Valladolid is a small city in the state of Yucatán. Located about a 45 minute drive from the (lesser-used) east entrance of Chichén Itzá, it offers an alternative base for the ruins, while having its own charms as well -- although further from the ruins than the town of Piste, Valladolid is less tourist-oriented and has more historic charm.
Valladolid is just off the toll highway (180D) between Cancún and Merida; the exit is about 3 miles north of the center of town. The old highway (180) runs east-west through the centre of town, and highway 295 connects south towards Chetumal, and north to the toll highway and Ek Balam. Both highways run right through the centre of town on one-way streets, forming the four sides of the central town square.
Valladolid is small enough to make walking a reasonable choice within town. To explore the city you can also rent bicycles at a reasonable rate. Other alternative choices are taxis (Be aware the drivers do not speak English).
- Parque Fransisco Canton Rosado, the central town square, is surrounded by pretty colonial style buildings that maintain much of their historic character.
- The Catedral de San Gervasio, located on the south side of the town square.
- Cenote Zací. A spectacular sinkhole located in a public park only few hundred meters from the central plaza, this cenote is traversed by a walking path that passes under a curtain of stalactites in an overhang area.
- The Calzada de los Frailes (Calle 41A) located a 10 minute walk south from the town square. This street consists of colonial homes with great architecture. It commences at the "cinco calles" and it ends at the park of the ex-convent San Bernardino de Siena.
- The Ex-Convent San Bernardino de Siena, located in the neighbourhood of sisal approx. 10~15 minute walk south from the town square. This 15th century ex-convent and church is situated around a public park where you can sit and enjoy tranquility.
- The Museo de San Roque located a few hundred meters from the central plaza. This museum contains Mayan and colonial artifacts as well traditional items.
Valladolid due to its tranquility and small town charm is mostly a one-day getaway. You can visit several Cenotes within the area and two are close enough to hire bicycles from a nearby vendor. Recommended to visit "Cenote Dzinup", you will love it. As well you can go sightseeing of the architecture and mingle with the people of the city.
Buy wood carvings and traditional clothing and bags made from henequen from the vendors on the central Plaza and the grounds of "Cenote Zaci"Hand made shoes and sandals at the central Plaza.
Visit Yalat Boutique right at the Main Square, the place is filled with original artwork, fine jewelry, and is dedicated to master works and fine Mexican artcrafts including exquisite ceramic Jainas and Maya vessels that are exquisite. Owner very friendly, speaks perfect English, a bit of German and French.
Visit the Coqui Coqui Perfumery and Spa in the Calzada de los Frailes on the way of the Convent. All the perfumes they sell are from the yucatan peninsula, amazing fragrances as the agave or the flor de mayo. Also a very nice garden.
- Casa de los Venados, Calle 40 #204. Private residence / with a Mexican folk art collection of approx. 3,000 Museum quality pieces. American owners, when they are in residence, very generiously show people the collection.
- El Meson de Marques, a hotel located on the north side of the town square, offers dining beside a charming interior courtyard, with excellent food. Entrees in the $M 100-200 range.
- Casa Italia is a small and charming Italian restaurant on the south edge of the square in Candelaria, four blocks north and one block west of the main square. Their pizzas, baked in a wood-fueled oven, are wonderful and inexpensive.
- Taberna de los Frailes, Parque Ex-Convento San Bernardino (Barrio de Sisal), ☎ +52 985 856 0689. 11am to 11pm. Serving contemporary cuisine utilizing Mayan herbs and spices surrounded by Valladolid’s 16th century Ex-Convento de San Bernardino. Full service bar, VIP areas, groups, parking, credit cards. US$10-50.
- Maruja Cafe, Bar y Galeria, Calle 41 #202A (South side of the main Plaza), ☎ +52 985 856 0999. 8am to 10pm. Full service bar, great Mayan organically grown coffee & chocolate, deli style menu, outdoor sitting overlooking the main park. Credit Cards.
- Cada del Mayordomo, 46th Street #189, corner 35th Street, Col. Candelaria, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bed & breakfast and butler service, for special occasions, along with Yucatecan snacks of your choice.
- Casa Quetzal, Calle 51 No. 218 x 50 y 52 col. Sisal, Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico, ☎ +52 9858564796. Four-star boutique hotel offering various spas and therapeutic massages. Yoga and Chi Kung classes offered. From ~US$ 75.00.
- Hostal Kinbe, Cnr Calle 38/Ave 41. Very clean. doubles from 120 Pesos.
- Hotel Maria De La Luz. Friendly and well kept. It is located on the main square. You can get a double with A/C for US$50. The restaurant opens up to the square and has great food. US$6.50-$10.
- Hotel Santa Lucia (about 6 blocks north of the main square). A two floor hotel with a variety of rooms ranging from a Single with no A/C (for about US$20) up to a Quintuple with A/C (for about $90).
- Hotel Tunich Beh (near downtown on Calzada De Los Frailes). Eight air-conditioned guestrooms and a swimming pool with a small palapa by the side. 450 Pesos per night.
Valladolid has a good modernised bus station (near the main square) which connects it with the surrounding towns and tourist destinations. There are frequent services to all major destinations.
- Visit the Maya ruins of Ek Balam, an impressive archaeological site only about 15 minutes drive north of Valladolid. You are allowed to climb the tallest ruin which has been partially restored. This gives you a 360° view of the surroundings.
- Chichén Itzá, the largest and most famous ancient Maya site in Yucatan, is to the west; Valladolid is close enough to the ruins to be a convenient base.
- Further west than Chichen are another charming small Yucatecan city, Izamal, and beyond that Mérida, the Yucatan's capital and largest city.