Valladolid Mexico with kids

What to do in Valladolid, Mexico with kids? Valladolid with kids is the perfect introduction to Mexican culture and its Mayan past. Nature and culture meet beautifully together in this environment. Because of this combination, Valladolid is perfect and almost a “must” to go to during your tour of Yucatan with the family. The colorful streets and colonial buildings complete the Mexican atmosphere. In this blog, we list the best children’s activities in Valladolid, Mexico.

Best travel time Valladolid with kids

The advantage of Valladolid is that there is a nice temperature all year round. The temperature here is around 30 degrees all year round. Valladolid has the driest months in winter (December through March). This is also considered the best travel time to visit the city of Valladolid with kids. It is also high season then, by the way, which may mean that hotel prices go up during that period.

Even in the rainy season, it does not have to mean that it rains all day in Valladolid. They are usually strong and short showers in the late afternoon. It may then be just fine weather for the rest of the day. Although we had a big shower during our trip, it did not ruin our atmosphere in this city.

Valladolid with kids

Transportation to and in Valladolid

The city itself is great for walking, even with a stroller. Outside the city, to experience the ultimate freedom, a rental car is not a luxury. You can then rent a car through Sunny Cars at the place where you land by plane (usually Cancun). With this company, most insurance and often the deductible are included in the price, and you can rent a car through this company at the airport in Cancun, among other places. For more information on renting a car in Cancun with Sunny Cars, take a look here.

Of course, you can also travel through Yucatan by public transportation and then take organized tours locally to the various sights. Of course, if you have to book all kinds of tours at the different destinations, it can be quite pricey with a family and then a rental car can be cheaper. Many tours are offered from Valladolid, where the “cenotes” or various Mayan temples can be visited.

In Mexico, they have been building the Mayan train tracks for some time. Perhaps this could provide benefits during your visit in Mexico with the family. This train connects all the Maya sights of Yucatan. Here we are talking about both temples and cities. For more information on this train, check out the Tren Mayan website.

Valladolid with kids

Children’s activities Valladolid

#1 Free Walking tour

We personally found this a very nice experience in Valladolid with our family. These free tours are given by volunteers in the morning and in the evening. The meeting point is in Vallodolid’s central square. The locals of Valladolid feel it is important not to let their Mayan culture fall into oblivion.

Through their story, you learn to see their history in Vallodolid and what the Spaniards did to their culture. During the morning tour you will walk past the Church San Servacio, Cenote Zaci and visit Vallodolid’s market hall. In the market hall, we stop at a stall where you get to taste different things. Very nice to taste these delicacies.

During the evening tour you will walk through “Calzada de los Frailes,” through the colorful little street, towards monastery “San Bernadino de Siena. Afterwards, it is usually customary to leave a small tip, but you are not basically obligated to anything. Perfect English is spoken during the tour. The kids had a great time on this tour.

Valladolid with kids

#2 Visit a Cenote

In Yucatan, they do not know the rivers we know in Europe. Here, many of the rivers run underground. A cenote is a place where rivers converge, making it accessible to humans. The Maya used to use this as a spring to draw water, but sacrifices are also made in some cenotes.

Many cenotes are very deep and the Maya saw this as access to the underworld. Today, they are only used for recreational purposes and it is completely safe to swim in them. You have cenotes in a cave and outdoor cenotes. The latter can be viewed more like a pit. Since there are so many cenotes in the area, it is good to check in advance which ones you want to go to with kids.

Would you like a cenote for you alone or just that cenote for the right picture? We went to cenote “Choj-Ha” which we had almost to ourselves. A beautiful cenote in a cave which is also called “the cathedral of wonders. Choj-Ha in the Mayan language means “dripping water.

This cenote is full of stalagmites and stalactites. It was a thick half-hour drive from Valladolid, but it was really worth it! On the way back, there are many other choices in cenotes to possibly go to with the kids.

Valladolid with kids

#3 Chichén Itzá or Ek Balam

Chichén Itzá is by far the most famous Mayan complex in Mexico. This complex is on the Unesco World Heritage List. Ek Balam is its smaller sister and you may also climb this temple. Very impressive for yourself, but definitely for kids to visit at least one temple during your tour of the Yucatan.

We deliberately did not choose these temples because of the large crowds. We visited the temples at Mérida and Calakmul. According to several travelers we spoke to, these temples were equally beautiful and a lot cheaper. In Calakmul, the temple is even in the jungle and you were allowed to climb everything. At the viewpoint, you can even see to Guatemala.

Bloggers Joep and Sanne did visit Chichén Itza during their trip through the Yucatan. Chichén Itza is one of the New Wonders of the World and the complex is open from 8 a.m. onwards. Therefore, to have a bit of the temple to yourself, it is best to check it out as early as possible. The later you arrive, the more buses of tourists arrive at the temple.

Keep in mind that on Sundays it is even busier at Chichen Itzá because that is when Mexicans are allowed to enter the grounds for free.

Chichen Itza with kids

If you don’t want to stand in line for a ticket, you can possibly already buy a ticket for Chichén Itzá online. For more information about getting a ticket to this temple complex, take a look here. If you want more information about the temple, you can hire a guide at the entrance. This we ourselves did not do, because we always like to be able to walk around by ourselves.

You have several structures on the grounds, but the most famous is El Castillo – the pyramid of Kukulcán. This pyramid is the most photographed structure on the complex. By the way, you can eat excellent food at Chichén Itza. At the complex is Oxtun restaurant, where you can have a great meal with the family.

Chichen Itza with kids

#4 Video mapping at the monastery

Almost every day a video mapping (that is a video projection on a building) is held at the monastery “San Bernadino de Siena” in Valladolid. The history of the Maya and of the city itself are shown during this video mapping. The show lasts about 20 minutes. At 9 p.m. the show will be shown in Spanish and at 9:25 p.m. in English.

Although it is on the late side, the kids can have fun in the small playground located near the monastery before the show. The video mapping on the monastery is changed regularly, so you can see a slightly different show here each time. You can watch this show for free in Valladolid with kids.

#5 Cenote Maya Native Park

For kids as young as six years old, a visit to Cenote Maya Native Park is a fun and sporty activity. In fact, in this park there is a very large cave (cenote) where you can do fun activities with kids, such as ziplining, zip-lining, abseiling and slacklining. There is no minimum age to this activity, but with very young kids this children’s activity may not be so suitable.

During this day tour, you will also visit a Mayan village. Here you will get a tour of the village and also have lunch in the village. There is also a traditional Mayan blessing ritual that you get when you visit this village. Tickets are also offered with a hotel transfer. More information on this full-day tour to this cenote, can be found here.

Valladolid with kids

Family-friendly restaurant Valladolid

You can eat and drink in Valladolid with kids just fine. There are several nice family-friendly restaurants in town. Below we name 2 very nice places, where you can have a great bite to eat with the family.

Mercado gastronómico y de artesanías de Valladolid: This is an indoor market hall in Valladolid’s central square. It is not necessarily for kids, but contains the authentic food of that region. We had the most delicious food here in Vallodolid. The hall contains all different kinds of tents where they sell Mexican food, but there is also a Chinese joint and a coffee shop.

Definitely worth going in here and very interesting in terms of price as well. Don’t forget to taste the “Longaniza de Valladolid. This is a delicious spicy sausage what you can only get in Valladolid. Our kids loved this.

Los Tres Reyes: this is not a restaurant, but a stall selling the most delicious marquesitas of our entire trip. A marquesita is a true Yucatan sweet snack. It is a crunchy crepe containing a filling of your choice. It’s more like an ice cream cone in texture, but more delicious.

If you want to eat this marquesita in its Mexican style, choose the Nutella and cheese combination. This sounds really crazy to your ears and doesn’t rhyme in your head, but this is really tasty! Of course, there are plenty of other options with fruit for the kids or perhaps for yourself. 😉 Eat this marquesita deliciously while enjoying the cozy atmosphere of the central square in the evening where there is always something to do.

This stall is in the central square on the side of the main church. There is usually a line, but the wait in line is really worth it. Even the locals connect here to grab a marquesita after work.

Children's activities Valladolid

Family-friendly hotel Valladolid

You can stay in Valladolid with kids just fine. We list some family-friendly hotels in Valladolid, all of which are very well rated by families with kids who have stayed there overnight. We do this in the different price ranges. Click on the blue link for more information.

Budget hotel: Hostal Tunich Naj & Hotel

Mid-range hotel: Casa Quetzal Hotel

Luxury hotel: Hacienda Kaan Ac

For the full list of family-friendly accommodations in Valladolid, Mexico, take a look here.

About the author: we, Chris and Ruben, together with our boys, try to make as many great memories and experiences as possible for life.

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