More a roadside business than a village, Valle Escondida (Carr. Fronteriza del Sur Km. 61, cell tel. 044-916/100-0399, busil_h [at] hotmail [dot] com) is arguably the best lodging and food between Palenque and Frontera Corozal. A fresh, well-prepared buffet breakfast (US$8 pp, daily from 7 a.m.) includes eggs, beans, coffee and juice, fresh fruit, handmade tortillas, and more, served in an open-air dining area beneath a thick forest canopy.
Valle Escondida’s handful of cabañas (US$80–100) are on the opposite side of the highway, near the owners’ ranch house. Deluxe units have king-size beds and two singles, high sloped ceilings and oversize windows, and a bathroom and shower tucked behind an attractive stone wall—truly a sight for sore eyes after a long day at the ruins.
Smaller units are perfectly comfortable, but lack the same charm. Service is friendly, though there’s no official reception desk; if the restaurant is closed, try knocking on the door of the main ranch house.
Getting to Valle Escondida
Valle Escondida is easy to spot if you pass before 10 a.m., as there’s always a collection of cars and tour buses pulled off along the shoulder in front. Otherwise, use the kilometer markers painted on the pavement as a reference (it’s at Kilometer 61), and look for the dark-green roadside sign on your right (coming from Palenque).
It’s not in any particular town, but is located between Chancalá and the military checkpoint at the turnoff to Nueva Palestina.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition