Yaxchilán is an old Mayan city immersed in the thick jungle of southeastern Mexico. The magnificent ruins stand among tall ceiba trees and the sounds of spider monkeys and saraguatos (howler monkeys) reach to you from the canopies.
Yaxchilán means “green stones” in Maya, I believe the city is called like this because of the mossy stones of the ruins, the old name of the city I do not know. Yaxchilan stands in the jungle west of the river Usumacinta that separates Mexico from Guatemala, getting there is not quite as easy as getting to other archaeological sites like Teotihuacán or Chichén Itzá (where you can drive to the door of the site, park there and have a walk around) luckily there are tourist agencies that can arrange it for you (many include a trip to Bonampak (that is fantastic) but that’s another story). To get to Yaxchilán me and my other two travel companions took a bus from Palenque to Frontera Corozal (a town in the frontier with Guatemala) on the way there you go through many Zapatista territories and you can see their signs painted with red letters and stars.
Once in Frontera Corozal you have to take a boat to Yaxchilan through the Usumacinta river.
Yaxchilán is fantastic, you walk through the stone ruins and between the trees while monkeys swing by in the canopy of the tall trees, some of the trees in the site are incredibly tall and might have been there since the time of the Mayas.
The site is quite big so you have to walk a bit through the jungle and climb and go down large flights of stone stairs to go from one part of the site to another. In the ruins there are many carved stone sculptures and “estelas” with Mayan pictograms that tell their stories, even some of the stone thresholds on the houses are carved. Another very special thing about this place is a very dark building with inside passages called “el laberinto” (the labyrinth). Once you’re done admiring this ancient city you go back to the riverside and embark for Frontera Corozal.
PS. Sorry if some of the shots are not the right side up, I’m having some problems uploading.