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Cenotes near Chichen Itza

21 Oct, 2022

If you ever find yourself in the Yucatan Peninsula, visiting a cenote is a must. For the Mayans, all the cenotes were sacred and used both for ceremonial purposes and as water wells. Today, they are mainly tourist attractions. Let us not forget the cultural and historic meanings when we visit one, and as you read more about cenotes near Chichen Itza, think about how these cenotes were once part of the Mayan people’s everyday life.

Ik Kil cenoteIk Kil cenote near Chichen Itza

Probably the most searched cenote on the internet, Cenote IK Kil is definitely the most popular cenote near Valladolid and Chichen Itza.

It is considered one of the best cenotes near Chichen Itza. Even so, this results in also being one of the most crowded.

As a natural sinkhole, a local family has designed a beautiful landscape around it. The way the vegetation has kept growing only enhances cenote Ik kil’s beauty.

Their fancy facilities allow you to have everything you might need. By paying the entrance fee, you can make use of showers, lockers, bathrooms, and restaurants.

Disclaimer: This is the closest cenote to Chichen Itza, and one of the most beautiful, so unless you go first thing in the morning, you might bump into a lot of people. 

Distance from Chichen Itza – 7 minutes, 3.2 km (1.9 mi)

Entry fees – 180 MXN

Opening hours – 9 am to 5 pm

Insider tip – the cenote Ik Kil is also a hotel. So you can stay there and have access to the cenote outside the opening hours. Rates start from 60 USD.

Tsukán-Santuario de vidaTsukán cenote near Chichen Itza

Another cenote near Chichen Itza is Cenote Tsukan. Also known as Tsukán “Life Sanctuary”, this is more than just a cenote if that is not saying much already. It is a private cenote in the middle of a type of eco-park.

You can find a restaurant serving local dishes, an ice cream bar, elegant showers and bathrooms, and a souvenir shop.

The cenote is a cave cenote, semi-opened, with incredibly turquoise water. 

Distance from Chichen Itza – 17 minutes, 13.9 km (8.6 mi)

Entrance fee – 230 MXN

Opening hours 9 am – 5 pm

Cenote YokdzonotCenote Yokdzonot

Close to a 30 minutes drive from Chichen Itza, an open cenote makes a stand, cenote Yokdzonot. This cenote is a great stop to add to your trip to Chichen Itza. 

The cenote takes its name from the town where it’s located, and it’s managed by the local community.

It also holds activities that not all cenotes are able to have like zipline, rappelling, and a great restaurant serving simple local dishes.

Distance from Chichen Itza – 25 minutes, 21.4 km (13.2 mi)

Entrance fee 150 MXN

Opening hours – 9 am to 5 pm

Zip Line – 70 MXN

Rappelling – 70 MXN

Cenote Lol-haCenote Lol-ha cenote close to Chichen Itza

Another spectacular cenote near Chichen Itza that you can visit during your day trip. Cenote Lol Ha is located in the town of Yaxuna, where you can appreciate an authentic Mayan community.

It’s another open cenote with easy access to the water, but also a couple of platforms for the more adventurous who love to jump into the underworld.

I haven’t been there yet but I will go soon and will share pictures. I wanted to include them here for the sake of information.

In the cenote there are toilets but no showers, although I hope they change that soon because as an important rule you should always shower when you enter a cenote, to rinse off any residual chemicals from body lotions that may pollute the water.

Distance from Chichen Itza – 33 minutes, 27.5 km (17 mi)

Entrance fee – 100 MXN

Opening hours – 10 am to 5 pm

Cenote ChihuánCenote Chihuan cenote close to Chichen Itza

Cenote Chihuán is an amazing underground cave-like cenote that is almost a hidden secret between locals. Access is only possible through the local farm. This is a very non-touristy option which you will likely have to drive to yourself if you visit. White lights illuminate the clear blue waters. The cave is so long that we never managed to swim all the way to the end until we were plunged into darkness. Cenote Chihuán is about 50 minutes drive west of Chichen Itza.

Distance from Chichen Itza – 44 minutes, 43.5 km (27 mi)

 

Cenote Kax EkCenote Kax Ek

Cenote Kax Ek is a great option to visit if you want to see and swim in a completely open cenote.  A little off your regular route to Chichen Itza, but totally worth the deviation. It isn’t far from Chichen Itza, but what might make the drive a little slower is the 5 km before arriving as it isn’t a paved road and some find it interesting to drive in. So keep that in mind.

The Cenote Kax Ek is huge and rarely crowded. And don’t let the darker water deceive you, once you’re inside the cenote you can see the water is actually clear, it only looks greenish because of all the vegetation surrounding it.

Distance from Chichen Itza – 35-40 minutes, 25.3 km (15.7 mi)

Entrance fee – 150 MX

Opening hours – 9 am to 5 pm

Consider stopping at any of these unique cenotes on your next Chichen Itza Private Tour.

Chichen Itza cenotes – Cenote Xcoloc and Sacred Cenote

Sacred cenote in Chichen Itza

We’re finishing up this list of cenotes near Chichen Itza with two that are actually in the archaeological site.

Cenote Xcoloc is a cenote very few know about and is found close to the Mayaland Hotel. It’s hidden in the thick vegetation of the site, just in front of one of the temples, following the Sacbé that goes from the Thousand Columns Group to the group of buildings of the Ossuary.

The other one is much more popular, the Sacred Cenote. Although you can’t swim in it, it is a beautiful site and fits very well within the majestic complex of the ancient Mayan city.

Since the discovery of Chichen Itza, archaeologists learned that this Sacred Cenote was particularly used for human sacrifices. If you walk from El Castillo, the cenote is about 1 km away. 

If you want to learn more about the meaning behind the cenotes for Mayan people, check out Sacred Cenote on our site.


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