Recently they did a FAM trip to the colonial city of Valladolid, the Maya pyramids Ek Balam, the new ecological park of X’Canché located right by Ek Balam, some eco-bungalows, and two restaurants – Las Campanas and the restaurant at the Cenote Zaci, both in Valladolid. Although all these women work in tourism and have visited the above named areas many times, there were new things to be discovered on this trip.
Hotels were visited, inspected and in some cases slept in. In Valladolid these include the new 35 room, 15 bungalow Hacienda Sanchez, conveniently located between the super highway and the town square; the centrally located, 1.5 blocks from the Main Plaza Hotel Zaci (50 rooms) and the .5 block from the Main Plaza Hotel San Clemente, (63 rooms) the adorable, 4-room Bed & Breakfast Casa Quetzal, and in Ek Balam, the eco-friendly Genesis Ek-Balam bungalows and the more rustic U’Najil Ek-Balam cabañas.
We visited the archaeological site of Ek Balam with the guide Casimiro. He can be reached at the Tourism Info Center in the Governor’s Palace in Valladolid. He speaks Spanish, Maya, English, and is working on Italian and German. After visiting this incredible site we went to the table set up on the far side of the parking lot (not the handcraft selling area) to pay our entrance fee into the Cenote X’Canché Circuito Ecoturistico. For $40 pesos you can enter the area, walk (1.5 kms) to the cenote and swim; for $70 pesos you can rent a mountain bike and ride back to the cenote and swim. If rappel is your thing, for $150 pesos you can use the bikes, and get the equipment for rappel (life jacket, harnesses, ropes, etc.) They also have snorkel equipment, kayaks and tire tubes for floating.
And you can use the rest area which is a huge thatched roof area with hammocks where you can hang out and… rest! If you have a group, you can make arrangements ahead of time (which we did) and the local people will prepare a meal for you. Tels: (985) 858 6506 and (985) 100 9915 and (985) 107 4774. Menu options include (all regional Yucatecan dishes) pollo pibil, cochinita, relleno negro, panuchos, salbutes, etc. We had delicious hand made tortillas served with si’kil pac, chicharra,and guacamole served with a deliciously fresh orange-aide. All the food was cooked by local Maya women on an open fire under a thatched roof, then served at wooden picnic style tables under another thatched roof. After eating we retired to the hammocks to hang out, rest, chat and read – heavenly.
If riding a bikeback to this wonderful area is too much for you, they also offer tri-taxis -the three-wheeled bicycles with a seat on front.
On the way back from Ek Balam to Valladolid we stopped in the small village of Temozon and bought smoked meat – how delicious! Famous for its smoked meat, we found the best meat to be in the shop on the main road across the street from the huge thatched roof palapa. They sell the meat by the kilo either freshly smoked or vacuum-packed. The owner told us hotel and restaurant buyers from Cancún and Riviera Maya buy from them frequently… a sign everything is delicious!
From Temozon we headed back into Valladolid and a under a huge thatched roof palapa we savored a mixed platter of Yucatecan dishes – all delicious. While waiting for the meal, we walked around the cenote wishing we had brought our bathing suits. You can swim at your own risk. Valladolid is located two hours from Mérida and two hours from Cancún and makes for a wonderful two or three day stay. The hotels we visited have different prices so there is something for every budget.
Hotels and Restaurants in Valladolid:
Calle 23 x 40 y 42
Tel. (985) 856 5212
Sitio web: www.haciendasanchez.com.mx
Maria de la Luz
Calle 42 #191 x 37 y 39
Tel. (985) 856 2018
Sitio web: www.mariadelaluzhotel.com
Calle 44 #193 x 39
Tel. (985) 856 2167
Calle 51 #218-c x 50 y 52
Tel. (985) 856 4796
Sitio web: www.casa-quetzal.com
Tel. (985) 856 2208
Tel. (985) 852 7980
Restaurante Las Campanas
Tel. (985) 856 2365
Restaurante Cenote Zaci
Tels. (985) 858 6506, (985) 100 9915 and (985) 107 4774
Download the Yucatán Peninsula map:
Read about this area:
- El Cuyo
- El Cuyo, Natural Beauty
- Ek Balam
- Temozón: Where the Famous Smoked Meat was Born
- X’Canche, Ek Balam and Valladolid
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