The journey from Merida to Valladolid is a route that you are very likely to take if you are planning to spend any amount of time exploring the Yucatan. This is a popular route and fortunately, the journey is very easy to do.
There is a distance of 159km from Merida to Valladolid. The journey should take a little over two hours, however, it may take slightly more by public transport.
Valladolid is one of several Mexican towns that has been designated a ¨pueblo magico¨. These are settlements that have a distinctly special culture, gastronomy, or architecture.
The town is small but charming. It was relatively off the beaten path until recently, when travelers basing themselves in Cancun and wider Quintana Roo started stopping here overnight en route to Chichen Itza.
The city dates back to 1543 and was developed by the descendants of Spanish Conquistadors. It was originally built close to a lagoon but then relocated inland, to its current location on the site of a Maya town.
This led to several violent clashes and fights between the Spanish and the Maya that would last for centuries. Modern-day Valladolid is sleepy and tranquil.
It is a stark contrast to its violent origins. You only really need half a day to explore it. This is one of the best places in Yucatan to visit.
Although, you could easily base yourself here for a couple of nights if you plan on taking the collectivo from here to Chichen Itza, or exploring the cenotes nearby. If you are traveling from Merida to Valladolid to explore the town specifically, this could be done as a day trip from Merida.
However, the journey is a little long (more on that below) and it may be more comfortable to opt to stay here overnight. You can find many great hotels and Airbnbs around the central square in Valladolid for as little as $30 a night.
Valladolid is a highlight of any Yucatan itinerary. There are a few things you can do in charming Valladolid to keep you occupied for a day or so.
A few suggestions are provided below for your consideration.
- Visit the colorful Convent San Bernardino – one of the oldest convents in the Yucatan
- Swim in the clear waters of nearby cenotes
- Stay in an old, converted hacienda
- Visit the nearby yellow town of Izamal
- Indulge in traditional Yucatan food at La Casona de Valladolid
- Start your day with huevos con longaniza – a traditional Mexican breakfast that originated here
- Grab a coffee in one of the quaint cafes that surround the Parque Principal Francisco Cantón Rosado
- Admire the impressive 16th-century Iglesia de San Servacio
How to Get from Merida to Valladolid
You have a couple of options available for the journey from Merida to Valladolid. Arguably the most convenient option is to drive. However, that may not be for everyone if you don’t feel confident driving in a foreign country.
Take the ADO Bus
ADO buses are a network of very comfortable First Class buses that operate on popular routes throughout Mexico. They boast complimentary wifi, reclining seats, and air conditioning and could easily give British National Express or American Greyhound buses a run for their money.
This is the cheapest way to get from Merida to Valladolid. The route should take two hours and 15 minutes.
However, there are several stops along the way, particularly on the outskirts of Merida. It is better to allow up to three hours for the journey.
Ticket prices vary depending on your specific time of travel. Generally, you can expect to pay between 250 and 380 pesos.
You can purchase your bus tickets online via the ADO website, in person at the bus station, or directly from the driver. It is better to buy it online in advance if you can as services do sell out.
The ADO website and its corresponding app are only available in Spanish. However, they are very self-explanatory and easy to use, even if you don’t speak Spanish.
When you purchase your ticket online, you will receive a QR ticket via email. You can then simply print this out or show it on your phone when you board the bus. You can place your luggage at the bottom of the bus for no extra fee.
The Merida to Valladolid bus schedule is subject to change. However, currently, services depart every 15 to 30 minutes from 4.07 am until 9.37 pm.
Take a Taxi
You can take a taxi from Merida to Valladolid if you prefer more comfort than depending on public transport. Uber is available in Merida and is preferable to taking a street taxi which is likely to try and overcharge you.
Didi is another ride app available in Mexico and its rates are often lower than Uber. You will have to change your phone location (and Apple ID location, if applicable) to Mexico in order to be able to use it.
Both apps are relatively safe and drivers are verified. Didi gives you the option to record your entire journey if you so wish.
You are likely to be quoted between 1900 and 2500 pesos for an Uber from Merida to Valladolid due to the distance. It is always better to pay in cash if you can, as some drivers will not accept fares whereby the customer pays by card due to the fact that it takes several weeks for the payments to clear.
If you prefer to travel by a licensed taxi firm, ask your hotel or Airbnb host to help you organize this. That way, you are assured that you are being charged the correct rate and are in safe hands.
Final thoughts on traveling from Merida to Valladolid
Have you spent any time in Valladolid or the wider Yucatan region? What did you think?
If you are in the middle of planning your first trip to Mexico, you might also enjoy reading these facts about Mexico or this post on the best time to visit the Yucatan.
Have a wonderful time exploring Southern Mexico!
Buen Viaje! xo