How to get from Cancun to Valladolid (2023): 5 best options

Wondering how to get from Cancun to Valladolid? Look no further.

I lived both in Merida and Cancun and used to go to Valladolid multiple times in different ways. So in this post, I will share all the options you have.

In fact, if you are interested in the history of the Yucatan Peninsula and want to visit a town that is the gateway to nearby natural wonders, you will want to make the trip from Cancun to Valladolid.

Valladolid is a pueblo magico- or town distinguished by the Mexican government for its rich history, natural beauty, and culture. The site where Valladolid sits today was originally the Mayan town of Zací, and in 1545 the Spanish overtook the area.

Today, you can explore this colonial town and learn about its history, and visit nearby ruins and cenotes.

If visiting Valladolid has been on your bucket list for a long time, or you are just now getting interested in visiting there, keep reading to learn how to get from Cancun to Valladolid. 

View o san Gervasio church in Valladolid
San Gervasio Church, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

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Things to know before traveling from Cancun to Valladolid

If the idea of visiting a beautiful, historical town that is close to cenotes and Mayan ruins appeals to you, here are a few things to know before planning your visit to Valladolid. 

👉🏽 Where is Valladolid located?

Valladolid is located in the state of Yucatan, on the Yucatan Peninsula. The town is in the middle of the state, it is not located on the coast.

If you love having water to jump into and cool off after a day of exploring, do not worry, there are plenty of freshwater cenotes in the area to visit!

Water fountain statue in Valladolid Parque Francisco Anton Rosado
Town Center Park Francisco Anton Rosado, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

👉🏽 What is the distance from Cancun to Valladolid?

Valladolid is approximately 160 kilometers, or 100 miles to the east of Cancun. 

👉🏽 How long does it take to get from Cancun to Valladolid?

It depends on how you travel there. Whether you rent a car, go on a public bus, or as part of a tour makes a difference in how long it takes to get there, but you should expect the trip to take around 2 hours. 

👉🏽 What is the cheapest way to get from Cancun to Valladolid?

The cheapest way to get from Cancun to Valladolid is on the ADO public bus.

There are several daily departures from the downtown Cancun ADO station, and the ticket will cost between 15 and 28 USD per person. 

👉🏽 What is the fastest way to get from Cancun to Valladolid?

The fastest way to get to Valladolid from Cancun is to book a private shuttle. You can pre-book a shuttle and the driver will be waiting for you at the airport.

You will travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned car to your destination in Valladolid.

With a private shuttle, you and your ground do not need to wait on any extra passengers. 

View of the Valladolid Cathedral surrounded by palm trees
Valladolid Cathedral – Photo from Canva

5 ways to get from Cancun to Valladolid

Depending on your budget and what kind of experience you would like to have, there are several different ways to travel from Cancun to Valladolid.

Below you will find information on the five most common ways to get from Cancun to Valladolid so you can decide what is right for you.

1. Rent a Car from Cancun to Valladolid

Renting a car gives you the freedom to move around on your own schedule and explore off-the-beaten-path cenotes and ruins.

There are several rental car agencies right at the Cancun airport, or if you plan to spend a few days in Cancun before heading to Valladolid, you can rent a car there. 

But since renting a car in Cancun is in high demand you should book your car in advance I recommend using Discover Cars as it allows you to compare different rates from many companies and choose the ones that suit you best.

The drive from Cancun to Valladolid is safe and easy to navigate. You can take the toll highway 180D from Cancun all the way to Valladolid.

The road is in good condition and there are very easy-to-read signs showing you where to exit to get to Valladolid.

The drive will take you about two hours, and there is rarely much traffic on the highway. Just be aware that there are often sections of construction where you will need to slow down where they are working on the road. 

View of the Valladolid Iglesia Candelaria during sunset
Iglesia de Candelaria, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

🚗 Is it safe to drive from Cancun to Valladolid?

Yes, it is safe to drive from Cancun to Valladolid. You can take the modern, well-maintained toll road that is easy to navigate.

In general, it is not recommended to drive at night in Mexico. You should plan to do all of your driving during the day and give yourself extra time whenever you are planning to move between cities.

Also, keep in mind that the toll road only accepts payment in Pesos cash! They don’t accept cards or any other currency. So be prepared.

If I am not in a rush I would always prefer to drive along the regular roads (Libre) vs the toll roads (cuota) just because it allows you to drive around small towns and see spectacular churches or bump into a hidden cenote.

Either way is very safe to drive in the Yucatan Peninsula overall.

🚗 Where to stop between Cancun and Valladolid?

If you want to turn your drive from Cancun to Valladolid into a road trip, there are several popular spots on the way to check out.

The Yucatan is famous for its cenotes, and you having a rental car gives you the freedom to stop at lesser-known cenotes.

While driving, it is not uncommon to see entrance signs for cenotes.

Most cenotes are on private property, so the owners charge a small entrance fee and allow you to access the cenote.

Yal Ku Cenote and Zazil Tunich Cenote are two popular cenotes to visit in this area.

If you do not mind going a little bit out of your way, the Ek Balam ruins are to the north of Valladolid. This site is famous for its ceremonial arch and the Oval Palace.

If you are into history and want to see some less visited ruins, these are a great option for you. 

You can check out my Cancun Itinerary for further recommendations.

View of the San Gervasio Church
San Gervasio Church – Photo from Canva

2. ADO Bus from Cancun to Valladolid

Using the ADO public bus system to get from Cancun to Valladolid is a comfortable, safe, and easy way to travel. The buses are comfortable and clean.

They have air conditioning and even show movies ( in Spanish, of course). ADO does not offer a bus that goes directly from the airport to Valladolid.

Instead, you will need to take the ADO bus from the Cancun airport to the downtown bus station. There you will be able to get on a bus to go to Valladolid.

Buses leave from the very early hours of the morning until late evening from Cancun to Valladolid.

There are many departures throughout the day, but the schedule is always changing, so you will need to look it up online closer to your travel date. 

The ADO bus is an affordable option to travel to Valladolid, with tickets costing between 15 and 28 USD per person, depending on what departure you choose.

If you are already in Mexico, you can book your tickets at any ADO office, or you can book them online. 

🚌 How long is the bus from Cancun to Valladolid?

The bus ride from Cancun to Valladolid is about two and a half hours. ADO offers comfortable service, and their buses are even known for actually leaving on time!

The buses are all spacious and air-conditioned, and they even show movies for entertainment. The bus will take you to the ADO station in Valladolid which is just a few blocks off the main plaza. 

An orange building on one of the streets in Valladolid
Street in Valladolid – Photo from Canva

3. Private Transfer from Cancun to Valladolid

Booking a private shuttle to take you from Cancun to Valladolid is a fast and stress-free way to travel.

You will need to book the shuttle in advance, and the driver will be waiting for you at the Cancun airport or will pick you up at your Cancun hotel.

They will take you and your luggage to their comfortable, air-conditioned car and away you will go. You will not need to waste any time waiting for other passengers to arrive. 

A private shuttle from Cancun to Valladolid will cost a little over 300 for up to 3 passengers.

Private shuttles are a great option for couples or small groups because the price is for the entire shuttle, and up to 3 people in the van with you.

If you are traveling with a small group it is a fast and affordable option. The ride in a private shuttle will take a little over two hours with normal traffic and the driver will drop you off at your hotel in Valladolid. 

4. Taxi from Cancun to Valladolid

This option is the least recommended as it will be way more expensive than the above-mentioned ones.

If you decide you want to go to Valladolid and do not arrange a private shuttle, you can pay for a taxi to drive you there.

It can seem a little shocking that any old taxi will drive you hours away from where you get into it, but there is a reason- they will charge you a lot for the service.

Often, taxi drivers see this type of fare as a great way to make a lot of money, and you will have to negotiate very hard to get a fair price.

Unfortunately, taxis at the Cancun airport are notorious for overcharging tourists.

It is best to plan ahead and book a private shuttle, but if you do decide to take a taxi, make sure you establish the rate with the driver before getting in. 

View of the Main Plaza in Valladolid with benches and trees
Main Plaza, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

5. Tours from Cancun to Valladolid

If you do want to visit Valladolid but do not want to do any planning, you can take a day trip tour from Cancun.

Day tours will pack a lot of action into one day, letting you see several of the most famous sites in the area.

Day tours usually include a visit to Chichen Itza and a chance to swim in a cenote. With a day tour, you do not have to do any planning, just sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself.

Here are some of the best day tours from Cancun to Valladolid:

✔️ Chichen Itza, cenote & Valladolid all-in tour 

5.0 ⭐️ 12,355 Reviews

Spend the day learning about the rich history of the Yucatan Peninsula. Your tour begins with convenient pickup at your hotel.

You will then travel to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza where you will get to explore the grounds and see the famous Kukulcan pyramid.

From there you will refresh yourself in the ancient cenote Saamal. There you can descend the stone steps into the freshwater pool, and take pictures of the beautiful surroundings on the platforms.

You will finish your day with a buffet lunch and a chance to explore the colonial town of Valladolid. This tour lasts 12 hours and includes a bilingual tour guide. 

Luis was extremely knowledgeable about all the places we visited, and gave good recommendations, all while cracking jokes and inviting us into the fun of the trip. He also deeply cares about the history of Mayan culture. Learned a lot and had lots of fun. Would recommend.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Rebekah_R, May 2023
Chichen Itza Serpent close up
Chichen Itza

✔️ Chichen Itza tour, buffet lunch, cenote, Tequila tasting & Valladolid

4.5 ⭐️ 7,450 Reviews

Explore the Yucatan Peninsula on this all-day tour. You will be picked up early in the morning from your hotel and taken to Chichen Itza.

You will arrive at the site early in the morning and get to walk around admiring the ruins.

Your local guide will explain the importance of the site to the ancient Maya, and show you the famous Kukulcan pyramid.

From there you will go to Cenote Chichikan where you will experience the magic of swimming in a cenote.

You will enjoy a delicious lunch and tequila tasting on the grounds of the cenote before heading to Valladolid.

In Valladolid, you will stroll around the plaza and visit a church that was originally built in 1545.

Your local guide will teach you the history of Valladolid before you return to Cancun. This tour lasts 12 hours. 

Amazing trip – very well organized and extremely informative. Good mix of activities throughout the day that don’t make you feel like you’re stuck at one place for too long.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Alexander_H, May 2023
View of cenote Zaci while sun is shining
Cenote Zaci, Valladolid

✔️ Chichen Itza, cenote & Valladolid private tour

5.0 ⭐️ 110 Reviews

Avoid the crowds and plan your day exactly how you want with this private tour from Cancun to Chichen Itza and the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula.

You get to pick your departure time for the tour and will travel in an air-conditioned vehicle that is only for your group.

Once at Chichen Itza, your guide will give you a tour, teaching you all about the archaeological site. From there you will get to decide how to spend the rest of your day.

You can visit either Ik Kil or Xcajum cenotes for a refreshing swim, travel into the Mayan jungle, and visit the colonial town of Valladolid.

Your tour includes a stocked cooler in the car, a buffet lunch, and your bilingual guide. The tour will last 8 to 11 hours. 

We had a wonderful trip with Victor Luis!! He was very knowledgeable and real Mayan! We learned so much from him about the Mayan Culture. He should be teaching in a University! The food was great on the trip and we had a great time!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Roger_J, Apr 2023
Temples at Chichen Itza
Can’t handle too much crowd? Why not book a private tour and explore the beautiful archaeological site of Chichen Itza?

How to get from Cancun Airport to Valladolid? 

If you want to make your way to Valladolid as soon as you land in Cancun, there are several transportation options.

You can decide what mode of transportation fits your budget and will be the most comfortable for you. 

👉 What is the fastest way to get from Cancun Airport to Valladolid?

The fastest, and easiest, way to get from the Cancun airport to Valladolid is to pre-book a private shuttle.

When you book a private shuttle, your bilingual shuttle driver will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. Your driver will load your luggage in the vehicle and you will be on your way.

You will not need to wait for other guests or make any stops on the way to Valladolid.

Your driver will drop you off directly at your hotel so you can start enjoying your vacation as soon as possible.

View of the plaza in Valladolid
Plaza, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

👉 What is the cheapest way to get from Cancun Airport to Valladolid?

The cheapest way to get from the Cancun airport to Valladolid is to use the public buses.

Private shuttles charge per car. It is cheaper to take public transportation, especially if you are traveling alone.

If you have a large enough group to fill the private shuttle, it will bring the cost per person down substantially.

To take the ADO public buses from the airport you will first need to take a bus to downtown Cancun. That bus ticket will cost around $10 dollars.

Once in downtown Cancun, you can get on a bus to go to Valladolid. That bus ticket will cost between $15 and $28.

Once in Valladolid, you can either walk or take a taxi to your hotel. 

👉 How much is a taxi from Cancun Airport to Valladolid?

The taxi drivers at the airport will ask for at least $200 to drive you to Valladolid. Depending on how busy the airport is, they may ask for a much higher fare.

The Cancun airport taxi drivers are known for quoting high rates to unknowing tourists.

If you do decide to take a taxi to Valladolid make sure you agree on the cost with the driver before getting into the taxi. 

👉 Is there a bus from Cancun Airport to Valladolid?

No, there is not a direct bus that goes from the Cancun airport to Valladolid.

If you want to take the public buses, you will first need to go to downtown Cancun.

During the day buses leave the airport for downtown Cancun almost every 20 minutes. Once you are at the downtown Cancun bus station, you can get on a bus for Valladolid. 

Is Valladolid worth visiting? 

Yes! Valladolid is a beautiful colonial city, full of history. You will learn about the Mayan people who lived in the area before the arrival of the Spanish and their uprisings.

You will get the chance to visit historic buildings, including the church and convent. Plus, the town is full of great cafes and restaurants.

From Cancun to Valladolid, you can easily set out to explore more of the Yucatan Peninsula, including Mayan ruins and cenotes.

Whether you want to spend a few days there, or just visit on a day trip, you do not want to miss the chance to see this amazing town. 

View of the Cenote Dzitnup in Valladolid
Cenote Dzitnup near Valladolid- Photo from Canva

Is Valladolid safe?

Yes, Valladolid is a very safe city to visit. In general, the state of Yucatan is known for being safe, with very little, to no cartel activity.

As always when you travel, you should exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.

Do not leave your valuables unattended, as this creates an easy opportunity for someone to steal them.

That said, you can feel comfortable visiting and exploring Valladolid. 

Colorful buildings in a street in Valladolid
Photo from Canva

Things to do in Valladolid

With its rich history and natural beauty, there is no shortage of things to do in Valladolid.

Whether you are interested in learning more about the area’s history or want to connect with nature at a nearby cenote, you will find something you love in this area.

Here are some of the top things to do:

🥾 Explore the historical center

Take a walk around downtown Valladolid to learn about its fascinating history and enjoy the beautiful architecture.

The Spanish founded modern Valladolid on the site of a Maya settlement and built their churches and convents.

The area then had multiple Mayan rebellions against the Spanish. The rich history of the area is visible in the well-maintained colonial buildings.

You do not want to miss the chance to stroll around the plaza and take in the sites.

Colorful architecture in Historical Center
Historical Center, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

🥾 Take a dip in one of the nearby cenotes

There are countless cenotes across the Yucatan Peninsula.

From Valladolid, you can easily visit these natural wonders and go for a refreshing swim. Cenote Zaci is in the middle of town, or you can venture outside of the city to explore other cenotes. 

🥾 Discover Chichén Itzá

The archaeological site of Chichen Itza is close to Valladolid, and you do not want to miss the chance to see this new wonder of the world.

Chichen Itza is one of the most famous and visited Mayan ruins, and with good reason.

The site was an important religious and ceremonial site for the ancient Maya and here you can see the famous Kulkulcan pyramid.

When you stay in Valladolid you will have the advantage of arriving at the ruins early in the morning, before the crowds and tour buses arrive.

You can enjoy a few tranquil moments at the ruins and snap some great pictures. 

Chichen Castillo in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

🥾 Admire the light and sound show at the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena 

If you are out strolling at dusk, you will want to head over to the Parque Sisal where you will find the Convent of San Bernadino of Siena.

This convent is over 500 years old and has a light and sound show after dark.

You can enjoy the free video mapping show on the walls of the convent from Tuesday to Sunday at 9:00 pm. 

🥾 Dive into the region’s history in the San Roque Museum

As you can see, Valladolid is full of history that you will experience as you explore the town.

If you want to learn more about the area, you should visit the San Roque Museum.

This small, but interesting, museum is free to the public, so you should make time to pop in and check it out. 

Where to stay in Valladolid

Valladolid has lots of great hotel options to choose from that will fit any budget. Here are our top recommendations:

🛏 Budget: Hotel Casa Bamboo

Room at Casa Bamboo with 2 beds and white walls
Hotel Casa Bamboo – Photo © Expedia

Conveniently located near the ADO bus station in the city center, you cannot beat the value at Casa Bamboo.

All rooms have air conditioning, private bathrooms, and a flat screen tv. The property has a shared kitchen, garden, terrace, and pool for guests to enjoy.

The rooms are spacious, and there is an option for double occupancy or family rooms. Guests here love the value of the cost. 

Very nice hotel with lovely clean rooms and pool for relaxing. Staff is very helpful and nice. Few minutes from the main square with lots of shops on the way. We enjoyed our time here in beautiful Valladolid.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ romina, january 2023

🛏 Mid-range: Hotel Boutique Casa Hipil

Room at Boutique Casa Hipil with two double beds and stone wall
Hotel Boutique Casa Hipil – Photo © Expedia

The Hotel Boutique Casa Hipil is located a few blocks from the main plaza in the historical district.

This hotel offers free parking, an outdoor swimming pool, a terrace and a sun terrace. There is a shared kitchen for guests to use and a reading lounge with computer equipment.

Guests here love the convenient location, cleanliness of the hotel, and welcoming atmosphere.

The place is very cute, small little gem, staff super friendly and the room was super clean. Its very helpful the small little kitchen in the common area.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Paola, february 2022

🛏 Luxury: Le Muuch Hotel Boutique

Room at le Muuch Hotel, with double bed terrace and colorful wall.
Le Muuch Hotel – Photo © Expedia

Conveniently located near the city center, the Le Muuch Hotel Boutique has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and a beautifully maintained terrace.

The restaurant has an onsite bar and restaurant, and breakfast is included with your stay.

You can choose between a regular room or one with a kitchen. Guests here love the spacious room, amazing decor, and helpful staff. 

Very well looked after hotel. The decor is amazing. The outdoor pool area is beautiful. The hotel is close to all tourist attractions. We have nothing bad to say about our stay here. Highly recommended.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lisa, April 2023

Frequently Asked Questions about Valladolid

Where is the Valladolid Bus station?

The ADO bus station is located on Calle 39 #221. It is just a few blocks away from the main plaza in the center of town. 

Are there Ubers in Valladolid?

Yes, there is Uber in Valladolid; however, there are not a ton of drivers available. If you cannot get an Uber you can use the taxis to get around. 

Hallway with round arches of San Bernandino Convent
Convent San Bernandino, Valladolid – Photo from Canva

How do you get around Valladolid?

There are many different ways to get around Valladolid, depending on what you want to do.

If you want to explore the historic center, the best way is on foot. You can also rent a bicycle and use that to get to nearby cenotes!

You can use Uber or a taxi to get around town and to nearby attractions. If you have a rental car you will be free to explore even more of the area.

How many days should I spend in Valladolid?

It depends on what you want to see! If you are pressed for time, you can see Valladolid on a day trip from Cancun.

Or, if you have more time you can easily fill a few days exploring the historic center, visiting nearby Mayan ruins, and checking out cenotes.

Along with all these attractions to see, you will want to have time to enjoy the great food and friendly atmosphere. 

View of the San Juan Church - one of the best places to visit when going from Cancun to Valladolid
San Juan Church – Photo from Canva

Final thoughts: How to get from Cancun to Valladolid

It is safe and easy to travel from Cancun to Valladolid. There are several transportation options, so you can find one that fits your budget, schedule, and comfort zone.

If you want complete freedom to explore the Yucatan at your own pace, you can rent a car. Or, if you want to kick back and let someone else organize your trip, you can visit on a day trip from Cancun.

However you decide to get there, know that Valladolid is a fascinating town that you should make sure to visit. 

About the Author

Hey there! This is Isabella, the owner, and writer of this site. I have been living in Cancun for the past 12 years and although I have been roaming around Mexico, Cancun’s spectacular turquoise waters and pristine beach draw me back to this popular Mexican beach destination. That is why I decided to start this blog, to show you all the beauty you can find in Cancun and share helpful travel tips to help you plan a fabulous vacation in Cancun!

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