Valladolid Mexico is a laid back, colourful Spanish colonial town located in the Yucatan Peninsula. The lively vibes of the charming town and beautiful pastel coloured streets are the perfect decor to base yourself for a few days. There are enough things to do in Valladolid Mexico, such as exploring the best Valladolid cenotes, visit the Ek Balam Maya Ruins and of course one of the seven world wonders; Chichen Itza! All these awesome attractions are no longer than 40 minutes driving from the centre of Valladolid. But besides exploring these epic things, there is much more to explore in Valladolid Mexico. So here we go with the 10 best things to do in Valladolid Mexico!

About Valladolid Mexico

Valladolid was founded in 1543 by Spanish conqueror Francisco de Montejo. It obtained the “Pueblo Mágico” status in 2012 which means it is part of a series of towns around Mexico that offer visitors special experiences. Thanks to its natural beauty, culture, traditions, folklore, historical relevance, cuisine, art crafts and great hospitality, Valladolid Mexico deserved this title! It’s often said that natives of Valladolid are amongst the friendliest people in Mexico. They will be happy to chat with you or help you find the way in their beautiful town.

The colonial architecture of Valladolid is the first thing that will capture your eye. Some people consider Valladolid even as the small-scale version of Mérida. Most of the colonial buildings in Valladolid and classic mansions are over a hundred years old and well maintained. Outside of Valladolid Mexico are many things to do, perfect for day trips. From exploring the cenotes to a visit to the Mayan Ruins, one of the seven world wonders. But if you love to have more mountains around you, then traveling to Oaxaca must be on your list. Valladolid, and the Yucatan Peninsula in general, is very flat. But that is not a reason to skip the beautiful town of Valladolid. Find here all the things you need to know for visiting Valladolid Mexico! 


How to get to Valladolid Mexico

The best and most convenient way to get around in Yucatan is with a rental car. We rented a car from the airport in Cancun and drove around through Yucatan for two weeks. Read this complete guide if you want to know everything about renting a car in Mexico.

If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can also get to Valladolid with an ADO bus from all the main cities. It’s an affordable and comfortable way to get around. The bus station of Valladolid is centrally located just a couple blocks away from the main square. Check the ADO website for the bus schedule. Unfortunately you can’t book your tickets online unless you have a Mexican credit card. 


How to get around in Valladolid Mexico

Valladolid Mexico is a cosy little town which you can easily explore by foot. But if you want to explore around Valladolid, for example the Valladolid cenotes, Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and more, you might want to consider to rent a car. But, be aware that there isn’t a car rental company in Valladolid yet. However, you will most likely enter Yucatan via Cancun, where all the car rental companies are located at the airport. We highly recommend to rent a car as you will be so flexible in where to go and where to stop along the way!

Another option is to rent a bicycle for about 100 MXN pesos for 24 hours. But if you want to head further out of the city center, you might want to consider renting a scooter. The price is 500 MXN for 24 hours in Valladolid Mexico. 

Weather Valladolid Mexico 

The best time to visit Valladolid Mexico in general is from mid November to mid March. But we’ve visited Valladolid in June and it was still very warm with clear skies. The temperatures don’t change that much over the year, so you only have to be lucky with sunshine. 

Time difference Valladolid Mexico

Be aware that Valladolid Mexico is located in the Yucatan Peninsula and therefore one hour behind of the Quintana Roo region. So set your clocks back one our if you’re traveling from Cancun straight to Valladolid! Find more Cancun facts here


Wander though the colourful streets of Valladolid

Valladolid is an old colonial town, so you will see many beautiful old buildings and colourful streets. Wandering through the vibrant and colourful cobbled streets is one of the must things to do in Valladolid Mexico. If you’ve been to Merida you will definitely experience the same kind of vibes but in a small scale version.

For shop and coffee lovers there are plenty of options. Boutique shops are popping up in old colonial buildings and old haciendas serve as open air restaurants and cute coffee cafes. The cobbled streets, ornate doorways and beautiful colonial buildings make Valladolid Mexico one of the most picturesque towns in Yucatan. 


Relax or picnic at the Francisco Canton Rosado Main Park

Most of the Spanish colonial cities are built around a square. In Valladolid Mexico you will see this as well, but there is also a beautiful city park where you can relax. The Parque Francisco Canton Rosado is where all the local activities happen in Valladolid. With a beautiful view on the Cathedral of San Gervasio where we’ll get to next, this plaza has enough benches to sit down and enjoy daily life passing by.


You can buy some delicious Mexican food from the street vendors at El Bazaar Municipal which is next to the square. So buy some churros for example or another typical Mexican street food and blend yourself in with the locals. Especially during sunset many locals gather to the square to chat with each other. Make sure to have a look here and grab something to eat or drink and watch daily life in Valladolid Mexico passing by.


Swing into the waters of Cenote Oxman 

Visiting Cenote Oxman is a fun day adventure for every age. Besides exploring inside the cenote you can also have a look from above as top down view. The hanging vines and lots of greenery around gives this cenote a real jungle feel. And the cool rope swing adds even more fun to visiting Cenote Oxman! With this rope swing, you can jump as many times as you want into the crystal clear waters. Your inner Tarzan or Jane will definitely be fueled during a visit to Cenote Oxman.


There are three different options for entrance costs at Cenote Oxman.

80 Pesos is entrance to the Oxman cenote only.

100 Pesos gives you access to the cenote and a 50 pesos discount in the restaurant.

150 Pesos gives you entrance to Cenote Oxman and access to the pool area of Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman as well. The parking area is free.

The opening hours for Cenote Oxman are from 8 AM to 6 PM daily.

Read here everything about Cenote Oxman


Admire the beautiful Cathedral of San Gervasio

The most iconic and photographed site in Valladolid Mexico is the Cathedral of San Gervasio, also known as Church of San Gervasio. This beautiful 16th century Spanish colonial building with its signature double towers dominates the area.


It is located in the heart of Valladolid Mexico and was built with parts of ancient Mayan Ruins of temples and buildings. The history behind this is actually really sad. Because after Spain invaded and destroyed Valladolid, they tried to colonize and convert the Maya to Catholicism. Nowadays the church is a must visit in Valladolid Mexico and gives a typical Spanish feel with Mexican touch to the square and the Francisco Canton Rosado Main Park.


Visit one of the seven world wonders; Chichen Itza 

Of course you can’t miss visiting the famous Chichen Itza, one of the seven world wonders. On about 45 minutes driving from Valladolid you will find this large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people. Exploring the the archaeological site is a must do in Yucatan and one of the best things to do in Valladolid Mexico. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza is a 1000 year old sacred site and was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatán peninsula. There is also a cenote at Chichen Itza where you can take a dip in if it gets too hot for exploring around. You can easily get to Chichen Itza with a rental car or book one of the many tours that head to Chichen Itza from Valladolid Mexico. 

The entrance fee for Chichen Itza is 480 MXN pesos per person (for non-Mexicans). 


Explore the Suytun cenote

Cenote Suytun is definitely one of the most unique en magical cenotes in Valladolid because of the light beam and perfect platform in the middle of the cenote. And with a huge stalactite at the entrance, this cenote is also super photogenic. Visiting Cenote Suytun is definitely something you should do during your road trip through Yucatan.

The entrance fee for Cenote Suytun is 120 MXN pesos per person in 2020. The gravel parking area, which is big enough for cars and buses, is free. The opening times for Cenote Suytun are from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM every day of the week.

Read in this complete guide everything about Cenote Suytun


Explore the Mexican Art

Explore the authentic and typical Mexican Art in Casa de los Venados. This private museum in Valladolid shows Mexican folk art which is comprised of pieces that represent the cultural Mexican traditions. You can visit Casa de los Venados daily from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM and a guided tour will take you about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Entrance fee is a donation, but about 80 pesos would be appreciated and all proceeds go to local community organizations and charities.


Visit the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena 

The approximately 500 year old Convento de San Bernardino de Siena is one of the most important places of the Catholic worship in Valladolid. Visit the museum to learn more about the secrets of the “Cenote Sis Ha” located under the gardens and admire the 16th century wall frescos and sacred art around the many chapels. Because the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena is a sacred place, you need to wear proper attire. 

The opening times of the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena are from Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM and the entrance fee is 30 MXN pesos per person. Only from Wednesday till Sunday is a light show. The Spanish version starts at 9 PM and the English version at 9.20 PM.  

Visit the Ek Balam ruins

Ek Balam is another archaeological site located on about a 30 minute drive from Valladolid, Mexico. The Mayan ruins are well-preserved and date back to 100 BC to 700-1.200 BC. The main temple is one of the largest structures ever discovered in the Yucatan peninsula. It is one of the things you have to put on your Valladolid itinerary. Ek Balam is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM and the entrance fee is 413 MXN pesos for foreigners. 

Visit cenote Samula and X Keken

Cenote Samula and X Keken are both located on the same spot. We found especially Cenote Samula a really pleasant cenote to swim in! The water was deep enough and crystal clear. You can even spot fish swimming around! Besides a rope to pull yourself up the slippery rocks, there is also a rope stretched underwater. This is actually the case in every cenote where you can swim in. It’s for safety because not all world citizens are good in swimming. So with this rope stretched underwater and attached on both side of the cenote, there is always something to grab on when you’re tired. Cenote X Keken is also a cave kind of cenote with a hole in the roof and a swimming pool. If there is sunlight, you will also have the chance of seeing a lightray here. 


Visit cenote Zaci

Cenote Zaci is located within Valladolid on a 10 minute walk from the city centre, so it’s a must visit when you’re in town! This cenote is semi-open with an overhanging roof and vines hanging down into the cenote, giving it that jungle feel just like Cenote Oxman. You can swim here for 30 MXN pesos.

Best Valladolid tours

If you’re planning to explore Valladolid including the cenotes, Coba ruins, Chichen Itza, Tulum archeological site or a Mayan village tour, then these are the best guided tours. All of these tours include air conditioned transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes also lunch and the entrance fees. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.

  • Guided tour to Valladolid including a visit to Cenote Oxman. Learn about the history and culture of the colonial city of Valladolid on this guided day trip with lunch and tequila tasting including visiting Oxman cenote.
  • Mexican Cooking Class in Valladolid. Learn to make authentic Mexican dishes in this cooking class while preparing a 6-course gourmet meal and feel like a member of the family.
  • Suytun cenote, Chichen Itza and Ikkil cenote tour from Cancun. See the best of Yucatan during this day tour and visit Suytun cenote, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza and cool off at Ikkil cenote.
  • Cenote Maya Native Park Admission Ticket Valladolid. Discover the majestic Cenote Maya, the biggest vaulted cenote in Mexico. Swim in the natural swimming hole and enjoy exciting adventure activities.
  • Four cenote adventure Tulum. Visit four beautiful Tulum cenotes and enjoy swimming, canoeing, zip-lines, and jungle trekking. After that you will head to a Mayan village to try some traditional Mayan cuisine.
  • Tulum cenotes, ruins and Mystika museum. During this private tour you will visit the Tulum Archaeological site, take a dip in two cenotes near Tulum, eat some delicious Mayan tacos and visit the Mystica Mexican Artist museum.
  • Visit Chichen Itza, Valladolid and a cenote from Tulum. See the best of Yucatan during this guided tour. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza, the colonial city of Valladolid and cool off at a cenote.
  • Tulum, Coba, and Tulum Cenote Tour. This guided tour takes your to the Tulum ruins where you’ll learn more about the history of one of the largest cities built by the Maya civilization. In Coba you will visit the majestic Nohoch-Mul Temple which you can climb for panoramic views. After that you will have lunch and do a Mayan Chocolate experience. Then it’s time to go for a dip in the sacred Tankach-Ha cenote before going back to your hotel.
  • Coba, Tulum Cenote and Mayan Village Tour. This complete tour gives you the best highlights of the Riveira Maya region. Climb the tallest pyramid in Coba, swim in a crystal clear cenote, see the Mayan lighthouse and Tulum archeological site. 

More Mexico travel guides

We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the best things to do in Valladolid Mexico.

For more Mexico travel inspiration, head over to these blog posts:

Best things to do around Tulum

Most amazing cenotes to visit in Yucatan

Best things to do on Isla Holbox

Punta Mosquito on Isla Holbox

The Best Family Resorts in Playa Del Carmen Mexico

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One Comment

  1. Marjoleine says:

    Hi Ilse, thanks for sharing your info about Valladolid Mexico. It looks like a very nice and laid back town, interesting to visit. Especially because you mention that the people are very friendly and like to chat. Good way to get to know the city !
    And of course to visit the Chichen Itza. Good tip to rent a car, so you can get around more easily.

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