Cenote Zaci Valladolid

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Cenote Zaci Valladolid - 2023 Visitors Guide

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Cenote Zaci, Valladolid: 

If you’re looking for one of the best cenotes in Valladolid, Cenote Zacì is a must-see destination! Not only does this incredible cenote have plenty to offer, it’s also incredibly easy to access as it lies right in the heart of town. Visiting cenotes has always been one of my favorite activities when I’m exploring Yucatan and Quintana Roo, so don’t miss out on your chance to see why Cenote Zacì stands apart from all other cenotes in the area.  

Cenote Zaci Ramp
Cenote Zaci Ramp

What are the Cenote?

Cenotes have become an increasingly popular topic over the past few years. Nevertheless, many people are unaware of what a cenote is and their significance to the Mayans; therefore, I believe it is essential to understand this concept. If you already know what a cenote is then feel free to skip ahead!

Ever wonder how cenotes, those ancient limestone pools filled with crystalline rainwater, come to be? It all begins when caverns formed centuries ago collapse and create natural sinkholes. As the rainfall gathers in these depressions over time, it becomes connected by underground rivers to other bodies of water – that connection is what makes a cenote truly unique!

Cenote Zaci View from the top
View from the top

The term “cenote” has its origin in the Mayan word seh-not-teh, which translates to “well”. However, not all cenotes share an identical appearance – there are essentially four distinct types of cenote:

Open Cenotes: Open cenotes are captivating, natural oases that range in depth. Some connect to a subterranean riverbed which makes them ideal for diving enthusiasts! One of the most popular open-air cenote destinations is Cenote Ponderosa located near Playa del Carmen – it’s sure to amaze and excite all who visit!

Semi-open Cenotes: As the name implies, a partially submerged cenote is composed of parts that are visible to the human eye and areas shrouded by caverns. Two shining examples of this type of body of water include Cenote Calavera (my personal favorite!) as well as Cenote Zaci.

Cave Cenotes: A cenote with a land-level entrance, Cenote Samula is situated near Cenote Zaci and gives way to an underground pool encompassing shallow and deep areas. Adventuring into this unique cave system will surely be an unforgettable experience that promises plenty of excitement.

Underground Cenotes: Experienced divers are the only ones capable of discovering such a unique and daring experience as an underground cenote. As is the case with The Pet Cemetery Cenote near Tulum, these places can be hard to access due to their subterranean location.

Cenotes in Mayan Civilization

The cenotes were deeply revered by the ancient Mayans, who believed that these sites provided a passageway to the underworld. The locals still regard them as sacred, and it is important for us visitors to show respect through our actions. When visiting, please be sure not to litter or leave any trash behind; in addition, using only biodegradable sunscreen while swimming will help preserve their beauty. Let’s work together to protect this incredible part of history!

About Cenote Zaci

Dip into Cenote Zaci to cool off from the sweltering Valladolid heat! Exploring this cenote is a breeze, as its location is close (bit not too close) from Riviera Maya and Cancun. If you’re lucky, you might even have it all for yourself; just be sure not to visit mid-day or early afternoon when vacationers flock in droves.

Distinguishing Cenote Maya Zaci from the other cenotes is its sheer size. What’s more, half of it has an open roof that lets in ample sunlight and illuminates the rock walls smothered in lush greenery with hanging stalagmites and stalactites! The water varies from 25-30 meters deep to over 100 meters at its deepest point – a remarkable feat for such a large cave situated within city limits!

Path to the Cenote
Path to the Cenote

For the daredevils out there, a walkable path encircles the cenote and offers thrilling jumps from ledges as high as 8 meters! Alternatively, those wishing to take it easy can safely enter through stone steps—just watch your footing —which may be slippery.

When you’re exhausted, a rope line is available for you to hold onto. While the water has an enchanting blue hue, it’s quite murky due to algae and inadequate maintenance; therefore snorkeling isn’t anything extraordinary here. Nevertheless, various creatures live in this area like black fish that can be observed beneath the waters surface as well as bats. If swimming doesn’t suit your fancy, then consider sitting on one of the ledges with your feet dipped into enjoy a free fish pedicure!

The rock walls are draped in vibrant green foliage, creating a whimsical atmosphere that could be straight out of a fairy tale. Two cascading waterfall streams adorn the natural basin like curtains and offer swimmers an extra element of tranquility. Plus, there is a designated path around the perimeter of this cenote so you can explore every inch! The depth plunges up to 100 meters — making it ideal for all adventurers alike.

Cenote Zaci The Pool
The Pool

Ready for an adrenaline experience? Take the plunge and jump off of the 24 feet (8 meter) platform! If that’s not your style, you can easily enter into the swimming hole by taking one of the many staircases at its edges. However, be aware as those steps may be slick when wet—feeling peckish afterwards? Grab a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant before heading out with some souvenirs from one of countless market stalls situated close to where you exit.

How to Get to Cenote Zaci

Cenote Zaci is conveniently located in the heart of Valladolid, making it easily accessible. You can choose from four different options to get there: going on foot, riding a bike, taking a taxi or driving your own car from the main plaza.

Car rental

By renting a car in Valladolid, you can take advantage of the incredible views and visit must-sees like Las Coloradas and Chichen Itza. Additionally, you’ll have no worries about finding parking at the cenote.


Valladolid is brimming with cheap and readily available taxis, making it a breeze to get here for an incredibly small cost.

Located right in the heart of Valladolid, you can easily reach the cenote via foot. The main plaza is only a 7-minute walk away! If walking isn’t your ideal mode of transportation, there’s always bicycles to rent for around 150 MXN per day – just inquire at any hostel or bike rental store nearby. Alternatively, taking a taxi or driving are both viable options as well!

Cenote Sign
Cenote Sign

With only a few of you, the affordable taxi ride from Valladolid to Cenotes Zaci should not exceed 50 MXN – some cab drivers may attempt to inflate the cost but make sure they don’t go beyond this amount. Alternatively, if you have your own rental car it is even simpler- simply drive there and park at either the main gravel parking lot or on any side street!

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.

Simply Walk

Exploring the breathtaking Cenote Zaci couldn’t be simpler: merely take a relaxing 7-minute stroll from the heart of colonial Valladolid.


Exploring Valladolid and its surroundings just got easier! You can rent a bike for as little as 20 pesos per hour, or 120 pesos for the entire day. Enjoy your journey with ease – rent a bike today!

Panoramic of Cenote Zaci
Panoramic of Cenote Zaci

Entering Cenote Zaci

No matter how you arrive, a pilgrimage to Cenote Zaci starts with locating the ticket office. Directly adjacent lies a restaurant boasting an observation deck that overlooks this alluring site – and rumor has it, if you order food or drinks directly from them, admission into the cenote may be granted without paying the standard entrance fee!

Prior to taking a dip in the cenote, remember to rinse off with clean water from the showers. This helps protect and preserve its natural beauty by removing external contaminants like sunscreens, body oils, and insect repellents.

The main entrance is at Calle 39 and there are many souvenir shops around before you walk in. At Calle 36 there is another entrance, this is also where you will find the entrance to the Zaci restaurant, serving food like tacos and nice local cold beer.

Parking at cenote Zaci

Driving to the cenote Zaci? Worry not – parking is free of charge! No need to pay a penny at either entrance- simply pull into one of the lots and enjoy your visit.

What is Cenote Zaci Like 

Once you’ve acquired your ticket at the ticket office, make your way down the stone staircase into Cenote Zaci Valladolid. Along this path are several photo-worthy spots due to its semi-opaque covering which allows sunlight to pour in. If swimming is what entices you, feel free to leave all of your belongings on the ledge and take a dip! Otherwise, relax beside it and simply slip those feet into cool waters.

Apart from the bathrooms that charge a nominal 5 MXN fee, you can also rent life vests if you need one. A helpful tip is to remember your quick-dry travel towel and slip-on waterproof shoes – they’ll certainly be beneficial when visiting this cenote! This specific cenote in Valladolid stands out because of its distinctive shape resembling a massive cave but with only half covered which lets sunlight beam through.

The Pool
The Pool

The Facilities at Cenote Zaci

Take advantage of a great deal at the cafe/restaurant located near the cenote entrance! Enjoy a refreshing drink or tasty meal, tacos, including beer options. According to rumors, if you make your purchase here first, then entry into the cenote is complimentary—try it out and see for yourself!

When you arrive at Cenote Zaci in Valladolid, Mexico, there are bathrooms that come with a 5 peso usage fee (which is around $0.25). Of course, if you purchase something from the restaurant then it’s likely they will allow bathroom access as well. To make things easier for yourself, I would recommend wearing your swimsuit beforehand; otherwise, some people have just been known to hide behind their towel and change in an area surrounded by rocks.

To ensure maximum safety, you can rent life vests for a nominal fee. Additionally, many artisanal souvenir stands and parking areas are available right outside the entrance to make your experience even more enjoyable. As there is no designated locker space here, it’s normal practice to leave belongings at the side of the cenote. However, keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty so be sure to exercise caution when swimming or diving!

Cenote Zaci Waterfall

If you’ve seen images of Cenote Zaci with a waterfall, it’s likely they were taken during peak days. The cascade is artificial and runs only on the busiest weekends – that’s what I was informed when there myself. As you can see from my vlogs, most of them were shot at Zaci over these busy periods when the waterfall was in full effect!

Swimming in cenote Zaci

If you’re ever in Valladolid and feeling the heat, a dip into Cenote Zaci is an ideal way to cool off. Though it may be daunting with its 100-meter (300 feet) depth, there are ways to make your experience safer and more pleasant. From small shallow areas on either side of the cenote where you can take a break or three ropes spanning across for support, swimming here will no longer seem intimidating – I still held onto my GoPro tight though!

Snorkeling in Cenote Zaci

When I was once at Cenote Zaci, I saw a handful of people snorkeling. However, if you’re considering doing the same – don’t bother bringing your gear! Unfortunately there’s not too much to observe in this location; its walls are steep and mostly barren with few fish swimming about.

How much does Cenote Zaci cost?

Cenote Zaci’s entrance fee of only 30 pesos (roughly $1,60) makes it one of the best deals around compared to other cenotes with much higher prices.

Where is it located?

If you’ll be visiting Valladolid, make sure to check out the stunning Cenote Zaci! You can find it in the heart of town on Calle 36 between Calles 37 and 39. To see its exact location on a map, refer to this image below:

Cenote Zaci Opening Hours

The Zaci Cenote is open daily from 8 am to 5:30 pm, though the opening time may fluctuate so take a 30 minute buffer.

What is the best time to visit Cenote Zaci?

To ensure you can take in the sites without a multitude of people, plan your excursion for either early in the morning or late afternoon before closing time when large groups are less likely to be present. We went first thing in the morning and were able to capture some great pictures before the crowds arrived

Changing rooms and toilets

For your own safety, please leave all valuable items at the hotel. At Cenote Zaci, you will find plenty of room to store your bag off to the side. Changing rooms for both men and women are located at the main entrance with a small fee of 5 Pesos ($0.25). This is an easy way for you to enjoy this beautiful cenote without worrying about any possessions!

Tours to Cenote Zaci You Can Join

If you’re looking to experience some of the area’s most awe-inspiring sights, a day tour through Cenote Zaci and Yucatan is your perfect choice. Discover this unique opportunity by taking one of our two premium tours!

Read Next our favorite cenotes in Mexico:

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


What to Pack for Cenote Zaci

To make certain your journey to the magnificent Cenote Zaci 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!

What we liked about Cenote Zaci:

Cenote Zaci offers a plentitude of advantages, including its open-air design that allows ample light and makes it feel less claustrophobic in comparison to other cenotes; not to mention the convenience of being centrally located near Valladolid. In addition, due to its limited popularity, travelers won’t have an issue avoiding crowds before mid-day and late afternoon. Now for the drawbacks: Cenote Zaci may not be as captivating visually compared with more famous varieties like Samula or Oxman. Lastly, because the water is slightly murky, snorkeling isn’t advised but swimming is perfectly suitable!

Other Things to Do Near Cenote Zaci

After visiting Cenote Zaci, why not also explore these exciting places nearby?

  • Discover the lesser-known cenotes of Oxman and Xkeken for a tranquil afternoon.
  • Marvel at the Chichen Itza Mayan Pyramids, one of the world’s Seven Wonders and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Take in alluring views of Las Coloradas pink lakes—a remarkable lagoon unlike any other!
  • Experience traditional Mexican culture with a visit to vibrant Valladolid town.

Is Cenote Zaci worth visiting?

Absolutely, Cenote Zaci is well worth your time! While it may not be the most picturesque cenote in Mexico, there are numerous reasons to visit. You can take a refreshing dip after a day of sightseeing, lay out and sunbathe on the shoreline or for more active travelers – jump from the edge into its stunning blue water. Plus you’ll find that it has an unbeatable location too!

If you’re planning a trip to Yucatan, there’s no doubt that Cenote Zaci should be on your list. Offering a unique cenote experience, with freshwater caves and thrilling cliff jumps as well as an on-site restaurant – this location has it all! I have composed the ultimate travel guide for Cenote Zaci so you can get excused in where exactly it is, how to get there and what activities are available along with ticket prices. Get ready to take advantage of everything beautiful Valladolid has to offer; start at Cenote Zaci!

Other Things to Do Near Cenote Zaci

After exploring the stunning Cenote Zaci, 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.