In a dense jungle setting, far from roads on the bank of the Usumacinta River is the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilán.  To reach the ruins from Palenque requires 173 km of overland travel and an additional 22 km by boat. 

lanchasWe boarded one of the lanchas pictured here at the Frontera Corozal embarcadero and began our 40 minute ride up the Usumacinta, which also serves as the border between Mexico and Guatemala and has afforded us our first views of Mexico’s neighbor to the south. 

One of the most important Classic Mayan cities in the Usumacinta region, Yaxchilán was settled prior to 250 A.D., peaked in power and importance between 681 and 800 A.D. and was abandoned shrortly thereafter.

monkeysThe highlight of the day was arriving to find a jungle full of howler monkeys and spider monkeys swinging from branch to branch in the trees above.  There were even a few mama monkeys carrying babies on their backs.

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