Casa de los Venados
Casa de los Venados is a private home in Valladolid, Yucatan that is open to the public. This private home functions as an excellent representation of Mexican folk art that you can visit daily on scheduled tours. This is the largest collection of museum quality Mexican art that can be visited, so don’t miss the opportunity to see it. This is one of the top 10 things to do in Valladolid, so be sure not to miss it.
What you see on the tour of Casa de los Venados
Your guided tour of the house will start by some looking at some of the impressive pieces in the entranceway. The tour does not talk about each piece (mainly because it would take too long) but rather a look at the house and explaining some of the traditions and where some of the art comes from. Each tour is a little different and you can ask questions and learn quite a bit about Mexican culture and art from the tour.
A nice thing about the tour is the casual approach to the collection. Everything is not roped off and it is possible to see up close the pieces. this does not mean you should touch things, but it is very accessible and very kind for the owners to open their private home daily.
In this large home you will see different guests’ suites and public spaces all filled with art. Over 3000 pieces are in the home. Much of the art is from other parts of Mexico, so if you have not traveled a lot within Mexico, you will see a broad selection of art in many mediums.
History behind of the owners
John and Dorianne Venator own Casa de los Venados. They had been traveling to Mexico over the years and in the early 1970’s bought a place in Cancun, which was just being developed. The couple looked around Mexico for a large home that would be more traditional. They looked at some of the popular places’ foreigners would purchase property but found their current home in Valladolid, Yucatan. The couple was living in Chicago, USA before starting this project in Valladolid.
The owners loved Mexico and collecting art pieces. The Venators carefully selected pieces that represent Mexican culture and worked directly with artisans so that all funds would go direct to the artists. As the collection grew, the idea came that the house could be opened up to the public and it could be used as a way to give back to the local community. The Venators have also looked to the future and have in place the house to go to a foundation so it can continue to be open to the public beyond the time they live in the house.
On many tours of the home, you will have an opportunity to meet the owners. They enjoy visiting with guests and sharing a little conversation.
History of the house
The large colonial home was originally built by a mayor of Valladolid. Over the years the house had become abandoned for some 37 years before being purchased. Once purchased it took 8 and a half years for the renovations to take place. Today the home has a large courtyard in the center, pool and outdoor spaces in the back and 23 bathrooms. Those are just some facts about the property that you can see on tour of Casa de los Venados.
Information about visiting Casa de los Venados
On the official website of the house and many others, it says tours are once a day at 10 am. Tour times have been expanded to five timed tours a day. The first tour of the day is at 10:00am. Tours are conducted in English and Spanish. The tour takes about one hour.
How much is the tour of Casa de los Venados?
Tours are done by donation basis. A small donation is suggested but any more is welcome. Donations are used for local community projects like brining doctors to rural areas or supplying blankets to people who need them in the cooler months. At the end of your tour there is a donation box. Donations do not pay the guides, so if you wish to tip the guide also, that is appreciated.
Do you need a reservation for the tour?
No reservations are requiring. However, tours do leave on time. Make sure to plan your arrival to meet the tour times. Guests who show up outside of tour times will be asked to wait outside until the next tour. Groups are anywhere between one and about 15 people. There are multiple guides available if there are a lot of people for one tour.
Where is Casa de los Venados?
Casa de los Venados is in Valladolid on Calle 40 by Call 41. On the front door there is posted information about visiting, so it is easy to find. It is only half a block off the main square.
Besides visiting this house in Valladolid, Yucatan, there is a lot to see in the area. there are cenotes, museums. markets, good stores for local made crafts, colonial architecture and much more. We have a guide and video here for more information about visiting Valladolid. If you decide to stay overnight, you can find many good value hotels here. See our guide on where to stay in Valladolid for more.