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The Travels and Adventures of
Stefano Capacchione

The Travels And Adventures Of Stefano Capacchione San Pedro Guatemala


12th July 2016

At 3pm, you might be lucky enough to see one by themselves but avoid all eye contact or you will be trapped. Often, they arrive in the central square, beating their loud drum and speaking to each other in a language that only they understand. Suddenly, a swarm of them will completely take over the town and strange music from panpipes not heard since 1962 will start playing as they take turns to circle around the local cenote. Their chants get louder, their screams fiercer until suddenly… They’re gone, not to be seen again until the following day. Meet the Valladolid tourist.

Valladolid Cenote
Valladolid Cenote

It was slightly strange for us to see so many tourists between 3pm and 6pm every day in Valladolid as for the rest of the time it is populated with mainly locals and students from elsewhere in Mexico. There isn't too much to do but the town is extremely picturesque and is the home to a large cenote. (A natural underground pool).

We spent a couple of nights there but our first was the most interesting. It was easy to find some local specialities and we enjoyed the succulent taste of poc chuc and the incredible cochinillo asado before taking a trip to the local convent, which I'm sure you'll all agree is a great way to spend any evening.

Actually, this convent was particularly special. Our arrival was greeted with the sound of saxophones, trumpets and tambourines accompanied by the sight of locals smiling and tapping their feet while some even took to the floor to showcase their love of traditional dance. We are fairly certain the show wasn't put on for us. In fact at one point, we had a slight suspicion that it might have been a celebration of life and death so if we accidently gate crashed a funeral, we can only apologise.

Musicians and dancers Valladolid

There was more entertainment in the aftermath though as the local municipality projected a lightshow on the wall of the convent. Clearly, a lot of effort was put into making this a special event that told the viewer about the history of both Valladolid and the wider province of Yucatan. I think Valladolid will forever hold a place in our hearts.

Light show at convent Valladolid