The relatively small town of Valladolid on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico is often used as a stopping point between the ancient ruins and the cenotes (watering holes formed from the collapse of rocks) in the region, but the city’s low profile makes it a worthy stop amid more popular attractions in the area. Here are the top sights in Valladolid that warrant more than just a one-night stay.
Plaza Francisco Canton
The city’s central square sits in the shadow of its crown jewel: the Cathedral of San Servasio. Sit in one of the many lover’s chairs (designed so two sitters can face each other) and enjoy the bustling world around you, like the central fountain or the occasional local musical performances.
Calzada de los Frailes
This diagonal street of colorful buildings and boutique shops is an Instagrammer’s dream. The street warrants a stroll and a possible stop at one of the higher-end restaurants, followed by a visit to what awaits at the end of the street — the next entry on this list.
Convent de San Bernardino de Siena
For a small fee, enter the grounds of this centuries-old convent where Catholic services are still held today. Admire the salmon pink walls that surround the inner courtyard as well as the cenote located beneath the gardens. There is also a light show projected on the exterior walls, Tuesday to Sunday at 9:20 p.m.
Take a Free Walking Tour
The best way to learn more about the history, culture and traditions of Valladolid is to take part in a free walking tour. Tours usually start at city hall and include a brief explanation of four murals in a hall on the second floor, which depict scenes from the early days of Mayan occupation through various periods of colonialization.
Cenote Zaci is the only watering hole located in Valladolid proper, and therefore accessed without a car or other kind of transport. While slightly more popular due to its convenient location, and thus with the tendency to be more crowded, the cenote is still an enjoyable experience.
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