The Subtropical Jungles Surrounding Palenque are Home to an Incredible Variety of Animals

In the jungle of Chiapas, nestled on a thickly wooded ridge, lies the Palenque ruins – perhaps Mexico’s most breath-taking archaeological site.

Set amidst a vast treescape and some of the most exquisite waterfalls in Mexico, Palenque was believed to be one of the most important cities of its day. The name Palenque was given to it by the Spanish; its original name, like so much of Mayan history, remains shrouded in mystery.

The architecture and setting is impressive: surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, this site has a serene, mystical atmosphere that is apparent from the moment you enter.

The surrounding forest is home to a number of emblematic Chiapan species, including chatty howler monkeys and toucans.

The Yaxchilan ruins, on the other hand, is a place of wondrous temples, plazas, Mayan culture and story-rich carvings and sculptures. Poised on the banks of Rio Usumacinta, this imposing compound has been swallowed by its lush surroundings, along with the constant hum of insects, bird song, and several species of monkeys.

Chiapas’ rainforests are home to thousands of animals and plants, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Natural vegetation varies from lowland and highland tropical forest, to pine and oak forests in the highest altitudes. But the states’ wildlife population is at its most accessible at Ecoparque Aluxes. The animals here are rescues, and the only ones who cannot be released back into the wild are kept for public display. So this is your chance to see the dwellers of the jungle in their natural habitat, including jaguars, scarlet macaws, crocodiles, giant parrots, flamingos and many others.

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