Valladolid is a city bursting with color, charm and history located in the center of the Yucatan Peninsula. Around an hour and a half from Tulum, Valladolid is an easy day trip with so much to do in the surrounding area.
Make your first stop of the day one of the many beautiful cenotes in the area. We highly recommend Cenote Oxman! It may seem odd to suggest a swim first; however, this is your best chance to have the cenote to yourself. We arrived right when Cenote Oxman opened at 10am and had the place to ourselves for over an hour before the first tour bus arrived.
Oxman is an open air cenote: a big hole in the ground. Tree roots cascade down into the water which is over 150 feet deep! To get to the bottom, you will take around 6 flights of stairs down to reach the jumping platforms and ladders. There is also a rope swing if you want to make a grand entrance into the water.
There is a hacienda on sight if you would like to book a room overnight. The grounds also include a restaurant, pool, snack bar and tequila tasting bar.
Oxman is open from 10am to 5pm daily. Entrance tickets are 150 pesos per person for entrance only or 250 pesos per person for entry and lunch. Children under a certain height are free. Cash only.
Life jackets are available with ticket purchase.
If you would like other cenotes options similar to Oxman around Valladolid, there seems to be an endless list! A few popular stops are Cenote Chukum, Cenote Xcanche, Cenote Dzitnup, Cenote Ik Kel and Cenote Suytun (Instagram famous for its platform at the center). We have an entire blog post dedicated to cenotes. Check it out for more ideas and details!
Located twenty minutes outside of Valladolid is the UNESCO world Heritage sight of Chichen Itza. A bucket list destination for many, Chichen Itza is an awe inspiring place! Even the girls were amazed by the carved serpent heads and towering ruins in the middle of the jungle.
Meaning “at the mouth of the well of the Itza” (Itza was the name of the Mayan tribe), Chichen Itza was given it’s name due to the proxemity of the city to cenotes, the fresh water source. The city was one of the largest Maya cities and at it’s peak was home to over 35,000 people. The massive step pyramid, El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, is easily the most recongizable structure of the property and the most photegenic!
Fun fact: during the summer solstice, a shadow is created and brings the gaint snake heads to life as they appear to slither down the grand stair case.
After your busy morning, wind down in Valladolid. Enjoy a late lunch in the city. We would highly recommend Yakuna Cocina Mexicana (thank you Tripadvisor!). If the locals who gave you directions say the chef is an artist, they are telling the truth! It’s good food. Our waiter recommended the chicken mole (pictured below) and it was as delicious as it looks.
After lunch, walk the colorful streets and shop for a new straw bag their speciality. Don’t miss a stroll through the main square, Plaza e Parque Francisco Canton, centered in front of Cathedral de San Servasio. Grab a popsicle from a local vendor stand and relax in the square.
Depending on time, you may be able to squeeze in one more cenote stop on your way back to Tulum. Many are open until five or six in the evening. Or you may choose to spend longer exploring Valladolid. Had the girls not been worn out, we might have spent longer shopping and taking in the beautiful sights.
On a return trip, we would love to spend more time in the area. Le Muuch Hotel looks like the perfect hotel for a weekend stay.