We visited Yaxchilan and Bonampak on our way from Palenque to Flores. We got a package including transport, entrance to both ruins and an overnight stay in a cabana in a Lacandon indian village. It was an early start, leaving the hotel at 5.00 am. We stopped for breakfast on the way. It took about three hours to get to Frontera Corazal, where we caught a lancha for the one hour trip on the Usumacinta River to Yaxchilan.
The river forms the border between Mexico and Guatemala. We didn't see as much wildlife on the river as we expected, but we saw a few Howler Monkeys. The Mexican shore was mostly still rainforest, but on the Guatemalan side a lot of land had been cleared for farming.
The city is almost surrounded by a loop of the river. All the excavated structures are built on a platform around a Plaza.
We entered the Plaza through the Labyrinth. It's quite an experience walking through the narrow, dark, passages filled with bats to come out onto the Plaza in bright light and see the ruins in front of you.
Yaxchilan is famous for the quality of it's bas reliefs. Two of the best carved lintels are in the British Museum.
In front of the Gran Acropolis is a stelae carved from a huge stalagmite.