We left Tulum, the coast and the state of Quintana Roo for the state of Yucatán, once a powerful Mayan centre.
Our first stop: Valladolid.
We’ve been there before, two years ago, and I had a very good memory of it. It was different from the “Riviera Maya,” a welcome break from the touristic sites.
It hasn’t changed.
Most travellers just pass through the city on their way to Chitchen Itza. At most, they stop for lunch, but they rarely stay overnight.
Yet Valladolid is worth a stop. This is a “normal” Mexican city that doesn’t cater exclusively to tourists. It welcomes them with open arms but there are no silly gimmicks and tacky souvenirs, just a few sombreros sold here and there.
Valladolid is a beautiful place. It reminds me of Antigua with its colourful buildings, its paved streets, its shops tucked into old houses and its many churches and plazas. It has the same sophisticated and welcoming vibe.
On the downside, since Valladolid doesn’t have that many tourists, there are only a few restaurants and hotels (locals eat at home!) and no supermarkets in the centres (but many small bodegas). You are more likely to find leather shoes (apparently a local obsession) than a convenience store!