa and massage service. It is also a very family-friendly accommodation with great family rooms.
#2 Hotel Villa Mercedes Palenque for a beautiful hotel set in tropical gardens. The hotel has an outdoor pool, free parking, an on-site Mexican restaurant and a Mayan-style spa.
#3 Chan-Kah Resort Village with an amazing location in the green jungle. The resort is set up like a village with beautiful bungalows. The hotel offers multiple natural lagoon-style outdoor pools and a great Mayan spa.
#4 Hotel Maya Bell is super close to the Mayan ruins and you can just walk there from your hotel room. Hotel guests can enjoy a large swimming pool, restaurant, gardens and bar. The cabanas are beautifully furnished and have their own terrace.
#4 Cabanas Kin Balam Palenque with attractive bungalows in a jungle resort. The gardens and large swimming pool give the resort a tropical feel. There are peacocks roaming around and chances are you’ll wake up to the sound of howler monkeys.
#5 Hotel al Aldea del Halach Huinic is surrounded by tropical gardens. The jungle resort has a beautiful swimming pool with a waterfall. The rustic rooms have wooden beams and a private balcony.
Where to stay in Palenque center
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel in Palenque, you should be in the center of town. The hotels here are mostly basic, but comfortable. They usually have their own parking and sometimes even a swimming pool. Don’t look for a unique and special place to stay, but this is the right place to look for a budget-proof hotel option when traveling on a budget.
The best hotels in Palenque center:
#1 Posada Aguila Real for a budget-friendly place to stay in the heart of the city. The hotel is located in an old mansion and offers basic rooms and free parking.
#2 Cassa Vlanca for a basic hotel with family rooms and a terrace. The hotel also has its own outdoor swimming pool, where the hotel’s cats roam.
#3 Hotel Kashlan Palenque in the centre of the city. The rooms are simple, but comfortable and the reviews praise the hospitality and helpfulness of the staff.
#4 Hotel John David for an affordable hotel in the heart of the city. It offers simple, but comfortable hotel rooms.