the last of four posts on our trip to mexico.
after visiting the ruins of coba, hubs and i spent an afternoon in the quaint little town of valladolid. as i wrote yesterday, getting there was a little more complicated than we planned, as we waited and waited for a bus in coba and, two hours past when it was supposed to come, gave up hope that it ever would. we ended up taking a cab, an option i wish we had chosen before the two hour wait!
both of us were pretty hungry and heat exhausted by the time we arrived in the city center, plus it was so very hot outside that we quickly surrendered our ambitions of finding a quaint, mom-and-pop restaurant for lunch and ate at the first taco place we could find. from there, we kind of just shuffled through the streets from church to church and then bought a liter of water and several ice creams (paletas) in a little air-conditioned convenience store to recover.
pro tip: don't visit during siesta, or don't be shy to knock on doors- we only saw the outsides of all of the churches we visited. we were, however, successfully able to locate a map after learning that 'map' is 'la mapa' in spanish, so i give us points for that one.
iglesia san servicio: right in the center of town, this church is beautiful and dominates the town square.
iglesia santa lucia: on a quiet square, covered in papel picado flags.
convent de san bernadino de siena: we did not walk to the convent of san bernadino, though i wish we did!
iglesia de la candelaria: catholicism meets mayan legend at this little church 10 minutes' walk from the city center. la virgen de la candelaria is the patron saint of valladolid and well known all over the yucatan.
plus, the buildings around the town center are colorful and built colonial style, entirely unlike tulum pueblo. they and the church of san servicio are why we decided to visit!
the owner of our hotel in tulum said that there is a craft market in the parking lot of the prison selling the best hammocks for the best prices around. he also told us that in mexico, prisoners have to earn their food and so by purchasing a hammock you are quite literally allowing someone to eat. we looked for the market but halfheartedly, as we don't own trees from which to hang a hammock.
lastly, there are several limestone sinkholes called cenotes (say-note-ays) in the area that are worth visiting (cenote zaci comes highly recommended by a friend), though as our trip was only a few hours long we did not venture to see them. we were also told that people really only go to cenotes to dive and not really to swim. FALSE. it's our fault, though, for asking someone who was self-admittedly a little drunk.
if we did this trip over again, i'd plan to spend a night in valladolid either before or after a trip to the ruins instead of trying to see everything in several hours in the middle of the day.