I wanted a chance to get out of the busy cities in Mexico and enjoy some one-on-one culture at my feet at a slower pace.
Founded by invading Spaniards in 1543, with pastel stucco, paving-stone streets and colonial archways, Valladolid is distinctively Spanish. The central cathedral, a fortress of ascetic Franciscan architecture and is standing so magically in front of main plaza. As in Spain, shops are often shut down each afternoon for a siesta, as I like to call a short nap in the middle of the day and the locals sure take this seriously.
This is a nice place because you can have everything without all the noise of Tulum and Cancun plus the small town charm that hasn’t gotten over crowded, just yet.
The city is deeply Mayan, from the cuisine sweet and spicy, heavy on the slow-roasted pork, beans, spice and nopales (cactus), to the different dialects of the Mayan language heard on its streets. Many women wear the traditional Mayan huipil, which are the dresses decorated with bright, flowered embroidery and sold in places like the Mercado de Artesanias, or Parque Principal, located at the central square. This is the kind of town that no matter where you walk to, you will end up somewhere beautiful. It’s a great place to unwind after the much busier cities that surround it. Plus, anyone can absorb the culture in just one day. I couldn’t help but buy some fruit on the street by a local merchant. It was so sweet and refreshing, just like a day in Valladodid!