Valladolid Mexico Travel Guide
Typically this town is off the main tourist path when visiting Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, but if you’re looking for an authentic Mexican town, then be sure to add it to your trip to Mexico. Check out my previous article on the ‘5 Reasons to Visit Valladolid, Mexico’ here. This ‘Valladolid Mexico Travel Guide’ will help you know where to stay, where to eat, and what to do on your trip to Valladolid, as well as give you tips for continuing your trip elsewhere after you leave Valladolid.
Valladolid is located on the Eastern side of the state of Yucatan, and it situated on the main highway between Cancun and Merida. Access is also convienent from Playa del Carmen or Tulum. When traveling from Tulum, you might want to stop and see the Mayan Ruins of Coba on your way. Here I have a guide to beating the crowds of people at Coba.
Where to Stay in Valladolid
There are a number of different styles of accommodation in Valladolid, ranging from hostels to Air BnB’s to Boutique hotels. Whatever your preference you’re sure to find each quite comfortable. You want to stay somewhere close to the town center, which seems to be the area surrounding the Parque Fransisco Canton Rosado, or the main park in town.
For budget travelers, we found the Gayser Apartments and Hostel to be very affordable and comfortable. A room with A/C, private bathroom, hot water, refrigerator, sink, and table with chairs was only $20 USD per night. They also have hostel rooms for less. Located on Calle 45 between Calle 38 and 36, only 5. minutes walking from the main square
For more luxury, the Meson del Marques Hotel located at the town center, offered beautiful rooms with a swimming pool and restaurant with some of the best eats in town (see below under ‘Where to Eat’).
Other convienently located hotels include Zaci and Maria de la Luz, which are both located next to the park, and Hotel Rosalia, which is also located on Calle 45 but on the corner of Calle 40.
Don’t be afraid to check out Air BnB to see what offers are available to you at the time of your visit.
Where to Eat & Drink in Valldolid
One of the main attractions of Valladolid is the access to cheap, authentic Mexican food. Places to eat here range from street vendors to mom-n-pop style to resort-style restaurants. The costs are much lower compared to the shoreline cities of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun, even in the more upscale restaurants you will find the dishes between $5-$10 USD per meal.
Los Portales – Located directly next to the Catedral de San Gervasio and park center. We almost walked right past this place because it looked far too fancy for our backpacker budget, but when it started to rain and we had no where else to go we decided to stop just for a drink and were shocked at the prices. Most dishes were $100 pesos and under, with beers at $35 pesos and cocktails around $50-60 pesos. We came back the next day for breakfast as well. From here (if you sit outside) you have a perfect spot for people watching and taking in the sights around you.
Cafeina Bistro – Located on one of the more famous roads in Valladolid, Calle 41a, this bar and bistro has outdoor seating and a cheap drink menu. Margaritas are only $50 pesos! Stop here for a break after going to see the Convent of San Bernardino of Siena, which is only a 5 min walk away.
El Meson de Marques – This restaurant is located at the luxury hotel of the same name, directly next to the park opposite of the Cathedral de San Gervasio. In a beautiful dining setting you will find authentic local and regional food for surprisingly great prices. Dishes between $100-200 pesos. Make sure to try the Papadzules (tortilla stuffed with hard boiled egg and smothered with a pumpkin seed cream sauce and salsa) or a dish with the Valladolid sausage.
Taberna de los Frailes – Unfortunately we didn’t get to stop here, but we met a man who visits Valladolid frequently and claimed that this is a superb restaurant. Prices are in the mid-to-expensive range. This restaurant uses Mayan herbs and spices with a more contemporary twist on Mexican dishes.
Las Companas– Located next to the park along the Mexican Federal Highway 295, we stopped here for drinks and complimentary chips and salsa. Live music is played most nights.
What to Do in Valladolid
Visit the Catedral de San Gervasio, located at the park center. Make sure to go earlier on in the day, as the tour buses start packing the square by the afternoon.
Explore the grounds of the Convent of San Bernardino of Siena, built in 1552. An impressive structure, make sure you go inside and out to the courtyard. Trees dropping beautiful orange flowers can be found there, as well as an iguana or two if you’re lucky.
Take a dip in Cenote Zaci, located in walking distance from the town center. A restaurant of the same name is located at the Cenote. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to this cenote but the photos make it look absolutely stunning.
Get lost around town snapping photos of all the colored houses and businesses. Unlike most towns painted white or grey, the neighborhood streets of Valladolid are truly spectacular, in color and architecture. Even every doorway is different, and you could spend hours seeing what each street has to offer.
Visit the Churches scattered throughout the town, each with the characteristic style of stone and cement build, most from the 1500-1600’s. Iglesia San Juan is a particular beautiful church located on 295 on the corner of Calle 49.
Take a stroll down Calzada de los Frailes (also known as Calle 41A) to see the colonial houses with impressive archetecture. The end of the road leads you to the Convent of San Bernadino of Siena.
If you haven’t already visited the Mayan ruins of Coba, then click here for a guide on beating the crowds of people. Or if you’re on your way to Tulum or Playa del Carmen, check out our travel guides.