When we planned our trip to Valladolid, we didn’t really have a set idea about what we wanted to see and do. The only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to help promote tourism in Valladolid and further explore the Maya culture.

When we arrived at Casa Hamaca Guesthouse, we saw a poster showing a performance called “Momentos Sagrados Mayas” (Sacred Moments of the Maya). We asked the owner, Denis, a few questions about it and learned that it’s a very unique cultural show in the nearby Village of X’ocen.

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We arranged a taxi (200 pesos) to take us the 15 km to the nearby Maya Village,  bought our tickets at the “door” (just a small table, there are no doors at this theater!) for 150 pesos and made our way to the theater. I use the term “theater” lightly as this show is set outside among trees, with nothing more than a small wooden stage. The simplicity is what we loved about it.

Little white cushions were set out for both tourists and locals. When the music began, everyone went silent and we all sat eagerly waiting for the show to begin. Men and women, boys and girls came pouring out from behind the trees, bushes and surrounding little hills. Colourful, traditional Mayan clothing was worn and it didn’t matter that we don’t speak Mayan or Spanish, we understood what was going on just fine.

Momentos Sagrados Mayas

Going to school, men flirting with women, tending to the livestock, bargaining in the market, funeral processions, music, dancing and even drunk husbands being told off by their wives were some of the different scenes showcasing the daily life of the Maya people.

The vibrant colours were gleaming in the sunlight and the stomping of feet during the dancing was magical. There were 300 people participating in the Momentos Sacrados Mayas, and it seemed like everyone aged 5 and up knew how to dance and could move their feet and legs at incredible speeds.

The entire show went on for an hour and a half and it was a very special experience. Many places in the Yucatán have cenotes, beaches and colonial buildings, but this show was something unique to see. If you’re coming to Valladolid, make sure to time your visit for Momentos Sacrados Mayas, the spectacular outdoor theater performance.

Special thanks to Casa Hamaca Guest House for hosting us for this portion of our stay in Valladolid.

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Exploring Maya Culture Through Outdoor Theater & Dance (2)

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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