The past week has been an adventure-packed, back-to-back series of days as part of our adventure tour/travel blog boot camp here in Palenque, Mexico in the beautiful state of Chiapas. From the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque itself to the waterfalls at Misol Ha and Agua Azul, down the Usumacinta River to the ruins of Yaxchilan, back to the ruins of Bonampak and the jungle surrounding, it’s been an exciting time along with our most recent graduate, Amelia from The Everyday Journey.
From here, we’ve only got a few more days until we head to TBEX in Cancun on September 9th, where I’ll be presenting on advanced Facebook marketing and advertising solutions. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what we’ve been up to during our tour and class with an in-depth series of photos and videos.
Day two was the start of the actual adventure tour. And like with any good adventure, the early bird catches the worm, which means we were up at the crack of dawn…or in the case of staying out in the jungle, up with the monkeys and their guttural grunts and howling with the rising of the sun.
After breakfast, it was time to head out to the ruins themselves. Palenque is, without a doubt, one of the crown-jewels of Mexico when it comes to Maya ruins. While the Riviera Maya has its own share of famous locations, they lack the mystical, behind-the-scenes feel that you get out in Chiapas (which is mostly related to the fact that it’s been relatively “difficult” to get to for the average tourist, which means only backpackers and actual travelers make their way here). And although it is a smaller ruin, it hosts some of the most famous architecture, carvings and sculptures that the Maya people produced in their time.
Not to mention, the discovery of the sarcophagus and tomb of the great ruler Pakal, which for many years was considered the best preserved of any scientifically excavated burial then known from the ancient Americas. While you can no longer enter the Temple of the Inscriptions to view the actual burial chamber, it’s on display at the museum in relic form, and it is equally impressive in terms of size and detail.
One of my favorite parts about Palenque in comparison to, say, Tulum or Chichen Itza, is that these ruins are deep into the jungle, which means there’s plenty of shade in between climbing up and over the various pyramids, not to mention the pathways to other sections of the archaeological site. In 2005 it was estimated that only 10% of the ruins had been uncovered, and not much has since been excavated, which means the vast majority of the city still has yet to be discovered.
You can easily spend the entire day up at the ruins if you start early enough and begin the day with a jungle crawl out through the surrounding outskirts, exploring some of the only partially-uncovered pyramids and outlying structures that exist in all directions, but in our case we started after breakfast and went straight to the ruins. Even then, we had a good four-hour hike up through the main section, ending up in the museum before we headed back to the home base for a nap and classes in the evening.
Classes on the second night covered Internet marketing and social media advertising/marketing, two core components of building a brand that many travel bloggers completely lack. Note that uploading photos to your social media channels is *not* social media strategy, nor is it marketing in any way, shape or form. SMM is a complex topic, and one that takes years of working with to completely understand; I’ll be covering the Facebook side of things in greater detail at TBEX, but for Amelia’s course we covered the overall concepts and then honed in on the things that will enhance her existing blog.
Ver El Panchan en un mapa ampliado
Stay tuned for the next entry covering day three of our travel blog boot camp in Palenque, Mexico, where we’ll be covering our exploration of the waterfalls and river out at Misol Ha and Agua Azul, plus an overview of the classes from the third night when we covered brand building strategies.