Everyone knows that the Riviera Maya travel agencies offer a lot of tours around the Yucatan Peninsula. The top popular and expensive tours are Chichen Itza pyramids and Xplor, Xcaret, Rio Secreto theme parks. However, these spots are very crowded even in the low season.
But there are plenty of amazing and budget places that you can get without a tour. Valladolid is one of them. This town is very close to Chichen Itza, Coba, and Ek Balam. Valladolid amuses by colonial architecture, cenotes, and local cuisine.
How to get to Valladolid
You can take an ADO bus from Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum, the average price is $200 pesos (one way). The travel time is 1.5 – 2 hours depending on your location. You can also get there by renting a car.
Valladolid – The History Behind It
Valladolid, a magic town, the second important city of the Yucatan Peninsula after Merida. It was founded in 1543. The town’s streets and historic neighborhoods are formed around the squares or parish churches. Valladolid is famous for the strong Mayan standoff against the Spanish conquistadors. During some years of the colonial era, they kept relatively autonomous from the Crown. This is why Valladolid represents a fusion of Mayan and Spanish cultures.
Parque San Francisco Canton
Parque San Francisco Canton located in the historic center has a lot of benches in a form of fairytale chairs. The fountain La Mestiza in the shape of a woman in the middle of the park is a tribute to the Yucatec and Spanish beauty. The park is full of old tall trees that create a perfect shade. You can enjoy reading, listen to birds singing or watch the local kids playing. The locals also sell yummy artisanal ice-cream there. If you plan to stay for a night in Valladolid you can take a free walking tour around the center. Ask for the schedules at the Tourist Center in front of the park.
There are 7 cenotes (natural water sinkholes) around Valladolid. These mysterious pools are made of rock formations with a blue-green color of the water. The water is cool, but not freezing, and its full of small black catfish the ones that pill your feet. So you can enjoy swimming and spa session for 100-150 pesos at a cost of the entrance. It saves your budget a lot because in Cancun or Playa del Carmen this fish spa costs USD $35 per hour.
The most stunning cenote in Valladolid is Zaci. The regular entrance fee is $30 pesos. But here is a tip: you can have lunch at the cenote’s restaurant which is to the left from the main entrance. This provides you with a free entrance to the cenote. The restaurant offers a big choice of Yucatecan dishes and handmade tortillas. There’s a staircase leading down to the cenote from the restaurant. Don’t forget to grab the GoPro and snorkeling masks!
Discover More Jewels in the Yucatan Peninsula
We hope you fall in love with this wonderful and historic town. The Yucatan Peninsula has many more attractive towns to visit. Moreover, if you’re looking for an investment property or a second home in Mexico, see our projects here.