Taylor Explores the World


The city of Valladolid is a wonderful place, filled with architectural splendors streaked with history.   We plodded through almost every Colonia (neighborhood) in town, day and night, without a single reason for concern.  Just outside el Centro (center of town) are quaint barrios filled with small homes, plazas, churches, mom and pop storefronts, markets and friendly smiles.  We loved walking all over to see the different neighborhoods, architecture and history.  


I found some great barrio maps in pdf, from the city of Valladolid themselves; they were a great help to us.  I would only download the ones you may journey into.       

Once you are there if you stop into the Tourism Office that sits across from zocolo on the corner of Calle 40 (entrance) and Calle 41, they have a great FREE detailed map with everything you need to know.


Be careful navigating, if on foot, throughout the city as sidewalks vary drastically; not only in condition but in width and height.  Some sidewalks are 6 foot wide and 6 inches high, others are 2 wide and a crumbling 2 foot high; they tend to get worse the further from the center you are.  Beware of potholes in the sidewalk, often covered by thin sheets of wood, they like to trip you and are fairly common.    We highly recommend walking if you are physically able to; in fact, we never moved our rental car the two days we were there.  Outside the immediate center would not be considered handicap friendly.

If navigating by car, be careful there are a few one ways that can make getting to your destination a little harder and more time consuming than expected.  Parking in the city is limited, especially around zocolo and you will have to walk at least a block or two to get there.  Parking lot entrances for hotels are sometimes on the other side of the block, so if you drive by the front and do not see one don’t panic, go around the block and check in the back. 


Most “non-tourist” places in Valladolid, even in Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun do not have USD money to make change with and will not take anything higher than a $10 USD bill for fear it is fake. 

Nowhere accepts credit cards or USD/foreign currencies to pay for gas (not Valladolid, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Cancun, PDC or Tulum) nor does anyone when traveling to other smaller towns in the Yucatan or Quintana Roo!  You must get MXN pesos before you go otherwise you will not be able to buy anything along the way; not even at roadside stands, hotels, gas stations or convenience stores. 

I recommend using MXN pesos if you are traveling in Valladolid and anywhere along the Route of the Churches.  In Valladolid, you will get a lower exchange rate when shopping with USD, usually $10 MXN per $1 USD, while the current rate is $13 MXN/ $1 USD. 

It is best if you can convert USD before you get to Valladolid, you will get the most for you money.  The cheapest way is at your home bank before you leave or pulling money out of an ATM in Merida, Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum (can be found in airports, grocery stores, banks, Walmarts and Mega’s).   You get your money in MXN pesos; your bank uses that day’s exchange rate to pull money out of your account but usually charges an international fee.  My credit union charge 0.6% or $.60 USD on $100USD/$1300 MXN.   Check with your credit union or bank before you go to see if you are able to do this and their specific fees associated with it.  You may want to notify your credit union/bank of your travel plans otherwise they could freeze your card to prevent theft, as mine did when we went to check into the hotel.

If you need to exchange foreign currency for MXN pesos once in Valladolid you might be able to do it at the bank, it is across from zocolo. We did not attempt this method because for the two days we were there the line never went down and literally wrapped around the corner to the end of the block.  We never did find an ATM.  We found an exchange booth on Calle 41 between Calles 40 and 42, across from zocolo, the lady gave $11.8 MXN/$1USD for an exchange rate not too bad. 


There is a Pemex station on Calle 48 and Calle 39.  During the day it is Full Service and is MXN (pesos) only, no credit or debit. Please, please tip your attendant, even if its just 10 pesos. They will pump your gas and wash all your windows.  They are paid under $1 an hour and then the tips fill in the remainder, like the USA’s wait staff pay system. At night, I believe it turns into self-serve, taking credit cards only but I may be wrong so if you need gas I would get it during the day and have MXN pesos ready to pay for it.

If you are leaving the city via car I would gas up before I left just in case.   Remember you can only buy gas with MXN pesos not foreign currencies or credit cards.   We found this out the hard way in Tulum; when we tried to pay for already pumped gas with USD dollars, nope, then we offered to pay with credit card, nope.  We ended up having to take the attendant with us, the 5 of us packed into our tiny economy rental car, to the closest ATM (at a Mega Store) to withdraw the MXN pesos.  He was a very nice older gentleman, who we enjoyed talking with despite the embarrassment of the ordeal.


We stayed at Hotel Zaci


We ate a few restaurants while in Valladolid, click on their name to read our review.


We experienced Carnaval while in Valladolid, click below to see and read more.


Here are some of the sites we made it to while visiting Valladolid this time.


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