Cenote Ik Kil Valldolid

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Cenote Ik Kil at Chichen Itza Valladolid - 2023 Visitors Guide

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Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid
Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid

Cenote Ik Kil, Chichen Itza

Cenote Ik Kil is a stunning and majestic cenote located in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, renowned for its crystalline waters and cascading vines. Not only does it look exquisite but it offers an incredible opportunity to swim amid these alluring surroundings!  

Cenote Ik Kil view from the bottom

Plus, Cenote Ik Kil is conveniently situated close to Chichen Itza – making this memorable destination ideal for combining both on your itinerary. For those seeking breathtaking views of the Yucatan Peninsula – Cenote Ik Kil should be at the top of your bucket list!

Exploring the Yucatan, we stumbled upon Cenote Ik Kil and it left a lasting impression on us. To ensure your journey is just as unforgettable, here’s our comprehensive guide to visiting this breathtaking destination: from tips on how to beat the masses to when best explore this captivating cenote—we’ve got you covered!

Cenote Ik Kil, Chichen Itza 

Cenote Ik Kil is a special type of cenote, where the swimming area is open to the sky instead of enclosed in a cave. Submerge yourself in its clear waters and admire the hanging vines cascading into it from above – an incredible sight!

Cenote Ik Kil is defiatly one of the most sought-after cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, and so it’s swarmed with excited visitors every day. Our #1 recommendation for exploring Cenote Ik Kil? Arrive early – as soon as 9am when they open their doors! The best way to guarantee this is to stay close by.


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What are Cenotes?

If you’re seeking an awe-inspiring experience, then look no further than the cenotes of Yucatan Peninsula. Cenote (seh-NO-tay), a Spanish word for “sinkhole”, is formed when an underground cavern collapses and reveals a water reservoir underneath. With thousands scattered across this region, people from all over flock here to get mesmerized by its majestic beauty!

Immersed in the Mexican heat? Quicker than a dip and dive, cenotes are an ideal destination to cool off. Not only that; these subterranean pools were held sacred by the Mayans, who often sacrificed gold, pottery and occasionally human or animal remains into their depths. Today they offer more tranquil splendor – so go ahead and take a plunge!

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

The cenotes that are found in the Yucatan Peninsula are a great mix of open, semi-open or underground:  

  • Open cenotes: Our favorite type of cenotes near Tulum are those that have entirely collapsed in on themselves, leaving them open to the sky. These areas provide a refreshing experience with warm water and plenty of spots for relaxation along its shoreline. Some of our favorites include Cenote Azul, Cenote Zacil-Ha, and Car Wash Cenote—the perfect spot for an exhilarating dip under the sun!
  • Semi-open cenotes: We were mesmerized by the stunning beauty of these semi-open cenotes: Cenote Suytun, Cenote Hubiku and Cenote Samula. Despite being mainly subterranean, they feature openings in their ceiling that allow light and fresh air to enter. The effect is magnificent as those sunbeams illuminate the crystal clear waters below!
  • Underground cenotes: If you’re looking for an amazing underground cenote experience, look no further than the three cenotes near the Coba ruins (Tamchach-Ha, Cenote Multum-Ha
  •  and Cenote Choo Ha) or Cenote Xkeken near Valladolid. These cenotes are completely underground in a cave system and have no natural light to illuminate the water, making them more difficult to visit. However, they are well worth the effort!

Visiting Cenote Ik Kil

Upon arriving at the sprawling car park for Cenote Ik Kil, an attendant will guide you to where you can park your vehicle. Afterwards, head over to the ticket office and get ready for a memorable experience!

Cenote Entrance

At Cenote Ik Kil, guests can take part in open-air swimming and cliff diving off of the platforms near the cenote pool. Because of its depth and access/exit points, it’s not a suitable environment for small children or toddlers; however we did witness families with younger kids there as well. We’d only suggest young ones visit at quieter times when there is less commotion if they’re used to being in water activities.

As you leave the parking lot and enter the Ik Kil complex, keep an eye out for the ticket office on your left-hand side. Once you have your ticket, walk towards the Cenote entrance where another attendant will check your pass.

Once you venture across the small open square, lockers and showers will be just ahead. On-site restaurants offer sustenance, tacos and refreshment and beer after your swim if desired. If a locker is needed for valuables such as towels or cameras, then these can be hired out too. Consider renting one in busier times or when intending to stay longer at the cenote – communal showers are nearby beforehand that must also be used before entering it!

Pool Area

Expert Tip: Heed the warning: although essential, showers at the cenote are usually freezing. So if you’re planning on taking a dip in this must-see natural beauty, be sure to brace yourself for some ice cold water!

As you take the time to meander around the corner, your eye will be drawn to a little viewing deck overlooking Cenote Ik Kil. Despite its awe-inspiring appearance, there is actually 18 metres (59 feet) of water below ground level! To get down and enjoy swimming in this marvelous cenote, one must walk through a stepped tunnel before reaching it. Additionally, please note no food or drinks are allowed past the top of these stairs or into the actual cenote itself – so make sure you’ve eaten enough beforehand!

Expert tip: The top steps of the stairway to the cenote can be very slippery from all the showering that is required before entering, so take your time on this section. We brought swim shoes and were grateful we did when passing through here!

Once you reach the bottom of the first set of stairs, there is an excellent viewing area of the cenote. This was actually our favorite view of Cenote Ek Kil because of the vines hanging down from the walls and into the water.

Pool Area

After traversing the wet and slippery viewing deck, you will find yourself descending a tunnel to arrive at the pool of this beautiful cenote. Approximately halfway down on your left is another viewing area which offers an alternate perspective of its turquoise waters. Once you reach bottom, there’s a grand expanse in front: wooden steps invite visitors into the water while elevated platforms provide an opportunity for those daring enough to jump right in!

Visit Cenote Ik Kil tip: Being the first at Ik Kil Cenote grants you an unparalleled advantage: a private pool almost exclusively to yourself. When I arrived just before 9am, it was practically deserted lying in wait for me; only one other small group and family were there. It felt like my own natural paradise!

Cenote Ik Kil Tunnel
Cenote Ik Kil Tunnel

Swimming in Cenote Ik Kil

Taking a dip in Ik Kil is nothing short of magical. To ensure safety for swimmers, jumping from the lower platform isn’t allowed – instead, wooden steps are placed along the edge to jump into the water below. This set-up has two levels; one with steps leading down and another up which prevents any mishaps caused by swimmers diving on top of each other.

Visiting Cenote Ik Kil tip: If you’re unsure of your swimming abilities, it is essential that you rent a life-jacket before plunging into Cenote Ik Kil. Even if the cenote is crowded and makes entering or exiting difficult, this extra precautionary measure will ensure your safety while swimming in waters that exceed your own depth. Although participating in all cenotes comes with some risk involved, securing yourself a personal flotation device can alleviate any worries when venturing off to explore these unique natural wonders!

Despite the typically sweltering temperatures, a swim in Ik Kil provides an incredibly refreshing experience. Filled with mesmerizing vines and tree roots that dangle over its open-top roof and into the water below, there is no other natural wonder quite like it! You won’t have to travel far from the entrance of this cenote before you can take in its breathtaking view – one that truly has to be seen to be believed.

Visiting cenotes is an exciting experience, and like most of them you’ll find many small (and some not-so-small) fish eager to nibble your toes! Don’t worry – these creatures are usually just harmless catfish that won’t cause any pain at all. The sensation can be a bit startling for first-timers but it’s nothing to fear!

Diving platforms at Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil is an ideal diving spot, with three platforms ranging from 3-5 meters high near the pool. It’s always a rush of adrenaline when you jump in! Cenote Ik Kil was also picked for the Redbull Cliff Diving Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2014—it’s amazing to think about divers leaping off such great heights from above the entranceway of this cenote!

Visiting Cenote Ik Kil tip: It is forbidden to touch any of the roots that are dangling from both the walls and ceiling of the cenote. Additionally, it is strongly discouraged from touching either side of the cenote’s walls (both wet or dry) as this perpetuates damage on its fragile ecosystem.

Getting to Cenote Ik Kil

Rental Car

Exploring the cenotes in Mexico is a breeze when you have access to your own vehicle. Ik Kil’s enormous car park can accommodate an abundance of cars, so parking should not be a problem. We highly advise readers that if they plan on touring the Yucatan Peninsula, renting a car will make it infinitely easier! The roads are well maintained and traffic isn’t congested – driving was easy for us during our stay. Overall, we had an enjoyable experience behind-the-wheel!

If you’re driving, Cenote Ik Kil is very easy to find – just a short distance off Highway 180 between Piste and Valladolid. The journey from Piste only takes 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) or 3 kilometers (2 miles) from Chichen Itza, so it’s great value for money too; hiring a taxi should set you back no more than $5!

Is there Uber in Cancun, Tulum, Valladolid or Playa del Carmen?

Unfortunately, no. Even though the app is functional there has been a lot of push-back from the local taxi-mafia and some violence so for your safety, we would suggest against using it.

From Valladolid to cenote Ik Kil

If you’re heading from Valladolid to Ik Kil cenote, then you have three options: take a bus, board a colectivo or secure a taxi. Taxis will cost at least 300 pesos (the equivalent of $20) for the one-way trip and it’ll usually take about 40 minutes due to the distance being roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles). Colectivos are situated between Calle 44 and 46 on Calle 39; they cost 35 pesos each way and deposit passengers directly by the entrance of Ik Kil cenote. The colectivos leave when full throughout all hours in day.

The most convenient route to visit the renowned cenote Ik Kil from Valladolid is aboard an Oriente bus, leaving every day from its station at Calle 46 and Calle 39. With almost 20 departures daily, beginning as early as 8:30 a.m., I decided on taking the 10:30 a.m option – see below for proof!

From Merida to cenote Ik Kil

The journey may be lengthy (130km/80miles), but it is definitely achievable! Start your trek at the Merida Mexico bus station and hop on a bus to Piste. Once you arrive, grab an inexpensive taxi for only a few dollars that will take you directly to cenote Ik Kil’s entrance.

Colectivo (local taxi-buses)

If you wish to get from Valladolid to Cenote Ik Kil without breaking the bank, then catching a colectivo is your best bet. There are multiple buses running every day and they will drop you off right at Cenote Ik Kil!


To get to Cenote Ik Kil, one of the most cost-effective methods is by taxi. If you are coming from Chichen Itza and Valladolid, negotiate with your driver for a reasonable fare before departing. On the other hand, taking a taxi from Tulum or Merida would be quite expensive. There were several taxis waiting at the cenote’s entrance when we left so it should also not be difficult to find one as you leave too!


If you’re not interested in renting a car, one of the simplest ways to experience Cenote Ik Kil is through taking part in an exciting tour package from locations like Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. These tours – usually day trips – will provide you with a comprehensive itinerary that will give you access to this amazing cenote!

Read Next our favorite cenotes in Mexico:

And don’t forget to stay up to date with the latest safety updates on Mexico.


FAQ for Cenote Ik Kil

Ik Kil Cenote is extremely deep:The cenote at Ik Kil plunges 10 metres from the top to the water surface. It’s also the deepest freshwater we’ve ever swum in, reaching a depth of 50 metres (150ft). We couldn’t even see the bottom! If you’re not a confident swimmer, definitely make sure you rent a life jacket.

Make your excursion to the breathtaking Cenote Ik Kil unforgettable with these helpful hints!

How much does Cenote Ik Kil Cost

Admission to Cenote Ik Kil is set at 150 pesos ($7,5 USD) per adult and 40 pesos ($3 USD) for children. There is another option (read below) that is 350 pesos ($18 USD) and includes addition, lifejacket and food and drinks.

To ensure a smooth entry process at all Mexican cenotes (Ik Kil included), we highly suggest bringing cash in the form of Mexican Pesos with you if possible; exchange rates on US/Canadian Dollars are unfortunately unfavorable here!

Ik Kil Option 1: – $150 pesos ($7,50 USD) includes General admission, a complimentary lifejacket and locker.

  • Lifejacket
  • Locker

Ik Kil Package 2 – $350 pesos ($17,70 USD) includes General admission, complimentary lifejacket, locker, food (5 menus to choose from) and 1 soft drink or Mexican craft beer.

Credit cards are accepted

You don’t have to worry about carrying around Mexican Pesos; you can simply use your credit card to cover the entrance fee for Ik Kil.

How is parking space at cenote Ik Kil?

Good news- there’s no need to worry about finding a parking spot at cenote Ik Kil! Parking is complimentary for all guests.

Cenote Ik Kil Opening Hours

Cenote Ik Kil is open to visit between 9am and 5pm every single day.

Visit early in the day

Cenote Ik Kil is not only aesthetically pleasing but also conveniently located near the world-renowned Chichen Itza. However, because of its popularity, it can get extremely crowded. There have been reports of long wait times to exit the cenote and a lack of space to move around comfortably. In addition, other swimmers may accidentally kick you while swimming past or waiting to exit. For these reasons, we recommend visiting at quieter times, wearing a life jacket and being mindful of your surroundings at all times. We visited first thing in the morning and were some of the first people into the cenote. It was a really nice experience that would not have been as fun with lots of other people swimming at the same time.

Best time to visit Cenote Ik Kil

Like most cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula, it’s best to visit Cenote Ik Kil in the morning on a weekday. Going at these times means you’ll miss the larger tour groups and the This way you avoid the weekend crowds when locals and tourists descend on the cenote. We visited Cenote Ik Kil at 9 am on a weekday and almost had the place to ourselves. Fewer crowds at the cenotes will massively improve your experience at the cenotes.

Cenote Ik Kil is not only aesthetically pleasing but also conveniently located near the world-renowned Chichen Itza. However, because of its popularity, it can get extremely crowded. There have been reports of long wait times to exit the cenote and a lack of space to move around comfortably. In addition, other swimmers may accidentally kick you while swimming past or waiting to exit. For these reasons, we recommend visiting at quieter times, wearing a life jacket and being mindful of your surroundings at all times. We visited first thing in the morning and were some of the first people into the cenote. It was a really nice experience that would not have been as fun with lots of other people swimming at the same time.

How long to spend at Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil is a renowned gem of the Yucatan Peninsula, and with its breathtakingly beautiful scenery, it’s no surprise why visitors flock to this cenote for swimming and sightseeing. Spend an afternoon here soaking in the sun on the viewing deck or dining at the on-site restaurant with authentic Mexican food like tacos; you could easily spend up to two hours in each area! However, during peak times Cenote Ik Kil can be quite crowded so you may want to plan ahead if your goal is maximize your time there – allowing 1-3 hours should suffice.

What’s not allowed in Cenote Ik Kil!

Unlike a regular swimming pool, touring the cenotes comes with its own set of guidelines and policies. Therefore, it is important to keep these in mind when making your journey. Cenote Ik Kil rules were as follows:

  • Showers – Prior to entering the pool, you must take a shower for hygiene and safety reasons.
  • Alcohol – Swimming is strictly prohibited when alcohol has been consumed.
  • Roots and Vines – To ensure the sustainability of these precious underwater caves, visitors are required to refrain from touching any entangled roots extending down from their roof and walls.
  • Cliff jumping – Only jump into the water from the assigned platforms; if you jump anywhere else, security will escort you to the police station.
  • Sunscreen / Mosquito repellent: To maintain the pristine quality of the cenote’s water, please refrain from wearing sunscreen or mosquito repellent prior to entering. Showers are available for your convenience and must be used before plunging in!
  • No drones – Drones are off-limits at most sites and cenotes in Mexico, so don’t even think about attempting to fly it! We made the wise decision not to take our drone with us since drones have such strict regulations in Mexico.
  • Don’t feed or harass the fish/animals – This ought to go without saying, however let’s take it one step further: do not feed or disturb the fish! The majority of cenotes are home to resident iguanas and while they make excellent photo props – try your very best not to bother them.

Facilities at Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil, located in the Yucatan peninsula, is one of the most well-known and largest cenotes around. Whether you are looking for a few hours to relax or an overnight stay, this site has it all! Enjoy exquisite dining at their onsite restaurant followed by a comfortable stay in one of their cozy cottages.

Changing rooms and lockers

Relax and enjoy your time in the pool with peace of mind knowing that all your belongings are securely stowed away in one of our changing rooms or lockers located near the showers and swimming area.

Food drinks

There are two restaurants by the cenote where you can get something to eat or drink after your swim. The food is noteworthy, and you can even have a beer while enjoying the view. Although prices are on the higher end, it’s understandable given the location.

What to Pack for Cenote Ik Kil

To make certain your journey to the magnificent Cenote Ik Kil is a memorable one, be sure to bring along these essential items so you can experience an effortless and blissful getaway!

  • Swimwear: Make sure you don’t miss out on the ultimate cenote experience – this one essential item is an absolute must!
  • Snorkel Mask or Goggles: Don’t let a single detail escape you – be sure to equip yourself with snorkeling gear before embarking on an awe-inspiring trek into the mesmerizing abyss of these majestic sinkholes! With your mask and goggles in tow, get ready for a captivating journey like no other.
  • Water Shoes: Exploring cenotes in Mexico is a magical experience, and while it’s not mandatory to purchase water shoes before venturing out, I strongly suggest it. With their sharp rocks and slippery surfaces, these grottos can be hazardous without the proper protection on your feet; but with sturdy shoes, you’ll feel safe enough to enjoy yourself! Don’t let that stop you from experiencing this remarkable adventure – invest in some good quality water shoes for an unforgettable journey! Furthermore, these waterproof items are invaluable when visiting the coral reef and snorkeling.
  • Water Bottle: Don’t forget to bring your reliable, reusable water bottle! With its high temperatures and humidity, you wouldn’t want to take the chance of drinking unclean tap water. Bring a strong container that can endure any escapade — or better yet, opt for a LifeStraw filter bottle. This will guarantee that whatever liquid flows through it is filtered before being ingested; in this way not only would you stay sufficiently hydrated but also reduce your plastic waste footprint at once!
  • Camera: The allure of these cenotes is so enthralling that you simply can’t resist capturing the moment with a few snapshots. Plus, why not take advantage and bring along your waterproof camera or GoPro? With this setup, you’ll be able to capture extraordinary imagery while submerged in their depths!

Other Things to Do Near Cenote Ik Kil

After exploring the stunning Cenote Ik Kil, you may be wondering what else to do around this area. Having spent a good deal of time here myself, I humbly offer a few suggestions for activities that are sure to make your trip even more memorable.

  • Take a plunge and explore some of the lesser known cenotes near Valladolid, such as Cenote Oxman and Cenote Zaci – they are two gems off the beaten path!
  • Journey to Chichen Itza and explore the iconic Mayan pyramids, one of only seven Wonders of the World that has been honored with UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage Site status
  • Visit the beautiful town of Valladolid.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

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🚙 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.

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