Founded in 1567 as the result of a successful evangelizing campaign led by Friar Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada, the Colonial city of Palenque is the economic hub of the cattle-ranching region in northeast Chiapas. Since it is frequently used as a launching point for visiting the famous UNESCO World Heritage Mayan Archaeological site by the same name, meeting venues in Palenque will also be able to organize excursions.
The city of Palenque is located 93 miles southeast of Villahermosa (whose international airport services several U.S. destinations) in the state of Tabasco and is easily accessible via bus or car. Buses leaving Tuxtla-Gutierrez and passing through San Cristobal can also take groups to Palenque; the trip lasts roughly 5 hours. The ADO bus station is located in the center of Palenque town; taxi rides to the ruins can also be taken from there.
Hotel venues include the Villa Mercedes & Resort, which has facilities for hosting events of up to 200 people, with 1,550 square feet of space and 92 guest rooms, and is proximal to the ruins. The hotel also has a restaurant, 2 pools, free parking and DMC services available. Alternatively, the Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque is located 10 minutes from the ruins, and offers 69 guest rooms and 3 events spaces with a combined surface area of 7,524 square feet.
The Maya ruins, located 5 miles from the town of Palenque, were discovered in 1784 and gained popularity throughout the 19th century. The Mayan town was built around agriculture, beginning in approximately the year 100 BC. It wasn't until the late Classical period (600 to 900 BC) that Palenque rose to the status of a regional capital, reaching its apex during the 68-year reign of the leader named Pakal ("Sun-Shield").
A museum at the archeological site contains ancient Mesoamerican artifacts collected at the ruins themselves. Pakal's tomb, though only accessible to researchers, can be seen in replica form at the museum. The ruins themselves are located in thick jungle. It is estimated that as of today, less than 10% of the ancient city's surface has been uncovered. Two of Palenque's most notable Mayan architectural wonders include the Palace, its buildings arranged around four patios, and the famous Temple of the Inscriptions, which holds Pakal's famous mausoleum, and was discovered in 1952 by Archaeologist Alberto Lhuillier.
The Palenque region is covered with lush jungle vegetation, and visitors have several options for enjoying its natural splendor. The Playas de Catazaja is a town south of Palenque, which sits in a region that is continuously being covered and uncovered by ephemeral lagoons, produced by the large amounts of water that falls during the rainy season. Conversely, the Agua Azul Waterfalls are a series of indigo blue waterfalls, which pour into pools of chalky water.