Epic 3 Day Valladolid Itinerary – Mexico

3 days in Valladolid Itinerary

Valladolid was without a doubt one of our favourite places we visited in Mexico’s Yucatan region. So we decided to put together this EPIC 3 day Valladolid itinerary for you, based on what we did there. We just made a few small tweaks to make sure you get the most out of your time in Valladolid.

Valladolid’s colourful streets, laid-back atmosphere and affordable prices made it a great place to spend a few days exploring. Not to mention how Mayan ruins and beautiful cenotes literally surround it. There’s no chance that you will run out of things to do in Valladolid.

A car parked on a pretty street in Valladolid Mexico

So let’s dive straight into our detailed 3 day Valladolid itinerary…

3 Day Valladolid Itinerary – Best Things To Do

Valladolid Itinerary – Day 1

Morning – Kick off your stay in the best way and get your body moving. Head to one of the many tour/rental shops in town and hire yourself some bicycles. There are multiple cenotes that you can cycle to just outside of the town.

Alternatively, there were also guided cycle tours to take you and a group to a few different cenotes. Some of the best cenotes in cycling distance are Oxman, Xkeken, Dzitnup and Saamal. All 4 are fairly close to each other and can be visited one after the other. In one morning you will likely have time to visit 2 or 3.

Afternoon – Once you get back into town, head to the main square and check out the beautiful Catholic church – Templo de San Servacio, overlooking the park. It is free to enter and have a look around inside.

The church in the main square in Valladolid Mexico

You can also check out the many different local shops lining the square and try some of the local foods. At around 5 pm in the park, a small local dance group perform a traditional dance which was fun to sit and watch.

Valladolid Itinerary – Day 2

Morning – Set your alarm for nice and early because this morning you’re off to explore one of the 7 NEW WONDERS OF THE WORLD – Chichen Itza! This is hands down one of the absolute best things to do in Valladolid so time to get excited.

You will want to aim to arrive around 8 am when the site opens to try and beat the crowds. We found that spending 3-4 hours there was plenty of time to explore the site. You can read more about visiting here in our separate guide.

Chichen Itza needs to be on everyones Valladolid Itinerary

Afternoon – Once you’re done checking out the magnificent Chichen Itza, the best thing to do would be to check out another cenote and cool down. Trust us you’re going to want to.

Luckily there are a few to choose, from but from our research, Ik Kil Cenote looks to be the best option. It is just down the road on your way back to Valladolid and looks absolutely beautiful. It’s 150 pesos to enter and this includes a life jacket.

*** If you would prefer to take a Guided tour for the day and have some of the stress removed, then we found the perfect day trip for you. Visit Chichen Itza in the morning and then a Cenotes afterwards, the same way we suggested spending the day, just with a group instead of flying solo. Check out the guided day trip here.

Valladolid Itinerary – Day 3

There is no better way to spend your last day in Valladolid than visiting 3 of the BEST cenotes in the area. We personally visited these 3 and can safely say each of them is incredibly special and each a little different to the next.

They are Cenote Secreto Maya, Cenote Xcanahaltun and Cenote Suytun. We recommend visiting them in that order too. Take them at your own pace but they can easily all be visited in a day.

Cenote Suytan is one of the best additions to a Valladolid Itinerary in Mexico

Extra (FREE) Things To Do In Valladolid

If you find yourself with some extra time then don’t worry we’ve got you covered;

Free Walking Tour of Valladolid

We love free walking tours when visiting a new town or city. They are usually only a couple of hours long but they are a great way to learn some cool things about the new places you are visiting. Check out this walking tour of Valladolid.

Convento de San Bernardino de Siena

Wander down to the historic ruins of Convento de San Bernardino de Siena. Enjoy some time in the park outside the ruins or snap a quick pic with the ‘Valladolid’ sign that can be found in the park also.

Uayma – Church Inglesia

You could always take the 20-minute drive out to the nearby village of Uayma to visit the super unique church Iglesia de Uayma. Free to enter and with nothing else like it in the Yucatan, this quaint little church has some great reviews.

Ek Balam Mayan Ruins

If you loved Chichen Itza and want to explore some more Mayan ruins then you could check out the nearby archaeological site in Ek Balam. This one is not free but for history lovers, it will be totally worth the extra trip.

Evening Light Show

If you’re keen on some evening activity then head down to the light show on the walls of Parroquia de San Bernardino de Siena. It’s all in Spanish but we still enjoyed the visuals despite our still limited Spanish. It’s not on every night but if you ask at your hotel or the scooter rental they will be able to tell you when you can see it.

The evening light show in Valladolid Mexico

Best Day Trips From Valladolid

If you have an extra day or 2 then here are some ideas for great day trips that can be done from Valladolid;

Visit the infamous Pink Lake Las Coloradas and the Flamingos at Parque Natural Ria Lagartos

On this Tour, you will be taken to see the huge flocks of wild flamingos that live in the region all year round and then head to visit the naturally pink waters of the salt flats at Los Coloradas. The perfect day for experiencing the vivid colours of nature.

👉 Read more about the tour here!

Explore Ek Balam Ancient Ruins and X’Canche Cenote

Take a guided tour to explore the ancient Mayan ruins at Ek Balam, followed by a visit to the beautiful and refreshing X’Canche Cenote.

👉 Read more about this tour here!

If you have time after visiting Valladolid, consider spending some time at Bacalar Lagoon, we loved it there!

Where To Stay In Valladolid

Valladolid is a pretty small town so no matter where you stay you will easily be able to reach everything on foot. Here are some of our top recommendations for accommodation depending on your budget;

Budget Option – Hostel 230 – $25 USD Per night

We stayed in a private room at Hostel 230 and we can totally recommend this place as a super convenient, budget accommodation option. The main perks are the very short walking distance to the ADO bus station, the great price and the yummy breakfast that was included!! Not something you see very much in budget accommodation in Mexico.

Book your stay at Hostel 230 HERE!

Mid-Range Option – Hostel Candelaria – $47 UD Per night

This hostel is very popular among travellers and rates very highly with those who choose to stay here. The price gets you a private room and also includes breakfast. Located in the centre of town, just a 5-minute walk from the main square.

✅ Book your stay at Hostel Candelaria HERE!

High-End Option – Hotel & Suites Country – $72 USD Per night

This luxury hotel offers Large modern rooms with air-con. They have a large pool and of course, breakfast is included in the price.

✅ Book your stay at Hotel & Country Suites HERE!

How To Get To Valladolid

Luckily there are a few different ways to get to Valladolid, depending on how you prefer to travel.

Rent A Car In Mexico

Renting a car in Mexico is probably one of the best ways to get around, especially in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo regions. Not only will you have total freedom over where you go and when but it is also very easy and affordable to rent a car in Mexico.

🚙 Find Your Perfect Rental Car Here With Discover Cars!
We always use Discover Cars when we look for a rental. They are our favourite site for comparing prices and getting a great deal.

Renting a car is one thing we wish we had done when we visited, as we would’ve been able to see and do so much more.

By Bus

Valladolid is extremely easy to get to from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Holbox and Merida. We recommend using the bus company ADO. They have large coaches with toilets and massive comfy seats.

They also have a depot in each town where you can go to buy tickets and they have tonnes of buses running all around the region every day. The tickets are not expensive and we paid 180 pesos ($10) each to get from Tulum to Valladolid.

You don’t have to book in advance but we usually went the day before to get our tickets. We preferred to do it this way because the queues could be quite long and we didn’t fancy waiting in line with all our backpacks.

Make sure to arrive on time but don’t expect the buses to ever be on time. They were always casually late so don’t panic if you’ve been waiting a while, it’s most likely still on its way.

Private Shuttle

Alternatively, you can travel anywhere by private shuttle, but having travelled this way once, it was the same price as ADO and far more cramped and sweaty so we personally wouldn’t recommend them.

We also found the ADO buses to be far more reliable and have much safer drivers than the shuttles.

By Taxi

Taking a Taxi is also another way to reach Valladolid, but again this way is not one we would really recommend. It will be the most expensive way to travel and Taxis in Mexico are notorious for scamming visitors.

However, if you enjoy Taxis then go for it! They are not all bad and can be found pretty much everywhere. Just make sure to never get into an unmarked vehicle and agree on a price before you set off.

How To Get Around Valladolid?

If you have your rental car then GREAT, you are all set to explore!

If not then we recommend hiring a scooter for a few days of adventures. Luckily most scooter rentals in Valladolid open at 7 am, allowing you plenty of time to get to places such as cenotes and ruins for when they open.

We recommend using Ko’ox Balak rentals for excellent customer service, good condition bikes and affordable rates. This is the company we used and they were awesome!

Renting a scooter for a day in Valladolid costs us $22.

Looking over the shoulder of Guido riding a scooter in Valladolid Mexico

Alternatively, you can also use Taxis to get around to all of the sites we will mention but this will be the most expensive option and you will always need to make sure they either wait for you or arrange a time for them to come back and pick you up.

Where To Eat In Valladolid

Valladolid is jam-packed with great restaurants but here are the ones we liked the most;

  • Le’Kaat – A lovely vegetarian restaurant with a great garden and delicious veggie Tacos.
  • Huper – A healthy food restaurant that serves comfort food in a healthy way.
  • Nena Nena – A very vegan-friendly cafe serving unique meals such as cactus stews.
  • Restaurante de los Santos – Small family-run restaurant serving traditional Mexican food with both vegan and veggie options. This was our favourite place to eat in Valladolid.
Our favourite tacos in Mexico where in Valladolid

Before you hit the bars, check out our guide on the drinking laws in Mexico.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Valladolid

The best time to visit the Valladolid and the Yucatan region in general is between November and April as this is the dry season. This gives you the best of the weather and avoids the rainy season.

This is also however the high season so prices may be a little higher. Going in November/December is the sweet spot.

What To Pack for a Trip To Mexico

It’s going to be hot folks so whatever you do, don’t forget to pack plenty of sunscreen (although remember that cenotes will make you shower first to wash it all off and protect the fragile ecosystems).

We recommend these essentials;

  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito spray
  • Light summer clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • Comfy shoes for walking in
  • A small day backpack
  • Camera
  • Travel/Microfibre towel

For a comprehensive packing list, check out this post.

Valladolid Itinerary FAQs

Here are some more super useful questions and answers that you may also be interested in;

How Many Days Do You Need In Valladolid?

When we visited we spent 4 nights in Valladolid, giving us 3 full days to explore. This felt like the perfect amount of time. I wouldn’t recommend spending less than 3 nights or you might feel rushed for time.

If you decide to stay for more than 3 days then there is plenty to see and do in the area, which we will get to shortly.

Where Is Valladolid

Valladolid is located pretty centrally within the Yucatan Region of Mexico. It is roughly in the middle of Cancun and Merida, about a 2-hour drive from each city. It is also pretty central between Tulum and Holbox, making it the perfect place to base yourself and explore this area of the country.

Is Valladolid worth visiting?

Hell Yeah, it is! If you can’t tell by now, we absolutely fell in love with Valladolid. The town is charming and safe and there is just so much to do here. Not to mention it is one of the more affordable places to visit in this region of Mexico.

What is the prettiest street in Valladolid?

In our opinion, the prettiest street in Valladolid would have to be Calz. De Los Frailes. This is the street you would take to walk down from the main square to the Ruins of Convento de San Bernardino de Siena. The street is lined with vibrant and colourful buildings and is a pleasure to wander through.

Day 1 of our Valladolid Itinerary is ideal to take a walk down this street and check it out for yourself.

Walking down the prettiest street in Valladolid, Mexico

How far is it from Valladolid to Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza is around 42km from Valladolid, which is about a 45-minute drive. The road connecting the two is mostly a fast highway.

Is Valladolid safe to visit?

Valladolid is perfectly safe to visit as a tourist. It is one of the safer areas to visit in Mexico but make sure to not take any chances just in case. The town feels incredibly safe and the people are very welcoming but it is still Mexico after all.

3 Day Valladolid Itinerary – Final Thoughts

And there you have it folks, the best things to do in Valladolid for a fun, adventure-packed trip. We hope this 3-day Valladolid Itinerary has given you plenty of inspiration and got you all excited for your visit. We absolutely loved our time in Valladolid and I’m confident you will too.

If you find yourself short on time and only have one day in Valladolid then make sure to visit Chichen Itza and at least one Cenote. Our favourite was Cenote Secreto Maya.

Have the best time and let us know if you love it as much as we did!!