Valladolid is a quaint colonial town in the Yucatan peninsula (and state!) of Mexico. We stopped overnight during our two week family Mexico vacation, since it was roughly half-way between our previous stop (Merida) and our last, Puerto Aventuras (between Playa Del Carmen and Cancun). I had read about Valladolid and knew there was a cenote in town (though I had no idea how stunning it really was), an impressive church, and a hotel with an underground cave pool. If I would’ve known how beautiful this little town was, I would have stayed longer! Since I had only booked it for one night, we had less than 24 hours but still managed to see some of the town highlights!
Valladolid is conveniently almost smack in the middle between the historical Yucatan capital of Merida, and the tourist hotspot of Cancun. About 2 hours (150 kms give or take) from each city.
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Where to Stay in Valladolid
Originally, I had wanted to stay at Hotel Zenti’k Project which has a hot, underground, cave pool! But then, to my dismay, I found out it was adults only. I decided on getting a room close to the central park (Francisco Canton Rosado Park) so we could easily walk to the sights. La Aurora Hotel Colonial is what I decided on due to its location, pool, and the fact there were ‘hot tubs’ on the rooftop! Read my full review on La Aurora Hotel Colonial here.
Must-See Attractions in Valladolid:
- Francisco Canton Rosado Park
- San Gervasio Cathedral
- Cenote Zací
- Candelaria Park (Parque Candelaria)
- Calzada de los Frailes
- San Bernardino of Sienna Convent
These are some of the things you really should not miss if you visit Valladolid! Unfortunately, we were not able to get to all of them in our short stay but were impressed with what we did see. It really is hard to move too fast when you’re dragging 3 kids around!
Francisco Canton Rosado Park / San Gervasio Cathedral
In many Latin American towns and cities, there is a square with a church on it in the center of town. In Valladolid, the central park is Francisco Canton Rosado Park. Overlooking the park, you will find San Gervasio Cathedral, an artisan market, several restaurants and shops, an open air food court, as well as Casa de Los Venados which contains over 3000+ paintings in a private home.
We also saw a chocolate shop on the corner which looked very similar to the one we had visited in Merida. Well, turns out they are sister shops! Great quality chocolate everything can be found there! So, if you are a chocolate lover like me, you won’t want to miss it! I recommend the chocolate covered coffee beans!
Later in Francisco Canton Rosado Park (or the main square as I have been calling it!), we chanced upon a Quinceanera at the cathedral and a Mayan dance performance.
Cenote Zaci was beautiful and surprisingly much larger than I had imagined. The few accounts I had read about Cenote Zaci (located in the center of town) had made it seem worth-a-visit but not as amazing as it really was! See for yourself! Cenote Zaci was only about 2 or 3 blocks east of Francisco Rosado Park and the big San Gervasio Cathedral.
Cost: 60 pesos (about $4 CAD, around $3 USD) per adult, kids 5+ are half price, while kids under 5 are FREE
We didn’t even discover cute, little, Parque Candelaria (Candelaria Park) until about an hour before we left Valladolid. The park was directly across the road (and through a pedestrian-only street) from our hotel. We ventured over because I had read the best pizza in town was located on the square (only a block from where we were staying)! Unfortunately, it turned out that the famous Italian restaurant was closed – they only open for supper. But, we found a cute little café a couple doors down and really enjoyed some sandwiches along with the quiet and beauty of this charming spot. And the kids loved the playground! So, it was relaxing for all. And I couldn’t get enough of the perfect, pretty, buildings surrounding the Park!
What We Missed
We didn’t make it down the Calzada de los Frailes and to the Convent of San Bernardino. I wanted to, but we simply ran out of time. If you want to add it to your trip, check out this ladies info on it!
Other Places of Interest Close to Valladolid
Have you visited Valladolid? Did I miss any amazing places? Let me know in the comments below if there is something missing from my list!