Palenque is located about 90 miles southwest Villahermosa, and is six hours north of San Cristobal de las Casas, by bus. Palenque is one of Mexico's most impressive archaeological compounds and was is thought to be first occupied around 100 BC, although it didn't really flourish until 600 AD. The name Palenque is Spanish, as they have not yet discovered the actual Mayan name. Palenque is enormous, its more than 500 structures cover an area of almost ten square miles, although most of excavated structures are located in a fairly compact area. Palenque is an archeological site set in the lush green jungle of the rain forest and is an incredible experience for anyone even slightly interested in archaeology. There is a modern visitors center, a museum, a restaurant, an interesting library and folk art shops. There is a small town nearby with all ranges of accommodations and good restaurants, should you decide a an overnight is necessary.