Valladolid: vibrant, authentic, charming, and multifaceted. It’s a city with such a unique personality that it was voted #1 Emerging Destination in North America of 2019 in a survey taken by Travel Lemming in which over 8,000 readers, bloggers, and travelers participated.

In Valladolid there is always something to see, experience, and enjoy; whether that means walking the photogenic street Calzada de los Frailes, tasting its varied and delicious culinary offerings, taking a day trip to Chichén Itzá or Ek Balam, enjoying the history and culture of its memorable streets and quarters, or hopping between souvenir shops, boutique hotels, and cafés. It’s truly a magical place.

Let us be your guide to Ek Balam 

If you enjoy walking, you’ll love every inch of the Calzada de los Frailes. Its colonial, pastel façades give you a thousand and one reasons to stop and take a picture so you can treasure the moment forever. Get ready to fill your Instagram feed with beautiful snapshots of stunning balconies, textures, and detailed walls. It will be hard to choose a favorite photo once you have a seemingly endless gallery. This street connects the city with the Barrio de Sisal and the Convento de San Bernadino de Siena, which is our next stop.

Voted #1 Emerging Destination of 2019.

This 400-year old Franciscan convent is the second largest in Yucatán, and its interiors, walls, gardens, and water wheel will transport you to a time long past. One of the most interesting features is the beautiful wood, baroque-detailed, altarpiece painted with gold. In the evenings, a video mapping is projected which recounts the city’s history (Tuesday to Sunday: 9 pm in Spanish and 9:30 pm in English).

The culinary offerings in Valladolid are also exciting. Coffee, ice cream, “marquesitas,” and regional cuisine are just some of the different offerings you will be able to enjoy. “Longaniza” (a flavorful smoked sausage) and “lomitos” (simmered pork) are two dishes which were created in Valladolid, making it the perfect place to try these specialties. As if you needed two more reasons to fall even further in love with this “Pueblo Mágico!”

When you’re downtown, visit the Iglesia de San Servacio, the Plaza Principal, the municipal market (where you can find wonderful handcrafts), and of course, Cenote Zací. You arrive to this underground paradise by descending its stone staircase to where you can see the crystalline waters under an open sky; it will leave you breathless. Also nearby are: Cenote X-Kekén in Dzitnup, Cenote Oxman at the Hacienda San Lorenzo, and Cenote Saamal, one of my personal favorites, at Hacienda Selva Maya.

The proximity to both Chichén Itzá and Ek Balam allows for day trips which get you back in time to watch the sun set, enjoy the nightlife, and rest at one of the city’s quaint hotels. This destination is truly a gem and combines the relaxed and quiet atmosphere of a Maya town, with the warmth and hospitality of its people. The colonial architecture, charming events, and abundance of attractions will keep you entertained and happy. Valladolid is a destination that has it all.

How to get there

The drive from Mérida is about two hours. If you’re going by car, take the toll highway towards Cancún, then take the exit marked Valladolid.  If you want to go by bus, ADO makes multiple trips daily.

Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photography courtesy of different photographers, for use in Yucatán Today


Casa de los Venados
Folk Art
Calle 40 #204 x 41, Centro

Calle 40 x 39, Centro

Coqui Coqui Valladolid Perfumería and Mesón de Malleville
Spa, perfume shop and accommodation
C. 41-A x 48 y 50, Col. Sisal, Calzada de los Frailes

Museo San Roque
Archaeological pieces, archive, and photographs
Calle 41 #193 x 38 y 40, Centro

Food and beverage

Casa Conato Cultural
Calle 40 #226 x 45 y 47, Barrio de San Juan
FB: Casa Conato Cultural

Casa Italia
Calle 35 x 42 y 44, Barrio de Candelaria

El Atrio del Mayab
Calle 41 #204 x 40 y 42, Centro
FB: Restaurante El Atrio del Mayab

El Mesón del Marqués
Hotel and Restaurant in the Plaza Principal
FB: Hotel El Meson del Marques

La Casona de Valladolid
Calle 41 #214 x 44 y 46, Centro
FB: La Casona de Valladolid

La Joyita Cantina
Calle 41 x 40, Centro
FB: La Joyita Cantina Bar

Wabi Gelato
Calle 41 #197-A, Centro
FB: Wabi Gelato

Yerbabuena de Sisal
Calle 54-A x 49, Barrio de Sisal
FB: Yerbabuena, del Sisal


Centro Artesanal Zací
Calle 40 x 39, Centro

Multiple shops on the Calzada de los Frailes


Colonté Hotel Origen
Calle 46 #200-E x 43 y 45, Centro

Coqui Coqui

Hotel LeMuuch
Calle 42 x 35 y 33, Centro
FB: Le Muuch Hotel

La Casa del Mayordomo
Calle 46 #189 x 35, Barrio de Candelaria

Zenti´k Project
Calle 30 x 27 y 29, Col. Fernando Novelo
FB: Zentik Project


Centro, Valladolid

Dzitnup, 5 minutes from Valladolid


Located in the Hacienda and Restaurant Selva Maya
FB: Hacienda Selva Maya

Located in the Hacienda San Lorenzo
FB: Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman 2018


Parque Venados
Guided ATV, hiking and mountain bike tours in the afternoons and evenings
FB: Parque Venados


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