Yucatan . Valladolid
Valladolid seemed like an interesting medium size town when we stopped for lunch on the way to Merida. We spent a night there on the way back at the Maria de la Luz Hotel right on the Zocalo. For people watching this place is the best, and even though the tour busses plow through town in the afternoons after ferrying people to Chichen Itza, the town is authentic with good people and good hospitality. If you’re touring Chichen Itza it’s wise to spend a night here, as a tour bus from Cancun, Merida, or Playa del Carmen will only leave you only a few hours to explore the ruins, and during the hottest and most crowded time of day. A night in Piste or Valladolid will allow you to hit the ruins early day or evening, when the sun provides the most intense pictures and sights.
The Coba ruins are a good day trip from Valladolid as well, southeast of Valladolid on the way to Tulum. We found a place to unwind at the Kabah Cafe, on the southeast corner of the Zocalo. On the second floor above a pharmacy the Kabah has excellent lattes, sandwiches, and desserts. Comfortable couches or a seat by the window make this a great place for sitting above the corner people watching.
The Valladolid library and school, on the west side of the Zocalo
Friday morning we woke up to the sounds of drums and music. I completely forgot that it was Cinco de Mayo, and ran downstairs to catch the parade in progress. The town didn’t seem big enough to cointain all the children that were marching, but group after group came around the corner marching in perfect form. The parade ended at the Zocalo near the hotel, where the kids ran off their steam and shed their heavy and hot jackets.
Our last day before leaving we saw the Cenote Zaci, in the middle of Valladolid just four blocks from the central square. Part of this cenote was uncovered at the top. The cliffs were quite high down to the water. I thought the water in Diznup seemed cleaner, probably because it was colder and completely underground.