Valladolid City



Pueblo Magico “Magic town”

Valladolid city is located in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula, 2 hours driving from Cancun or Playa del Carmen (+/- 90miles/150km). It is the ideal stop before/after visiting one of the famous New Wonder of the world, Chichen Itza ruins, which are located close by.

In order to develop tourism activity in Yucatan, Valladolid was elected Pueblo Magico (Magic Town) in 2012. Its colourful houses and haciendas make this colonial city one of the most iconic of the Peninsula.

The city was founded 1543 by Francisco Montejo. It was the second city built by Spanish colonizers (after Merida in 1542).

Valladolid city key facts…

  • The city was first build in 1543 but relocated to its current location in 1545 on the Zaci mayan village. Some of the corners of the buildings are constructed with rocks from the Mayans buildings.
  • Valladolid is known for the Caste War. Mayans rioted in 1848. They won but the Spanish took the city again.
  • In 1910, the insurrection initiated by the independent electoral center started in Valladolid. This event is called “The first spark of the revolution”.
  • The city was the first to open a manufacture of threads and fabrics (made from Sisal).
  • 48,000 inhabitants nowadays

What to visit…

  • The Cathedral of San Gervacio, located on the main place (built in 1545, destroyed in 1705 and rebuilt in 1706).
  • The Ex-Convent of San Bernadino de Siena, the second biggest one after Izamal.
  • Cenote Zaci (sink hole located in the center of the city) or the close by cenotes Xkeken Samula

Yucatan food…

Valladolid is a perfect place to stop and enjoy a delicious meal during your tour to a Mayan archeological site. Many restaurants offer the local cuisine of Yucatan. We recommend you to order the famous Cochinita Pibil (pork meal specialty of the peninsula cooked in a banana leaf), or to try panuchos (refried tortilla stuffed with refried black beans and topped with meat, onions and avocado) or to ask for some tasty chorizo made in the small villages around … And of course they usually serve real hand made tortillas.

Walking, shopping…

You can also walk around the streets and look for some handcraft market and artisanal clothes from the area. The downtown is a nice place to see the life going around.

Valladolid is the perfect city where you can see the mix of cultures (Spanish, Mayan). We include a stop to visit this beautiful city in all our tours to Chichen Itza.

Cenote Xkeken Samula

Cenote xkeken samula


The best cenotes around Valladolid

Cenote Xkeken and cenote Samula are two cenotes that could transport you to some movies of the 80s (Goonies or Indiana Jones), the big difference is that here you can enjoy ones of the most beautiful and not crowded cenotes of the Yucatan.

These cenotes are similar to Ik kil but less visited, that helps you to enjoy your swim and relax in the fresh water with a gorgeous view of the cave where you could find birds, bats, all in all creating a surreal sensation.

The Legend about this cenote...

According to a legend, Xkeken Cenote was found by a pig who always returned full of mud to his home.

One time his owner followed him and found the cenote where the pig refreshed himself in these crystal waters! (X´Keken mean pig in maya). On other hand Samula is massive cenote with an entrance right on the top, you can get down through several stairs from where you can see the cenote from different views.

The two cenotes have holes in the surface, which creates special lights effect coming from them. This light plays with the colors of the water making swimming there more special.

Cenote Samula

Every cenote is different; we resume the special features of Xkeken and Samula:

  • Activities: Swimming / Snorkeling
  • Special for: Stalactites and stalagmites, bats, birds, spectacular views.
  • Type of Cenote: Cave Cenote,
  • Depth: till 20 feet
  • Mandatory: lifejacket (for non experienced swimmers)
  • Access: two different platforms / several steps
  • Facilities: bathroom/ parking/ rest zone / souvenir shop
  • Location: close to Valladolid

Swimming in Cenote Xkeken and Samula is a relaxing and refreshing moment, especially appreciated after visiting the mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.

Going to Cenote Xkeken will make you have a very special moment with your siblings and enjoy your vacations. And of course we provide you with the best guides and equipment to maximize your experience! Don’t forget to book your private tour with us!