Mexico Palenque temple of the sun
Relief detail of the mayan temple ruins at Palenque in Mexico

Located in the tropical lowlands of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, Palenque was an important seat of power during the Classic Maya period, seeing its peak between 226-799 C.E.

The city was later abandoned in 900C.E, the reasons for which are still largely unknown, although some studies suggest that drought was a possible cause. It is now preserved as part of Palenque National Park.

Only 10% of the city is believed to have been excavated, but if you feel like exploring further you can walk along the paths into the jungle to find streams, waterfalls and make guesses about which mounds are likely to be hiding Maya structures underneath.

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