Surprise! I’m back again at this travel blogging business. And like usual, its a post about Mexico. I spent a week in the Yucatan in March with my friend Sarah. We did some beachin’ on Isla Mujeres, which was great, but the colonial city of Valladolid won both of our hearts.
Valladolid is in the Yucatan State and seems to be used as a lunch stop for tour buses headed to Cancun after a visit to Chichen Itza. You should really spend a few days there either as a base to visit the ruins of Chichen Itza and Ek Balm or just to enjoy the beautiful architecture and amazing food!
We took a first class ADO bus from the Cancun bus station. Just over 2 hours cost us a cool $17 cdn each! The buses in Mexico are a great deal, ADO shows movies during the ride or the seats super recline so you can have a snooze.
You could also drive if you wanted to make it easier for doing some day trips to ruins and cenotes in the area surrounding Valladolid. Most of the hotels we saw in the city had loads of parking.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the lovely and very affordable La Aurora Hotel Colonial, just a few blocks walk from the main square and the bus depot. For two nights we paid a very reasonable $126 cdn! The hotel had a pool that wasn’t heated and was perfect for cooling off during the afternoon, and some hot tub on the roof that we did not use. Valladolid had so many hotel options all pretty reasonably priced.
What We Did
We ate, a lot. The Yucatan is know for conchinita pibil and they do it very well! If you eat pork this is the place to visit. And stop # 1 should be Taquieria Rosario!
A little taqueria stand on the main road through town (Calle 39) and just a short walk from the bus station this was our first meal in Valladolid on the day we were just passing through on our way to Chichen Itza. We had arrived mid-day when a lot of the restaurants would be closed for a siesta, but thankfully not Rosario’s! He was standing out front and when we crossed the street to get a closer look waved at us and started speaking to us in Spanish. Neither Sarah nor I are fluent but I did know from other posts that he often offers free tacos to prove that his conchinita pibil is the best. And it is! The first one is free and before you know it, you’re six tacos in and wondering how much larger your stomach can expand because you just need six more.
And because life is good, all these tacos and one delicious mexican coca-cola will only set you back about 100 pesos with tip!
Another amazing food find was Loncheria El Amigo Casiano Jr in the Bazar Municipal right across from the main plaza.
We ate here three times! Two lunches and a breakfast. I could have easily worked my way through their entire menu.
And fresh juice! They made these monster sized juices that were so fresh and somehow exactly what was missing from my life at that very moment. Fruit just tastes so much better in tropical climates!
I finally got my hands on some pozole this trip. Sarah and I had dinner our second night at La Palapita de los Tamales just a few blocks up the road from our hotel. Vegans and vegetarians take note, they have a vegan tamale! I enjoyed the pozole, Sarah had a fantastic tamale and we split a perfectly prepared guacamole and chips.
And finally, possibly the best food discovery in Valladolid was the tiny little breakfast restaurant we passed on our way to buy our return bus tickets the morning we had to leave. We saw a lady eating this giant creation that we couldn’t totally make out, but it piqued our curiosity and on the way back to our hotel popped in to the restaurant to ask what the heck she was eating. The lady highly recommended this “tecolote” It has bread, refried beans, chicken, tortilla chips, ranchero sauce, cheese, sour cream and a fried egg. And I think about it all the time. I want it back in my life.
I know it looks like we did nothing but eat for two days, but we kept pretty busy walking around Valladolid, doing some shopping and sightseeing.
If you’re looking to get some new leather shoes, Valladolid is for you. Sarah and I both came home with new pairs. If I had more room in my backpack I would have come home with way more than one pair!
We both got some beautiful textiles and new sun hats.
We strolled down the prettiest street in Valladolid called Calzada de los Frailies at night and during the day.
The main attraction at the end of the street is the Church and Convent of San Bernardino de Siena. The pink paint and tiles are gorgeous. There’s a cenote in the building too, and they’ve pulled some really cool old things out of there and they are on display in the museum in the convent.
Speaking of cenotes, a visit to Cenote Zaci in the middle of town is a perfect way to cool down mid-day when the temps have sky-rocketed. They have lockers on site for rental. We brought our own towels with us. Beware its a fair walk down stairs to get into the cenote, but its totally worth it! The water was refreshing and beautiful. Lot’s of other swimmers had brought snorkling gear and we’re diving down to check out all the catfish swimming around. I, on the other hand, was spending as much energy as possible trying to keep the fish away from me.