Located on the Usumacinta River and surrounded by the dense Lacandon Jungle, the archeological area of Yaxchilán is reachable only by boat, a 40-minute cruise from the border town of Frontera Corozal. Getting there is all part of the experience and the journey is as spectacular as the destination, with howler monkeys swinging overhead, colorful birds swooping low over the waters and crocodiles crawling along the river banks, before scaling a grand riverside stairway to the site entrance.
An important Mayan city between 681 and 800 AD, Yaxchilán is an impressive site, with more than 120 structures dotted around the sprawling plot. The ruins are grouped into three main areas—the Great Plaza, the Grand Acropolis and the Small Acropolis—and are renowned for their unique architectural design, featuring monolithic limestone columns, elaborate stucco facades, decorative lintels and ornamental roof combs.
Yaxchilán Archeological Park is located about 30 kilometers north of Bonampak on the Mexican-Guatemalan border and is reachable by boat from Frontera Corozal. The site is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the park is 49 pesos, and due to its remote location, Yaxchilán is best visited as part of a guided tour.