One Day in Valladolid Itinerary – Top things to do in Valladolid, Mexico

one-day-in-valladolid-mexico-itineraryValladolid in the centre of the Mexican Yucatan peninsular is a charming provincial town combining both Mayan and Spanish colonial heritage. With its quiet cobbled streets and sun splashed colourful walls it is well away from the mass tourism of the Yucatan coast so makes a perfect day out (or more) if you are in the region. Valladolid is one of those magical cities where there is plenty to see and do, but it still feels small, authentic and boasts lots of history. Try some of the delicious local cuisine and meet some of the friendly Vallisetanos for a visit you will never forget.

 

Guest post by Vanessa Hofmann

Local Woman in Huipiles
Local Woman in Huipiles, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Whilst Valladolid is hot all year-round it has two distinguishable seasons one wet and one dry.  The wet season usually starts in June and ends in October, making the dry season generally from November through May. The weather here in the dry season is much more desirable and pleasant for most tourists.  The humidity in the summer months can make it unbearable, especially as it is inland, so it is probably best during the winter months as a destination for exploring.

 

WHAT’S GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT VALLADOLID?

The city has seen its fair share of turmoil and revolt in the past. When the Spanish invaded the Mayan ceremonial centre of Zaci in the 15th century they faced heavy resistance from the local Mayans but eventually took the town. They then tore down everything and built a new thriving city following the classic colonial plan. Despite the colonialist successes the tensions continued leading to it being the town to start the Caste Wars four centuries later when the Mayans revolted against their colonial overlords. Today once again it is a prosperous city.

 

ONE DAY IN VALLADOLID ITINERARY:

Top things to do in Valladolid, Mexico

 

BREAKFAST AT YERBABUENA DEL SISAL

Start your day with a healthy breakfast of homemade Mexican food made with fresh organic ingredients at Yerbabuena Del Sisal. Listen to the sounds of exotic birds while seated in their lush green garden with a freshly squeezed juice or local smoothies. Try the local Chilaquiles Rojos to liven your taste buds for a day exploring.

 

COOL CLOISTERS AT CONVENTO DE SISAL AND TEMPLO DE SISAL

Fuelled for the day walk across the Parque Sisal outside the restaurant, taking in the architecture of the colonial Convento De Sisal. The convent was constructed in 1560 and served as a church and fortress. Enter the church to see the charming rose decorations and 16th century frescoes.

A visit to the neighbouring convent (MX$30 or US$2) is recommended to find out more about the history of Valladolid and the surrounding area, plus you get to see a glimpse of the largest cenote with its dome-vaulted building inside the walled grounds, and explore the vaulted cloister passages.

Convento de Sisal
Convento de Sisal, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

COLOURFUL ETHNIC ARCHITECTURE ON CALZADA DE LOS FRAILES

To the east of the convent you find the Calzada de los Frailes, a traditional cobbled road leading into the town centre. Take a stroll along the street to admire the beautiful restored colonial houses. Their colourful facades with unique doors and windows make it the perfect photo opportunity. Do not miss the old Mayan style building on the left, sadly now no longer in use.

Colorful Walls
Colorful Walls, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

TASTE THE FOOD OF THE GODS AT CACAO ORGANIC COLLECTIVE

Located on 41 Calzada de los Frailes is a little shop, museum and café. Learn all about the history of cacao, the Mayans believe that the gods discovered the fruit. You also get to indulge and try the different chocolate variations at the end of the little guided tour.

 

TAKE A REST AT PARQUE FRANCISCO CANTON ROSADO

Make your next stop at Parque Francisco Canton Rosado. Sit down on one of the benches with an ice cream while you watch the locals. Many of the women here still dress in the traditional Mayan dresses, embroidered with colourful flowers and lace, called huipiles. Some of them will probably try to sell you their handmade embroidery or hammocks.

Parque Francisco
Parque Francisco, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

VISIT CATHEDRAL SAN GERVAISO

Cross the road to Cathedral San Gervaiso. Catholic churches in the Yucatan peninsular are much less glitzy than their European counterparts, but still impressive.

Cathedral de San Gervasio
Cathedral de San Gervasio, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

LUNCH AT BAZAR MINICIPAL

Feeling hungry? Bazar Municipal on the north east side of the square consists of a collection of market style eateries. Casiano on the left at the back provides you with comidas corridas, a set meal of courses. Sit down on one of the tables and mingle with the locals while enjoying a cheap but tasty Mexican lunch.

 

SHOP WITH THE LOCALS AT MERCADO MUNICIPAL

A few blocks from the main square is the local market; come here to experience how locals shop for meat, fruit and vegetables besides some cheap clothing and home wares. You never know you might pick up something for yourself.

Mercado Municipal
Mercado Municipal, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

CENOTE ZACI – SWIM IN ANOTHER WORLD

Now it is time to cool off in the cool water of Cenote Zaci. Cenotes are natural limestone sinkholes filled with fresh water; the Mayans considered them sacred gateways to the underworld and used them for drinking water or sacrifices to their gods. Today, they make for a refreshing, fun filled swimming hole. In Cenote Zaci you can swim with small catfish while admiring the cave with stalactites and long roots hanging from its ceiling, all for MXN30 (or US$2).

Cenote Zaci
Cenote Zaci, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

 

CRAFT SHOPPING ON CALLE 39

After a cool swim wander back along Calle 39 and discover crafts stalls and interesting local shops.

 

DINNER AT TABERNA DE LOS FRAILES

Let’s end the day in one of the best restaurants in town. You should share several dishes at Taberna de Los Frailes and do not miss their delicious ceviche. Why not treat yourself to a cocktail while you relax in their beautiful garden after a long day exploring. If you feel like it, step outside at 9pm to the Convento de Sisal to enjoy the magnificent sound and light show projected onto the front of the building that will allow you to relive the fantastic history and experience of Valladollid.

 

SOME EXTRA TIPS FOR VISITING VALLADOLID?

You can pay with US dollars in most restaurants, shops and even street vendors will happily take them off you. The local currency is MXN Mexican Pesos and I would advise to have some in your wallets, just in case. Check the rate before you travel.

Taco stand
Taco stand, Author: Vanessa Hofmann

The tipping in Mexico is similar to the US, 10-15% is normal, 20% for exceptional service is expected.

Spanish is the main language spoken. Most restaurants offer English menus and people in general are very helpful to cope with any language barriers that you might encounter.

Valladolid is a safe town and even woman solo travellers do not need to worry about their safety any more than in European or American city. Pickpocketing is a minor risk here but you should always watch your pockets and bags anyway.

Walking is the best way to get around Valladolid; it is a small town that can easily be covered by foot. Bicycles are another great option to explore the town. You can rent them from Rudy Tours 852-2026 or Hostel La Candeleria. Alternatively taxis are reasonably cheap way to get around.

 

To get there:

Valladolid is located half way between Cancun and Merida.
Both are a two hours bus ride or drive away.
By car it is slightly faster via the Cota expressway.

Stay on for a few nights at Hotel Project Zentic, there is so much to explore in the area. Head north for the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam and climb the pyramid, be amazed by the pink lagoons of Los Coloradas and take a boat ride to see the flamingos and other wild life in Rio Lagartos .

 

Guest post by Vanessa Hofmann

 

In case you have more than just One Day in Valladolid check out Tripadvisor for detailed list of all the top things to do in Valladolid.

 

 

Find the Best Hotel Deals in Valladolid

Get Valladolid Lonely Planet Guide

 

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Vanessa Hofmann
Vanessa Hofmann

Vanessa is passionate about travel, fashion, photography, architecture and of course her family. Her blog indulges and combines these passions with a focus on the wonderful experience that can be had when travelling. She documents her many journeys across the world seeking out unusual places the planet has on offer, and gives hints on places to look out for when travelling. Originally from near Frankfurt, Germany, Vanessa now lives in London with husband Chris and son Jerome where she combines blogging with her work in the fashion industry.

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3 comments

  1. If you are departing in the morning from Harwich the Riva Bar is
    fantastic for a morning coffee and read your morning document.
    For a mid-morning snack, use the Taste restaurant. Hot meals
    is available including pies, sauces, sandwiches and salads to suit all ages and tastes.

    On the afternoon sailing from Connect of Holland the Taste eating
    place is open throughout, using hot food available. However, have an afternoon tea as well as alcoholic beverage in the Riva tavern, Taste wine bar as well as sundeck
    bar.

    The City restaurant offers a delicious a la carte menu.

    What better method to begin your trip compared to by tucking into a delightful
    meal at the Metropolitan diner where you can enjoy the relaxed environment
    of our onboard restaurant just where you’re sure to enjoy the excellent “at seat service”.

    Right after your meal, retire on the Riva Bar where you can get pleasure
    from an after dinner consume. For a full menu (including continental dishes) visit the Taste restaurant.

    Following your meal why not have a drink in the Taste wine
    bar?

    These kinds of morning, start the day properly: treat yourself to buffet lunch
    at the Metropolitan before you land. Choose from a
    mouth-watering range including full English breakfast time, fresh pastries,
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