I spent 2 weeks traveling around Riviera Maya in Mexico exploring the beautiful beaches, visiting ancient Mayan ruins and of course checking out the famous Valladolid Cenotes.
If you don’t know what a Cenote is, it’s basically a natural sinkhole filled with fresh groundwater which is typically a vibrant blue or crystalline color due to the surrounding limestone rocks. Pretty awesome right?!
I have put together this travel guide with my pick of 4 Must-See Valladolid Cenotes including where to find them, how much they cost and what to expect.
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WHERE IS VALLADOLID & HOW TO GET THERE
The small, charming city of Valladolid is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Tulum or 1 hour and 50 minutes from Cancun.
VALLADOLID CENOTES OVERVIEW
Below is a quick overview of 4 Epic Cenotes Valladolid that you will find in this guide:
- Ik Kil Cenote
- Suytun Cenote
- Cenote Oxman
- Cenote Zaci
RELATED ARTICLE: 15 THINGS TO DO IN TULUM
BEST CENOTE VALLADOLID TOURS
Without further ado, here is my complete guide of 4 Epic Cenotes In Valladolid with all the visiting info you need to know before you go plus lots of photos to go with!
IK KIL CENOTE
Ik Kil Cenote is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Valladolid Cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula! It is also known to be one of the more popular Cenotes in Valladolid so make sure you get there early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds!
From Valladolid, it’s approximately a 45-minute drive west to reach Cenote Ik Kil.
The Ik Kil Cenote entrance fee is 80 MXN.
Ik Kil Cenote is open Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 am till 5:00 pm.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Personally, I think what makes Ik Kil Cenote one of the best Valladolid Cenotes is that it resembles a fairy tale scene! Featuring leaves and vines hanging beautifully down from the top of the Cenote and covering the walls until they reach the water.
Cenote Ik Kil itself forms an almost perfect circular shape and there is an internal concrete staircase making it very easy to access the inside. On the way down the steps, there are a couple of viewpoints worth stopping at to take photos.
Once you reach the bottom, simply set your belongings down in a dry area against the wall and jump on in for a swim. I highly recommend swimming out to the middle of the natural pool, floating on your back and marveling at the open-air circle above! I guarantee you will be in awe and it’s the perfect opportunity to simply take it all in.
The temperature of the water in this Cenote Valladolid is quite fresh but once you get swimming around you will warm up in no time. There is also a wooden ladder built-in making it easy to get in and out of Ik Kil Cenote.
Full Blog Post: Ik Kil Cenote
The swimming hole – Valladolid Cenotes
Aerial perspective of Ik Kil Cenote Valladolid
Ik Kil – Valladolid Cenote
Floating around Ik Kil Cenote Valladolid
SUYTUN CENOTE VALLADOLID
Cenote Suytun is arguably one of the best Cenotes in Valladolid and perhaps the entire Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico! Featuring a monolithic cave filled with shallow turquoise water and an idyllic stone pathway that stretches out into the middle of this amazing Cenote!
Cenote Suytun is a short 15-minute drive from the center of Valladolid in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. It’s pretty close to the city center and very easy to get to.
This awesome Cenote Valladolid is not that cheap but not overly expensive with an entrance fee of 120 MXN.
The opening hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – 7 days a week.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The reason why Cenote Suytun is so unique is that it’s a cave cenote with a spark of natural light beaming down into the middle of the cave through a hole in the roof. The cave is pretty dark inside though there are a few hanging light bulbs lighting the way down the steps.
There’s an idyllic stone pathway that stretches out into the middle of turquoise waters that you can walk on and it makes for some great photo opportunities.
There are various different angles to admire Cenote Suytun from and the most popular perspective is from the top of the staircase. There’s also a little platform at the end of the staircase which will allow you to have the hole in the cave’s roof in your picture.
The best time to visit Cenote Suytun is in the early morning as soon as it opens at 9:00 am. It can get very crowded with tourists swimming in the water and everyone wanting to take photos on the platform in the middle.
Full Blog Post: Cenote Suytun
Suytun Cenote – Valladolid Cenotes
Marveling at Cenote Suytun
Inside the cave – Cenote Valladolid
Cenote Suytun – Cenotes Riviera Maya
Cenote Oxman is another one of my favorite Valladolid Cenotes and it is not to be missed during your visit! Featuring an enormous sinkhole with hanging vines, an epic rope swing and a natural freshwater pool, Oxman Cenote makes for an epic half-day adventure from Valladolid.
It’s a short 15-minute drive or a 40-minute bike ride from the center of Valladolid to reach Oxman Cenote.
If you are driving or riding your bike, make sure to come from the highway because if you take the shortcut through the farmland you will have to ride through some unpaved and rocky dirt roads.
The entrance fee at this Valladolid Cenote is 80 MXN.
Cenote Oxman opening hours are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm – 7 days a week.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
I best recommend arriving early in the day to Cenote Oxman to avoid the crowds. You will also be able to take the best photos early in the morning before the sun hits the water inside as this tends to make it glary.
Once you make your way down the staircase, you’ll end up inside the sinkhole to what resembles an amphitheater that looks straight out into the Cenote Tulum.
The highlight at Cenote Oxman is without a doubt the rope swing. In fact, I didn’t see a rope swing in any of the other Tulum Cenotes that I went to.
The rope swing is adequate for young and old, although the shorter kids had to be lifted up in order to reach the rope. But everyone that made the plunge into the water, climbed quickly back up the stairs and did it over and over again.
From the top of the wall, the drop into the Oxman Cenote is about 3 meters deep. You can either jump off the edge of the platform, enter the water via the rope swing or use the staircase.
The water is about 45 meters deep with great visibility, so if you have some goggles I highly recommend taking them along with you to this Valladolid Cenote so you can take a look underneath the surface.
Full Blog Post: Cenote Oxman
Oxman Cenote – Valladolid Cenotes
Rope swing at Cenote Oxman
Great spot for a swim – Cenotes Valladolid
Epic times at Cenote Oxman
Cenote Zaci is another one of the most beautiful Valladolid Cenotes and I highly recommend adding it to your list of things to do! Featuring a cave-like cenote filled with freshwater, cliff jumps and an on-site restaurant, Cenote Zaci is a great place to hang out for a few hours during your visit!
Cenote Zaci is located in the middle of Valladolid which makes it one of the easiest Cenotes to visit while you are in town. It is so conveniently located within the city center that anyone can reach it easily.
The entrance fee to Cenote Zaci is 30 MXN which makes it one of the most affordable Valladolid Cenotes.
The opening hours are 8:00 am to 5:30 pm – 7 days a week.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Once you’ve purchased your ticket at the ticket office you’ll be able to go down the stone staircase that leads into this Cenote Valladolid. All along the staircase, there are great photo opportunities as Cenote Zaci is only half covered and there’s always sunlight coming in.
If you want to go for a swim you can simply leave your valuables on the ledge of Cenotes Zaci and dive on in. If you don’t feel like swimming then you can just sit by the ledge and dip your toes into the cool water.
Cenote Zaci is very unique because compared to other Valladolid Cenotes because its shape resembles a massive cave, but only half of it is covered, this means that there is a lot of sunlight shining through.
If you’re up for an adrenaline rush then you can jump off the platform which is about 8 meters high. Otherwise, you can enter the water quite easily via the numerous staircases on the edges of the swimming hole. Beware that the staircase might be slippery when wet.
Feeling hungry? Grab a bite to eat at the Zaci Cenote restaurant and on the way out, you can go shopping for souvenirs at the market stalls located near the exit.
Full Blog Post: Cenote Zaci
Zaci Cenote Valladolid
Inside the cave at Cenote Zaci
Lush greenery – Valladolid Cenotes
The incredible Cenote Zaci
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VALLADOLID CENOTES
Some of the best adventures to be had in Mexico are visiting these awesome Cenotes in Valladolid and I guarantee you will enjoy these natural beauties just as much as I have.
Just remember to try to visit these Cenotes Valladolid as early in the morning as possible to avoid the busy midday crowds.
If you have any questions at all about Valladolid Cenotes, please drop a line in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
WHERE TO STAY IN VALLADOLID
Valladolid has hundreds of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Valladolid to suit the needs of luxury travelers and budget backpackers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Mayan Majesty Boutique Hotel
Mayan Majesty is one of the only 5-star hotels in Valladolid. Featuring a cave pool with a swim-up bar, beautiful gardens and it’s centrally located in the heart of town. Choose from a Deluxe King Room, Superior Queen Room or the King Suite each with a pool view, private bathroom, flat-screen TVs, dining table, terrace and air conditioning. A free continental breakfast is also served for all guests. Great for couples, a group of friends and families.
Mid Range: Casa Del Mayordomo
I personally stayed at Casa Del Mayordomo and can’t recommend this place enough! Located ight in the center of Valladolid and just walking distance to the main square, shops and markets. Featuring a central courtyard and swimming pool, shared dining area and a shared kitchen. The rooms are spacious with air conditioning, free wifi, private bathrooms, large comfortable beds and pool views. Free bicycle rental is also available at this hotel as well as a continental breakfast for all guests. Great place to stay for couples and friends.
Budget: Hostal Tunich Naj
Hostal Tunich Naj is a favorite pick amongst backpackers and solo travelers with thousands of great reviews. Centrally located in the heart of Valladolid, this budget hostel is a simple yet effective accommodation featuring dorm rooms and private rooms with free wifi, shared kitchen, private and shared bathrooms, balcony terraces and coffee machines. There is also a tour desk at the hostel where you can organise and book day tours in Valladolid.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN VALLADOLID, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
GETTING AROUND TO THE VALLADOLID CENOTES
There a number of ways of getting around to the Valladolid Cenotes and they are by car, taxi or bicycle.
In saying that, I highly recommend renting a car in Valladolid to get around as taxis are very expensive and some Cenotes are too far away from the town go by bicycle.
Search All ∼ Car Rentals in Valladolid
BEST TIME TO VISIT VALLADOLID
The best time to visit Valladolid is during the winter season from December to April. During this time there is little to no rainfall and the temperatures are just perfect.
The rainy season in Valladolid is typically between May and October which sees higher temperatures due to the humidity. The only plus side to visiting Tulum during these months is there will be fewer tourists and prices are less inflated.
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Another option for accommodation in Valladolid is to stay in an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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LONELY PLANET – MEXICO
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Mexico Travel Guide!
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MORE MEXICO TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico Itinerary: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- San Cristobal: 13 Things To Do In San Cristobal
- Puerto Escondido: 11 Things To Do In Puerto Escondido
- Oaxaca: 7 Best Tours In Oaxaca
- Tulum: 15 Things To Do In Tulum
- Bacalar: 9 Things To Do In Bacalar
- Maya Riviera: Best Cenotes In Maya Riviera
- Cozumel Island: 9 Things To Do In Cozumel Island
- Mexico City: Day Of The Dead Festival
WHAT TO PACK FOR MEXICO
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Valladolid Cenotes, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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