mexico | valladolid

after our little get away to havana we went on for a few more days in the yucatan. our main objective was to absorve as much history and culture, visit the mayan ruins, have great mexican food and some rest and relax too.

our first stop in mexico was valladolid, just over 150km from cancun airport. since we got there at night it didn’t allow us much to do. we checked in at the breathtaking coqui coqui and headed out for dinner. we were recommended by the hotel to try conato 1910, a cozy restaurant close to the main square. we walked to the restaurant, it was quiet and decorated with huge paintings of frida kahlo. the food was delicious and perfect for our first night taco fix.

the next day we wanted to explore the town a little bit, so we got the bicycles that the hotel have assigned for guest and started by visiting the beautiful convent of san bernardino de siena and the cathedral of san gervasio on the main square.

we then headed to the cenote zaci, there are loads around the yucatan and this one is almost in the centre of town. as we were not properly equipped we didn’t give it a go, but james was ready to jump in!

wherever we go, we always like visiting the local market, i think it tells us a lot about the local culture, how people eat and what fresh products they have available. since we don’t have a local market in turks and caicos, we were kind of craving one, the smells and the atmosphere of it.

the market wasn’t very big, but busy and a lot of action going on around it. we ended up having lunch there – nibbling some freshly cut mango, buying corn tortillas cooked on the spot and eating delicious grilled chicken.

valladolid was the perfect place to start our trip, the town is small, we easily parked our car and walked (and cycled – hence the lack of pictures…) everywhere. we definitely want to go back and only wished we could’ve stayed longer.

we then headed to chichen itza and finally visit the mayan ruins – chichen itza was a large pre-columbian city built by the mayan civilization and it’s about a 40 minute drive from valladolid in the direction of merida.

getting there is pretty easy, the parking was easy and there are plenty of guides available at the entrance. there were loads of souvenir shops and and food stalls, but we sensed some rain coming, so we ran to the site and made the most of it.

everybody recommended going early in the morning to prevent the crowds, but since june is low seasons, it wasn’t too busy and nice to visit.

the site is amazing, we spent a whole afternoon walking around and taking pictures – no wonder it is a unesco world heritage site. it’s been on my bucket list to visit at least since in 2007 it won the title of  one of the seven wonders of the world in a ceremony in lisbon!

after a long day with lots of sightseeing we headed to merida, our next stop, about an 1h30 away – check back for more on this trip soon!

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coqui coqui / valladolid & tulum

on our trip to mexico we stayed at coqui coqui – we actually started our trip at their property in valladolid and ended it in tulum.

valladolid – we decided to book here after reading the mr and mrs smith review by Ricky Wilson (Crowd-surfing lead singer, Kaiser Chiefs). the property is one of a kind, we were specially curious about staying in a one room hotel!

i was excited the minute we walked in and were given a bag with coqui coqui amenities. my favorite – the orange blossom eau de cologne, of course i brought one with me!

we checked in late after driving for an hour and half from cancun airport. the perfumery was about to close so we had the entire property for ourselves.  in a colonial style, the perfumery has its in house made products, a spa surrounded by gorgeous gardens, the cafe de los frailes and our room with a terrace and small private pool.

the next day we had breakfast served in our terrace and had just enough time to go for a bicycle ride around town – the property has two for guests to use. i was specially in love with their cacao floor tiles!

Bertrand, the manager took really good care os us. we bought a couple of things at the perfumery and had a coffee with Nico, the owner before checking out and heading over to our next stop.

tulum – we kept our three night stay at coqui coqui in tulum for the end of our trip. we live surrounded by perfect beaches, but being able to wake up with tulum beach views, and going for a dive in the sea before spending the day sightseeing (there is so much to do) sounded like the perfect plan. and it was!

the hotel in tulum is slightly bigger, 7 rooms, which allowed us to be specially taken care of. rather than a colonial style, it’s more eco chic rustic style. the hotels blends perfectly with the environment and although you feel in close contact with nature, you still feel pampered. this hotels also has a shop, the perfumery, a spa and a restaurant.

as we had a little more time, we truly enjoyed the hotel. we had everlasting breakfasts mexican style -huevos rancheros overlooking the caribbean sea – had a treatment in the spa, lounged in the terrace snacking on nachos and guacamole and walked to nearby restaurants for dinner.

we just felt like being there, doing nothing, looking at the sea, drinking freshly made fruit juices and reading a book. i can’t wait to go back!

See more pictures HERE!