Valladolid, Yucatan — This colonial city, often overshadowed by other places, came out on top in a readers’ poll of emerging destinations in all of North America.
“Valladolid is simply magical,” writes Travel Lemming. “A charming colonial town set in the epicenter of Mexico’s super-popular Yucatan peninsula, Valladolid has long lived in the shadow of much more popular Mexican destinations like Tulum and Cancun.”
“But head to Valladolid and you’ll soon realize that everyone is missing out,” the post continues.
For the top position, Valladolid edged out destinations from Canada and the United States, including Savannah, Ga., and Manitoba, Canada. It is the second-most visited city in Yucatan, receiving almost 143,000 visitors this year, according to state records.
Its runner up is Mar Chiquita, Puerto Rico, which it called “an other-worldly beach on an island eager to re-emerge.”
Other picks include Manitoba, Canada; and Savannah, Ga. (Full list here.)
In other regions, 8,000 readers picked Serbia (“one of the most underrated travel destinations on the planet”); Orange, Australia (“just off the edge of most tourists’ maps”); Malawi, Africa (“an incredible safari experience without the crowds”); Lima, Peru (“the gastronomic capital of South America”); and Sri Lanka (“Lonely Planet went so far as to call it the #1 place to travel in the world for 2019″).
To show off its new global distinction, the “Sultana de Oriente” (“Sultan of the East”), as Valladolid is affectionately known, is preparing to host the Great Gastronomic Festival.
It will be held at the the Calzada de los Frailes, a restored colonial street, on Saturday, Jan 12.
Personalities such as the French-Mexican Chef Michel Andre Fournier Meier, president of the Association of Chefs of the Americas, and Yucatecan gastronomy expert Wilson Avelino Alonzo Báez, as well as traditional cooks and restaurateurs will participate.
Travel Lemming is run by Nate Hake, a Denver native who has traveled to over 65 countries and recently concluded a six-month stint living in Mexico. He is now traveling in Thailand.