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Things to Do in and Around Valladolid (Mexico)

In this travel guide for Valladolid in Mexico, we will tell you all the fun, unique, and cheap things to do in Valladolid and its surrounds, and why you definitely should not skip this magical town on your Mexico Itinerary for the Yucatan Penninsula!



About Valladolid

Valladolid is a pueblo màgico, which is one of 130 towns in Mexico deemed to provide a special experience.

A lot of people tend to visit Valladolid as part of a day trip, but having heard it was still a 'local's city' unlike many other parts of Yucatan, we chose to stay for a few nights to come slightly off the beaten path.

We travelled to Valladolid in May and it was HOT! Long gone are the altitude breezes of Oaxaca. So making sure we were at our guesthouse or in a cafe with AC in the middle of the day, here are some of things to do in and around Valladolid, including day trips from this very special city.

Beautiful streets in Valladolid Mexico
One of the many beautiful streets of Valladolid


Things to Do in and Around Valladolid (Mexico)

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Free Walking Tour

During this Free Walking Tour of Valladolid - we visited the main church, and the town hall, walked past Cenote Zaci and then went into the food market.

While not the best free walking tour I've experienced, the guide was full of useful information about the town and didn't try to sell us anything. A free walking tour is always a great way to get to know a new city!

Duration - 90 minutes
Price - 100 Pesos (tip)


Xkopek Beekeeping Park

This was one of our favourite things to do in Valladolid! The folks at Xkopek Beekeeping Park gave us a private tour of the grounds and we learnt so much about bees, followed up by a superb honey tasting.

Duration - 2 hours
Price - 120 pesos including a tour, a drink, and a honey tasting.

A boy in a blue t-shirt with a yellow background and a bowl of honey tea
The honey tasting at Xkopek


Cenote Zaci

Cenote Zaci is one of the most affordable Cenotes in Yucatan, and it's easily reached on foot as it's right in the middle of the Valladolid City Centre! town!

If you'd like to go for a dip, make sure you get there when it opens (at 8am) to avoid the crowds.

Like all of the Cenotes in Yucatan, by midday, they are like public swimming pools, so BE THE FIRST ONES THERE!

Duration - 2 hours
Price - 30 pesos

Cenote Zaci
Cenote Zaci


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Santa Barbara Cenotes

Visiting Santa Barbara Cenotes is one of the best things to do around Valladolid!

We received a tip from some fellow travellers at our hostel to visit this group of 3 Cenotes, which are about a 2-hour drive from Valladolid.

We arrived the second they opened, and yes, we were the only ones there for about 2 hours.

You have the choice of bike or horse to get around the cenotes - PLEASE CHOOSE BIKES, the ponies looked skinny and overworked and the distance between the Cenotes really isn't that far.

The first 2 Cenotes are enclosed and are far more enjoyable to swim in. Whilst the third one is the most picturesque, as it's an open-top cenote, the birds just love to shit all over you.

Duration - Half Day
Open- 9am - 4pm everyday
Price - 250 pesos

I Dream of Mangoes in Santa Barbara Cenotes
Swimming in the Santa Barbara Cenotes


Chichén Itzá

As one of the new 7 wonders of the world, be prepared to share Chichén Itzá with everyone as a day trip to these ruins is the most popular thing to do around Valladolid.

If you leave early enough, you may be able to enjoy it before the swarms arrive. It's impressive, don't get me wrong, but there are other ruins that are nice to look at and that are less busy and much cheaper.

Chichén Itzá is a 45-minute drive from Valladolid, and it opens at 8am, so I can't stress this enough, get there when it opens. A lot of people visit Chichén Itzá as part of a day trip, so by 11am the place becomes like a theme park and it's really not worth going at all (IMO).

Duration - Half day
Price - 614 pesos

Chichén Itzá
Chichén Itzá


Ek' Balam

Located only 30 minutes from Valladolid, the often-overlooked sister of Chichén Itzá offers a lot more in terms of experience, and only sees a fraction of the amount of visitors.

Unlike Chichén Itzá, you are allowed to climb and explore a lot of the site, including the Acropolis, which is 32 metres high. Ek’ Balam still feels like it’s in the heart of the jungle and as part of the experience you can wander the 1.5km through the forest to cenote X'canche.

Duration - Half day
Price - 494 pesos


Río Lagartos

A little town at the end of a long road north, Río Lagartos sits on the shores of the Northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula. It is a little settlement with less than 4,000 inhabitants, and whilst once an off-the-radar fishing village, it is now becoming a tourist hotspot.

Don’t worry, there are still only a handful of visitors to be found here, as most tourists travelling to the North shores of Yucatan visit Isla Holbox instead.

Río Lagartos is well worth the 90-minute drive from Valladolid - if only to see the beautiful pink flamingoes! You can haggle with the boat drivers to do a tour of the river.

Duration - All day
Price - Depends


Calzada de los Frailes

Some may say the prettiest street in all of Mexico, Calzada de los Frailes is a great spot to have a wander and pop into one of the many cute cafes. We liked Cafe ConKafecito, they had AC and nice cakes.

Duration - 30 Mins
Price - Free


Where to stay in Valladolid

As usual, I put my faith in for finding accommodation, and Joe and I had a budget in Mexico of £20 per night (for a couple). While this amount gives you lots of options in Asia, this is pretty tight for Latin America.

We ended up staying at Casa Chi, a basic guesthouse run by a lovely guy (Chi), who was there to help us with everything.

A girl floating in a freshwater pool
Santa Barbara Cenotes


Thank you for reading this guide on things to do in and around Valladolid.

If you are visiting Valladolid as part of a wider trip, check out my post on The Ultimate Yucatan Road Trip!

If you enjoyed the read, please consider subscribing to my blog, where I publish travel posts every 1-2 weeks, based on my current trip around the world.

If you're looking for more inspiration for Mexico, check out my Mexico City Guide here.

Happy Travels




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