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  • Writer's pictureAlliey Kutynec

Valladolid, Mexico Travel Guide

Valladolid is a town I'd never thought about exploring through, it never gets brought up in Mexico travel conversations. Its either your talking about backpacking Bacalar, Tulum or Isla Mujures. When I first adventured through the Yucatan about half a year ago I never looked at Valladolid at a place worth visiting but then I started looking into it and the area has over 30 cenotes - but then I looked into it more and I realised the Yucatan is full of Cenotes!

If you don't know what a cenote is; you are truly missing out and a whole underground water exploring experience! Check out my photos below

Exploring Valladolid has had to be one of my favourite colonial towns in the Yucatan, it had so much to offer and there is always something to do. There is endless shopping around the Centro area, historical buildings and lots of options for day trips out of town whether it's visiting an archaeological site or jumping into a Cenote - its a great place to explore.

The weather is humidity hot all the time, so make sure you are ready to sweat. As everything is easy accessible Downtown you're able to jump on a collectivo, renting a car or a scooter. Are you coming from Cancun or Tulum? The ADO bus station is near the main square so you will never get lost.

Check out why I love Valladolid and how you should add it to your Mexico Bucket list!

Places to Eat

Although Valladolid is small it has a lot to offer when it comes to looking for place to eat or head to a cafe for a coffee. The prices for a meal is fairly cheap compared to other places in the touristy Yucatan region.

Below is the places I most recommend...

When I first walked passed this place I just knew It had something special to it! This cafe is tiny on the corner across from 'Parque Sisal' and where the colourful tourist attraction sign. The owners of Elela also have a farm where they get their produce from, they support organic and sustainable farming for the Mayan Land.

I would say they are more of the expensive restaurants that I have chosen, but the location and the building make up for it. You can sit a window table and over look the street.

One of my favourite restaurants in Valladolid. Located on the main Calle 'de los frailes' across from Onza Rooftop Cafe sets this beautiful inside and out courtyard restaurant. We were sitting on the rooftop patio at our hostel and smelt the aroma of the food and knew we had to go. Le Kaat has live music, and a huge menu to pick from, the price is a little higher but the quality of the food is worth it.

Want a breakfast menu with eggs anyway or any kind? This is your place!

They have 10 different egg plate options, omelettes and variety soups. My favourite part of the menu is their juices, they have so many varieties of juices and smoothies made fresh. Great place for breakfast and lunch!

We hit up this place a few times as their menu was big on juices and smoothies. They also have a breakfast and lunch menu, they spoke good English as well so it was easy to communicate. I would say it Is suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.

Onza is your modern looking cafe with an amazing rooftop sitting area. I would say its more of a breakfast brunch place as the menu is very small but very delicious for that they have. The coffee is very delicious.

Inside the Hotel Verde Morada, their is this beautiful courtyard cafe. The menu is absolutely beautiful, we actually came here twice. This is your authentic mayan breakfast place with your freshly roasted coffee. Must visit!

Historical Things to See

Valladolid is named after the capital of Spain, it was founded in 1543 - It holds a big part history in Mayan Yuctatan Region. The building are Spain colonial architecture, made with stones and bricks. It is very beautiful town to explore the old buildings and relate it back to the history of Yucatan Caste War.

Places I recommend visiting for History...

  • Casa de los Venados

  • Iglesia de San Servacio

  • Museo de Ropa Etnica de Mexico

Places I recommend visiting for a day trip...


Originally I thought going to the more popular places such has Cancun, Playa or Tulum that is how you were going to get to these Cenotes or booking tours. The tours are super overpriced and don't include the entrance fee to these places. I would suggest renting a car or a scooter and making a day road trip to each Cenote instead of booking a tour that only lets you have maximum time of being there.

Things to note...

Over tourism is a problem at these places because of the Yucatan popularity so making sure if you do go on your own to go early in the morning before loads of busses show up and the line up isn't long.

Below are the Cenotes I recommend....

Cenote Oxman

Entrance Fee is M$80, that includes just the Cenote. M$100 for Cenote and Pool.

They do have a restaurant on site, which has lots of Vegetarian options. There is life jackets that you have to wear and lockers above to keep valuables for a cost. They also have a jumping platform which is super fun.

Cenote Xkeken & Samula

We hit up these two last in our day just to fill it with more Cenotes. These ones are more privately less touristic 'off the beaten path'. You have the option when you arrive to do 1 outta 2 or purchase the 2. The cost is M$80 or M$125 for both. You do have the purchase a life jacket on your way down to them from the local mayan ladies. Lots of cool rock formations inside.

Cenote Zaci

When we were visiting Valladolid there this one was under renovations, so we didn't get to experience it. We do have it on our bucket list for the next time.

It only costs M$30 pp.

One of the most "Instagramable" cenotes there is! Even though we got here first thing at opening we were still behind a bus load of people and the wait to the platform took around 45 min. People seriously come here to take photos and leave.

Not many people come and swim. If you want the best photo come around 12pm-1pm when the light shines through the hole perfectly on the platform.

The cost is M$200 or if you book online its M$150 pp.

Cenote Saamal

One of my absolute favourite Cenote! Although I found this place very americanised and not as Mayan felt. This one is located just off the main highway. The entrance has lots of options for a food/drink pass or just entrance fee which is M$100 pp. We got lucky as the busses hadn't shown up yet so it was very quiet and more enjoyable.

Places to Stay

Mexico is one of upcoming with new places to stay such as local stays, airbnb and hostels. Boutique hotels are becoming super popular also! Valladolid is a very safe, clean environmental town so you won't have to worry about a bad stay. Head over to Airbnb and check out a stay in your budget and needs.

Below you will find the places I recommend...

When we were looking at this hostel before heading to Valladolid we wanted to stay here because it went with our chill vibe. We missed out on staying here; but the prices are good.

We had stayed here for a week & absolutely loved it! They have daily activities that include Cenote tours and Mayan Cooking Classes. The have scooters for hire with a local company and have all information on each Cenote you would like to visit.

Researching hostels can be quite challenging. It all depends on what you need or want. This hostel has amazing reviews, lots of information and tours.

How to get here & away.

Our favourite way to transport from place to place is by local bus and collectivo's! We find it fascinating to hang out with the locals and take the scenic route.

Below you will find recommendations on Local transport....

By Bus

The ADO station Is located in Downtown Valladolid and has lots of destinations to pick from when coming and going. The next place people tend to visit is Merida, Isla Hotbox and Tulum. There is a bus almost every hour that heads to these places and hostels might have their own mini bus headed to these destinations.


Want to get to Chichen Itza on a budget? or head to the local cenote? there is Colectivos that leave from the main square. Practice your espanol to get them to take you to a secret Cenote!

Check out my Photo Gallery Below for more Valladolid Inspiration!

Want more Mexico Travel guides? Head over to my blog for more!


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