After visiting the Cenote Ik-Kil we drove away from the sunset and reached the city of Valladolid. Also known as “Sultaness of the East“, Yucatán’s third-largest city is known for its quiet streets and sun-splashed pastel-colored building’s walls.
LonelyPlanet’s guide says:
It’s worth staying here for a few days or even a week, as the provincial town makes a great hub for visits to Río Lagartos, Chichén Itzá, Ek’ Balam and a number of nearby cenotes.”
I didn’t feel that way, or at least that isn’t the case if you have a car and can move around a bit. Valladolid per se doesn’t offer much and since we had a car we explored one place at time while moving towards Tulum.
Anyway it is true that the city resides at that magic point where there’s plenty to do, yet it still feels small, manageable and affordable. It is in a great position to explore the Yucatan state so if you don’t have a car maybe you can take tours from the city. Even so I recommend renting a car to explore Yucatan and Quintana Roo, the tours here can get expensive and there are just so many places to visit!
Contrary to other Mexico’s states, here the principal sites are marked with bi-lingual signage, making this a more hospitable place for English speakers. Even more, local police are very friendly, understand a little bit of english and are happy to give directions. In my case they gave me directions to some ATMs, multiple times.
Located a couple of blocks from the heart of the city is the Cenote Zaci, as far as I know the only thing worth visiting in the city. It is a landscaped freshwater cenote, or underground sinkhole, in which you can access the inside and explore its cave.
If I remember correctly the cenote closes at 5pm but we arrived in Valladolid at 9pm so we were too late to see it.