DISCOVER VALLADOLID WITH THESE 9 TIPS!

Discover Valladolid with these 9 tips!

The charming town of Valladolid is an amazing destination for your journey through Mexico. In the city, you'll find colorful streets, colonial buildings, charming shops, and delicious restaurants. There's plenty to explore outside the city as well, from cenotes and ruins to secluded villages. Valladolid is the perfect destination to discover the inland treasures of Yucatán.

How to get to Valladolid?

There are several ways to get to Valladolid.

From Bacalar

By car, the journey from Bacalar to Valladolid takes approximately 4.5 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a bus, which also takes around 4.5 hours, and a ticket costs 33 USD. You can easily purchase tickets online through Bookaway.

From Cancún

By car, the journey from Cancún to Valladolid takes approximately 2 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a bus, which takes around 2.5 hours, and a ticket costs between 15 and 22 USD. You can easily purchase tickets online through Bookaway.

From Mérida

By car, the journey from Mérida to Valladolid takes approximately 2 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a bus, which takes around 2.5 hours, and a ticket costs between 14 and 21 USD. You can easily purchase tickets online through Bookaway.

From Tulum

By car, the journey from Tulum to Valladolid takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a bus, which takes just over 1.5 hours, and a ticket costs between 10 and 13 USD. You can easily purchase tickets online through Bookaway.

From Isla Holbox

From Isla Holbox, you first take a 15-minute ferry to Chiquilá. By car, the journey from Chiquilá to Valladolid takes approximately 2 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a bus, which takes about 2.5 hours from Chiquilá, and a ticket costs between 17 and 22 USD. You can easily purchase tickets online through Bookaway.

Note: In Mérida and Valladolid, the time is 1 hour earlier than in Bacalar, Cancún, and on Isla Holbox. This is because Bacalar, Cancún, and Isla Holbox are located in Quintana Roo, not in the Yucatán province. Due to the time difference, Bookaway may not accurately display the correct travel duration for the bus ride.

What is the best time to travel to Valladolid?

The best time to visit Valladolid is from January to March and from October to December. During these months, temperatures are most pleasant, and there is the least amount of rainfall. From June to September is the rainy season, characterized by short and intense showers, followed by clearing weather.

How to move from place to place in Valladolid?

Most attractions in Valladolid itself are within walking distance of each other. If you want to get around the city center more quickly, you can opt to rent a bike or scooter. Keep in mind that traffic is much more chaotic than in the Netherlands.

There are also many attractions outside Valladolid, such as cenotes. Therefore, it is advisable to rent a car or scooter. The advantage is that you can go wherever you want at your own pace.

If you want to travel to a place farther away, you can also take a taxi or Uber in Valladolid. Speaking some Spanish is handy when taking a taxi to explain your destination. Uber is a more convenient option if you don't speak Spanish well, as you have already indicated your destination.

Local buses operate in Valladolid as well. Taking the bus is a more budget-friendly way to see attractions outside Valladolid. We recommend checking with your accommodation to see if the local bus goes to your desired destination and where exactly you can catch it. Locals often have the best information about this.

How safe is Valladolid?

Valladolid is considered a safe city, and you can confidently explore it alone during the day. However, it's important to exercise caution in the evening and at night, especially when walking alone in quieter parts of the town.

Where to stay in Valladolid?

Valladolid is a small town, making it easy to reach the city center quickly. The attractions in Valladolid are within walking distance of each other. Therefore, the choice of accommodation may not matter much as everything is easily accessible regardless of where you stay.

What to do in Valladolid?

Valladolid is a perfect place to stay for a few days. We provide you with the best tips for a delightful stay in this charming Mexican town!

1. Admire the colonial center of Valladolid

Before the Spanish colonization, Valladolid was inhabited by the Maya, known as Zaci-val. In 1543, Francisco de Montejo, on behalf of the Spaniards, founded the city and named it Valladolid after his birthplace in Spain. Indigenous settlements were utilized by the Spanish as the foundation for their colonial cities, and the Maya were compelled to use stones from their own temples to build Valladolid. The city became crucial during the colonial period, serving as a vital hub between other cities and functioning as an administrative and religious center for the region.

Today, traces of the colonial period are still evident in Valladolid. The impressive Cathedral de San Gervasio was constructed by the Spaniards. The central square, 'Parque Francisco Canton', is surrounded by colorful colonial buildings. In the streets of Valladolid, you'll also come across mansions, showcasing the prosperity during the colonial era.

At the central square, there is a large hall where you can enjoy Mexican cuisine locally and at a reasonable price. The Mercado Municipal market is a lively local market selling souvenirs, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. The street 'Calzada de los Frailes' is another charming recommendation, featuring colorful houses, boutique shops, and hidden bars and restaurants.

Every day, free walking tours in English are offered in Valladolid. This is a great way to quickly get to know the city. You can check the schedule and sign up on this website. The tour is free, but it is customary to give your guide a tip between 5 and 20 USD after the tour.

2. Take a refreshing dip in the beautiful cenotes

Cenotes are one of the most impressive natural phenomena in Mexico. A cenote is a deep cave filled with clear water, and there are thousands of them on the Yucatán Peninsula. These cenotes in Mexico originated from the impact of a meteorite millions of years ago. The impact was so powerful that it led to the extinction of dinosaurs. It also created deep holes in the ground, which later filled with water. The cenotes were significant sacred places for the Maya, where they performed rituals and made offerings. Nowadays, you can enjoy cooling off in the clear, refreshing waters of the cenotes on a hot day.

Cenote Zaci

This is a unique cenote, as Cenote Zaci is located right in the city. This makes it easily accessible. The cenote is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, and the entrance fee is approximately 2 USD.

Cenote Ik Kil

The Ik Kil cenote is located near Chichén-Itzá, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which we'll delve into in the next tip. The walls of the cenote are adorned with various plant species, and it is filled with crystal-clear water. Hanging vines add an extra touch of magic to the cenote.

Cenote Ik Kil is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM. It is advisable to arrive as early as possible to avoid crowds. The entrance fee is around 10 USD.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 45 minutes by car to reach Ik Kil. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber.

Cenote Samula

Cenote Samula features a small opening at the top, allowing a beam of light to illuminate the crystal-clear water. Especially on a sunny day, this creates a beautiful play of light, adding a special effect to the cenote.

Cenote Samula is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM. The entrance fee is approximately 5 USD, and with this ticket, you can also visit cenote Xkeken.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 15 minutes by car to reach cenote Samula. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber.

Cenote Secreto Mayo

Cenote Secreto Mayo is another gem. This cenote features a large opening at the top, allowing ample light to illuminate the crystal-clear blue water. The roots of the trees above the cenote have grown down into the cenote, creating a unique sight. Additionally, you can jump into the water from above using a rope. The advantage of this cenote is that it is not as crowded, providing a more private experience. The cenote is part of a complex that includes a swimming pool and a restaurant. We found this to be one of the most beautiful cenotes we have seen.

The cenote is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 40 minutes by car to reach cenote Secreto Mayo. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber. There is a large sign along the road with the name of the cenote that you can follow to reach it.

Cenote Suytún

Looking for the perfect Instagram photo? Then Cenote Suytún is a must-visit! In the center of Cenote Suytún, there's a platform where you can stand. At the top of the cenote, there's a small opening, allowing a beautiful beam of light to shine through. The combination of the platform, water, and light creates the perfect Instagram shot.

This cenote can get quite crowded, so you may need to wait in line for your photo. The earlier you visit, the quieter it tends to be.

The cenote is open every day from 9 AM to 4:30 PM, and the entrance fee is approximately 10 USD.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 15 minutes by car to reach cenote Suytún. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber.

3. Discover one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Chichén-Itzá

A visit to Chichén-Itzá is a must during your stay on the Yucatán Peninsula, as it is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Chichén-Itzá is one of the most impressive cities from the ancient Maya civilization, featuring a stunning Maya temple towering over the ancient city.

Chichén-Itzá is highly popular among tourists, so be prepared to wait in line for a ticket at the entrance, which costs approximately 35 USD. On Sundays, the park is free for Mexicans, leading to a busier atmosphere. Chichén-Itzá is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM.

You can arrange for a guide at the park entrance for an additional fee. We walked through Chichén-Itzá without a guide, and found it manageable as there are many signs with English explanations. However, if you want extra information, hiring a guide is advisable.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 45 minutes by car to reach Chichén-Itzá. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber. You can combine your visit to Chichén-Itzá with a trip to the Ik Kil cenote.

4. Admire the treasures of the Maya in Ek’ Balam

Another treasure of the Maya is Ek’ Balam. This ancient Maya city, surrounded by jungle, features a large pyramid called El Torre. You can climb this pyramid, and from the top, you'll have a stunning view of the surroundings. Additionally, you'll find the X’Canche cenote here. The advantage of Ek’ Balam is that it's much less touristy than Chichén-Itzá.

Ek’ Balam is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM, and an entrance ticket costs around 30 dollars.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about half an hour by car to reach Ek’ Balam. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber.

5. Take a scooter ride through local villages

In Valladolid, you'll encounter many tourists, creating a lively atmosphere. We love to explore the hidden gems that are either undiscovered or less frequented. This often leads us to the most unique places. In Valladolid, we set out on two delightful scooter routes, uncovering some hidden treasures along the way.

Scooter route via Ek’ Balam

Valladolid - Temozón - Ek’ Balam - Hunukú - Cenote Secreto Maya - Cenote Palomitas - Valladolid

This scooter route takes you through local villages, Ek’ Balam, and two cenotes, offering a diverse experience. It's recommended to allocate a full day for this route, as exploring Ek’ Balam and the two cenotes can be enjoyable. Along the way, take some time to wander and have a drink in the local villages. Temozón and Hunukú both feature charming central squares with impressive churches.

Tip: We had a delicious local meal at La Casa de Marisela in Hunukú. You dine in the owner's house, and she quickly sets up a table when guests arrive.

Scooter route through unknown villages

Valladolid - Chichimila - Tekom - Tixcacalcupul - San Pedro - Chan Santa Cruz - Dzitox - Chamul - Xuilub - Xocén - Valladolid

With this scooter route, you'll ride through tranquil and secluded villages near Valladolid. The journey takes you along paved roads that cut through nature, offering views of lush greenery. We were fortunate enough to spot a snake crossing the road on our way. While there may not be much to do in the villages, it provides a charming glimpse into local life in Mexico. Most villages have a quaint square with a church. Although the distances may not seem extensive, scooters can take a bit longer, so we recommend dedicating a full day for this route.

6. Visit the colorful church of Uayma

Uayma is a town near Valladolid with 2,300 residents. It boasts a charming square with a striking church. During the Spanish colonial occupation, it served as a crucial stop on the route between Mérida and Valladolid. The church in Uayma was constructed by the Spanish using stones from Maya temples. In the 19th century during the Caste War, the church was destroyed by the Maya. Nowadays, the unique church has been restored and stands as a work of art. Don't expect much else from this town, as the church is the main highlight, and there isn't much else to do.

How to get there? From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 20 minutes by car to reach Uayma. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber.

7. Take a day trip to Izamal

Izamal is a unique town, known for its buildings painted in vibrant yellow. Don't forget your sunglasses, as the sunlight reflecting off the yellow structures can be intense. Yellow held significant importance for the Maya, associated with the sun, which had divine significance. The Maya considered Izamal to be the dwelling place of a sun god. Besides exploring the monastery and the yellow buildings, there isn't much else to do in Izamal.

How to get there?
From the center of Valladolid, it takes about 1.5 hours by car to reach Izamal. If you're traveling by scooter, it might take a bit longer. Another option is to take a taxi or Uber.

8. Stroll by the old monastery of Valladolid

The monastery 'Convento de San Bernardino de Siena' was built in the 16th century and was part of the Spanish mission to establish more churches and monasteries in the conquered areas. From the city center, you can easily walk to the monastery, and you can visit it for a small entrance fee. It's enjoyable to take a stroll through if you have the time. In front of the monastery, you'll find the colorful letters of Valladolid, making it a great spot to capture a photo!

Do you want to read more about Mexico

See all our articles with the best tips to discover all beautiful places in Mexico.

Do you want to read more about Mexico?

See all our articles with the best tips to discover all beautiful places in Mexico.

About the authors

How nice that you are on our website and that you have read this article! We are Mirte and Matthew, two Dutch adventurers with a passion for traveling, discovering cultures, and gaining new experiences. We've translated our love for the world into this website. We hope our articles inspire you to go on adventures! You can learn more about us through the button below.
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