Best of Valladolid

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Valladolid
Once hailed as the “Sultaness of the East,” the small city of Valladolid is best known for its colorful colonial buildings, its exquisite handicrafts and ideal location near major archaeological sites of the Mayan culture. It’s an easy hop to Chichén Itzá, Ek Balam and Cobá, while gorgeous cenotes (natural pools) within walking distance of town make for some rewarding days of travel. You’ll also find some worthwhile attractions inside the historic center, including a superb collection of Mexican folk art in the Casa de los Venados and plenty of show-stopping architecture, like the 16th-century Convent of San Bernadino.

Previous kimkim travelers have spent the day wildlife watching at Ria Lagartos, a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve home to diverse wetlands ecosystems. The coastal lagoons, estuaries and savanna harbor many plant and animal species, including hawksbill turtles, peregrine falcons and American flamingos. After a visit to the reserve, lunch is served at the home of a local fishing family. For insight into ancestral traditions, kimkim travelers have visited a Mayan community where they learned about hammock weaving and agro-ecology. From here you can also discover a cenote accessible by bicycle along a jungle trail.
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A cenote on the Yucatán Peninsula
Map of Culture & the Great Outdoors on the Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days
Culture & the Great Outdoors on the Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days

On this colorful trip plan, you'll experience Mexican culture in an authentic way. See the highlights of the Yucatán Peninsula, visit the archaeological sites of Chichen Itzá, Cobá, and  Xcambó, and view flamingos at Río Lagartos before finishing up in Mérida, where you'll go on a kayak tour and relax on the beach.

Sunset on Holbox Island
Map of Treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula with Beach Stay - 10 Days
Treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula with Beach Stay - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary starts and ends in Cancun. In between, you'll enjoy a journey through the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula, learning about Mayan history at Chichén Itzá, visiting colorful seaside villages, relaxing on the beach, snorkeling around the coral reef off Puerto Morelos, and taking a boat to Isla Holbox for a few days away from civilization.

Chichen Itza
The Archaeological Mayan Journey - 5 Days

Take a step back in time to explore ancient Mayan cities shrouded in mystery—some of which were inhabited since around 1800 BCE—on this five-day adventure. You'll visit Chichén Itzá, one of the New Wonders of the World, as well as Izamal and Mérida, which will offer insight into the transition from ancient Mayan civilization to contemporary Mayan ways of life.

The Church of San Servacio in the city of Valladolid
Map of Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days
Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days

This off-the-beaten-track adventure kicks off in Mexico City where you'll learn the area's pre-Colombian history and visit mysterious temples built by the Aztecs and Mayans. From here, fly to the Riviera Maya to ramble in the colonial streets of Valladolid and Mérida, dine on fresh cuisine, and chill out on the Caribbean Sea. Expect private guides and transportation throughout (except for your free day in Tulum).

Discover the vast Mayan city of Uxmal on the Puuc Route
Map of Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera  - 14 Days
Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera - 14 Days

Step back in time on this two-week itinerary featuring ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins of Morelos and the Yucatán Peninsula. Along the way, you will explore Mexico City, the colonial towns of Valladolid and Mérida, and the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. You will snorkel in freshwater cenotes, climb stone steps of Aztec pyramids, and meet with indigenous locals to learn about Maya history and culture firsthand.

Ancient Maya ruins of Ek'Balam
Map of Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas &  Yucatán - 12 Days
Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas & Yucatán - 12 Days

This family-friendly itinerary of southern Mexico combines cultural activities with plenty of natural exploration. The first half of your trip will see you exploring Chiapas' Sumidero Canyon, el Chiflón and Misol-Ha waterfalls, and the impressive ruins of Palenque. From there, you will head to colonial-era Campeche where you will pick up your rental car and tour the Yucatán: from modern Mayan communities to ancient ruins, from refreshing cenotes to the white sands of Holbox Island.

Agua Azul Waterfall
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days

On this family-friendly two-week itinerary, you'll discover the diverse state of Chiapas, with its jungle waterfalls, colonial cities, and Mayan communities. Then you'll pick up a rental car and drive yourself around the Yucatán Peninsula, stopping to relax on the beach, swim in cenotes, and visit archaeological ruins perched high above the Caribbean Sea.

Bacalar lagoon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas and Quintana Roo - 14 Days
Highlights of Chiapas and Quintana Roo - 14 Days

Take in the views from atop ancient Mayan pyramids and underneath waterfalls with this two-week trip through some of the region's top spots. You'll wander through complex Mayan ruins, along turquoise shores, and into jungles as you learn about Mexican history and ecosystems.

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Mexico City · Yucatan Peninsula · Oaxaca · Chiapas · San Cristobal de las Casas · Merida · Puebla · Tulum · Playa del Carmen · Holbox · Guadalajara · Los Cabos · Puerto Morelos · Morelia · Pisté