Although we only spent two full days in Valladolid in Mexico's beautiful Yucatan state back in October 2015, we stayed busy sightseeing and packed a lot in. Here's Part 1 of our adventure, if you missed it. There is plenty to see in this charming colonial city, so come along and see what we saw!
First up is the Cathedral of San Gervasio, right on the central town square, overlooking the park. First built in 1570, it was destroyed and rebuilt in 1702 after being severely damaged by warring between the Maya and Spanish. It is one of eight churches in the city and one of the most magnificent.
I love the architectural details.
We took a quick look at the dramatic interior.
I liked this back view of the two towers through the foliage.
The cathedral is beautifully lit up at night.
In a more secular vein, we enjoyed visiting a couple of different chocolate shops in town and sampling delicious Mexican chocolate.
We bought a few goodies to take back to Playa del Carmen with us. The shampoo smelled good enough to eat!
At the second shop we visited, we got a short tour and demonstration of how the Mayans made (and still make) chocolate, from bean to finished product. This chocolate was more rustic and a bit grainy compared to the more refined product above, but equally delicious, with many flavors to choose from, so of course we had to add to our stash!
Also an easy walk from our hotel was the central mercado (marketplace), where locals shop for produce, meat, fish, and so much more. We bought some Mexican vanilla and enjoyed wandering the aisles and looking at all our pesos could buy.
We also visited the Government Palace right on the central square. Similar to one we toured in Merida back in 2012, there were huge murals depicting the often bloody Mexican history lining the walls.
After all that seriousness, we were ready for a little silliness. Barry always balks when I make him do these things, but he humors me!
Another interesting thing in Valladolid is a cenote right in town, the Cenote Zaci. We walked over and took a look. This is a semi-open cenote that has a diameter of 150 feet and is 260 feet deep. There is a nominal fee to enter and a restaurant on site, though I don't believe it was open the day (or time) we went. Supposedly the cenote is good for swimming, but there wasn't much of that going on when we were there.
The water looks black in the photo below due to the angle of the sun and the many trees above, but it is actually a beautiful turquoise when the sun hits it right.
You can see the water color better here; also the groups of tourists that came in on buses. We tried to stay on the opposite side from them!
As we walked about town, I found myself attracted to all the old, and often colorful, colonial doors. They are beautiful in their own right, but I also wonder what lies behind each one. Here are a couple of my favorites.
And I was enchanted by this beautiful pasta (also known as mosaico) tile floor in a vacant building I photographed through an open window, if you can imagine! I fell in love with these floors on our first trip to Merida in 2012 and found this great article online with much information about them.
If my memory serves, I believe the building was either for rent or sale. Tempting....
We saw quite a bit more in Valladolid, but this is enough for one post, so come on back in a few days for the third and final installment!
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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