From Las Coloradas we backtracked to Chichen Itza and checked into the Hotel Dolores & Alba. Along the Chichen Itza highway, there are numerous hotels, but book in advance as this is a very busy tourist destination area. Hotel Dolores & Alba was established forty years ago by the Sanchez family. Dolores is the grandmother’s name, and Alba is the grandfather’s second last name.
There are two swimming pools; one is man-made and circular like the sun and the moon. The second pool is ecological; the reef is formed from limestone. We were fortunate in that our room directly abutted the ecological pool. The water was so very refreshing. The round pool is situated in the restaurant area. You can have your meals, breakfast lunch or dinner alongside the pool and be entertained by the local Iguanas.
Meals are typically Mexican. We only enjoyed breakfast for the duration of our stay. The only problem for some people might be the poor Wi-Fi connection. You may only connect to the Wi-Fi in the restaurant area and in your room there is so little signal connecting to your data is very difficult. But is Wi-Fi so important when you are enjoying good company and a natural pool or visiting some of the great wonders of the world?
We were pleasantly greeted on our arrival and without any issues or matters of concern we had the key to room no. 4. The hotel has modest furnishing, just the basics you need to make you comfortable. If you are looking for a calm and peaceful stay at very reasonable prices @ $54 per room per night, the Hotel Dolores & Alba is the place you’re looking for.
Of the biggest convenience would be that the Hotel Dolores & Alba is situated opposite the Ik Kil cenote (Wikipedia – a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Mexico, in particular, the Yucatan province is full of these cenotes). We arrived at the cenote at approximately 9.15 am; the entry fee is $80mxn per person. May I suggest that if you want to visit a cenote do it early in the morning because by 11 am the tourist buses are arriving, we counted five buses in the space of 15 minutes.
Wikipedia – Ik Kil cenote is open to the sky with the water level about 26 meters (85 ft) below ground level. There is a carved stairway down to a swimming platform. The cenote is about 60 meters (200 ft) in diameter and about 40 meters (130 ft) deep.
It is breathtakingly and spectacularly beautiful, to find words to describe its beauty impossible.
Before entering the cenote, if you intend to swim in it, you are required to take a shower. There are plenty of lockers for your personal belongings; the change rooms are clean and neat. The shower is not in the change rooms but out in the public area before you enter the stairway to the cenote.
The stairway is made from natural stone, and there are look-out points as you make your way down. Be careful though; the stairway gets slippery when wet. There is a rail to hold on to, and I suggest that you do.
The cenote water is fresh and cool (not cold). If you brave enough there is a ledge to jump off into the cenote. There are lifeguards on the premises.
Valladolid, a fascinating historical town you have to visit. A Spanish colonial town, its streets are lined with colorful colonial buildings that blend character and charm. In the center, as with most Mexican towns, is a park and the huge Catholic church. You could argue that if you’ve seen one town, you’ve seen them all but Valladolid is exceptional. It has a certain vibe that makes tourists stay longer and memorable.
From the central market to Italian, British and local restaurants, Valladolid has them all. We frequented two Italians restaurants and were equally impressed with the quality of the food.
Part three of our road trip (click here) – Chichen Itza. So much to tell!
If you missed part one (click here) – Las Coloradas or Pink Lakes
Stay with me on our Mexican road trip.
Professional photos courtesy of Mik ‘n Drik Photography