Palenque is very much worth a stop on your way north for three distinct spots noted below. One convenience that certain Mexican bus stops offer (this one particular) is bag storage, so no need to worry about your belongings.
- Misol-Ha is a lovely waterfall and swimming hole, but what's tuly neat about it is that part of the the river flows out from an opening in the cliffside. And if you're not afraid to get wet, the cave the river comes out of is accessible, and is a nice adventure. Just be sure to bring a flashlight, or borrow one from the operators at the cave entrance.
- Agual Azul is best described as a long and stepped waterfall. The river makes way through the forest and over numerous drops of up to 20 feet. The Xamil river is no slouch either, and will roar and throw up mist at every drop. The accessible riverbank has a small market, but souvenirs here are generally overpriced as its a known tourist destination.
- Palenque itself is what most people dream of when they think of Central-American ruins. The site is sprawling, not fully excavated, and large portions of it are overgrown by the tropical forest. Nowhere else have I felt as Indian Jones-y as in Palenque.