The charm of Valladolid, located in the east of the Yucatan Peninsula, is found in its beautiful colonial buildings, colorful mansions, and its exquisite craftsmanship – especially in embroidery and textiles – of remarkable pre-Hispanic and colonial tradition.
However, the greatest attraction of “La Perla de Oriente” or of the “Capital of the Mayan Orient”, as this heroic city is also known, is the proximity of its center to important archaeological zones of the Mayan culture, such as Chichén Itzá , Ek Balam and Cobá as well as beautiful bodies of water that have given fame to this region of southeastern Mexico: The Cenotes.
While walking its quiet streets you will discover majestic buildings of historical interest, but you can also enjoy the best of Yucatecan cuisine in the numerous restaurants and cafés that surround the large flower boxes of its Main Square.
Valladolid is the second city in importance of Yucatan and the oldest in the state. It was founded in 1543 by Francisco de Montejo “El Sobrino” and formerly it was inhabited by the Cupules in a place known as Chauac Há, part of a Maya cacicazgo. Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, the lands were divided and the city was placed under the invocation of the Virgen de los Remedios and the patronage of San Servacio.
Due to diseases -mainly yellow fever- the city moved to the ruins of the Mayan settlement of Zaci, which in the Mayan language means “white hawk”. During the nineteenth century, it became important since it established the first fabric and textile factory in Mexico, which would be the great predecessor of the country’s maquiladoras.
In this Yucatecan town, there are many handicrafts, of which typical clothes (embroidery, lace, hupiles and guayaberas) are widely seen, the hammocks, jewelry, saddlery, and the stone carving are also typical of the area. You can buy them at the Craft Market and at the Zaci Craft Center.
Do not miss the delicious Yucatecan snacks, such as salbutes, panuchos, papadzules, and tamales, among others, as well as typical drinks such as xtabentun and balché.