Valladolid is a very colonial city that has retained much of its Spanish characteristics. A leisurely stroll in the city center and on its narrow cobbled and concrete streets is an experience to enjoy. Though tagged as Yucatan State’s third largest city, this place is quiet and doesn’t have much traffic that would annoy pedestrians. The colorfully-painted buildings are a sight to behold and it’s colonial architecture is nothing but to be admired—even if you are not an architecture buff. In late afternoon, when the buildings are swathed in sun’s rays, the city turns into a marvelous place of alluring gold!
For may centuries, Valladolid had seen many wars, rebellions and conquests from foreign and local invaders. It’s named after the same city in Spain that used to be the country’s capital.
Just like any ancient Spanish city, the plaza or the park is the center of Valladolid. Surrounding the plaza are various offices and shops and, of course, a cathedral! It’s more like the La Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. People, young and old, congregate in the plaza to pass their time away. Though this is where mostly tourists go and be dropped off by tourist vans and buses (only few when we were there), Mexican vendors are very respectful. They were not pushy. If you drop by their shops, they’ll entertain you just like any other customers.
Unlike Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Valladolid is a real Mexican city where you can really feel you are in Mexico. Cancun is overloaded with tourists and Playa del Carmen has USD written all over everywhere.
San Gervacio Cathedral is a main fixture in the city centre. In late afternoon, a lot of locals go there to light candles and pray.
The best way to discover the city is to rent a bike for a half day or less and you’ll be done. If you enjoy strolling, you can do that, too. A day trip there is, for me, a good day already. But, this city is a good starting point if you want to visit other attractions in and around the area. There are two beautiful cenotes just outside the city and an hour ride (or a little bit more) to Chichen Itza. It’s also closer to Ek Balam (Mayan ruins) and to Merida, another colonial city in the Yucatan State. Public transportation getting out and getting in there is convenient.
Where to stay cheap / Cheap Hostel in Valladolid, Mexico:
I’d recommend you to stay in La Candelaria. It has character, cheap, clean and close to the bus terminal.
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