THINGS TO DO IN VALLADOLID
Right in the center of Valladolid you can find the Cenote Zaci, which is worth a visit for its bright blue waters and striking location. Being so central, Cenote Zaci is a great option if time is limited. Go early and you may find yourself enjoying the water alone.
Casa de los Venados
This beautiful museum houses the largest collection of Mexican folk art in private hands. It is essentially a private house museum that opens to the public everyday to share its collection. Get there just before 10am to enjoy the free tour of the casa that boasts nearly 3,000 folk art pieces.
Wander Through the Streets
Valladolid is the kind of city that you will just want to explore by wandering through the streets. Head down to the main square that is scattered with trees and peppered with love seats, where locals sit and chat, or take a wander along the picturesque Calzada de los Frailes to admire the architecture and visit the interesting boutiques found there.
Convent de San Bernadino de Siena
Just at the end of Calzada de los Frailes you will find the Franciscan Convent of San Bernadino de Siena. The convent, which dates from 1560, is one of the largest in the region. Inside you can see paintings that date back to the 16th century, which were hidden and only rediscovered in 1978. There are also frescos that retain their rich color despite having been painted over 400 years ago.
OUTSIDE THE CENTER
Another magic town, Izamal’s buildings are all painted in yellow and white and the town centers around the Franciscan monastery built on top of a large Mayan temple. Many original features can be seen at the monastery and despite being destroyed, some of the Maya temple can still be observed.
Located just a 45-minute drive from Valladolid, Chichen Itza makes a very viable day trip. Named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is unsurprisingly popular with tourists from all over the world. Once you are there amongst its intricately restored structures, you will probably understand why. Many tours runs from Valladolid to the site or you can head there by public transport.
If you prefer not to have to brave the crowds to visit a Mayan archeological site, then Ek Balam, located just outside of Valladolid is a great option. The site boasts structures with intricately carved facades as well as an oval shaped palace and preserved wall paintings. It is most definitely worth a visit.