Traveling with Stephy

Yucatan peninsula: the best spots to visit from Valladolid including Chichen Itza!

Do you want to do a road trip across Mexico’s peninsula? Then, you certainly should add Valladolid to your itinerary! Indeed, located in the state of Yucatan, Valladolid is a colorful colonial town. Above all, Valladolid is the perfect hub for visiting the best spots in the region, from beautiful cenotes to one of the most famous seven wonders of the world! In this guide, I share with you a complete Valladolid travel guide that gathers everything you need to know to enjoy your stay to the fullest.
Valladolid is located in the center of Mexico’s peninsula, in the state of Yucatan. Only two hours away from Cancun International Airport, Valladolid is easily accessible. Indeed, you can conveniently get to Valladolid either by car or by public transportation from any part of the peninsula. This is one of the many reasons, this town is the perfect stop to add to your itinerary when visiting the peninsula of Mexico.
If you are visiting Mexico by bus, I advise you to ride with ADO, which is a first-class Mexican bus company. There is A/C, large legs space, TV screens, and WC on board! Most importantly, the journey is shorter compared to the others bus companies with a maximum of one or two stops along the way. Of course, bear in mind that prices are relatively more expensive but you pay for the time saving and the comfort.
Travel itinerary from Cancun International Airport to Valladolid: 
  • From Cancun Airport Terminal 2 to Cancun Downtown: about 35 minutes. Price (May 2022): 98 pesos per person, one way.
  • From Cancun downtown (same terminal coming from Cancun Airport): a little bit more than 2 hours. Price (May 2022): between 192 and 302 pesos per person one way (prices change depending on the hours)
“I strongly advise you to download the free ADO app on your mobile so that you can book your seats in advance (with a credit card). In case you book your ride 3 weeks before, you can have 50% off, which is amazing!”

How long to stay in Valladolid?

As stated above, Valladolid is the perfect hub to visit beautiful cenotes and archeological ruins. In other words, the town is located 35 minutes away from the very famous Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world! Not to mention the numerous cenotes around Valladolid with only 15 minutes drive away from the city center. Therefore, if you have time and want to enjoy the area to the fullest, I would stay for at least four nights in Valladolid. 
We spent 10 days in this cute little colonial town and didn’t get bored at all! We loved the vibes of this charming town of Yucatan and its stunning natural wonders.
In case you are short on time, you can cut your stay in Valladolid to two nights. Like this, one day will be dedicated to visiting archeological sites and the other day will be all about cenotes.

Where to stay in Valladolid?

Valladolid is a quiet and safe colonial town, packed with colorful houses. To my knowledge, there is no specific area you should avoid in terms of safety. However, if you have the budget to do so, I strongly advise you to stay in the city center. In this way, you will be able to get around easily as you will be close to any collective departures and any other public bus stops. 
We stayed close to the big supermarket called Bodega Aurrera and the location was perfectly convenient. Indeed, we were close to everything from collective, bus stations, and supermarkets. I highly recommend staying in this cute little Airbnb apartment. Click here to get all the details. 

How to move around Valladolid?

Alright, so from what I experienced during my trip to Valladolid, I would say that having a car is not a bad thing. I can even say it is necessary if you want to visit any remote places. 
If you have a limited budget, you still will be able to discover the best spots by public transportation or taxi rides. This is actually what we did during our 10 days around Valladolid and it was ok (not great but ok). I didn’t find it very easy to get the right bus that takes you to the right place. Sometimes no buses were going in the direction we wanted. Therefore, we had to grab taxis several times. So, of course, the taxi costs in Yucatan are lower than in Tulum for example. But it remains a budget. Indeed, it costs about 100 to 120 pesos for a 10-minute trip (one way). 
“I know it can be a little bit scary to rent a car in such a country (with all the police corruption) but honestly we regretted not having a car to move around freely and visit the places of interest without being dependant on a bus itinerary.”

What to do in Valladolid?

Alright, so Valladolid is surrounded by so many amazing places that I am excited to share with you! The town is not yet very tourist compares to other ones in Mexico’s peninsula such as Tulum or Playa del Carmen. Consequently, the vibes there are still very authentic and you can truly get a true sense of a small Mexican town.

Chichen itza

I could not start this guide without introducing you to one of the seven wonders of the world: Chichen Itza! This famous archaeological site is located about 35 minutes from Valladolid. 
Contrary to what you might think, Chichen Itza is a large site composed of different archaeological places other than the well-known pyramid that we see everywhere on the Internet (photo below). Hence, I advise you to allow 3 hours on-site to have time to visit everything. All visits are on foot. Be careful, it can be very hot depending on the day, so don’t forget your sunscreen and cap!
Bear in mind that there are many souvenir sellers and menders throughout the site. I am informing you of this because frankly, I find that it completely denatures the archaeological site. So maybe if you know that before coming, you won’t be as shocked as me!
“No surprise if I tell you that you need to be at the opening hours to enjoy the site! To secure your place, come even before the opening so that you are one of the first in the line.”

May 2022: 539 pesos per person (one part is paid by cash only - 80 pesos and the other part can be paid by credit card) - be aware that prices change every week and there is no official website with the prices.

open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Suytun cenote

As you may know, Mexico is notably well-known for its cenotes. There are mainly three different types of cenotes: open, semi-open, and closed cavecenotese. 

Suytun cenote is then a closed cave cenote and not just any! I think this is probably one of the most photographed on the Internet. Now that I have visited it, I understand why! Honestly, I have never seen such a beautiful cave. Thecolorr of the water is fluorescent blue and the cave is full of stalactites, which makes the place magical.

Entry to the cenote is by reservation only on-sitee or online) and for a specific hour. This means that you can stay inside the cenote for a maximum of one hour during a specific time, after which you will have to leave the premises.

For the record, thesuitn site has two different cenotes: the closed one (showninn the photos) and a semi-open one.

“Due to its popularity, even if you book your spot at the opening hour, you will not be alone. That’s why, if you have the budget and the desire, I recommend you privatize the cenote for one hour (either before the opening hours or after). This is what we did and it was a magical moment! Check all the info here.”

adult: 150 pesos on site / 130 pesos online purchase
kid: 100 pesos on site / 90 pesos online purchase
Private session: 3'999 pesos for 1 to 30 people

open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm


Coba ruins is another archaeological site close to Valladolid town. Located 50 minutes away from the city, Coba ruins is a less tourist place than Chichen Itza and just as beautiful. The site is very large and therefore you can rent bikes directly inside. We visited the ruins on foot and it took us half a day. If you don’t want to walk or rent a bike, you can grab a taxi bike inside the site.

“As the site is less touristic due to its remote location, you don’t need to be there for the opening hours. Consequently, Coba ruins is the perfect place to visit during the afternoon after you have visited another famous spot during the morning (such as Oxman cenote – see below for more details).”

100 pesos per person (cash only)

open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm

Oxman cenote

Oyman cenote is a semi-open cenote located less than 10 minutes away from Valladolid downtown. One thing special about the Oxman cenote is that there is a rope to jump from the edge. So, if you want to play Jane or Tarzan for a bit, this place is for you! Moreover, the cenote is surrounded by lianas and is packed with so birds and bats. 
On top of that, the site has also a swimming pool which you have access to with the entrance ticket to the cenote. For all the food lovers, you can even choose the “buffet option ticket” which includes an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“No doubt, you have to be here for the opening hour because starting from 10:00 am the place looks like more a municipal pool than a wild cenote.”

150 pesos per person

open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Valladolid town

Valladolid is mainly composed of cute streets with artisanal shops, colorful small houses, and green parks. The main park called Francisco Canton Rosado is a must-do where there are different trucks with food and stuff to sell. While in Valladolid you need to try out the well-known “Maquesitas” which is a crepe with Nutella and cheese! Delicious!
“If you don’t want to walk too much, there is a hop-on hop-off bus that drives through the town. This is a great way to discover the city if you don’t have a lot of time too. Only 80 pesos per person. One of the bus stops is next to the main park.”

Chichikan cenote

Chichikan cenote is again a semi-open cenote with a height of 24 meters and a depth of 8 meters, close to Valladolid (10 minutes away). This cenote is one of the less popular cenotes in this guide. Indeed, it is very well-known among the locals, but that’s all for now. So, this is a good time to visit it and enjoy it to the fullest. In addition, they offer different packages such as one option that includes a Mayan experience with a good traditional Mexican meal. highly recommended! Click here to get more info.

cenote only: 100 pesos per person
cenote and meal: 220 pesos per person

open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

In conclusion

To sum up, Valladolid is the perfect hub to explore stunning cenotes and unique archaeological ruins. Moreover, this colonial town offers awesome food options, great architecture, and good vibes. On top of that, Valladolid will immerse you in the true Mexican culture. 

I sincerely hope I have inspired you to add Valladolid to your Mexico peninsula itinerary.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Anyway, don’t forget to check out all my posts related to Mexico here to get more inspiration!

Sending you lots of love,

Share it on:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Not authorized.