For the second leg of the trip we chose to stay in the magic town of Valladolid. The city is well known for its colonial architecture and traditional gastronomy, plus is conveniently located near Chichén Itzá and Ek Balam archeological sites which were also on the list for this trip.
After driving West on the 180 highway for a couple of hours we arrived to Valladolid and quickly found our way to El Mesón del Marqués, a charming colonial style casona located right in the heart of town.
Luckily for us the hotel has one of the best restaurants in the area and after we settled into our room we headed there to have lunch. I have to say everything we ate was delicious, especially the Queso Relleno (stuffed cheese) a hearty soup made with edam cheese, epazote infused broth, olives, raisins and capers. Here you can find a great recipe by Chef Rick Bayles and just to make your taste buds tickle, here is a picture of the Queso Relleno serve at Hostería el Marqués.
Other standout in the menu is the Zac Kol de pollo, spicy chicken cooked in a thick corn puree with chunks of tomato, raisins, almonds, olives, capers and chilies.
After lunch we headed out and explore the surroundings, admiring the multicolor facades of the buildings and walking through the narrow streets near the Centro Histórico.
We ended up in one of the major attractions of the city, the Saint Bernardine Convent, for more than four centuries this building has been an important part of the city and it’s history.
Here Fray Bernardino de Valladolid started one of the first mexican scientific works “The Botanical Catalogue” with Spanish and Latin names of endemic plants found in the new continent, he added drawings and explained the domestic and healing uses of each plant, this is a must see place if you visit Valladolid.
After sunset we headed back to the hotel and prepared for a good night sleep… Chichén Itzá was our next item in the agenda!