We landed at 11pm and had seriously overestimated the amount of English that would be spoken. Needless to say we were a little out of our comfort zone. Luckily we'd booked a transfer and hostel for the night through our travel agent (at a ridiculously expensive price we later realised) so we didn't have to fend for ourselves.. yet.
We awoke the next morning and set out for the bus station. After many broken conversations, mispronunciations and a series of buses we arrived in San Cristobal de las Casas. San Cristobal was a cute colonial town with beautiful colourful buildings and a groovy local market. We stayed at Planet Hostel, a standard hostel and at only 220 pesos for a double room (around $18AUD) we had nothing to complain about.
From Planet Hostel we booked a tour that would take us to the town of Palenque via Agua Azul, Misol Ha and the Palenque Ruins. The tour was a great way to get from A to B and all the stops were definitely worth visiting. See photos below.
The town of Palenque itself is nothing special as it is mostly a place to rest your head before or after visiting the ruins (which themselves are amazing!) depending on the time of day you arrive. Nether the less we stayed at Hostel Yaxkin for 200 pesos ($20AUD) and had a cute little room with a double bed and hammock out front.
From Palenque we booked a bus-boat-bus from one of the many local travel agencies in town to cross the border into Guatemala, and onward to Flores. The bus-boat-bus is exactly what it sounds like, catching a bus to the Mexican border, then catching a small boat an hour up and across a river, and then continuing on to Flores via some seriously dodgy roads on bus number two. We were a little nervous prior to leaving as we'd heard various rumours about buses being held up on the Mexican side, and passengers being assaulted and robbed at gunpoint on this road out of Palenque. However our journey went along without a hitch, and I'd definitely recommend it as a fairly hassle free border crossing to fellow travellers. During the journey our entrance and exit fees, and passport stamps were taken care of via the 'tour' leader, making it an easy and stress free option for crossing our first border. And at only 350 pesos (~$30 AUD) per person we weren't in a position to complain.
Next stop... Guatemala.