Are you a traveler? Or a tourist? Or a scout for retirement?
“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” ― G.K. Chesterton "The scout should be more like the traveler, doing a slow dance of due diligence...so you end up where you should be." -- D.R. Larsen
Where great experiences become the best memories because the deeper you dig, the richer the rewards.
Welcome to the real México...the real Yucatan.
But what is the real Yucatan? It is different things to different people.
It's the rich history moving backward in time to the Mexican Revolution, the War of the Castes, the Spanish Colonization of Mexico, the Mayan civilizations and their "lost" cities...all the way back to the asteroid that crashed off the coast of Yucatan and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. The asteroid probably also caused the fracturing of the limestone shelf of northern Yucatan that eventually grew into what are now known as cenotes…freshwater “sinkholes”, many of which are open to the public for swimming.
It’s the friendliness of the people…the smiles, the greetings and the welcoming hands of locals to foreigners and strangers.
It’s the living Mayan world with the food, crafts, language and culture that is alive and well and part of the everyday landscape. The delicious tamales wrapped with banana leaves instead of corn husks. The rich flavors of dishes like chimole or relleno negro or puchero. The variations on tortillas like panuchos and salbutes or the very regional and local pibihuas and volcanes. (Come with me to the municipal market and you can taste the differences).
It’s the architecture of the Mayan pyramids as well as their thatched roof huts set in close proximity to Spanish colonial structures.
It’s the closeness to nature that comes from living in a climate where you almost never close the doors or windows. From the thousands of flamingos on the north coast to the rare jaguars that still roam the jungles very near to Valladolid. The huge variety of birds that announce daybreak and nightfall. The orchids and flowering trees, the wide variety of tasty fruits and the medicinal bushes that cure many ills. The iguanas that can reach four feet in length to the tiny (but powerfully voiced geckos) that hide behind outdoor light fixtures waiting in ambush for mosquitos and flies. The stingless bees that produce some of the best honey in the world.
From the first moments of entering the grounds of Casa Hamaca Guesthouse you feel transported to another time and place. As you enter the jungle to cross the bridge through our lush garden with over 80 different plants and trees and more than 15 bird species, you walk into calm serenity. The beautifully restored hacienda-style main building reflects Colonial design and is filled with many Mayan artifacts and Yucatan-themed murals. The veranda overlooking the gardens is a great place to meet other guests over a beer or a glass of wine and share your adventures. Curl up on the sofa or in a hammock to read a book. Cool off in the pool after a day of exploration. The Xoco Loco restaurant and bar serves up local specialities as well as far-away foods and beverages.
Meet your host:
"Come join us for festivities, fiestas and fun."
My name is Denis Larsen and I have been traveling to the cities and small villages of Yucatan for over 20 years and am happy to share my experiences and recommendations with you.
It's been an affair of the heart. I have a deep love for the Mayan people. All of the staff of Casa Hamaca are Mayan. Some still speak Yucatec Mayan and live in small villages surrounding Valladolid. Some of them speak Spanish as a second language; a few speak some English. But all of them go out of their way to make your visit to Casa Hamaca comfortable, interesting and educational.
A guest recently wrote:
"Casa Hamaca Guesthouse is an experience of it's own. Everyone in Valladolid seems to know this place, for some very good reasons. First of all, the Hacienda is an artwork. Every room has its own theme. Several Mayan artists made this place look very unique. The lush garden, the plunge pool, and the indoor hammocks add an extra nice touch you can't find elsewhere. The place is 5 to10 minutes away from the zocalo, depending if you're a fast or slow walker. The owner, Denis, is such a nice guy. His hospitality and friendliness made us feel so welcome we didn't want to leave. His staff is also great, make sure you tip them! The rooms are clean, airconditioned and wifi work really, really well!!! Food at the hotel restaurant is delicious! All in all, this place is a great deal! Thanks, Denis and staff, for everything!"
Best Places in the World to Retire interviews Denis
MadisonEats visits Valladolid
Yucatan Living interviews Denis
Our visit to one of the few remaining Mayan stingless bee keepers.
The benefits of sleeping in a hammock (by the way, hamaca means hammock in Spanish). All of our guest rooms have hammocks as well as very comfortable beds.
The London Foodie visits Valladolid:
Situated on the quiet interior corner of the small, almost traffic-free Parque San Juan in a friendly neighborhood, Casa Hamaca Guesthouse is perfectly located for convenience and access to all areas of interest within Valladolid.
Casa Hamaca Guesthouse is within easy walking distance of the newly restored train station, the bus station, the main square, ATMs, grocery stores, convenience stores, 24 hour medical clinics, 24 hour pharmacies, local restaurants and cantinas, food courts, camera shops, phone stores, ice cream shops, a children’s playground, clothes shopping, jewlery stores, an open-air adult exercise center, bicycle rentals, two cenotes, artisans markets, souvenir shops, a 5K walking/jogging path, the municipal food market, cinemas, museums, and six historic churches.
It’s far enough from the main square so you don’t have to deal with the tourist crowds and the exhaust of the many buses that are often there with the day-trippers from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but close enough to walk in a very few minutes.
Valladolid is the Mexico you’ve always wanted to discover.
* Valladolid is a Pueblo Mágico, one of select number of Mexican town with this designation. Valladolid is not just a rest stop on the way to or from Chichen Itza. It is a destination in itself. Valladolid is a city rich in history and culture, located in the middle of the Yucatan and the heart of the Mayan world.
* Valladolid is the nearest colonial city to Cancun. The city is more than 470 years old but still retains a small-town ambiance. Valladolid was over-built by the Spanish on the Mayan site of Zaci so the city is actually much older than 470 years.
* Valladolid has a long and colorful history. Because of its age and location it was the focal point of of conquests, conflicts and commerice. Before the Spanish colonizers came, the Mayan city of Zaci was located between two of the cenotes of Valladolid. The War of the Castes, which began in 1847, lasted over 60 years. In 1910, Valladolid struck the first spark of the Mexican Revolution.
* Valladolid has 4 major Mayan ruins, open to the public, less than a one hour drive: Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Yaxunah and Cobá. Plus many more within a two hour drive. And many, still unexcavated, in the jungles surrounding Valladolid. CLICK HERE for links to more than 300 Mayan ruins: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1xXmm6SYsDAeuh5kIE0B6w6mes14&shorturl=1
* Valladolid has the Gulf coast with its small fishing villages (with boat trips to swim with the whales and to see flamingos, other birds and crocodiles) and their wonderful, inexpensive seafood restaurants. Straight north about 1 1/2 hours.
* Valladolid has the Caribbean coast with the rustic sophistication of Tulum as well as the crystal-clear Caribbean waters and their soft-sand beaches; about one hour and ten minutes south-east.
* Valladolid has cenotes (fresh-water sinkholes) in every direction. Many are open to the public for swimming. There are (depending upon whose figures you use) between 3,000 and 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan.
* Valladolid is located less than 15 miles from Xo-Cen (the Bellybutton of the World according to Mayan belief). Many old Mayan crafts and traditions are still practiced in the small villages of the Yucatan.
* Valladolid is a cultural city in its own right. From the museum-quality collection of Mexican folk art at Casa de los Venados, to the frequent musical presentations in all of the parks, to art and photography exhibitions at City Hall, to the parades, fiestas and dances there seems to be something happening every week.
* Valladolid has a wide variety of food options from street corner push-carts (we'll tell you which ones we enjoy) to locals-only family restaurants away from the main square to white linen dining. And everything in between.
* Valladolid is one of the safest cities in the state of Yucatan which is the safest state in Mexico. The crime rate for the entire state is about equal to the crime rate of the state of Vermont in the USA. You do not need to worry about getting knocked over the head while walking around in the evening.
Give Back to Valladolid with despensas (two weeks worth of food basics and household necesities). We take you to nearby Mayan villages to gift a despensa to a needy Mayan family (or two). Our Mayan-speaking driver helps with translations. You return home with a full heart and new friends.
They checked in as strangers..
And checked out as friends.
Why should you consider Casa Hamaca Guesthouse for your stay in Valladolid? Simply put, we go out of our way to make your Yucatan adventure the best experience possible. Many of my FaceBook friends are people I met when they came to stay at Casa Hamaca Guesthouse as a guest. That's why a number of our great TripAdvisor reviews are written by friends; they checked in as strangers and checked out as friends.
Full breakfasts included!
Our breakfasts are outstanding... natural yoghurt, handmade granola, fresh tropical fruit selection and fresh pan dulce (sweet rolls) made in-house, great coffee and a variety of teas everyday. But that is just the warm-up. Our breakfast menu has over 15 offerings and all are served with freshly squeezed juice...all included.
There is a small plunge pool, a veranda with comfortable seating and hammocks overlooking both the pool and the jungle-like garden. There is secure, on-site parking. Our staff is happy to assist with your bags and suitcases. Laundry service is available at an extra charge for those guests staying over at least two days.
Kid Friendly and Family Friendly
Casa Hamaca Guesthouse and
Xoco Loco Restaurant
Pac 'N Plays available, high chairs, laundry service, plunge pool, a stroller ramp, stingless bees, cats, iguanas and birds plus there is a public playground right across the street. Our staff really like kids.
Kid Friendly and Family Friendly
A home for local animals, some of them rescued. Open Tues through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Kid Friendly and Family Friendly
Mini Golf at the VallaZoo
A fun course for kids, a challenging one for adults.
Kid Friendly and Family Friendly
With restaurants, pools, slides, snack bars, buffet and more.
Suggestions and recommendations.
We are happy to help plan your visit to Valladolid if you are willing to share your interests. Bird watching, saltwater fishing, volunteering at the Valladolid English Library, helping out with a craft workshop, Spanish lessons, visiting a Mayan shaman, tequila factory tours, bee keeping (stingless Mayan bees) and dancing classes are just a few of the many options available.
Cooking lessons and market visits
Hands-on adult and family oriented classes plus market visits to shop for your ingredients. Learn traditional skills like making tortillas and tamales from scratch. Or learn how to prepare cochinita pibil or léchon al horno.
A relaxing massage.
Chill out with a massage or facial in our authentic Mayan, thatched-roof palapa. Relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, healing massage, prenatal massage, facial massage and body exfoliation available by appointment. Couples massage available.
Artist in Residence Program: Beds for Brushes
Design or finish a mural and stay for free. We have an almost completed mural on the second floor hallway. Our current colaborative mural has nine different artists each completing an element of the design, using their own individual style.... making, at the end, a colaborative effort of ten artists. We are now looking for an empty wall to start the next project. See http://www.casahamaca.com/activities/mural.htm
Xoco Loco Restaurant.Bar.Café is open from 7:00AM to 10:00 PM. Located under the palapa of Casa Hamaca Guesthouse. Breakfast, lunch and supper served al fresco under the thatched-roof palapa. Full service bar from noon to 10:00 PM.
We care for you like family. It doesn't matter if you are a first time visitor to the Yucatan or a veteran traveler to the Mayan world... we can help you experience the varied wonders of the Yucatan. We can guide you to the must-sees as well as off-the-beaten track experiences.
There are no guest phones nor in-room TV. There is, however, a DVD player in the salon for your use, a wide screen TV in the palapa for movies or music in the evening and WiFi throughout the casa.
Almost everyone visits a least one of the nearby Mayan ruins. Pictured is the Castillo (Kukulcan) at Chichen Itza, about 40 minutes from Casa Hamaca Guesthouse. The ruins at Ek Balam are even closer.
Casa Hamaca Guesthouse may have the first wheelchair accessible guest room in all of Valladolid. There is a gently-curving ramp from the parking area to the first floor of Casa Hamaca where the spacious Tun Nich Na (or the Stone Suite) awaits you. It's not quite ADA compliant but it is very close.
Home of the Turkey and 549 other Species of Birds
The northern Yucatan is home to a large year-around population of birds...and the wintering spot or transit zone for an even larger number of migratory bitds. In just a few hours, a guest recorded over 15 species of birds in the gardens of Casa Hamaca Guesthouse. Bring your binoculars and head for the coast or the jungle for the day. Or just hang out on the veranda and let the birds come to you.
Mom, Dad, the Kids and the Grandkids... All in one place,all at the same time. Multigenrational Family Gatherings
Casa Hamaca Guesthouse is the perfect spot for an extended famiy gathering....a family reunion, a special event or just a chance to spend some time together. The best part is no cooking, no cleaning, no laundry. Everyone gets to relax and enjoy your family time together.
Special Events and parties
From an elegant wedding supper to a casual breakfast buffet for a party of 40 to a full-day seminar or a week-long workshop or retreat, we can provide the space and the hospitality needed. Write Denis at firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your request and let's talk.
Residential Rates at The Best Exotic Hamaca (Hammock) Hotel
Extended stay option. Special rates for one week, two week, one month or longer stays. Perfect for students, teachers, advanced degree candidates, retirees and snowbirds...anyone who wishes a deeper experience of the Yucatán. Write Denis at email@example.com for details.
Special activities and recurring events.
Monthly lecture series in the palapa sponsored by the Valladolid English Library. Monthly mariachi in San Juan Park. Bi-weekly international movire night in the palapa...with food pairing that reflect the movie. Monthly dance night in the palapa. Despensa ( donated gifts of food and household necessities) delivered at your convenience. Annual visit by a shaman to cleanse the casa and grounds to offer a ritual feeding of the alux. Annual Christmas and Thanksgiving parties (USA schedule).
Book your reservation directly with us.
When we invoice you directly and you pre-pay via PayPal for a three-night minimum stay, we will have a bottle of red or white wine ready for your arrival. Our compliments. Write to Denis at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this offer when booking your adventure. This offer not available if booked through this website or through a travel agency or internet travel site.
Customer Service; email@example.com or +52-985-100-4270
Cancellation Policy: We ask for 10-days notice to cancel a reservation; there is a $50 processing fee for each room canceled. Within the 10 days, you are responsible for the room nights that we are unable to resell. Since we sell a service rather than a product, there is no return policy.
Pricing: Minimum price (low season) for a room for two persons is USD$80 per night plus 19% Yucatan taxes. Maximum price (high season) for a room for four persons is USD$150 per night plus 19% Yucatan taxes.