Day Trip to Valladolid and Chichen Itza

Sr. Elizondo and I woke up early to begin our road trip to Valladolid. We took the new autopista 305 which goes from PDC to Valladolid and beyond. It’s a bit pricey, but the roads were perfection. Even better than driving on a brand new road is that it cuts the drive by about 30-45 minutes off the drive.

We saw the sign below on our way. “?” is right.

Valladolid is a pueblo magico. In these antique pueblos, life centered around the church. Find the church and you have found the main plaza.

The souvenir to buy here is jewelry. It’s better priced than on the coast.

After strolling around the plaza, we went to Casa de Los Venados. This is a privately owned home by a Chicago native. He and his wife live there full time. He offers tours by donation as he owns the largest private collection of Mexican art, roughly 3,000 pieces.

Trivia: The eagle, deer, and leopard are the three most powerful spirit animals in Mayan culture.

Trivia #2: Mayans worshipped people with physical differences/special needs believing they were closer to the gods. Therefore, royal families often disfigured their children in some way (ie: forcing eyes to cross; breaking a foot to its backward position, etc.).

Next up was to visit a cenote. We decided on the closest one that we could walk to, Cenote Zaci. It’s not one of the more popular ones, which is great because it was not crowded at all. Cenotes are always a good idea for their beauty and cooling off from the Mexican heat.

An honorable mention in Valladolid goes to The Chocolate Shop. While I didn’t spend alot of time there, it definitely looked promising.

By mid afternoon, we were on our way to Chichen Itza. I was surprised at how commercialized and modern the tourist set up was. It’s not a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The pyramid and other ruins are impressive. It’s unfortunate that people can no longer climb to the top. All the ruins are roped off.

If you’re in need of Mexican souvenirs, there is no shortage at Chichen Itza. The vendors are lined up all along the pathways.

We started back to PDC around 5:30pm. We got a bit lost and took the “old” road, instead of the new autopista. It was definitely longer, but I didn’t mind. The original route takes you through a lot of the small towns in Yucatan. While it makes for a slow drive, it was interesting to see a little bit of their way of life. (Sr. Elizondo definitely didn’t share my point of view.)

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