Mayan culture meets perfectly preserved colonial charm in this picturesque town, which is close to the ancient wonder of Chichén Itzá.
Valladolid is an excellent base for exploring the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, located around a 45-minute drive away. But Valladolid also has plenty of appeal of its own. Wander colorful streets lined with pastel houses, visit beautiful and historic religious buildings and take photos of pretty squares surrounded by old-fashioned Spanish-style architecture. Take advantage of the natural attractions nearby too, such as the scenic “cenotes” (water-filled sinkholes) that pepper the jungle.
Start your Valladolid explorations at the Main Plaza, a scenic spot where ornate white benches surround the central fountain. The elegant colonial buildings that fringe the plaza include the striking Church of San Servacio. This is one of the town’s most impressive buildings and it dates back to 1706.
Other historic buildings to look out for include the beautiful Convent of San Bernadino de Siena and the graceful Municipal Palace. Find both of these in the town center.
Make sure you take in some history and art while in Valladolid. The Museum of San Roque is housed in an appealing pink building and contains quirky exhibits on the region’s past. But even more characterful is the Casa de los Venados, or House of the Deer, an eclectic museum of Mexican art contained within a beautiful house, which is still home to the American couple who own this remarkable collection.
Make your way beyond the city boundaries to discover a wealth of stunning historic and natural attractions. These include the impossibly perfect Dzitnup and Ik Kil cenotes, ideal for cooling off from the hot Mexican sun. The Balankanché Caves are also marvelous and are easily accessible from Valladolid. The Ek’ Balam Mayan ruins offer more of the same magic as Chichén Itzá.
Drive to Valladolid from either Cancún or Mérida in under 2 hours. Give yourself a few days to explore all the area has to offer. This charming town may seem a little out of the way, but visitors quickly discover that it is definitely worth the journey.