This town fills me with so much joy. Not only is it filled with Mayan culture but it illuminates all the Spanish influences. It was originally settled by the Spanish and still holds all the colonial charm it had in the 1800’s. It used to be one of the largest trading hubs on the peninsula, which has everything to do with the magic of Valladolid. To be honest, before I ever visited Tulum…I pictured it to look just like Valladolid- a huge church, a large town square, cobble stone streets, an awesome food hall etc. After my first visit to Tulum, I quickly realized that the picture I painted in my head wasn’t my reality- the town of Tulum is so young and very underdeveloped (half the streets down here don’t even have legitimate names… sounds ironic in comparison to the rich history that has lived in this dense limestone jungle dating back to almost 2000 BC. Valladolid just speaks to me- it has character, history, and culture. It is nearly untouched by tourism and holds so much charm and energy. Everyone is buzzing around on their motor bikes from sunrise to sundown, women walk the streets in their traditional Mayan huipil, and there is even Cenote Zaci in the center of town!
As it usually goes, days off from work are the most cherished- and some of my favorite memories since we have been down here in the Yucatán have been in this magical town. The Mercado alone is an absolute highlight… from the pork hall, the variety of different citrus, the fresh chilies (habaneros especially!), dried chilies, vanilla extracts, endless hot sauce larders, and the ripest produce for the mornin’ pickin’s.
We have stayed in the same hotel every time we have visited, Hotel Meson de Marques. Their rooms are inexpensive (along with most everything else in Valladolid), they have a ballin’ traditional Mexican breakfast, and they are in the heart in soul of the square.
Hasta Pronto Valladolid!