Here in Valladolid we found many women wear the traditional Mayan huipil — white cotton blouses or dresses adorned with bright, flowered embroidery. Traditional dress in everyday life reflects a deep culture that we enjoy and seek to find in a place.
And if you fancy yourself in one, you can buy them in the Mercado de Artesanias, a block from the city’s beautiful, newly refurbished Parque Principal, or Zocolo as they are commonly known in Mexico.
Valladolid (pronouced Viyo – doh – leed) is deeply Mayan, from the cuisine — sweet and spicy, heavy on the beans and slow-roasted pork — to the guttural consonants of the Mayan language heard on its streets. Valladolid is a place to stop and relish, in hindsight we would have chosen it over Merida for our stay. I’m not saying we didn’t like Merida, Valladolid just felt better.
Because it fits with our love of small, tranquil places and it feels – well authentic. I know “ authentic” is a bit cliche, but I think Valladolid is truly deserving of authentic.
The natural splendor of the Yucatán surrounds the town…the flat, porous limestone shelf of the Yucatan Peninsula is penetrated by thousands of sinkholes, or cenotes, filled with fresh water and there are many to be found in and around Valladolid.
We found one of them, the Cenote Zaci, about three blocks east of the central square. Though it’s not exactly remote, the stone steps leading down to the sinkhole, which lies within a cave like formation surrounded by jungle foliage, delivered me to another world yet again – seemingly far away from Valladolid.
Or you could just stand in the way and pose for selfie with your iPad!
Valladolid is a wonderful central hub to explore the entire Yucatan Peninsula or a charming, convenient, and affordable stop for a few nights, if you’re looking to get away from the tourist crowds of Cancun or Playa del Carmen.