The Ultimate Guide to Things To Do in Valladolid, Mexico
Discover the best things to do in Valladolid, an authentic Mexican town close to Chichen Itza. Find out what to do in Valladolid, what to see in Valladolid and where to eat and stay.
If you’re looking to escape the tourist hubs of Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum to experience a slice of ‘real’ Mexico, visiting Valladolid Mexico might be the needle in the haystack you’ve been searching for. It’s the perfect place to base yourself for a few days, to explore the vibrant town, the ruins of Chichen Itza and the several beautiful cenotes nearby.
This picturesque town is a photographer’s dream, from the colourful colonial architecture all the way to the humble street food. It’s almost as though time stopped still in must see Valladolid. Vendors in the main plaza still sell ice cream from old wooden carts and on Sunday afternoons locals come out to dance, dressed in their traditional Sunday best.
Discover must-see Valladolid with our ultimate travel guide and if you give this town some time, it might just give you the ultimate Yucatan experience.
*This ‘things to do in Valladolid Mexico’ post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you.
Getting to Valladolid Mexico
Valladolid lies about 150km from Cancun, 100km from Tulum and 160km from Merida in the eastern part of Yucatan state. In general, it’s really easy to get to both by car or public transport.
Bus – many bus companies have connections to Valladolid and you can pretty much get there from anywhere in Yucatan or Quintana Roo. ADO, Mayab and Oriente all operate services there. You arrive at the Valladolid bus station which is nice and central, from there it’s walkable to most accommodation options.
Car– The best way to get to Valladolid and explore the surrounding area is by car. If you’re renting a car for your trip around the area, getting to Valladolid is very easy and takes between 1-3 hours depending on where you’re coming from. It’s well worth noting that there is no car rental in Valladolid which is why I highly recommend renting from a reputable agency in Tulum, Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
If you’re looking for a popular rental car search engine with great deals my personal recommendation is to use Rental Cars.
Click here to check out Rental Car’s deals for your trip dates.
Where to Stay in Valladolid
I used Airbnb and booking.com when staying in Valladolid as I felt they had the best options. If you’ve never tried Airbnb, I can’t recommend it enough. To get you on your way here’s $40 off your first booking if you’ve yet to sign up.
The Best Hotels in Valladolid:
Splurge: Hotel Zentik Project – For one of the most unique experiences in Valladolid head to Zentik. Located towards the outskirts of the town, the adults-only hotel has two swimming pools, one of which is saline and located in an underground cave, a spa, top-notch restaurant, a hammock area and private cabins located amongst lush jungle foliage. Need more convincing? Didn’t think so.
Mid-range: Casa Quetzal– If you’re looking for somewhere colonial but cosy at the same time, this might be the place you’re looking for. This spacious, quiet oasis boasts a pool, gorgeous colonial architecture, traditional Mexican touches in the decor and such a friendly service, you’ll never want to leave.
Budget: Hotel Fundadores – For a touch of colonial charm this hotel is worth way more than it’s price tag. The main building frames a patio with a gorgeous swimming pool, perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring. Rooms are clean and spacious. Brilliant location in the city centre.
The Best Airbnbs in Valladolid:
MaraVilla – Probably one most beautiful villas in the whole of Valladolid. This place is a true oasis in the centre of town. With its own plunge pool, boho chic decor amid a truly rustic Mexican setting. This villa really is a ‘maravilla’. To find out more check out the listing here.
Beautiful Private Studio in the Heart of Town– A lovely, colonial feel apartment a stone’s throw away from the centre of town and walking distance from the bus station. This apartment is clean, spacious and has everything you might need for a lovely stay in Valladolid. To find out more check out the listing here.
For more hotel options, search for them here:
Planning on visiting Chichen Itza? Discover how to do it on a budget and without the crowds here.
Where to Eat
Valladolid has many authentic eating establishments and street food but it somewhat lacks in the healthy and plant-based options.
If you are seeking healthy, plant-based meals, I’d highly recommend booking at Airbnb with a kitchen so you can prepare your own meals at least some of the time.
Cafe Del Professor Pitagoras – This cute cafe specialises in a wide range of cafe-style dishes such as sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, quiche, falafel and my favourite the Mexican bowl, which comes with tortillas so you can make your own tacos. It’s such a cosy place and the food was homely and delicious.
They have loads of vegan desserts too, kombucha and many breakfast options too. It also has good Wifi and is work space friendly.
Wabi Gelato – A fantastic place for when that gelato or sweet craving strikes, these guys have many vegan flavours to choose from. The only problem you’ll have is trying to choose which one.
Le Kaat – A brand new vegan and vegetarian restaurant on Calzada de los Failes, this wonderful restaurant has a beautiful garden and outdoor area perfect for an afternoon juice or coconut water.
Most of the menu is vegan and includes Mexican classics like tacos and gorditas as well as falafel pittas, buddha bowls, salads and a whole list of breakfast items.
El Atrio del Mayab – A great quality, more upscale Mayan fusion restaurant with a couple of pages worth of veggie options, most of which can be made vegan. The tacos and tostadas are heavenly. A great option to finish off a perfect day in Valladolid.
Best Things to Do in Valladolid Mexico
Valladolid is definitely not about the quality or quantity of its tourist sights even though there are a few. This is a town to simply stroll around in, admire the gorgeous colonial architecture, and people watch and sample some authentic Yucatan cuisine.
Once that gets too sweaty, visit Cenote Zaci, a cool water sinkhole located right in the middle of town to cool off. Here’s what to do in Valladolid