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40 Best Things to do in Valladolid, Mexico: Travel Guide 2024

Looking to visit Valladolid, Mexico? Then check out this guide on the best things to do in Valladolid Mexico from visiting Cenotes, cafes, and nearby Mayan ruins, etc. It remains one of my favorite destinations to visit in Mexico.

If you are looking for vibrant, colorful, and authentic places to visit in Mexico, consider Valladolid! It’s colonial architecture, laidback vibes, options for numerous day trips, and visiting World Wonder Chichen Itza, it’s worth visiting!

Whether you’re a first-timer or visiting again, this Valladolid Travel Guide will give you insight into everything you need to know before you go, from what to do, where to stay, and how to get around! This Travel Guide is full of insider tips to help you plan your trip and enjoy the best things to do in Valladolid including worthy day trips.


Why Visit Valladolid Mexico?

Valladolid in Mexico is the most charming town in the state of Yucatan. It is located near the state capital of Merida, about 40 km from Chichen Itza, and 3 hrs drive from Cancun.

One of the reasons this beautiful town is so popular is because there are so many things to do in Valladolid with never-ending list of activities! You can explore Valladolid’s colonial heritage, visit Mayan ruins, swim in cenotes, try authentic Yucatan food, and so much more.

You can experience authentic Mayan culture and history which you might not find easily in the touristy beach towns of Tulum or Cancun.

Additionally, Valladolid makes for such a perfect spot for several day trips. Whether it is the ruins of Chichen Itza ,Ek Balam, or the Pink Lakes of Mexico, everything is just an easy drive from Valladolid, must add it to your Yucatan Roadtrip Itinerary.

Whatever you decide to do, Valladolid should be on your Mexico Bucket List! So, keep reading this mega Valladolid attractions travel guide.

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40 Best Things to Do in Valladolid, Mexico

Valladolid is full of so many amazing attractions located both within the city and nearby. Many people visit it as a day trip from Cancun or pass by on a whim when doing a day trip to Chichen Itza from Cancun! But I feel this cute colorful town deserves at least 2-3 days to visit. So, let’s explore the Best things to do in Valladolid Mexico.

Cultural & Historical Things to do in Valladolid, Mexico

Visit the Church of San Servacio

When you enter the Valladolid, you’ll surely see this main recognizable Valladolid attraction right in the main square! It is Valladolid’s most visited attraction which you may have seen so many times in photos!

The Church of San Servacio is a tall and beautiful church located at the main square in downtown Valladolid. They have an interesting manual bell-ringing system that makes for an added attraction.

Best places to visit in Valladolid

San Servacio Church was built by a priest in the early 16th century, considered as one of the oldest churches in North America. It was built on the site of a former Mayan Pyramid(Mayan temple) during the Spanish colonization!

It was demolished in 1705 after the tragic events of the “Crime of the Mayors” that happened right inside the church.It was restored in 1706 with a new position for the altar. The church now faces north whereas all other churches in Valladolid face east. 

Snapping a photo of this historical landmark of Valladolid is one of the top things to do in Valladolid. Make sure to visit it during the daylight and by night, as the view is entirely different!

Visit the Palacio Municipal(Ayuntamiento de Valladolid)

A few steps walking east from the Church of San Servicio in the main square, you’ll reach the Palacio Municipal(City Hall). The City Hall offers free access to its visitors.

Best things to do in Valladolid

On the second floor of the building, you can see the magnificent paintings of the Mayan world that tell you the history of Valladolid and Mexico. You can see the views of the Valladolid Main Square from here.

Step Back in History at Museo San Roque

Located on Calle 41 between 38 and 40, the Museo San Roque has a small but interesting collection of historical items reflecting the history of Valladolid and the Yucatan region.

There is no admission cost, which makes it a great free thing to do in Valladolid Mexico.

The structure itself has a steep history housed in 16th century building! It began as a tiny chapel, then evolved into the first hospital of Valladolid, and finally into a convent. Several Mexican revolutionaries were buried at the site.

things to do in Valladolid

 As a museum it opened its doors to the public in 1985, to make known the history of Valladolid to the world! Don’t forget to visit these wonderful historical places to visit in Valladolid.

They are open from 9:00 AM to 9 PM, Monday to Sunday.

Marvel at Mayan Art at Casa de los Venados

If you are an art lover like me, make sure to visit Casa de Los Venados- the beautiful museum in Valladolid features over 3000 pieces of Mexican folk art! This museum also happens to be located in a private home.

This is not a public museum, but rather a private home that showcases the couple’s collection of Mexican folk art. The house itself is built in colonial style and considered a cultural and historical place of Valladolid.

The collection includes a wide variety of pieces, such as masks, ceramics, textiles, and sculptures. The items showcase the rich cultural traditions and craftsmanship of various regions in Mexico. Visiting Casa de Los Venados is one of the most unique things to do in Valladolid.

You can tour the house from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM every day. You’re required small donation of $5 for charity organizations.

Check out Calzada de los Frailes

One of the most prettiest and colorful streets I’ve ever seen in Mexico, Calzada de los Frailes is a quiet Pedestrian street whose colorful walls and doorways are the most photographed places in Valladolid!

One of the best things to do in Valladolid Mexico is to take a walk on Calzada de los Frailes, a must-see attraction of Valladolid!

Calzada de los Frailes is a cobblestone street that dates back to the 16th century. It once connected the settlement of Valladolid with the town of Sisal (where you’ll find the Convent of San Bernardino). 

Today, it is filled with colorful houses, boutique shops, flower boxes, and atmospheric cafes. Be sure to stop at the Bonito Mercado store, a store with beautiful walls that sells delicious cakes, kombucha, etc. This street is one of the reasons why Valladolid is listed as one of the Pueblo Magicos of Mexico. It is the perfect place to get the best Instagram worthy pictures in Valladolid.

Stroll through the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena

If you walk till the end of Calzada de los Frailes, you’ll end up at Parque Sisal, which houses the Convent of San Bernardino of Siena.

The Convent of San Bernardino de Siena dates to the 16th century was built to serve the dual purpose of a church and a fortress, and is worth a visit. It is considered to be one of the oldest colonial sites in the Yucatan and the second largest Franciscan church in the Yucatan, after the Convent of Izamal. 

best places to visit in Valladolid

The church’s charming decoration includes beautiful rose-colored walls, arches, some exquisite frescoes, and a small image of the Virgin on the altar. It is a complex of chapel, a former convent, the Temple of San Bernardino, and a garden.

There’s even an underground cenote here, which was used as part of an irrigation system during the time that a Franciscan order called the convent home.

You can watch a light and sound show in the evening that narrates stories from Yucatan history. It is free to watch. The show runs Tuesday through Sunday at 9:00 PM in Spanish and 9:30 PM in English.

Take a picture with the colorful Valladolid sign

You’ll find colorful signs all over Mexico and I am sure you’ll love to get clicked yourself with the one! After all, Valladolid is one of the pueblo magico of Mexico but trust me, this sign never gets old!

The sign is located right in front of the Convent of San Bernardino in the Parque Sisal. People are anyways obsessed with Instagram and a photograph with this sign is perfect for getting Instagram-worthy shots for your Mexico travel diary. It shows the colorful vibrant spirit of Valladolid and you must add it to your Valladolid itinerary.

Shop at Mercado Municipal

If you want to get a real feel of the Valladolid, visit the Mercado Municipal, where locals shop for fruits, vegetables, clothing, etc regularly.

Whether you want to shop for local ingredients, grab a cheap meal, shop for local clothes or just snap photos of the colorful fruit and vegetable stands, the stroll through the vibrant Mercado Municipal is worth a stop when you’re looking for the best things to do in Valladolid.

Remember to visit before 4:00 PM as it closes early.

Take a dip in Cenote Zaci

Valladolid is a great place to visit if you enjoy swimming in Cenotes! The reason, Valladolid is a great base to visit multiple cenotes in a single day! But, if you don’t have much time, you can visit Cenote Zaci right in the center of the Town!

best cenotes in Valladolid

cenote is a natural sinkhole carved into limestone bedrock by water. They look like something from the Indiana Jones movies! The water in these sinkholes can be remarkably clear. There are thousands of cenotes in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and a few best cenotes are located near Valladolid! 

Though Cenote Zaci isn’t considered magnificent if you are in the town and want to cool off, Cenote Zaci is the ideal place to take a quick stroll through it! There is also an onsite restaurant to grab a quick lunch!

Visit Instagrammable Places in Valladolid: Cenote Suytun

Cenotes are one of the most amazing creations by Mother Nature and there are thousands of Cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. You’ll find so many different types of Cenotes but my favorite is Cenote Suytun. This is my top recommendation for things to do in Valladolid.

Yes, it’s risen to enormous fame thanks to Instagram, but it’s one of those rare few places that’s Photogenic and if you catch it at the right time, it is indeed as magical as it appears in photos. I took the following photos with my iPhone and didn’t need any fancy photography equipment.

Most visited Cenote near Valladolid- Cenote Suytun

To avoid the crowds, you’ll want to go early in the morning like at 9 AM, but to try to capture the famous sunbeam, you’ll want to aim for a sunny day at mid-afternoon. It’s only a 12-minute drive from Valladolid.

We visited the Cenote Suytun as soon as the Cenote opened in the morning! The crowd was decent and got ample time to capture the photos! But if the crowd is more, you will only get a few minutes to take photos!

It’s only a 12-minute drive from Valladolid and is one of our favorite things to see in Valladolid, Mexico.

Visit the Musem of Tekila

More than a simple tequila shop, Museo Tekila has turned selling tequila and mezcal brands into an art. You will see the colors of Mexico in the building and it’s like the Aladdin’s cave of wonders as you browse! There are more than 100s of varieties of Tequila here and you can get testing for free.

museums to visit in Valladolid

This makes great gifts for people back home, and the experience itself is one of the coolest things to do in Valladolid! Even if you don’t like tequila, you can pop into the store for colorful art!

Relax at Parque Principal Francisco Canton Rosado

Facing the Church of San Servacio on one side and Hotel Mason del Marques on the other side, a sprawling green park is called the Francisco Canton Park. It is the heart of Valladolid and the center of all the activities!

But it’s worth noting that the park has an interesting history! This was the site of a massive Mayan pyramid in ancient times. The pyramid was demolished by the Spanish conquerors, who used the stones to build the church, city hall, and main houses.

Today, the park is a great place to enjoy a stroll and relax. Here, you’ll also find the Fountain of La Mestiza, located in the center of the park, which is an homage to the Yucatec woman, result of the fusion of Mayan and Spanish cultures.

Visit the Iglesia de la Candelaria

Head to the beautiful neighborhood of La Candelaria for a walk and visit the beautiful Church of Candelaria on Calle 35. The Candelaria district is one of the cutest areas in Valladolid, from its plaza to its church, everything is beautiful!

There is a small park in front of the church painted in a red sandstone-like color with pretty white borders. Locals have been worshiping Our Lady of Candelaria here for centuries now. It is believed the Virgin performed miracles and saved the people of Valladolid from epidemics and fires.

Every year, between the end of January and the beginning of February, Valladolid celebrates the Virgin of Candelaria with religious festivities and craft fairs. The church is small but beautiful in architecture and you can check out the nearby restaurants and cafes while you visit here.

People-watch in the zocalo(Main Square)

As with all great Latin American pueblos, Valladolid has a delightful Central Plaza. Valladolid’s zocalo, or main square, attracts tourists as well as locals.

Claim a bench in the Parque Principal Francisco Canton Rosado, and watch the world go by. It’s a charming, peaceful place, and one of the best places to visit in Valladolid.

Here you will find tourist attractions like overpriced restaurants and the local tourism office, local food stalls and you’ll also find practical things as the taxi stands in front of the Iglesia de San Servicio, where you can negotiate rates for trips out of Valladolid town, and hear the calling of tour guides trying to stop their visitors getting run over!! That sounds dreamy enough!

See some art at Kuxtal Cafe

One of the best things to do in Valladolid is find local arts! And it’s even better if the place serves good coffee!

Try Kuxtal Cafe & Mexican Art located on Calzada de los Frailes, it is one of the favorite place for art and coffee lovers.

Visit the Church of Santa Ana

If you have more time in Valladolid, head to the Santa Ana neighborhood, in the center of Valladolid.

Santa Ana Church is the oldest church in Valladolid and a perfect example of colonial architecture. The church is painted in yellow and looks like one of the fine examples of Yucatan architecture.

Visit the Murem Museum 

The Murem Museum in Valladolid is an interesting place to understand Mexican history and culture through clothing. 

On what was formerly a hotel, the Mexican Ethnic Clothing Museum (MUREM) was established in 2018. They have all kinds of clothing from traditional and contemporary to showcase the diversity of different unique ethnic groups of Mexico. For just 50 MXN, you receive a personal guided tour of the collection with tours available in English and Spanish.

Photograph the Colorful Walls

One of the things that makes Valladolid so beautiful is the plethora of colorful colonial walls.

The colorful pastel walls are excellent backdrops for photographs and the perfect sight to enjoy as you stroll down the street.

While you walk around the city, make sure to see an iconic Volkswagen beetle parked in front of a colorful wall! Valladolid is one of the most photogenic places to visit in Mexico.

Watch a traditional Nightly dance performance

Every evening at 5:30 PM, you’ll find traditional Jarana dance shows at the Parque Principal (main square). The dancers are usually dressed in colorful Yucatan dresses and they put on quite an entertaining show.

Yes, it’s a bit touristy things to do in Valladolid but it’s free to watch! But you’re only expected to pay a small tip in the end for performers. This is one of the best things to do at night in Valladolid, Mexico.

Visit the Xkopek Beekeeping Park

I had no idea Valladolid offered a bee tour. When I visited Valladolid, I didn’t know about this place, but it is one of the best places to visit in Valladolid with kids for sure.

The Xkopek beekeeping reserve is a quiet natural retreat where you can learn about beekeeping. There is a restaurant, a pool, and a dry cenote on the site. You can learn all about Mayan beekeeping and honey collection at Xkopek Beekeeping Park. 

You can book this popular Valladolid Mayan Bees tour that includes honey tasting and a stop at the souvenir shop, where you can purchase indigenous Mayan honey, soap, and other items.

Take a Bike Tour to Cenotes

There are so many cenotes in and around Valladolid that you may go on an exciting locally-run cenote bike excursion. You’ll get a chance to swim in multiple cenotes such as Cenote Oxman, Cenote Chukum, Cenote Samula, Cenote Xkeken, and Cenote Dzitnup in one day.

It is a great way to tick off the best things to do in Valladolid at once while supporting locals along the way.

Rent A Scooter/Bike And Explore

If you know how to ride a scooter, it’s a great way to explore Valladolid and surrounding areas. don’t feel brave enough to rent a Scooter, then you can easily rent bikes in Valladolid.

The town is very small and easy to get around! It’s such a bike-friendly town and I think it’s a great idea to just get a bike and cycle around and see what you discover. Renting a bike is also a great way to tick off the things to do in the Valladolid list!

Scooters & Bikes Rental Maya Quest is the best place to rent (we rented from them). It’s located at the main square at Calle 33 entre 42 y 44, Candelaria, 97780 Valladolid, Mexico. You can also check out Scooter Rent Valladolid.

Visit the Chocolate Museum: Choco-story

Who doesn’t like a chocolate museum?! Well, we’ve got no shortage of things to do in Valladolid for those who love to try new things for their tastebuds, and the Choco-History Museum is another Valladolid hidden gem.

Cacao and chocolate are important in Mayan culture, used originally as an ancient currency and then becoming a huge international export. You’ll learn about various phases of fascinating chocolate history.

It’s a informative museum, with info available in 6 languages, and a short tasting at the end. The entrance fee to the chocolate museum is 140 pesos, but if you don’t want to visit the actual museum, you can just visit the chocolate gift shop!

If you are looking for a fun thing to do in Valladolid, with kids or without, the Choco-Story Museum is worth visiting!

Take a Walking Tour of Valladolid

If you’re a history and architecture lover, you must do a walking tour of Valladolid. There’s no better way to experience the beauty and colonial architecture of Valladolid than on a walking tour with a local.

There is a tourist information center in the main plaza and they organize free evening walking tours by locals. They’ll meet you by the Mestiza Fountain at the central square. Find them with red umbrellas. Even though the tour is free, tips are highly recommended.

So if you want to find out more about Yutan culture and Valladolid in general, then I think this is a really good option!

Foodie Lovers Things to do in Valladolid, Mexico

Try marquesitas in Valladolid

Marquesitas are a street-food dessert that you’ll find everywhere in Valladolid and Yucatan.

These are crispy crepes that are filled with sweet treats. You can opt for cream cheese, Nutella, and chocolate. Best Marquesitas are found with street vendors near Francisco Canton Park in the evening. 

Dine at La Casona de Valladolid

If you want to dine at a fancy restaurant head to La Casona de Valladolid near Main Square. The restaurant is housed in centuries-old mansion that exudes colonial charm. The antique furniture, elegant lighting, and modern comfort are the perfect places to dine in Valladolid.

The restaurant specializes in Yucatan traditional dishes with a unique combination of spices and flavors. Vegetarian options are also offered.

If you dine here don’t forget to click the photo of the back patio that has a fountain with a beautiful altarpiece made with Talavera tiles. It’s one of the most beautiful things to do in Valladolid for art lovers.

Have some gelato at Wabi

If you’re tired from all the walking around Valladolid’s old town, swing by Wabi Gelato shop for a serious treat because their homemade gelatos are out of this world. 

There are a handful of flavors like classic chocolate mango, pineapple, etc. But you will surely relish every bit of whatever you have at Wabi.

Take a cooking class with a local 

Learn how to cook traditional Mexican dishes in Valladolid in this small-group, Mexican cooking class. This includes a visit to the local market where you can pick your fresh ingredients and then head to the kitchen and prepare the best Mexican meal of your life.

Surely, this is one of the best ways to relish local Mexican flavors while learning on your own!

Have Dinner at Hotel Meson de Marques

For a proper meal, head to the hugely popular Meson del Marques (a favorite among locals and visitors). Overlooking the main square, this restaurant is a fixture in Valladolid’s culinary scene. We stayed at Hotel Meson del Marques and we dined here for breakfast and dinner.

Built-in traditional 16th-century architecture with a patio and traditional music in the background, this restaurant creates a very welcoming atmosphere to dine in. This is also a great spot to eat Yucatan regional dishes like panuchos de cochinita.

best places to eat in Valladolid

But if you are vegetarian like us, this place is excellent for trying local Yucatan dishes as the staff understands English very well. They prepared a vegetarian version of local dishes for us which was delicious. Also, don’t forget their Jamaica Margaritas with spicy chilly!

Experience the Nightlife of Valladolid

Though Valladolid is small, you’ll find the best bars in the town! After all day’s exploration, its the perfect time to settle into one of the bar’s stools, order some mezcal, and brush off your Spanish for some friendly chit-chat with the locals!

Cantina La Joyita is famous among locals as well as tourists. The bar serves botana Mexican tapas and standards like tamales and quesadillas. If you want drinks with views, head to Mirador Don Alfonso, the tables sit on a terrace right over the main square overlooking the San Servacio church.

Best Day Trips From Valladolid

Some of the best places to visit near Valladolid can be done as easy day trips. You can visit offbeat Mayan Ruins, World Wonder Chichen Itza and so many offbeat Cenotes and colorful cities of Rivera Maya as a day trip from Valladolid.

Here are some of my favorite day trip options from Valladolid, Mexico.

Explore Chichen Itza

This is the main reason why many people visit Valladolid Mexico. Taking a day trip to visit Chichen Itza is easily one of the most popular things to do in Valladolid, Mexico. And it’s no wonder why: after all, this incredible Mayan ruins is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World!

A huge part of the reason that people choose Valladolid as a base is its proximity to Chichen Itza, it’s just a 40-minute drive from Valladolid.

Visiting Chichen Itza Mexico

If you’re staying in Valladolid, you can arrive at the entry gates right when it opens before the tourist buses arrive from Cancun, Tulum, or Playa del Carman for tours to Chichen Itza. 

Pro Tip: If you’re staying in Valladolid overnight, you can reach here super early in the morning before the crowds get there. Get up early and try to be at Chichen Itza at 8 AM when it opens, or at least before 10:00 AM when the tour buses from Cancun and Rivera Maya arrive. This Popular Tour from Valladolid will get you there first thing!

I have already written a post about Chichen Itza, you can read my Chichen Itza Guide here.

Float in Cenote Ik-Kil

No trip to Chichen Itza is complete without a swim in the Cenote Ik Kil, a sinkhole that is connected to Chichen Itza by a raised pathway. It’s said that this large natural well may have given Chichen Itza (“Well of the Itzáes”) its name. 

Cenote Ik Kil is located near Chichen Itza and is frequently combined with a trip to the pyramids.

This Cenote might be the most touristy thing to do in Valladolid but it’s beautiful! It has circular opening with lush green vines dangling over the water.

Climb the Pyramids of Ek Balam Ruins & Cenote Xcanche

If you want to visit the Mayan Ruins without the crowds like Chichen Itza, then check out the Ek Balam Archeological site.

Located just 30 minutes from the Valladolid city center, the stunning Mayan ruins of Ek Balam is equally impressive and far less commercialized!

The archaeological site at Ek Balam is notable for its one-of-a-kind stucco sculptures that aren’t found at many other Mayan sites in Mexico.

It’s also still possible to climb to the top of the pyramids of Ek Balam. From the top, you can get panoramic views of lush green jungles as far as the eye can see! 

Ek Balam Mayan Ruins near Valladolid

Most of the Mexican Mayan sites sit near the sacred Cenotes and Ek Balam is no exception! Located in the same complex as Ek Balam, Cenote Xcanche is one of the most beautiful and offbeat places to visit in Valladolid.

Cenote Xcanche is surrounded by the jungle, with tree roots hanging over clear blue water and wooden bridges running along the sides of the cenote making it the perfect place to swim after climbing the Pyramids!

There are colectivo that can take you to Ek Balam from Valladolid. Alternatively, a half-day excursion, which includes both the archaeological site and the cenote, is a good way to see the ruins.

Coba ruins

Further away from Valladolid is the far less visited archaeological site of Coba. The ancient city of Coba dates back to as early as 100 AD and the huge complex features several different temples and ball courts. 

The largest structure here, Noohoch Mul, reaches 137 feet and it’s the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula. You can explore the ruins by hiring a tricycle here. To visit Coba Ruins from Valladolid, it’s better to visit by Bike or on tour.

Swim in the Trio of Cenotes at Coba

The ancient city of Coba is located right next to three cenotes: Cenotes Tamcach-HaChoo-Ha, and Multum-Ha.  All three cenotes are underground caverns accessible by spiral stairways.

 Unlike other cenotes around the Tulum or Valladolid, Coba Cenotes are an entirely enclosed underground cave. Coba Cenotes with hundreds of stalactites hanging from the cavern’s ceiling with clear water are worth visiting on a day trip to Coba ruins from Valladolid.

Uayama Church

The Uayma is a small town located just outside the city of Valladolid (20 minutes by car). The town is well-known for its beautiful 17th-century church convent de Santo Domingo with a stunning facade.

What made it so striking was the the décor both inside and out, with stucco flowers carved into the walls and then painted with red, white, and blue. If you’re visiting Valladolid, must pay a visit to this beautiful church.

Wander around the Yellow City – Izamal

A 1.5-hour drive away from Valladolid is Izamal, one of the most photogenic towns in the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s popularly known as the Yellow City of Mexico as most of the buildings are painted in yellow here!

Besides the cute yellow architecture, there are also Mayan ruins in the center of town and the historic Convent of San Antonio de Padua is worth seeing. Izamal makes a great stop en route to Merida, the biggest city in Yucatan. You can spend an afternoon here, as part of your Yucatan road trip Itinerary.

Explore the Cultural Capital of Mexico, Merida

Merida is one of the most beautiful and colorful cities of Yucatan, located at 2 hrs drive from Valladolid. Merida is known as the cultural capital of the Yucatan state because of its treasure trove of historical monuments, beautiful Cenotes and rich heritage.

See Flamingoes and Pink Lakes of Rio Lagartos

If you love the nature-focused day trip, head 1.5 hrs from Valladolid to the northern Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, along the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll find Rio Lagartos.

Known for its wildlife, Rio Lagartos is located at a lagoon and natural reserve. This makes it a perfect habitat for exotic wildlife species. You can spot crocodiles, and hundreds of different species of birds, including Pink flamingos. 

Pink flamingos in Rio Lagartos Mexico

A little 10 Km further east lies Las ColoradasThe Pink Lakes of Mexico. They aren’t natural lakes but are owned by salt factories! But they look bright Pink as in Pictures all over social media due to Plankton and red algae that live in these salt flats, giving them their distinct pink color.

Getting to Rio Lagartos from Valladolid by public transport is a bit difficult, so renting a car is a better option. But if you don’t want to drive, I would suggest taking this Popular combo tour from Valladolid that also includes a stop at Ek Balam along the way.

Best Restaurants in Valladolid, Mexico

Valladolid may be small, but it’s a great place to try regional Mayan cuisines. But apart from that, you can also find modern bistros to traditional local joints, there’s something for everyone in Valladolid. And the best part is, it’s not that expensive!

where to eat in Valladolid
Rooftop views & Bar at Hotel Meson del Marques
  • Meson del Marques: Our favorite place to eat in Valladolid. This historical restaurant is a go-to place for both locals and tourists. It’s a great spot to try Yucatan regional dishes, and also serve Vegetarian dishes. The staff understands English very well.
  • Ix Cat Ik Mayan Cuisine: A very unique place to learn about Mayan cuisines and try some typical Mayan dishes. It’s not a fancy restaurant but a simple place that uses traditional Mayan ingredients and cooking methods.
  • ConKafecito: A very cute and popular coffee shop with good drinks and pastries.
  • La Ville Bistro: You’ll love the interior of this cute corner cafe. The coffee and breakfast are good here!
  • Restaurante El Atrio del Mayab: It has a nice lush backyard with great cocktails. The food is also good with an amazing atmosphere.
  • Conato Valladolid: Reasonably priced with a great menu and food. The yard offers alfresco dining amidst a lush garden and artwork with Mexican live music playing on some days.

Where to Stay in Valladolid, Mexico

I recommend staying close to the main square a few blocks away from Main Square as you can walk almost everywhere in the town within a few minutes. But Valladolid has so many options that suit the budget backpacker and those with a comfortable budget! Here are some recommendations for your stay in Valladolid.

Luxury Hotels

Le Muuch Hotel — This is one of the most gorgeous boutique hotels that offers spacious rooms, two beautiful swimming pools with excellent service, and serves the best breakfast in the town. The hotel has lots of colonial charm and is located at a convenient location within walking distance of Valladolid’s major sights(has excellent reviews).

Hotel Zentik Project & Salina Cave — This is a one-of-a-kind adult only hotel that has boho chic vibes similar to Tulum! The star attraction is the private underground saline cave pool. It’s pretty incredible.

Olbil Boutique Hotel — If you want to feel the Jungle vibes of Bali, this adult only boutique hotel is the perfect place to stay in Valladolid. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, spacious rooms, and a restaurant on site with an excellent location including a spa, this is the perfect place to stay for couples. (most rated & highly recommended)

Hotel Meson Del Marques

Mid-Range Hotels

Hotel Meson del Marques — We loved our stay at this colonial hotel. Housed in a 17th-century house, this is a luxury pick for those looking to stay in the main square and want to feel local! The service is excellent and it has spacious rooms, Pool and much more. You’ll love the rooftop views of the cathedral.

Colonte Hotel Origen — With a boho-chic interior, this boutique hotel has Tulum vibes and stylish furnishings that feature rustic luxury.  

Hotel Fundadores — This wonderful hotel is in a great location, swimming pool, stylish rooms, and again, very highly rated.

Hotel Posada San Juan — The highest-rated hotel in Valladolid, Hotel Posada San Juan offers a gorgeous pool and the hotel is a converted colonial home. It’s Perfect for old historical charm in Valladolid.

Budget Hotels & Hostels

Real Haciendas — It is a great idea to stay in a hacienda when in Valladolid. They come in all sizes and budgets and offer a Garden and pool. It’s so much fun to stay in a historic building that is too on budget!

Hostel Candelaria — Featuring a perfect location in the center of Valladolid, colorful decor, hundreds of perfect reviews with friendly staff large public spaces, and plenty of dorm and private room lodging options, Hostel Candelaria is the best choice for budget travelers.

Hostel Tunich Naj & Hotel — One of the most reviewed and booked hostels in Valladolid.

Casa San Roque Valladolid — This fabulous and beautiful hotel with a swimming pool, gorgeous rooms, great location, and it’s highly rated!

How Many Days You Need In Valladolid?

To make the most of your trip to Valladolid in Mexico, I recommend you stay at least 2 nights. But I am sure you can easily spend 3 nights here looking for so many things to do in Valladolid as I mentioned in this post!

3 days are perfect for seeing all the major highlights including all the top things to do in Valladolid, day trips to nearby cenotes, and of course, seeing the world wonder Chichen Itza.

Practical information for visiting Valladolid

The best time to visit Valladolid

With a warm tropical climate, Valladolid is considered a year-round destination. In general, the best time to visit Valladolid is between November and March, when the temperatures are mild.

The shoulder-season months of March-April and October-November are a great time to visit Valladolid because of lower fares and fewer tourists.

June to August is the warmest time of the year and it gets extremely humid. August and September are the rainiest months in Valladolid, so try to avoid these months if possible.

We visited Valladolid in April-May and the weather was great with no rain and a clear sky! But Mexico being a tropical country, it may get hot during the day, so pack accordingly!

How to Get to Valladolid, Mexico

Take ADO Bus

Located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Valladolid is easily accessible from popular beach towns like Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen via ADO Bus. Depending on the origin it takes 2-3 hrs to reach Valladolid.

It’s about 2 hours (155 km) from Cancun, about 1.45 hrs (140 km) from Playa del Carmen, 1.5 hrs (100 km) from Tulum and 1.45 hrs (160 km) from Merida.

ADO bus isn’t that expensive but super comfortable and reliable. You can check the ADO website for bus timings and book the tickets online. Sometimes, many American credit cards don’t work on the site, so you may have to go to the bus station to buy tickets directly.

Also, note that there are No direct buses to Valladolid from Cancun airport. ADO Bus departs from Cancun’s downtown Bus Station, so first you’ll need to take bus from Cancun airport to Cancun downtown. There is a ticket booth for the ADO Bus at Cancun airport.

Insider tip: Valladolid is in the Yucatan State of Mexico and Cancun is under Quintana Roo state. So, Valladolid & Chichen Itza is one hour ahead of Cancun. When you drive or catch a bus, make sure to keep this in mind.

Renting a car

The best way to get to Valladolid is by renting a car. Driving in Mexico is an easy and cheap option because of the freedom it gives in visiting surrounding Valladolid attractions like Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Cenote Suyun, and more. So, I would recommend renting a car for a couple of days for your Yucatan Peninsula trip.

If you’re planning to rent a car, it’s very important to note that there are no car rental agencies in Valladolid. You’ll need to hire a car from Cancun or at Cancun airport before you start your Yucatan road trip.

Also, be careful about the Scams in Mexico where car rental companies are known to advertise low prices and then charge loads for “mandatory” insurance. That’s why I always suggest using Discover Car to compare the prices and they have best agencies.

Taking a Day Trip to Valladolid

If you are coming from Cancun or Playa Del Carmen then you’ll be given the option of a day trip to Valladolid. Valladolid is often combined with a trip to Chichen Itza.

But make sure you don’t get ripped off while booking tours! It’s always better to book online via Viator or Get Your Guide. You can always compare prices online when booking the tours!

Check out these popular & highly rated tours from Cancun:

How to Get Around Valladolid

Getting around Valladolid is very easy. It’s a pretty small town and you can simply walk and see the best attractions in Valladolid in one day! Valladolid is pretty walkable!

You can reach the nearby cenotes and Mayan ruins through a combination of taxis, colectivos, bikes, scooter rentals (for nearby sights like Cenote Suytun), and organized tours. Colectivos are minivans and usually leave once they get filled up. Many hotels offer bike rentals for around 20 to 25 pesos ($1) per hour.

Valladolid Mexico Travel FAQ

Is Valladolid Mexico worth visiting?

Valladolid in Mexico is absolutely worth visiting because of its colonial history, beautiful Cenotes, colonial buildings, photogenic colorful streets, traditional food, and an exquisite mix of Mayan and Spanish cultures. Valladolid is also one of Mexico’s pueblo magicos which makes it an amazing travel destination of Rivera Maya.

Is Valladolid Mexico safe?

Valladolid is a pretty safe place to visit in Mexico. We had no issues and everyone was super friendly when we visited Mexico. It was pretty safe walking around and exploring no matter the time of the day or night! The small-town atmosphere and friendly locals will make you feel at home. But as with any other destination in the world, take precautions and you should be just fine!

What is the prettiest street in Valladolid?

The Calzada de los Frailes is considered one of the prettiest streets in Valladolid, lined with colorful colonial buildings and boutique shops.

What is Valladolid Mexico known for?

Valladolid, Mexico is known for its picturesque streets, many cenotes, and of course its proximity to Chichen Itza. 

What are the facts about Valladolid?

Valladolid was founded in 1543 and is the third-largest city in the Yucatan Peninsula. Valladolid is the setting of two of Mexico’s most significant events: the Caste War in 1847 and the “first spark of the Mexican Revolution” in 1910. The city is home to the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, one of the oldest churches in the Americas.

Is it safe to walk at night in Valladolid?

Valladolid is generally safe to walk at night, but it’s always wise to stick to well-lit, main areas and avoid walking alone at night.

Which is the secret cenote near Valladolid?

Cenote Palomitas is a lesser-known cenote near Valladolid, offering a more secluded and peaceful experience compared to the more popular cenotes which are highly commercialized.

What is there to do in Valladolid at night?

At night, you can watch the sound and light show at San Bernardino Convent, stop by Sao Roque Museum, and enjoy the chilled vibes at the bar in Main Square with some live music.

Did I convince you to visit Valladolid? Hope you enjoyed reading this post on great things to do in Valladolid, Mexico. It is truly a unique place to visit in Mexico!

The amazing Mayan history & ruins, friendly people, and cheaper prices make it perfect to stay for a few days during your Mexico trip. Save this post or Pin it for later!!

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