Friday, August 24, 2012

Palenque Ruin Site, Chiapas, Mexico is 15 hours by first class
 bus south east of Oaxaca City 

Bus Service Oaxaca to Palenque

Oaxaca to Palenque is a popular route for travelers heading south to the Mayan ruins and the Yucatan.  Here are five ways to get to Palenque by bus from Oaxaca City with stops along the way.
  • Palenque Direct
 ADO Bus goes direct to Palenque once a day from its first class terminal in Oaxaca City.  The bus leaves at 5 pm each day and goes southeast over the mountains to Juchitan and then across the Isthmus to Villahermosa and then to Palenque.  The trip takes about 15 hours and costs 640 Pesos.  The bus makes a half-hour dinner stop in Matias Romero sometime around 2 am and arrives in Palenque at around 8 am.

    OCC Bus out of the ADO first class terminal in Oaxaca city
     runs service to San Cristobal de las Casas four trips a day from 
    the first class terminal 9 blocks north of the Zocalo.
  • Palenque Via San Cristobal de las Casas
Another bus route from Oaxaca City to Palenque is the ADO first class bus to San Cristobal de las Casas.  Four buses leave Oaxaca City for San Cristobal in the evening between 7 and 9 pm: ADO Gl, Platino, and OCC.  Prices range between 400 and 600 Pesos for the 11 to 12 hour trip.  In San Cristobal there are eight bus trips daily by OCC and ADO GL offering the 5-hour trip to Palenque.
San Cristobal offers indigenous Mayan culture, markets and colonial architecture.  From San Cristobal, reach the Mayan ruins of Tonina.
The bus from San Cristobal to Palenque passes through Ocosingo where taxis or colectivos will reach the Tonina Ruin Site.

      Zipolite Beach on Oaxaca's Pacific Coast is served by taxi 
from  Pochutla.    Bus service from oaxaca City reaches Pochutla 
where  buses run to San  Cristobal de las Casis with connections
 to Palenque

  • Puerto Escondido, Zipolite
Many travelers prefer a visit to Oaxaca's Pacific Coast beaches on their way southeast to Palenque.  This is a well-traveled route over the southern mountains to Puerto Escondido and Zipolite Beach.  ADO Bus service is available to Huatulco on the Pacific Coast and then northwest to Zipolite via Pochutla and to Puerto Escondido.  From there, buses go back southeast through Huatulco, Salina Cruz, or Juchitan to San Cristobal de las Casis or to Villahermosa for connections to Palenque.
Van service runs from Oaxaca City to the Pacific Coast beaches. Vans serve Huatulco, Pochutla, and Puerto Escondido for 120-150 Pesos.  These towns offer first class bus service with connections to Palenque.
  • Northern Mountain Route, Tuxtepec
CuencaBuses from the Oaxaca ADO terminal run routes over the mountains to the north of Oaxaca City and reach the City of Tuxtepec.  From Tuxtepec, buses reach Villahermosa and then Palenque.  A good stop on this bus route is the city of Villahermosa and its La Venta Park.  In an outdoors setting, the Olmec sculptures removed from the ruin site of La Venta are displayed.

Olmec Heads from the ruin site of  San Lorenzo 
Tenochtitla  Veracruz are displayed   in the Jalapa 
Museum of  Anthropology 

  • Jalapa Veracruz
Another way to reach Palenque could be, by the way of frequent first class bus service, to the city of Jalapa Veracruz.  Why Jalapa, you might say, since it is located a good distance north rather than south.  The answer would be the Olmec sculptures.
These massive sculptures were created well before the rise of the Maya.  The traveler coming from Oaxaca would have visited Monte Alban and perhaps the Museum of Culture in Oaxaca City.  The artifacts of Oaxaca bear Olmec influence and, in the early pre-Classic sites such as San Jose el Mogote, the art predates the Mayan art.
The Olmec culture of 1400 BC spread its influence throughout Mexico and included contact through trade with San Jose Mogote in Oaxaca and Monte Alban.

Primarily, however, the best reason to go north to Jalapa is to see the Olmec heads.  They are unique and exquisite works of art, sculpted from huge blocks of volcanic stone around 1400 BC.  Several of the 17 heads found to date are displayed in the Museum of Anthropology in Jalapa.  This museum, according to some, is the finest museum in Mexico outside of the Mexico City anthropology museum.
The Olmec was the mother culture of Mexico according Alfonso Caso and other archaeologists.  They were the first advanced culture and many believe that the Mayan culture was a continuation of the Olmec culture when the Olmecs, living in what is now Veracruz and Tabasco State, ebbed around 400 BC.  It was at that time that Mayan settlements formed along the Isthmus and the Mayan culture began its rise to prominence.

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