Are you planning to visit Valladolid anytime soon? Well, if you are, then you cannot miss the chance to see the fantastic Valladolid Cenotes around their surroundings.
There is one right in the centre of the city and it’s beautiful and a great tourist destination.
Let us first know a little about Cenotes! Cenotes are a system of natural sinkholes, found in several places on the Yucatan Peninsula. They were formed centuries earlier when rainwater was filtered via the limestone bedrock of the Yucatan and deposited underneath the surface.
And whenever a particular ceiling of limestone broke down, a particular Cenote was formed on its own. There are over 6,000 Cenotes in the region and these were a big element of the Mayan Culture in the past.
These were not just used as sources of water rather these were also sacred places for rituals and religious ceremonies.
Cenotes are connected, forming the longest natural underground river in the world.
Types Of Cenotes And Their Classifications
Cenotes are categorized into multiple groups, depending on their age and how big the cave roof is that has collapsed. Let us look at a few types of Cenotes-
- Ancient Cenotes– These are generally fully open to all the elements of nature. They are covered in vegetation, their walls have eroded and they are often mistaken for small lakes.
- Cavern Cenotes- These cenotes are mostly found underground with natural light entering them from one or two small openings on the top of the cave roof. These types of cenotes are usually the most scenic and mysterious ones.
- Open Cenotes- These cenotes have a fully broken roof, which looks like a cylinder with extremely steep walls, and also have tree roots descending from their roof to the water level.
- Semi-Open Cenotes- These have a semi-collapsed roof, with a section of overhanging rock covering the cenote opening.
- Underground Cenotes- These Cenotes have no opening at all. And they are only accessed by experienced Scuba Divers.
All these types of Cenotes are found in Valladolid. Cenotes are found in several other parts of the world. However, in Mexico, they are known as Cenotes.
They got their name when the Spanish came to invade the Yucatan Peninsula, they created a Spanish word of the original Mayan word called “ts’ono’ot”, which means “well with water”.
Top 10 Best Valladolid Cenotes
Valladolid is the ideal location for Cenotes in the world. It is not just the gateway to Colonial Yucatan, but also the gateway to the best cenotes in the region. There are over 300+ Valladolid Cenotes.
These Cenotes are like the ones found in Homun and Cuzuma, but all of them have their unique beauty.
Valladolid is a colonial town in Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, about 100km away from the coast. Even if you don’t have your own four-wheeler, many cenotes can be easily reached by bike or bicycle.
It is not possible to list every Cenote in one article, as there are over 300+ of them. However, in this article, we have tried to list the top 10 best Valladolid Cenotes that you must explore.
Here is everything you need to know about them – reasons to visit, time to get there, cost and opening time.
1. Cenote Zaci
Zaci is the easiest reachable Cenote to get to from Valladolid, as it is right in the city. It is a partially-opened cenote with a hanging roof, and very easy from a great restaurant.
It has a staircase that leads down to the very surface and several diving spots from different heights. Even though it is not a great looking Cenote, it is definitely the easiest to reach Cenote in Valladolid.
It also has a great green jungle surrounding it.
Reason to visit- It is the easiest to reach cenote in Valladolid and is within a walking distance from Valladolid City.
Getting there- About a walk of 10mins away from the main square in Valladolid.
Cost- About $30 MXN is required to visit the place.
Opening Hours- 8:30 A.m- 5::30PM.
2. Cenote Xkeken (Dzitnup)
Cenote Xkeken is also known as Cenote Dzitnup, which is named after the nearby village. This is a little bit far away as compared to Zaci. It is 6.5 km outside of Valladolid city.
It is a cavern cenote, that has beautiful turquoise waters and a very narrow opening at the top. It has a lot of stalactites and the hanging tree roots almost touch the water.
It provides a quiet and mystical experience in the middle of the day, especially when it is too hot outside and the sun is shining brightly. It is ideal to visit it at this point of time because you will be able to see a beam of light streaming into the cave, which is heavenly.
It is an extremely tourist preferred destination because of its natural beauty. And once you are underground the entire scenery of a crowded tourist spot changes into a place of heavenly beauty and peace. You must not miss an opportunity to visit it.
Reason to visit- Extremely beautiful in terms of natural beauty and are just about 7 km distance from the city, which can be easily covered with a 20 min bike ride.
Getting there- It is 7 km away from the city and you will require a 20min bike ride from downtown Valladolid. You can take a bike from Mexico Tours that are located just behind the main square.
Bike rental starts from $25 MXN an hour or $150 MXN for a whole day.
Cost- It will cost you $80 MXN for Cenote Xkeken.
Opening hours- 8 AM – 7 PM.
3. Cenote Samula
The Cenote Samula forms the second cenote in the Dzitnup complex. It is also a cavern cenote and is a little bigger than its neighbour Xkeken, and has a taller ceiling.
Accessing the cenote is extremely easy through a staircase that runs around the cave, up to a platform from where you can easily get into the water and enjoy the splash.
Cenote Samula also has a very small opening on the cave roof, and the roots are descending to a small rocky island at the centre of the cenote.
Although this particular Cenote can get a little dangerous due to the currents dragging swimmers to the bottom of the cenote. So there are guards who will direct you on how to swim in it.
Reason to visit- It is a blissful cenote with wonderful natural features and is nearby the town.
Getting there – It is absolutely the same way as Cenote Xkeken. Just hire a bike from the town.
Cost- It will cost you around $80 MXN.
Opening hours- 8 AM- 7 PM.
4. Cenote Suytun
Are you looking for an instagrammable cenote? Well, here is your ideal choice for it. Just visit Cenote Suytun. This is also a cavern cenote with a small opening on top of the cave.
The water is crystal clear and has a partially submerged platform. If you are lucky enough to visit this cenote at the right time of the year, you might be able to get a stunning picture of the sunlight shining on the platform from the opening on top.
The additional feature of this cenote is that you will find black fishes. This is an extremely popular tourist stop on tours to Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. If you visit this cenote just after opening time at 9 in the morning or before it closes at 5 pm, you can enjoy a solo experience.
Reason to visit- You can click wonderful instagrammable pictures in this cenote.
Getting there- Suytun Cenote is just 9km east of Valladolid, it can be reached with a 30 min bike ride.
Cost- It will cost you around $120 MXN.
Opening hours- 8 AM- 5 PM.
5. Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman
If you plan on visiting just one Valladolid Cenotes and don’t have a long vacation, then San Lorenzo Oxman is a must-visit. This is perhaps the best cenote experience in Valladolid.
Its top is open and has a cylinder-shaped opening and wonderful blue waters. In addition to that, there is also a rope swing, which is a great fun experience.
Here you will find a beautifully restored hacienda, which also has a swimming pool with outdoor seating, right next to the Cenote. There is also a bar/restaurant that serves great quality and delicious food.
Reason to visit- This Cenote provides you with the best relaxing hacienda experience. It is the best cenote among most cenotes in Valladolid.
Getting there- This cenote is 5km southwest of Valladolid. The easiest way to get there is if you rent a bicycle. If you decide to take a cycle then you can cover both San Lorenzo Oxman and the two other Dzitnup in one day.
Cost- This has different entry packages. The entrance alone will cost $70 MXN, or you can decide to pay $100 MXN and get 50 back to eat at the resturant. Or pay $150 MXN and redeem the entire amount to get food and drinks. The last option is ideal.
Opening hours- 9 AM- 6 PM.
6. Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is the busiest cenote near Valladolid and is located right next to the Chichen Itza ruins. All cenote and ruins tours take a halt here, so if you wanna skip the crowd, this is where you must be heading.
The ideal solution is to head here in the early morning as the major crowd flocks this place in the afternoon.
It is an open cenote, with several tree roots and vines descending the steep cave walls into the water. It also has a diving platform about 5m high.
It surrounds a tourist central, with restaurants, bars and other shops. But nothing matches the beauty of the cenote. It is worth visiting!
Reason to visit- It is the closest cenote to Chichen Itza and it’s a very pleasant cenote.
Getting there- This Cenote is located on the Valladolid-Chichen Itza Road and is about 7km from the entrance to the temple complex. Any bus or even Colectivo will go till the turnoff and from there it’s walking distance. A Taxi will cost $100 MXN.
Cost- It will cost around $80 MXN.
Opening hours- 9 AM- 5 PM.
7. Cenote X’Canche
This is a smaller version of Ik Kil and is located about 2km away from the Ek Balam ruins. It is a great tourist spot and even an archaeological site.
It has an open-top cenote with green/blue waters. There are several vines and roots that went down to the water from the sides. It is a little wilder as compared to other cenotes, as it has a whole lot of plants and a thin staircase descending to the cenote.
And this makes it more special and a source of attraction for everyone.
Reason to visit- It is the closest cenote to the Ek Balam ruins and it is wilder and greener than other cenotes.
Getting there- It is an easy walk from the Ek Balam or a cycle taxi for $30 MXN. You can also opt to take a colectivo.
Cost- It will cost you around $70 MXN.
Opening hours- 9 AM- 5 PM.
8. The Sacred Cenote
This is a tricky cenote, primarily because you are not allowed to swim here. But that doesn’t make it any less attractive. This is an open-top cenote that is located inside the Chichen Itza complex. It is also connected to the main temple by a scabe.
This cenote is considered to be sacred as it was dedicated to the Rain God Chaac and even evidence of sacrifices has also been found. This Cenote water is weirdly green in colour.
Reason to visit- This is an archaeological site and you might come to know a lot about Mayan culture and the significance of cenotes.
Getting there- It can be easily reached by boarding a Colectivo from Valladolid.
Cost- It has an entrance fee of $481 MXN per person.
Opening hours- 9 AM- 4:30 PM.
9. Cenote SAC-AUA
Having personal transport makes it very easy to visit the cenote. Cenote SAC-AUA at one point was a cavern cenote.This Cenote is extremely easy to access, unlike other Valladolid cenotes.
As soon as you go down the staircase, you will reach the island very quickly. It is one of the coolest and most sparsely visited cenotes near Valladolid. It is a perfect combination of a round island surrounded by a ring of water, that is surrounded by roots and vines.
It is one of the most beautiful Cenotes in the area. Don’t miss a chance to visit it.
Reason to visit- It is the coolest cenote island with extremely easy access. And it is a heavenly place that you would not want to miss.
Getting there- The easiest way that you can reach Cenote SAC-AUA is via your personal transport. Or you can rent a bike.
Cost- It will cost you around $90 MXN per person.
Opening hours- 9 AM- 6 PM.
10.Cenote Agua Dulce
This is the most off-beat cenote that you will come across in the Valladolid area. It is a humongous cave cenote with beautiful stalactites, that hang from its roof.
There are two ways to enter this cenote- one is wooden steps leading to the edge of the cenote or you can take the spiral metal staircase that goes to the floating platform right to the centre of the pool.
It is a beautiful cenote among many others in this area. And is the last on our list of top 10 best cenotes. However, it doesn’t mean it is not mean it is less popular in any way.
Reason to visit- It is an offbeat cenote and is a highlight when it comes to elegance.
Getting there- It is just 2 km away from the SAC-AUA and the village of Dzalbay. You can use your own transport or take a taxi to reach the place.
Cost- It will cost you around $100 MXN per person.
Opening hours- 8 AM- 6 PM.
Thus, here is our entire list of the top 10 best Valladolid Cenotes that you must visit in Mexico.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Safe To Visit Cenotes In Valladolid?
Cenotes are Valladolid’s number one tourist spot. Most people come here to relax and explore these cenotes. And these Cenotes are extremely safe places and you will be guided by experts.
Here you will always be provided with life jackets and snorkelling equipment, in order to reduce the risks as much as possible.
These cenotes are very popular and there are always experts who will save you in case of any trouble. Apart from that, you can swim in the open air. The water also has a pleasant temperature and there are several areas to relax by the water.
Cenotes will provide you with a wonderful swimming and relaxing experience.
Where To Stay In Valladolid?
Valladolid is a wonderful place to spend your vacation and to explore the cenotes. It is a very peaceful and soothing town with superb colonial architecture and great food spots. After a Mexico City break, this is the exact place where you will want to be.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Valladolid, the best hotel that you might want to stay in is Casa Hamaca Guesthouse. They provide quality service, it is nearby to multiple cenotes. And the owner Denis is also very welcoming.
Apart from that, there are regular events that are organized by Denis and they are way too fun. Every room has a hammock, and they provide you with detailed instructions on how to sleep on them and what are its health benefits.
Casa Hamaca also provides breakfast within the room rate and the food is not the simple hotel buffet, but a range of selected Mexican Breakfast.
Casa Hamaca must be your first choice to stay in Valladolid.
How To Get To Cenotes Near Valladolid?
If you want to reach any Cenote, you have to catch the highway in Playa del Camen and head towards Tulum. After passing Puerto Aventuras, keep going for more 5 minutes and you will soon find Cenote signs on your right-hand side.
You can take your own bike or bicycle if you have a car you can take that too. Taxis are also available nearby or you can try the Collectivo Van found on Calle 2 and 15th Avenue.
What To Wear In A Cenote?
Cenote is the place to relax and swim and enjoy nature at its best. It is ideal to wear a swimsuit that will be comfortable for you, so that you can enjoy the cenotes and its activities, without having to worry about anything else.
Also, in case you are allergic or sensitive to the sun, make sure to carry a rash guard with high SPF. You can also wear water shoes or sandals/flip-flops as they are comfortable and easy to carry when you are going to swim.
To Wrap up
Valladolid Cenotes are one of the best wonders of nature. The true essence of nature’s beauty can be felt in these Cenotes. In this article, we have tried to provide you with the best Cenote suggestions to visit.
It is not possible to visit all 300+ Cenotes at a go, therefore you have to make choices and with our suggestions, you can now visit the best cenotes. We have provided you with the information about each of these Cenotes so that you don’t face any trouble while you visit them.
These cenotes are connected to each other and therefore not very far away from each other. Just make sure that you have taken every safety measure before diving into the Cenote water.
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