Valladolid, the Mexican colonial city that you can visit in one day
If you are staying at Hotel Cabanas Tulum and want to get a taste of colonial Mexico, you must visit this beautiful little town just 70 miles and one and a half drive inland from Tulum beach.
The city of Valladolid, Yucatan, was founded in 1543 by Francisco Montejo; it was the second city built by Spanish conquerors (after Merida in 1542).
Valladolid is small, colorful, colonial, safe and peaceful. Hundreds of legends and thousands of stories surround its oldest buildings and streets. With its ancient history, hospitable people and delicious food, Valladolid is a perfect Mexican colonial city that you can visit in one day.
Here are some places you must see:
- The Cathedral of San Gervacio: It was built in 1545, destroyed in 1705 and rebuilt in 1706. This cathedral overlooks the central park and is a beautiful church with detailed Spanish colonial architecture.
- The Ex-Convent of San Bernardino de Siena: The second biggest one after Izamal (The yellow city). It is an enormous, red, solid and serene convent where you are allowed to walk through it corridors and travel back in time. It has a small museum that exhibits several European rifles, ceramics and Mayan artifacts. The Church is still functioning and offering Catholic services.
- Cenote Zaci: Is a beautiful and unexpected fresh water sink hole located in the center of the city, decorated with hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites formed millions of years ago; the cenote is a perfect place to take a swim and reset your body temperature from the heat. Cenote Zaci, located at Calle 36 between 37 and 39 has also a restaurant under the same name, and it is quite famous. Other cenotes worth while visiting are: Ik´Kil, Saamal and Samula.
- Shopping: If you are into shopping, stop by the “Mercado de Artesanías” (Handcraft Market) or the “Centro Artesanal Zaci” where you will find huipiles (Maya female dresses) and guayaberas (elegant and fresh Maya shirts for men), stonework, hats, jewelry, textiles with handmade embroidery and the traditional hammocks.
- Calzada de los Frailes: Also known as Calle 41A, this street was closed to traffic to become a pedestrian walkway where you can linger and enjoy a peaceful stroll among fashionable small boutiques, artistic coffee shops, Cuban cigar stores, tiny bars, and an artisanal chocolate factory. You will be drawn to taking pictures of its colonial houses painted in pastel colors, intrusive wild nature growing on abandoned Spanish homes, and grandmothers sitting out on their porches after 6:00 pm to the feel the “fresco”.
Valladolid is 90 miles away from Cancun or Playa del Carmen and 30 minutes away from Chichen Itza, so if you decide to spend the night and enjoy a traditional local meal and some after dinner music in its Zocalo, you can visit this majestic archaeological site on your way back to Tulum beach!
Valladolid, the picturesque Mexican colonial city that you can visit in one day.