The “Capital of the Mayan East” may be the second-largest city in the Yucatán State but embodies the alluring charm of a quaint town. You’ll enjoy a sense of peace as you stroll by the pastel colonial structures and 19th-century mansions that line Calzada de los Frailes in the historic downtown quarter.
Charming eateries on the picturesque street serve Yucatecan specialties such as creamy papadzules (a vegetarian enchilada-esque dish covered with a sauce made from pumpkin seeds) and savory-sweet marquesitas (crispy crepe-like pancakes filled with cheese and chocolate). Unique boutiques offer modern designs with Mayan infusion, including clothing at Caravana, Daniela Bustos Maya, and Valladolid Folks. Authentic handcrafted souvenirs can be found at KuxTal Galería de Arte Popular and Dutzi. Chukum-Ha, a newly-discovered 130-foot cenote, is the perfect place to cool off after a day of exploring downtown’s cobblestoned lanes, churches, and San Bernardino Convent. As dusk settles, there’s almost always a cultural demonstration of Yucatecan folk dancing or music to be found somewhere in town.