How to get from Bacalar to Palenque
If you’re looking to continue exploring the ancient Mayan world, you can head west from Bacalar towards Palenque. Located in southern Mexico, there’s really not much to see in Palenque town, its jungles is another story.
Palenque’s real attraction lies in the archaeological ruins hidden within the rainforest, just 20 minutes outside of town. Its grandness is a testament to how Palenque became one of the most powerful cities in the ancient Mayan civilisation, alongside the likes of Chichen Itza, Tikal and Calakmul.
The Palenque ruins are the second most-visited in Mexico and some of the largest and most well-preserved.
New to Palenque? Our compact Palenque guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Palenque!
Bus from Bacalar to Palenque
|Bus||9 hours||900 MXN ($51.00)||Check Bus Tickets|
The most popular way to travel the 486 km (301 miles) from Bacalar to Palenque is a 9-hour bus ride that costs around 900 MXN ($51.00).
The bus company AU offers one direct bus trip from Bacalar to Palenque every night. You can expect a comfortable ride with spacious seats – good enough for a few hours of sleep for the overnight journey. Although it’s a 9-hour ride, you won’t lose a lot of daytime for exploring and you can also save one night in accommodation.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was also an option to take a shared minivan from Bacalar to Palenque. But even if it were still available, we don’t recommend it. A minivan ticket costs around 1 MXN ($99.00). That’s double the price of a bus ticket, and you don’t get a lot of legroom or space for your luggage.
Bacalar to Palenque by Bus
The buses from Bacalar to Palenque are operated by AU. A sub-group of Mexico’s most popular bus operator ADO, AU offers comfortable buses that include air-conditioning, a toilet and reclining seats.
The bus trip from Bacalar to Palenque takes around 9 hours. That already includes short stops at Chetumal, Escarcega and Emiliano Zapata towns to pick up and drop off passengers. The bus isn’t allowed to make any other unannounced stops along the way.
Ticket prices start from 900 MXN ($51.00).
Bus schedule from Bacalar to Palenque
|AU Bus||22:55-08:05||900 MXN ($51.00)|
Check Bus Tickets
The first bus of the day is also the last bus so if you miss this or find out at the bus station that tickets are already sold out, there is no more next trip on that day. This is why we highly recommend that you buy your tickets online beforehand. You can get cheap bus tickets via BookAway.
Bacalar to Palenque buses depart from Bacalar’s ADO Bus Station. This terminal is on the town’s main road, several blocks away from the beach area.
Depending on where your hotel is located, you can walk or take a short taxi ride. Keep in mind that taxis in Bacalar are not metered. Agree on a rate before getting in! Taxi fares range from 60 MXN ($3.40) to 130 MXN ($7.00).
In Palenque, buses make their final stop at the central bus terminal, from where the main square is just a 10-minute walk away.
If you’re staying outside of town or just prefer not to walk around with all your luggage, you can get a taxi with rates starting from 60 MXN ($3.40).
Our favourite places to stay in Palenque
Hotel Chan-Kah Resort Village - Treat Yourself
If you’re looking to treat yourself, Chan Kah Resort is one of the best places to do that in Palenque. You can give yourself the gift of relaxation without the expensive price tag. Plus, you can speed up the relaxation process with a delightful massage at the onsite spa facilities, or by enjoying a drink at their bar.
Possibly the best part, as you splash around in the lagoon-style pools, you’ll be able to hear the monkeys cry in the jungle trees all around you. Alternatively, you can enjoy the jungle symphony whilst enjoying dinner in one of the two restaurants.
- Bungalow-style rooms
- Situated within the jungle
- Spa facilities
- Large swimming pools
Double rooms start from $80 per night
Hotel Chablis Palenque - Mid Range
The central courtyard of the hotel truly feels like a magical oasis, with its palm trees and thriving greenery. And you’ll find not only a swimming pool, but also a hot tub. You won’t ever want to leave, and don’t have to, with their on-site restaurant that serves both delicious international and local dishes.
Located a short walk from the bus station, you won’t need to be dragging your luggage all around town. It’s location also makes your visit to Palenque ruins easy and convenient.
- 15 minutes from Palenque ruins
- Close to the bus station
- On-site restaurant
- Outdoor swimming pool and hot tub
Double rooms between $40-$80 per night
Cabañas Bambután - Budget Friendly
When you think of Palenque, the ruins surrounded by jungle immediately come to mind. Staying at Cabanas Bambutan is the perfect way to experience Palenque, surrounded by nothing but nature and wildlife.
Their bamboo-style buildings help you to feel connected to nature, whilst still providing ultimate comfort and a good nights sleep. Enjoy a drink at their onsite bar or chill out in the lush gardens.
- Unique accommodation
- Friendly and helpful staff
- Onsite bar
- Surrounded by nature
Double rooms start from $15-40 per night
Palenque Travel Guides
The Ultimate Palenque Travel Guide
5 Best Things to Do in Palenque
Routes from Palenque
Palenque to San Cristobal de las Casas
Most popular routes in Mexico
Cancun to Chichen Itza (and back)
Cancun to Isla Mujeres (and back)
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