Valladolid is a small city of 56,000 people (2020) in the state of Yucatán that is about a 45-minute drive from the (lesser-used) east entrance of Chichén Itzá. It offers an alternative base for visiting the ruins, while having its own charms as well -- although further from the ruins than the town of Piste, Valladolid is less tourist-oriented and has more historic charm. It is one of the "Magical Towns of Mexico".
Climate Valladolid has a tropical wet and dry climate. Valladolid's climate is hot and humidity is moderate to high, depending on the time of year. The average annual high temperature is 33 °C (91 °F), ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) in January to 36 °C (97 °F) in May, but temperatures often rise above 38 °C (100 °F) in the afternoon in this time. Low temperatures range between 18 °C (64 °F) in January to 23 °C (73 °F) in May and June. It is most often a few degrees hotter in Valladolid than coastal areas due to its inland location and low elevation. The rainy season runs from June through October, associated with the Mexican monsoon which draws warm, moist air landward. Easterly waves and tropical storms also affect the area during this season.
Valladolid is just off the toll highway (180D) between Cancún and Merida; the exit is about 5 km (3 miles) north of the center of town. The old highway (180) runs east-west through the centre of town, and highway 295 connects south towards Chetumal, and north to the toll highway and Ek Balam. Both highways run right through the centre of town on one-way streets, forming the four sides of the central town square.
You can have a look on Blablacar for shared rides. Especially from Cancun amd Mérida there should be some. Check also from other cities of the Yucatan peninsula.
- 1 Terminal de Autobuses (main bus station), Calle 39 No 221, Col Centro (NE corner of C/ 39 & 46, a couple blocks west of the central plaza (Parque Francisco Canton) along C/ 39), ☏ . Frequent first class services with ADO, ADO GL to Cancun (2 hr to east); Merida (2 hr 15 min west) and Playa del Carmen (1 hr 30 min to the southeast). Passengers transfer in Merida or Playa del Carmen to get to additional cities.
There are second class services with ATS, Oriente and Mayab to other surrounding towns & villages nearby such as to Piste, Chichen Itza, Ticul, Tiziman, and further out to Merida and Playa del Carmen. The ride will take longer with the frequent stops to get beyond the immediate area on second class buses.
Inside the shop of the Terminal is a BanCoppel ATM, charging for a withdrawal just M$18 (Jan 2022).
- 2 Terminal de Autotransportes de Oriente Viejo (Old bus station), Calle 37 / Calle 54 (further west along Calle 37). The old bus station is now a second class bus station for buses going to Merida, Cancun, El Progreso, El Piste, Chichen Itza, Tiziman, Izamal, etc with Autocentro, Mayab and Oriente. The ride will take longer with the frequent stops to travel longer distances.
Valladolid is small enough to make walking a reasonable choice within town.
To explore the city you can also rent bicycles at a reasonable rate.
You can check Uber, if there are cars available. Otherwise you can put the displayed price into the app of inDriver and maybe increase it slightly.
Other alternative choices are taxis (Be aware the drivers do not speak English). A 6 minute and 2 km ride costs about M$35 (Jan 2022). As always, agree on the price before.
There are no city buses in Valladolid. Only colectivos (minibuses) going on the federal roads out of town for example to the western and northern direction, but not south.
It is possible to rent a scooter and use it to drive around the city and to nearby sights. It should cost no more than M$ 400 per person per day, depending on your haggling skills.
Locally the streets or Calles are numbered with the odd numbered streets going east and west and even numbered streets going north and south. The street numbers get higher as you go from east to west and from north to south. Directions and addresses can be given with the locations such as Calle 41 No 201, entre 42 y 44 meaning Building #201 along Calle 41 (going east & west) between 42 & 44 (going north & south)
- Parque Fransisco Canton Rosado, the central town square, is surrounded by pretty colonial-style buildings that maintain much of their historic character.
- The Catedral de San Gervasio, located on the south side of the town square.
- Cenote Zací. A spectacular sinkhole located in a public park only few hundred meters from the central plaza, this cenote is traversed by a walking path that passes under a curtain of stalactites in an overhang area. It has been temporarily closed for renovation for some months (Oct 2022).
- The Calzada de los Frailes (Calle 41A) is a 10-minute walk south from the town square. This street consists of colonial homes with great architecture. It commences at the "cinco calles" and it ends at the park of the ex-convent San Bernardino de Siena.
- The Ex-Convent San Bernardino de Siena is in the neighbourhood of sisal a 10-15 minute walk south from the town square. This 15th-century ex-convent and church is situated around a public park where you can sit and enjoy tranquility. MX$40 - Mon-Sat. MX$20 - Sun.
- The Museo de San Roque is a few hundred meters from the central plaza. This museum contains Mayan and colonial artifacts and traditional items.
Valladolid has tranquility and a small town charm. You can visit several Cenotes within the area and two are close enough to hire bicycles from a nearby vendor. Visit "Cenote Dzinup" — you will love it. As well you can go sightseeing of the architecture and mingle with the people of the city.
Out of town trips
Valladolid has a good modernised bus station (near the main square) which connects it with the surrounding towns and tourist destinations. There are frequent services to all major destinations.
- 1 Ek Balam – 28 km. Visit the Maya ruins of, an impressive archaeological site only about 30 minutes drive north of Valladolid. You can climb the tallest ruin which has been partially restored. This gives you a 360° view of the surroundings. This ruin is way less crowded than Chichen Itza and it provides a similiar experience. Entrance is M$ 150, this can be bought together with entrance to nearby Cenote X-Canché for M$ 300. You can even haggle about the price.
- 2 Chichén Itzá – 40 km. The largest and most famous ancient Maya site in Yucatan, is to the west; Valladolid is close enough to the ruins to be a convenient base. The entry fee is M$571 (Oct 2022). It's open daily 8:00-17:00.
- Further west than Chichen are another charming small Yucatecan city, 3 Izamal – 130 km.
- 4 Cenote Palomitas - 30 km away, a tourist complex with two large, beautiful cenotes with lots of stalactites. M$150 for each or M$300 for both, can be haggled to less. Can be easily reached by car or (motor)bike.
The following are taxis and colectivos (shared ride taxis & vans) to towns and villages in the surrounding areas. They are generally quicker in getting there than buses. With the agreements they have with the local taxi unions they cannot provide local taxi services. They are:
- 3 Colectivos to Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil, Balankanche Caves and Piste, Calle 39 No 215, between C. 46 and 48 (main entrance west of the main bus station.). For all mentioned destinations the fare is M$40.
- 4 Taxis & colectivos to Ek Balam and Hunuku (village) (Calle 37 between C. 42 & 44). The name of the place is Sitio de Taxi UnTrac.
- 5 Taxis to Tizimin (Sitios Taxis Foraneos), Calle 40 between C. 35 and 37 (inside and in front of the "Estacionmento Centro" building. In Google Maps it's called "Sitio de Taxis Foráneos, Ruta Valladolid-Tizimin".).
- 6 Collectivos to Ek Balam Ruins, Calle 44 just north of Calle 37.
ATMs with low withdrawal fees in the center are BanCoppel, Banco Azteca (inside the elektra store) and banamex.
For buying groceries, there are minimarkets (tiendas) and Oxxos around. A bigger variety have the 1 Bodega La Favorita and the 2 La Surtidora del Hogar Centro. In the east and south of the center are the Dunosusa supermarkets and Super Willys with a good variety of products. In the west of the center is the 3 big supermarket Soriana.
Buy wood carvings and traditional clothing and bags made from henequen from the vendors on the central Plaza and the grounds of "Cenote Zaci"Hand made shoes and sandals at the central Plaza.
Visit Yalat Boutique right at the Main Square, the place is filled with original artwork, fine jewelry, and is dedicated to master works and fine Mexican artcrafts including exquisite ceramic Jainas and Maya vessels that are exquisite. Owner very friendly, speaks perfect English, a bit of German and French.
Visit the Coqui Coqui Perfumery and Spa in the Calzada de los Frailes on the way of the Convent. All the perfumes they sell are from the yucatan peninsula, amazing fragrances as the agave or the flor de mayo. Also a very nice garden.
- Casa de los Venados, Calle 40 #204. Private residence with a Mexican folk art collection of approx. 3,000 museum-quality pieces. American owners, when they are in residence, very generiously show people the collection.
Typical dishes of the region are:
- Lomitos de Valladolid which is a pork dish in fresh tomato sauce
- Cochinita pibil meat marinated in achiote, and spices, wrapped in banana leaf and barbecued or baked in a pit
- lechon al horno
- bistek de cazuela
- relleno negro which is turkey cooked with a paste of charred chillies and vegetables with bits of hard-boiled eggs
- frijol con puerco
- chicken in escabeche
- longaniza, which are a type of pork-based salami sausage with traditional condiments.
Local traditional candies are based on materials from the region such as honey, coconut, corn and others. Traditional ice cream is also very popular. The most common flavours are coconut, corn and fruits of the region as guanabana, mamey sapote and others.
To get the local dishes, head to the 1 Mercado De Comida in the center. Mains costs about M$80-110 (Jan 2022).
There is a few street food in Valladolid.
2 El tigrillo. Tasty tortas for M$25 (Jan 2022). The bread is super soft and you may not have tried that meat before. The food stall is shown inside Google Maps. The opening hours on Google Maps may not be correct. In January 2022 it was open around 17:00-19:00.
All these are in the city center:
- 3 Taqueria Don Trejo, Calle 44 #202H X 41 Y 43. Simple authentic restaurant. Tacos with carnitas and pastor meat for M$16 (Jan 2022). Also served are vegetarian tacos, tortas, gringas and quesadillas. They have a menu card in english. It's open M-F 8:00-22:00 and on weekends 9:00-22:00
- 4 Tostilocos, C.44x39. Super tasty with many ingredients. You can choose between Tostitos or Doritos nachos. The price is just M$35 (Jan 2022). It's sold in the evenings inside the Tortillería “El rosario”.
- 5 La Palapita de los Tamales, Calle 42 x 33 y 35 numero 181 cp 97780.
- 6 El Paisa Carnitas, C. 46 199M.
- 7 Loncheria Olich, Calle 40 No 179 B entre Calle 33 y 35.
- 8 El Sazón de Valladolid, Valladolid - Cancun 231 A x 48 y 50.
- 9 El Meson de Marques, Calle 39 203 X40 Y 42. A hotel on the north side of the town square, offers dining beside a charming interior courtyard, with excellent food. Mains in the M$200-350 range (Jan 2022).
- 10 Casa Italia, Calle 35, #202J por 44 y 42 (interior del Parque). A small and charming Italian restaurant on the south edge of the square in Candelaria, four blocks north and one block west of the main square. Their pizzas, baked in a wood-fueled oven, are wonderful and inexpensive.
- 11 Restaurante El Atrio del Mayab, C. 41 204, ☏ . A restaurant with a beautiful patio that specializes in regional cuisine and provides great cocktails.
- Maruja Cafe, Bar y Galeria, Calle 41 #202A (South side of the main Plaza), ☏ . 08:00-22:00. Full service bar, great Maya organically grown coffee & chocolate, deli style menu, outdoor sitting overlooking the main park. Credit cards accepted.
- Cada del Mayordomo, 46th Street #189, corner 35th Street, Col. Candelaria, firstname.lastname@example.org. Bed & breakfast and butler service, for special occasions, along with Yucatecan snacks of your choice.
- Casa Quetzal, Calle 51 No. 218 x 50 y 52 col. Sisal, Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico, ☏ . Four-star boutique hotel offering various spas and therapeutic massages. Yoga and Chi Kung classes offered.
- Hostal Kin-beh, Cnr Calle 38/Ave 41. Very clean.
- 1 Hostel Valladolid 48, Corner of 48 and 41. A nice backpacker hostel with small pool
- Hotel Maria De La Luz. Friendly and well kept. It is on the main square. You can get a double with A/C. The restaurant opens up to the square and has great food.
- Hotel Santa Lucia (about 6 blocks north of the main square). A two-floor hotel with a variety of rooms ranging from a single with no A/C up to a quintuple with A/C.
- Hotel Tunich Beh (near downtown on Calzada De Los Frailes). Eight air-conditioned guestrooms and a swimming pool with a small palapa by the side.
- Hostal Tunich Naj Calle 38 #202A entre 43 y 45 Centro, Valladolid, YU. Hostel with spacious 10 bed dorm M$195 (Jan 2022) and various private rooms. Clean and central. Nice staff.
- Casa Xtakay Calle 43 entre 38 y 40. Family-owned hostel with dorms and privates. Pleasant back garden, home-made breakfast. Dentist at same place.
You find hostels and private rooms ...:
In the south:
Mahahual (Costa Maya) – 270 km
Chetumal – 300 km
Bacalar – 260 km
In the west:
In the east:
Playa del Carmen – 140 km
Cozumel – 170 km
Tulum – 110 km