The magical town of Valladolid

Valladolid is also known as the capital of the eastern Maya and where we simply discover its colonial buildings, its pre-Hispanic pyramids and sacred cenotes.

In its Main Square you can appreciate the Municipal Palace and the Parish of San Servacio, temple built in the eighteenth century with two towers of three bodies with bell towers.

The Church of La Candelaria has a portico of interior arches. Inside there is a Churrigueresque style altarpiece. Do not miss visiting the churches of Santa Lucía, San Juan and Santa Ana.

The Ex-Convent of San Bernardino de Siena or Ex Convento de Sisal dates back to 1560 and is built on the Sis-Há cenote. This temple has frescoes of the sixteenth century and a baroque altarpiece carved in wood.

The Calzada de los Frailes was used by the Franciscans to communicate with the center of the town. Today it is a street that has colonial mansions, boutiques, museums, hotels and gardens.

The Temple of San Roque is currently a museum with archaeological pieces showing the War of Castes and the Mexican Revolution.

In the Handicraft Market you can find Huipiles and embroidery, guayaberas, earrings, bracelets, bags, jipijapa hats, saddlery and pieces carved in stone.

And if you want to know the cenotes that are in Valladolid, here we tell you which ones to visit:

Seven kilometers from Valladolid is the Cenote Dzitnup, also known as “the blue cave”, its roofs have stalactites and its waters have a tone that will leave you with your mouth open. In this cenote you can swim and practice snorkeling.

The Cenote Maya has 80 meters in diameter, a depth of 24 meters and 22 meters in height. To access, you must descend by a wooden ladder, by rappel or by a tunnel. This site has loose ropes, zip lines and an orchard with medicinal plants. The turquoise blue of its waters changes color when the sun’s rays are filtered.

The Cenote Zací means “white hawk” and has a depth of 80 meters. In this cenote an open sky can swim while enjoying the song of the swallows that inhabit this site.

Bacalar “Pueblo Magico”

Bacalar is simply a paradisiacal town that makes you fall in love with its small fishing houses and places to know, such as:

  • International House of the Writer

It was inaugurated in 1990 with the aim of providing a space to comfortably house writers, poets and artistic creators in general in the region, the country and abroad.

  • Main square

It is located in the upper part of the town, next to the fort of San Felipe, the central park has a kiosk and well-kept gardens; This square is the meeting point of all the settlers and official location to install the Bacalar fair.

  • Festivals And Fairs

In the month of February the Carnival takes place; in August, the patron saint festival of San Joaquín, where religious activities are carried out, as well as boat races and jet skis in the Bacalar Lagoon and other activities typical of these celebration.

  • Gastronomy of Bacalar

In Bacalar, as in the rest of the state, there is a great influence of the Yucatecan and Belizean cuisine. Of the latter stands out the dish “rice and beans”, which has the peculiarity of being cooked with coconut oil. Also made tamales of xpelón (a variety of beans) and the sotobichay (queen’s arm) which is a tamal with chaya. Also, the puchero and the chocolomo are customary. In the days of “Todos Santos”, the “mucbil chickens” tamales of the region that are baked are prepared and in addition there are dishes elaborated in fish and shellfish, such as the tope and tikinxic bread as well as the snail preparations; Also, the grouper, the red snapper, the lobster and the snail are a small sample of the delights of the sea that are prepared in very different ways in this paradise.

  • Crafts of Bacalar

A large group of artisans who work with different techniques: carving in wood and stone, dyeing clothes with bark from the region, embroidery, weaving, reed figures, hammocks. Also painters and caricaturists.
Palm weaves and basketry are made in the area. It has also been successfully driven crafts carved wood and the warping of hammocks in bright colors and measures. There is also tradition for hand embroidery in the making of the so-called “hipiles”, traditional female clothing.

Thins to do in Tulum

  • Visit the Archaeological Zone of Cobá

47 km from the municipal head of Tulum, nailed in the quintanarroense jungle, is this archaeological deposit in which the Pyramid of Nohoch Mul stands out, that with 42 meters of height, is the prehispanic construction more high of the Peninsula of Yucatan.

The Pyramid of Nohoch Mul has 120 steps and from its peak there are spectacular views of the immense green carpet of the jungle, adorned by the blue of the lagoons Some architectural details of Cobá suggest that it maintained close relations with other pre-Columbian peoples of the central region of Mexico, particularly with Teotihuacán.

  • Dive in the Great Mayan Reef

This immense coral barrier of about one thousand kilometers covers the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, being the second largest in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Oceania.

Due to its size and rich marine biodiversity, the Great Mayan Reef or Mesoamerican Reef System is one of the world sanctuaries for the sport of diving. Through the clear and warm waters and between more than 65 types of stony coral that form the reef, divers admire barracudas, sea turtles, rays, moray eels and a great variety of species In Tulum you have a wide range of possibilities to practice your favorite sport of sea or land, in the most spectacular scenarios and with all the guarantees of security.

  • Enjoy the parties of Tulum

The carnival has become a very attractive celebration in the Riviera Maya, excelling those of Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum In March the Alborada Maya takes place, a celebration with religious, musical, cultural and sporting events, whose purpose is to offer thanks to God for good harvests.

The celebration of the Talking Cross takes place in Tulum during the month of July, mixing pagan and Christian traditions. This festivity commemorates the discovery of a mahogany cross in a cenote of the Quintana Roo community of Chan Santa Cruz An event much appreciated by ecologists is the Sea Turtle Festival, which has the participation of the environmental communities of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. On the beach of Xcacel, 16 km from Tulum, an emotional ceremony of liberation of hundreds of baby turtles is organized.

  • Visit Akumal

The coast of Akumal is formed by coves and caves in which the corals have a particular morphology, creating wonderful environments for diving and snorkeling.

The area of Akumal is also dotted with cenotes of great beauty, such as Azul and El Edén, while archaeological tourists can admire a Mayan shrine located in the cove of Xaac.

 

Lights Off and Night Is On

For some, a nice night out might be simply straying away from the hotel for a nice dinner and dose of people-watching along Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue).

If that’s your plan, don’t just expect to find great Mexican food. The influx of people from all over the world means that many Playa del Carmen restaurants boast some incredible international cuisine.

There’s always something magical about seeing a live show. The raw talent, the energy of the crowd, the flow of inebriating drinks and the electric atmosphere. And in the case of Playa del Carmen, of course, you’ll have to add in a dose of palm trees, thatched roofs and the tropical surroundings to those rhythmic beats.

While there is more than enough to keep you busy and entertained in downtown Playa del Carmen, there are also a few nearby attractions that are great alternatives for a night out for the entire family.

There’s no two ways about this one: Playa del Carmen’s nightclubs rock. If you’re looking for a wild night of loud music, top tunes from Latin America, Europe, and the United States, plus some beautiful people showing off their fancy dance moves, don’t miss a night out to check out some of Playa’s many great nightclubs.

From a spectacular display of Mexico’s finest folklore to experiencing the breathtaking beauty of a Cirque du Soleil show or the majestic history of the Maya projected on the walls of the great Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza.

Marvelous Uxmal

Known as “The Three Times Built”, it is one of the archaeological sites of the Mayan culture whose architecture is one of the most impressive in Yucatan. Its beauty is characterized by having low and horizontal palaces, placed around courtyards or quadrangles, which are rich in decorations of very detailed sculptures made with thousands of small stones perfectly polished and adjusted forming geometric mosaics of a perfection not equal in the whole area Maya.

The city consists of 15 groups of buildings, distributed from north to south, in an area of approximately two kilometers. Among those that stand out: The Pyramid of the Adivino, with its Plaza de los Pájaros, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, the Ball Game, the Governor’s Palace, the Great Pyramid and El Palomar, in addition to the North Group, the House of the Old , The Cemetery and the Temple of the Phalluses. Uxmal, a city with a certain subtle air, that just by contemplating it, can move its visitors.

The most impressive structure, with a unique elliptical shape and a height of more than 35 meters is La Casa del Adivino; According to an ancient legend, this pyramid was raised by a dwarf in only one night, although in reality it was built in five stages and was designed in such a way that its stairway faces east, towards sunset on the solstice Of summer.

From the Quadrangle of the Nuns there is a light and sound show by Uxmal, in which Mayan legends of the region who gave life to this mystic place are narrated.

Selvatica Park

Selvatica is an adventure park located in the Riviera Maya ideal for those who likes to spend a weekend doing extreme activities or just to spend a fun time with family and friends.

The park offers a variety of extreme activities including 20-meter zip line, buggy rally, horseback riding, snorkeling, off-road Segway and cenote swim, combined in six fabulous expeditions in such a way that each adventure begins in the air and ends in the Water.

All the tours offer a circuit in zip line to make your adrenaline rise to the maximum and conclude with a refreshing swim in a cenote. According to how extreme you want the activity to be, you can combine the zip line with an entertaining tour in an army truck, an exciting jungle rally in a buggy or a Segway cart, or a quiet ride. Selvatica also offers a zip line tour combined with snorkeling in a beautiful coral reef in Puerto Morelos.

If you are looking for a different experience, mysterious and romantic at the same time, opt for the nocturnal zip line adventure. In it you will go through the treetops only illuminated by the moon and the stars. Then you will walk among torches to enjoy a three-course dinner and enjoy the sounds of nature.

The tours are suitable for children 8 years and older, except for the activities with jungle rally in buggy or Segway, which are for children of 10 years or more, taking into account that only people of 18 years or older and with identification valid can handle the buggies. If you have intrepid children under the age of eight, do not worry because there is also an adventure in zip line for children from three years.

 

Lol – Tún “Stone Flower”

Loltún “means” flower of stone “, Mayan word that owes its origin to have found drawings of flowers on the walls of this huge passage, although other theories claim that its name is due to the sounds that emit the stone columns: “Lol” y “Tun”.

It was a place of human settlements of the year 9,000 a.C. until 1050 AD; examples of this are ceramic objects, stone tools, sea shells, cave paintings and petroglyphs. Here is clay, which was extracted by its inhabitants to make various tools and was also used as the source of drinking water of the place, as there are no cenotes or bodies of fresh water nearby.

The tour of the grotto is approximately one kilometer and begins with a bas-relief known as “Guerrero de Loltún” which represents a character with richly dressed Olmec features and wielding a spear. There is also a calendrical date that corresponds to the year 500 a.C.

Once inside, along the route, you can see cave paintings of a human head with Olmec features, a plume and other ornaments: hands, animal faces, frets and inscriptions.

You can also see the haltunoob or vessels intentionally carved in the rock to collect the naturally draining water, as well as various petroglyphs, among which the flowers stand out, from which the site takes its name. This place keeps thousands of years of the natural and cultural history of the Yucatan Peninsula, the ancient Mayans used to provide water and clay with which they made their utensils, but above all it was a religious center and refuges.

El Cielo

The El Cielo Cozumel Beach is not only called like that because it looks and feels like a real paradise, but because of the large number of starfish that have made this soft and white sandbank its home. You only have to put on a visor, snorkel and fins and swim a few meters to contemplate a spectacular scenario. You may also have the opportunity to see stripes that seem to go up the flight between the stars.

It is very important to emphasize that you must not touch the starfish, because the mere fact of doing so can kill them. It may be tempting to take a selfie with them, but you put the life of this species at risk.

Up to this point located at the southern tip of the island, near the Palancar Reef, you can only arrive aboard a boat and accompanied by a certified guide. Here the water level is low, in some points it even barely reaches you waist-deep. El Cielo Cozumel is the ideal place to relax with a drink in your hand while you contemplate the nature that surrounds you.

It is said that this activity can be done by people of all ages, since you will have a captain and a guide who will take care of you. Likewise, the price of the activity includes snorkeling equipment, water, drinks, fruits and a snak for when you return from the activity.

 

Cha´an Ka´an in Cozumel

“Cha´an Ka´an” was the name chosen by the Cozumeleños. Cha´an Ka´an means: Observe or enjoy the sky. The Mayans, through astronomical observation, obtained scientific knowledge that still surprises us because of their precision and with that they governed their life, religion and culture.

During the tour the tourists immerse themselves in the Mayan worldview, knowing the meaning of the ceiba and its relationship with the underworld, the earthly life and the celestial vault; also, visitors receive a talk about the meaning of the glyphs, and then make one that they take back home as a gift. At the end of the tour, the Mayan warrior waits for the classic “remembrance” photo.

To seal the visit, they live the experience that only gives the Dome of the Cozumel Planetarium with the movie “Maya Archaeoastronomy: observers of the universe”. Projected in English and Spanish, the totally Mexican production is a visual and sensory journey through five archaeological sites in the Mayan Riviera; Uxmal, San Gervarsio, Chichen Itza, Edzna and Bonampak.

The Cozumel Island Planetarium, Cha’an Ka’an, has state-of-the-art technology which includes a Digistar 5 system with 6 projectors that are capable of transmitting 3D and 2D images in a 360 ° projection area, this type of Technology will allow the visitor to see the solar system, constellations or even other galaxies uniquely in Mexico and Latin America. There are also exclusive screenings or films for Domo.

Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras, is one of the many tourist destinations that Riviera Maya offers. Set on a spectacular stretch of white sandy beach, it is a community resort located 98 kilometers south of Cancun. The complex is built along the beach and around a large sports complex.

It is 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. One of the most important tourist development areas with many attractions such as a golf course, 2 large 5 star hotels, condominiums with spectacular views, marina, a shopping center, you can swim with dolphins that is located on a tropical island located in the complex and dive in the second longest coral reef in the world, just 92 meters from the beach of Puerto Aventuras. It is possible to go down only 18 meters to begin to see the majesty of marine fish, flora and fauna. Now, if you have skills in diving you can go down 37 meters and experience the wonderful diving in the depths of the Mexican Caribbean, especially the famous cliff of this area.

Puerto Aventuras is also famous for its international cuisine and is that just visit one of the many restaurants located in the marina or located near the hotels, you can savor delicious and majestic sea dishes of excellent quality, as well as taste of course Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean and international cuisine in general.

It has also become an excellent destination for people who want to relax in an environment of breathtaking natural beauty. Enjoy a drink or a meal in one of the nearby bars or restaurants and watch the world goes by.