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Mexico’s ‘Pearl of the Yucatan’, Valladolid, is a city rich in culture and history, with its colonial architecture, charming and picturesque streets, beautiful natural wonders, and magical atmosphere, it is easy to see why this city has grown in popularity over the years and has been named one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magicos (magic towns). 


Modern-day Valladolid is a true mix of cultures, located in an area that was once an indigenous Mayan village, this city has experienced many historical events, from the conquest of Mexico to battles, wars, and revolution, it is a real blend of Mayan and Spanish influences. This combination of cultures can be seen in the architecture, the colonial buildings, and the layout of the city, as well as its churches, cobbled and colorful streets, delicious food, and traditions. 


Valladolid is home to a collection of ancient, magical cenotes, both inside the city and outside of it in its jungle-like, natural surroundings. These open, semi-open, and cave cenotes, are naturally formed, water-filled sinkholes, that allow visitors to submerge into a different world, and refresh themselves in the freshwater of these unique and natural wonders. 

Other wonders to behold on a visit to Valladolid are the nearby, archeological ruins, in particular, Chichen Itza, one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World”. The ruins of the old Mayan city of Chichen Itza, and the ruins of Ek Balam, are close to Valladolid, making it the perfect hub to explore from. 


While there are natural and historical wonders outside of the city, inside the city, the pastel-colored buildings that line the streets, as well as the walls of the ex-convent of San Bernadino de Siena, and the cathedral San Servacio, tell stories of centuries passed. In a city filled with an abundance of history, and culture such as Valladolid there is an array of activities, sightseeing, and places to visit. This region also boasts some of the country’s best dishes to tickle your taste buds, with local produce often used. Foodies will enjoy sampling snacks such as marquesitas (crispy crepe-like street food with sweet and or savoury fillings), and dishes from the city such as lomitos (pork loin in tomato sauce), and longaniza (a smoked sausage), as well as other dishes famous in the region. 


Traditions of the area can be experienced, and more can be learned about the culture at annual events in the city such as the Feria de Valladolid (Valladolid Fair) which takes place from the end of January - the beginning of February. The Feria de Valladolid, also known as the Colonial Fair, is a two-week event in the city of Valladolid consisting of cultural, artistic, and gastronomic events and exhibitions. 

Every year in June there is a tribute to the historical events in Valladolid, which ignited Mexico’s revolution in 1910. This event Primera Chispa de la Revolucion (The First Spark of Revolution), this recreation is held on June 3rd. 

Hanal Pixan (the Mayan equivalent to the Day of the Dead) is also celebrated in the city, you can witness this cultural event at the end of October - the beginning of November. Hanal Pixan, Mayan for ‘Food of the Souls’, is a festival that remembers loved ones who are gone, with food. In Valladolid, during this time you can admire the offerings, the colorful outfits, and the face paint (Catrinas) of the locals, as well as check out some of the wonderful food. 


During a visit to Valladolid, it is impossible to miss the traditional outfits from the region. Local ladies will adorn themselves in beautiful dresses embroidered with colorful patterns and flowers often around the neckline and hips, and the men with the classic, regional, ‘Guayabera’ shirts. These folk outfits, and elements of them, can be seen throughout the day, but they are also seen during dances in the downtown, central park Francisco Canton, some evenings during the week. 

For those looking for a different travel experience and a taste of real Mexico, Valladolid’s friendly locals, and charming, welcoming atmosphere are perfect! This city with its warm, local vibes is safe and easy to travel by foot or bicycle, explore, sightsee, and make memories while taking some colorful, artistic photos in ‘movie-like’ settings, and sampling delectable dishes. 

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