Well Travelled: Valladolid, Mexico

March 10, 2014

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A longstanding series with Herschel Supply, Well Travelled highlights travel stories captured through the unique perspective of photographers around the world. Visit Valladolid, Mexico with Mikee HK as he shares his journey in this original piece photographed for the Journal, Issue Two.

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When many people head to the Mayan Riviera, the plan is to relax. Flatten yourself out on the beach, burn red and get served all-you-can-consume sugar cocktails while an acoustic cover of Cheeseburgers in Paradise is performed by some ex-pat.

This isn’t an altogether bad plan, I guess I’d take that any day, but it’s not really travel. It’s just going tequila comatose for a week. Right nearby, inland into the Yucatan, is a little gem called Valladolid. A place that feels like it’s barely aged in the last hundred years or more. A city that feels more like a small, local town operating independent of tourism.

Valladolid is a colonial, architectural beauty. A collection of businesses and families otherwise unspoiled by price hikes, taking tourists for what they’re worth, hawking wares aggressively at passersby and all of the other trappings.

If you make it down to this part of Mexico, take a day or two away from the beach and head over to Valladolid, walk every street, have a beer on every patio and enjoy every moment.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_6Some of the best food options in Valladolid don’t have walls, but wheels.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_7Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in Cenote Zaci: Leave a penny, don’t take a penny.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_23A city of freshly painted colonial buildings, sitting next to those that aren’t.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_12Pay no attention to this sign and jump off the cliff into the refreshing cenote water below.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_10Street palms, hanging in the heatwave.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_16Look at the people having fun below, but more importantly look at the cliffs you can jump from in the distance. Hundreds of years ago, Cenote Zaci was the primary water source for the Mayans. Now? Tourists come to play in it.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_25A view through the light in Cenote Zaci.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_14El Meson del Marques, a hotel in the heart of Valladolid across from the city square.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_13A gem around every corner in Valladolid.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_9The word pollos means chicken. Seeing pollos painted on a wall means lunch is ready.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_15You could shoot an entire series in Valladolid called, “Things in front of things of the exact same colour.”

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_29Beach day, on the rocks. Bottle of rum, check; cigars, check; beach towels, check; snacks, check; music, check.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_17Valladolid is filled with side streets and foyers like this. This is at Tunich Beh, a hotel on Calzada de los Frailes, a beautiful cobblestone street in Valladolid.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_18At the lobby, checking out of our stay at Hotel Meson del Marques.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_26No touch screens allowed.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_19Hidden gem out back. After exiting the hot, narrow cobblestone street into the perfumery, Coqui-Coqui, you walk through their small cafe into this shaded oasis. A spa and one-room guest house.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_27Every crack in a wall is an opportunity for more green to grow. Everything grows here, fast.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_20Things just kind of look like this around every corner.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_30When it’s tipping to be over 36° C degrees, an ice cold beer, cigar and some shade in the park will feel like salvation. Either it’s that, or the convent to the right.

HSC_S14_Journal_well_travelled_Valladolid_21Doorstep at Tunich Beh hotel.

Enjoyed ‘Valladolid, Mexico’? View more of Mikee’s photography at Loveandrum.com or follow him on Instagram.

Check back next Monday for the another instalment from The Journal, Issue Two or pick up a Complimentary copy available at Herschel Supply stockists around the world throughout the month of March.