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Cenote Xkeken near Chichen Itza, cenote in Valladolid

Cenote Xkeken is a pretty small cenote, with the entire cavern only measuring only 30 x 20 meters (98 x 65 feet)in size. The water level itself is only 20 meters (65 feet) deep at its deepest point, and the walls that surround this cave are filled with some beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. Cenote Xkeken is not suitable for diving but if you bring your own gear, you can snorkel here. You can find small fish swimming around.

Cenote Xkeken is located next to Cenote Samula; the two cenotes are connected by an underground Mayan river system. Natural light gets into this cenote through its opening at the top of the ceiling. This cenote, also called Cenote Dzitnup, is inside a subway cavern. The sun shines through a small natural entrance at the top of the vault, illuminating the interior and creating an amazing image with the reflection of the water. Its entrance is narrow and the descent is through some steps well carved in rock, which lead to a place that allows access to the only room in the cave. In it there is a turquoise blue lake decorated with stalactites, which descend from the vault and duplicate its image in the water. The light coming from the ceiling increases its majesty. The water is shallow and is so clean and clear that multiple fish can be observed. It is ideal for swimming.

It was discovered by a farmer looking for his piglet, which fell into the cenote. It was from there that it took its name, since x'kekén means 'pig' in Mayan.

It is located in the rustic farm marked with the number 2232 in the community of Dzitnup, municipality of Valladolid. It is reached by the Merida-Valladolid highway, 3 km. before reaching Valladolid, turn off to the community of Dzitnup, arriving at the soccer field, to the left is the Samulá cenote and to the right is the X'kekén cenote.

How to get to Cenote Xkeken.

Chichén Itzá to Cenote Xkeken.

You can drive to Cenote Xkeken or get there as part of a private tour to Chichen Itza. Driving time is around 45 minutes to Cenote Xkeken in Valladolid, a cenote near Chichén Itzá.

Cancun to Cenote Xkeken.

The easiest way to get to Cenote Xkeken from Cancun is by car. You can rent a car or book a private tour that drive you there. The private tour includes the 2.5 hour drive to the cenote, the drive to Chichen Itza, and any stop you want to add. The whole tour lasts 10 hours. This is an ideal option especially if you travel with a group.

Tulum to Cenote Xkeken.

Driving time to Cenote Xkeken from Tulum is 1.5 hours . You can rent a car, a taxi, or book private transportation to avoid any hassle.

Playa del Carmen to Cenote Xkeken.

Driving time to Cenote Xkeken from Playa del Carmen is 2 hours. You can rent a car, a taxi, or book private transportation to avoid any hassle.

Cenote Xkeken admission Fee.

Admission fee to Cenote Xkeken is $80 MXN for adults, and $50 MXN for children. For $125 MXN you can have access to Cenote Samula and Cenote Xkeken.

Cenote Xkeken Opening hours.

Cenote Xkeken is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm.

Inclusions and recommendations for Cenote Xkeken

  • Parking lot available.

  • Lifejackets available for rent.

  • Lockers available for rent.

  • Bathrooms and showers available on site.

  • The use of any sunblock is forbidden when getting into the cenote. Remember to rinse off any lotion you may have on before swimming in the cenote.

FAQs about Cenotes

  1. What’s a “cenote”?

    Cenotes are underground caves that contain deep waters, created where a cave ceiling has collapsed. Cenotes were the Mayan civilization's only source of water in the jungle and are considered sacred by the Mayan people. The Mayans perceived these natural pools as an entrance to their "underworld" or "Xibalba" where their gods still exist and their spirits live after death.

  2. Can you swim in a cenote?

    In most of them yes! You’re always welcome to swim in a cenote, but some may be restricted to the public due safety measures. You may also encounter cenotes like the Sacred Cenote in Chichén Itzá, that hold a very special value for the culture and are not open for swimming.

  3. How deep are cenotes?

    Some cenotes in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan can go as deep as 10 to 40 meters (32 to 131 ft).

  4. How many cenotes are in Yucatan?

    There are around 7,000 cenotes in Yucatan, and only 142 are available to visit, which means that 98% of the Yucatan cenotes are still unexplored.

Photos of Cenote Xkeken .