This is not the most famous archaeological zone in Chiapas, in fact, some call it “the lost Mayan city”. but this detail is added to a series of characteristics that make it simply unique, from the way to get there to how the jungle has taken over the place and now they coexist as one.
This site also stands out for its importance for the study of the Mayan culture, as it houses some of the best-preserved lintels of its ancient world. Visiting this place is buying a ticket to adventure and nostalgia, walking among these witnesses of the past surrounded by exuberant jungle, with howler monkeys in the background, will make it impossible to feel like an explorer of the stature of Indiana Jones touring archaeological treasures; And even if you don’t come across any hidden lethal trap if there are some things you should know before starting an expedition to this remote point of Chiapas, so pay attention to the following 6 points,
1.- The only way to get to this place is by the river.
The pier from which the small boats depart to reach Yaxchilán is located in “Escudo Jaguar”, from where approximations are made in a 40-minute journey along the Usumacinta River, the natural barrier that divides Mexico and Guatemala, in such a way that being there, the jungle you see on each side of the river belongs to a different country. Did you plan to arrive by car? You will have to rethink this, as well as the things you should take with you such as water, bug spray, tennis shoes, and fresh clothes.
2.- You should take a tour from Palenque.
Although there are different points from which to leave, this one allows you to enrich the experience by also knowing the Archaeological Zone of Palenque, Bonampak, and the Lacandona Jungle, in such a way that in addition to being cheaper you can have a much more complete vision of what they achieved. the Mayans in the area and how their descendants live today.
3.- There are more than 120 constructions
Divided into 3 large areas, connected to each other: the Great Plaza, the Large Acropolis, and the Small Acropolis. The Great Plaza is accessed through building 19, also known as “the labyrinth”, due to the complex distribution of its rooms. The ball court and small groups of buildings that, in some cases, seem to have had the function of palaces are located on the grounds of the square. In several of the constructions, there are still the lintels that narrate the dynastic history of the city; buildings 12 and 22 also stand out. The great stela 1 stands over the square showing the Bird Jaguar IV.
4.- You can spend the night in the area
Another option to make this experience more special is to spend a night in the middle of the jungle, there are options from $315 pesos a night like “Escudo Jaguar” and others from $700 pesos a night like “Nueva Alianza”, in any case this is something that you should book in advance. If you have never spent a night in the middle of nature, it is an experience that we highly recommend.
5.- The heat will be intense.
The jungle generates great humidity, which, together with the temperature of the area, makes it a hot place all year round. Taking this into account is very important since normally people in Chiapas consider attire for a cool environment, but we recommend you to bring comfortable shoes and light clothes, even in winter it is very hot.
6.- It is a place for disconnection, prepare yourself
There is no telephone signal, no ATMs, and many other things that our current life brings with it. This is a place where the sounds of the jungle play with the silences of a lost city to create the perfect atmosphere for a very special experience, are you ready?