In 2012, the colonial city of Valladolid was added to the list of Pueblos Mágicos (magical villages) in Mexico, a designation highlighting towns that have particular historical, cultural, and/or natural significance in the country.
Since Valladolid, in the Yucatan state, is an easy bus ride from Playa del Carmen, we were excited to visit for a few days back in October of 2015. And it did indeed prove to be a magical place.
Here's an article from Huffington Post on a few of the Pueblos Mágicos, including Valladolid.
Our journey started with a morning walk to the bus terminal and a three-hour bus ride on the comfortable ADO bus. Arriving in Valladolid around lunchtime, we had only a short walk to our hotel right on the main town square, but check-in time was not until 3, so we had some time to kill.
On the way to the hotel, we stopped in a restaurant on the square for a quick bite to eat outside. The sights and sounds of this charming city were already delighting and intriguing us, and we couldn't wait to see more.
We chose our hotel, El Mesón del Marqués, based on Tripadvisor and Playa forum reviews. It was an excellent choice and very reasonably priced. Our room was around $55 US nightly and included a hot breakfast. Surprisingly quiet despite being centrally located, the hotel's inner courtyard seemed very far from the bustling town square.
After passing through the simple facade, the hotel lobby was a visual feast.
The inner courtyard had a nice pool and lovely greenery and trees, giving it a rural feel rght in the heart of the city.
The hotel spanned an entire block from front to back. Here's the back entrance and Barry peaking out one of the doors.
Immediately outside the front of the hotel is the main square park, Francisco Cantón Rosado. The park attracts people from all over the city as well as many tourists, and day-tripper tour buses park here, so it is almost always bustling.
The hotel is the second building in this photo, pink in color. The large trees growing in the inner courtyard are visible behind the facade.
Back inside the hotel's courtyard, there's a nice restaurant specializing in, what else, Yucatecan cuisine. We'd read good reviews so enjoyed a couple of dinners there, plus our complimentary breakfasts.
They built the restaurant right around this huge tree!
Here's some of what we tried in the restaurant. The soups were particularly tasty.
Below is a typical Yucatecan plate of various chicken dishes. It was tasty but left me craving a salad! Fortunately, the restaurant did have some delicious fruit and vegetable juices blended on the spot that were bursting with nutrition. On the right is one made with beets that we particularly enjoyed.
On our first night, we splurged for dessert and shared flambéed Bananas Foster, which were incredibly delicious. A magical way to end the day in a magical city!
We have a lot more to share from our time in Valladolid, so please stay tuned for Part 2!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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