Best Cenotes near Valladolid

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Best Cenotes near Valladolid Mexico
Valladolid Mexico

Looking for the best Cenotes near Valladolid? You landed at the right place! 

Valladolid is a refreshing and beautiful city, granting rapid access to the breathtaking Mayan ruins, gorgeous pink lakes, and mesmerizing cenotes. Notable cenotes in the region consist of Cenote Zaci right in town, Ik Kil at Chichen Itza, and Xcanche near Ek Balam Ruins, as well as Suytun – a crowd favorite! Exploring these magnificent destinations will make your voyage throughout the Yucatán Peninsula nothing short of extraordinary.

Thanks to our explorations, we were fortunate to discover the beauty of many cenotes near Valladolid. To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of our top 7 favorite spots – you don’t want to miss out on these fantastic cenotes! So dive into this ultimate guide and start uncovering the most remarkable cenotes that Valladolid has in store for you!

What are the Cenotes?

When cenote collapses, a sinkhole filled with water is revealed – the Yucatan Peninsula boasts thousands of these cenotes (seh-NO-tay). Valladolid has become particularly renowned for its many cenotes; locals and tourists alike flock to marvel at their beauty.


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If you’re visiting Mexico and need to cool down, then a cenote is the place for you! These underground pools are filled with naturally cooled water, making them ideal spots for a dip. What’s more, these mysterious locations have served as sites of sacrifice for the Mayans; divers have unearthed artifacts such as gold, pottery, and even human remains at some of their ancient ceremonial grounds.

Cenote Calavera

Revel in the magnificent, unexplored cenotes near Valladolid, that are a mix of open-air, semi-open and subterranean for an exceptional experience.

  • Open cenotes: We adore these cenotes that have collapsed, leaving the open sky available for a cool swim and fun activities. The water is perfectly pleasant, and there are numerous tranquil places to relax near the coast.
  • Semi-open cenotes: Emerging from the depths, these cenotes boast small openings in the ceiling, which allow both light and air to breathe life into their interiors. Sun rays dance off of their crystal-clear waters, creating a majestic sight that can be seen nowhere else on Earth.
  • Underground cenotes: Plunged into the dark depths of the Earth, these cenotes glow with a mysterious radiance within their cave system, deprived of any source of natural light.

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7 Best Cenotes near Valladolid

If you’re arranging an itinerary for your holiday in Valladolid or Yucatan, we’d like to stress the importance of adding these cenotes – they are our absolute favorites!

Best Cenotes near Valladolid : Cenote Suytun Mexico
Best Cenotes near Valladolid : Stunning Cenote Suytun Mexico

1. Suytun Cenote

Activities: Swimming, pictures

Cenote Suytun is an enrapturing oasis in Mexico and one of the most photographed cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. With a stone pathway winding to its center platform, nestled amidst the serene water body surrounding it, this mesmerizing sun-blessed destination remains amongst Mexico’s best tourism draws. So for anyone who wants to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with their loved ones, consider visiting beautiful Cenote Suytun!

Suytun Cenote at 9am
Suytun Cenote at 9am

The grey and creamy-hued walls give a striking contrast to the impossibly blue waters of the cenote, in addition to its dramatic stalactites. Cenote Suytun is ideal for swimming, but more importantly- taking breathtaking photos that are sure to wow your Instagram followers! Try coming here during sunrise if you’re looking for some tranquil alone time, even though the late afternoon sun will stream through the cave’s opening.

Although Cenote Suytun is a 3-hour journey away from places like Cancun, Tulum and Play del Carmen, we can assure you it’s worth the trek! After all, this stunning Cave Cenote just outside of Valladolid is, without question, the most beautiful out of them all.

Getting to Cenote Suytun: Taxi or rental car. It’s a 2 hour 15-minute drive from Cancun.

Entrance Fee Cenote Suytun: 200 pesos ($10 USD)

View from the top Cenote Zaci
View from the top Cenote Zaci

2. Cenote Zaci

Nestled within the heart of Valladolid stands an incredible cenote. Cenote Zaci is a huge hollowed-out cavern connected to the sky. On one side, majestic stalactites and stalagmites hang from its rocky ceiling; while on the other lies lush vegetation climbing up to ground level. As you traverse down stone steps towards the water’s edge, you will be greeted with unsurpassable views – it is astonishing that such a magnificent destination can exist in harmony with urbanity!

The Pool Cenote Zaci
The Pool Cenote Zaci

After you spend the day admiring the breathtaking Mayan ruins, why not continue your journey of discovery and experience Cenote Zaci? Located just 8.5 km from Tulum on the Coba-Tulum road, this open-air cenote offers an enchanting sight – two shimmering turquoise pools that will be sure to take away any residual heat! So don’t miss out on this exquisite opportunity for refreshment and relaxation!

Come to Cenote Zacil Ha for a breathtaking adventure and an aura of tranquility! With depths averaging three meters, this oasis is perfect for families looking to take a plunge. If you’re up for the challenge, make sure your open water or cavern diving certification is current; then, you can dive into its otherworldly connected caves such as the renowned Cenote Carwash!

Cenote Saamal
Cenote Saamal

3. Cenote Saamal (Hacienda Selva Maya)

At certain times, Cenote Saamal can be overcrowded with sightseers. However, if you arrive before the influx of tour buses in the late morning hours, it truly is arguably one of the most beautiful cenotes to dive into! Moreover, there’s an artificial waterfall that adds a magical feel when swimming and enjoying this enchanted spot.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, Cenote Saamal at Hacienda Selva Maya is the perfect destination. My friends and I recently visited, and we were all impressed with the amenities – lockers, outdoor showers – as well as the delicious 250 peso buffet! Additionally, life jackets are compulsory but provided free of charge; and if you’d like something extra thrilling there’s also a zipline available to purchase.

If you are visiting Cenote Saamal with a group of people, then I cannot recommend it enough. To make the most out of your experience, come in the morning while it is still relatively quiet and take a refreshing dip before things get too crowded. Afterward, be sure to indulge in their delicious buffet!

Cenote Xkeken
Cenote Xkeken

4. Cenotes Xkeken (Cenote Dzitnup) and Cenote Samula

Take a short seven kilometer trip south of Valladolid and be entranced by two remarkable cenotes. As you make your way through the stone walls, tree roots, and dark entranceways, be prepared to be awe-struck by the stunning stalactites overhead and magnificent rock formations in every direction. While bats flutter around above you, keep an eye out for tiny black catfish swimming nearby as well! And after taking it all in – don’t forget to look up towards the sky, where beams of light pierce through from outside world that awaits above. This is absolutely one experience not to miss!

Take a refreshing dip in the pristine waters of Cenote Xkeken and allow the gentle fish to exfoliate your feet. It’s an exciting experience swimming through this cavern as some areas are narrower than others, creating a thrilling journey past impressive stalactite formations!

Cenote Samula stands out from the rest with its shallow waters that make swimming a breeze, even on sweltering days. A rock island situated in the center provides a perfect refuge for explorers to take respite during their cenote journey. Furthermore, this circular pool offers plenty of space to discover and leisurely swim around!

Cenote Oxman Pool
Cenote Oxman Pool


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5. Oxman Cenote

If you’re daring and feeling adventurous, take a 4 km journey south of Valladolid to the secreted Hacienda San Lorenzo. Here lies Cenote Oxman, an incredible underground cenote that can only be accessed by descending many spiral stone steps – its opening hidden from sight. When you reach its depths, your reward awaits in the form of a thrilling rope swing and fresh blue waters ideal for swimming beneath trees, roots, and vines which dangle delicately above like curtains of wonderment steadily dripping cool water into this tranquil paradise below!

View from Top Cenote Oxman

After you’ve finished swimming in the cenote, lounge by the hacienda’s outdoor pool and enjoy a cold drink at its bar – with refreshing beverages offered at cost-friendly prices! Set up your beach chair or table nearby to bask in the sunshine.

Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman is home to the hidden gem of Cenote Oxman, a lush oasis and natural wonder. As sunlight casts through its canopy and tree roots hang low over the still waters below – you can’t help but be enchanted with its beauty! We were certainly enraptured after our own visit and have compiled some tips that will make your journey at this dreamland even more memorable—especially don’t forget to swing on their rope swing for an unforgettable experience!

Cenote Ik Kil From the top
Cenote Ik Kil From the top

6. Cenote Ik Kil

Take a dip in the enchanting Cenote Ik Kil, where shimmery waters and lush vines await you. Easily one of Mexico’s most renowned cenotes due to its stunning beauty and convenient location near Chichen Itza, your time spent here will be truly awe-inspiring.

Getting to the magnificent Cenote Ik Kil is a breeze, whether you opt for renting a car (check prices now!) or taking the colectivo from Valladolid. Alternatively, and perhaps even more conveniently, you can easily visit Cenote Ik Kil while touring Chichen Itza with one of many available tour packages.

7. Cenote Hubiku

Nestled between Valladolid and the iconic Ek Balam ruins, Cenote Hubiku is an extraordinary underground cenote with a magnificent opening in its roof that allows natural light and tree roots to cascade down into its waters gracefully. At times you can even spot a stunning small waterfall trickling through. Not only does this site have plenty of room for swimming, but it also boasts a generous restaurant area alongside gift shop and tequila museum! We felt particularly enchanted by this particular cenote due to the brilliantly lit hole on top accompanied by the mesmerizing water stream at its center – perfect for some much needed relaxation time!

How to get to Cenote Hubiku: Easily access Cenote Oxman by renting a car, utilizing the public transportation service colectivo or hopping in a taxi. 

Cenote Hubiku ticket prices: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery at Cenote Hubiku for an entrance fee of $100 pesos per person, or take your experience up a notch and enjoy dinner from the restaurant buffet for only $350!

Best Cenotes for families and kids: X'Canche Cenote
X’Canche Cenote

8. Cenote Xcanche, Ek Balam Cenote

Escape to one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s most captivating yet lesser-explored ruins—Ek Balam! Located in Valladolid, Ek Balam beckons you with its hidden gem, Cenote Xcanche. This stunning open cenote is a paradise for swimmers and adventurers alike, offering zip-lining opportunities as well as swing, jumps into its depths. And that’s not all—Cenote Xcanche also features a magnificent waterfall cascading into it! While these are plenty reasons to make your way there already; here’s an even better one: You may be the only swimmer in this idyllic spot when you arrive – just like we were!

For a calming and refreshing experience after a bustling morning visiting the Ek Balam ruins, we highly suggest stopping by Cenote Xcanche. It is located conveniently close to the entrance of the archeological zone.

How to get to Cenote Xcanche: Cenote Xcanche, just two kilometers from the entryway to Ek Balam ruins, can easily be accessed by walking, cycling or taking a bike taxi. After exploring Ek Balam’s fascinating history and architecture, we opted for the latter experience, which took us directly there from Valladolid. For those wanting their own set of wheels while visiting this area of Mexico should consider renting a car – compare prices now! Alternatively you could take an inexpensive colectivo bus service as well.

Cenote Xcanche ticket cost: For only $70 pesos, you can experience Cenote Xcanche! To make your excursion as convenient and economical as possible, why not reserve a return taxi bike for an additional $150 pesos? This includes your entrance ticket to the cenote.

9. Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza

Are you wondering if swimming in the cenote at Chichen Itza is a possibility? Unfortunately, it’s not allowed. The Sacred Cenote held immense historical value and was used for the sacrificial offerings of humans and material items to appease the God of Rain. During its excavation in the early 1900s, human remains alongside pottery, weapons, and gold was discovered which further adds to its cultural significance.


How to Get to Valladolid 

Located in the perfect spot of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Valladolid is easy to reach from Merida or Riviera Maya. You have a few options available; rent a car and drive, take an ADO bus ride, or book a tour for your convenience.

Are Cenotes Free? 

Home to thousands of cenotes, the Yucatan Peninsula offers an array of swimming holes accessible from everything ranging from schools to Costco parking lots. The majority are privately owned and require a nominal entrance fee, often as low as 30 pesos ($1.50 USD). However, if you look hard enough it is possible to come across some that don’t charge admission fees at all!

Is it Safe to Swim in Cenotes?

Exploring the beautiful cenotes of Mexico is an activity that should be enjoyed with safety first in mind. Life jackets and other personal flotation devices are usually required, but even when they aren’t necessary we strongly suggest using them to minimize your risk. Enjoy a safe journey into these wonderful natural wonders!

Are There Crocodiles in Mexican Cenotes?

While some divers have claimed to spot a crocodile in one cenote near Akumal, this is highly unusual and none of the cenotes surrounding Valladolid are rumored to be inhabited by crocs.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.