Before heading to Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico, we read that this was a “backpackers paradise”. Apparently, there was a big concentration of budget travelers around here. I was sure the historical ruins of Palenque wouldn’t be the only reason why backpackers were concentrating around these area… there are so many ruins all over the country and specially in this state! Why Palenque?
Staying in Palenque allows you a sneak peek into the the Jungle – “La Jungla Lacandona”. If you spend some time at El Pachan, a touristic village-ish place at the start of the jungle, you are sure to have a unique stay surrounded by greenery, bugs, little streams of water and, if you are lucky, some wild animals.
This is what El Pachan looks like:
When you search online for places to stay, you are likely to come across www.elpachan.com But do keep in mind that, apart from the places listed on this website, there are other great options that you can rent on the spot.
We stayed at Ed & Margarita’s Cabanas and they were quite nice! Unless it’s a particularly busy time of the year, you should be fine booking upon arrival.
Food wise there are a couple of restaurants (literally) although we ate every time at Restaurante Don Muchos as it has live music in the evenings and a fire and drumming show later in the night. The other place right next to it was pretty dead all the time.
I have read comments of some people asking if El Pachan was too much of “hippie land” or just relaxed, meaning: not too loud music, not too busy, no drugs going around and safe for kids. From our experience, I can say it’s a very chilled out place in general, rather safe and enjoyable – no shady things going on (at least not too obviously), neither people disturbing your peace – at least that was the vibe during the days we spent there. But rustic, very rustic – you should count on that for sure!
If you are in a jungle-rustic-mayan mode
El Pachan is a great place to be at!