The best Valladolid Cenotes: Which are the best ones to visit?

A visit to the Valladolid Cenotes is one of the best experiences you can have during your trip to the Yucatan Peninsula.

The cozy and colonial city of Valladolid is located in the center of Yucatan. It’s an incredible city with lots to explore.

While the cenotes near Valladolid are a significant attraction that draws thousands of tourists throughout the year, we also chose this city because we love its character and lifestyle, colonial architecture, colorful walls, friendly locals, handicrafts, and landscapes…

Many travelers stop in Valladolid on their way to the ruins of Chichén Itzá or to Merida, but when they get to know the city, they discover the splendor of this magical Yucatán city.

In this guide to the best cenotes near Valladolid, we’ll give you all the information you need to organize your visit to the local cenotes and our suggestions for the best places to discover and explore the magical city.

cenotes in Valladolid

The Best Cenotes Near Valladolid Yucatán

I’m thrilled you’ve found this guide to the best cenotes in Valladolid and its surroundings! Here, you’ll uncover all the essential information and insights you need to explore the Valladolid Cenotes and the region for an unforgettable experience.

Swimming, snorkeling, diving, rappelling, and zip-lining are the most common activities at the cenotes in Valladolid, Yucatan. So, let’s dive right into our adventure…

Ik-Kil Cenote

Cenote Ik Kil Yucatán

Are you planning a trip to the famed Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza? That’s fantastic! Tucked away at the end of the journey through these majestic pyramids, you’ll discover one of Yucatan’s most enchanting hidden gems—the magnificent Ik-Kil Cenote.

A Beacon of Illuminated Beauty

The mystical light filtering down from above truly captivates the Ik-Kil Cenote. This divine glow breathes life into the mini waterfalls, adorns the vegetation, and lights up the vines meandering along the edges of the cenote. These vines hang from the top like an ethereal curtain, creating an atmosphere that is nothing short of magical.

Delving into Depths of History

Submerged deep within Valladolid, the Ik-Kil Cenote plunges to an approximate depth of 30 meters. It’s not just the physical depth that intrigues visitors but the historical depth. Archaeologists have unearthed bones and jewelry from this cenote’s waters, marking it as a sacred site of Mayan sacrifices.

Don’t Miss Out on This Spectacular Sight

The Ik-Kil Cenote is truly a sight to behold. And the best part? It’s just a few minutes away from the ruins. So, when you’re done exploring the grandeur of Chichen Itza, leave some time to witness the enchanting beauty of the Ik-Kil Cenote. Your journey through history and nature is only complete with it.

So pack your bags and start your adventure – the Ik-Kil Cenote awaits!



➮ Cenote SAC-AUA

Cenote Sac-AUA Valladolid

Each Cenote has its unique charm, much like the beautiful SAC-AUA Cenote. Not only is it the only Cenote in the Yucatán with a tiny island nestled inside, but it’s also a bit off the beaten path, which spares it from the tourist crowds that inundate the more popular cenotes.

I like it when the interior of the Cenote is quiet and undisturbed. The fact that this particular Cenote receives fewer visitors adds to its appeal for me.

Also known as “The Maiden’s Cenote,” it has a fascinating history that suggests it was once used for maiden sacrifices. Rumor has it that it’s even connected to an ancient Mayan temple.

Location and serenity

SAC-AUA Cenote is relatively secluded from the main tourist routes, which gives it a rare tranquility that is hard to find in more touristy locations. This Cenote ticks all the boxes for a peaceful and less crowded experience.

The Maiden Cenote

SAC-AUA’s alternate name, “The Maiden Cenote,” is historical. This cenote near Valladolid is rumored to have been the site of virgin sacrifices, adding a layer of mystique to this already enchanting location.

Connection to Mayan Civilization

What makes SAC-AUA even more intriguing is the suggestion that it is connected to an ancient Mayan temple. This connection to the distant past adds another dimension to your visit and provides a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region.

If you’re looking for a unique, serene, and history-rich cenote experience in the Yucatán, SAC-AUA Cenote may be just what you’re looking for.



➮ San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote

Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman

Our favorite activity on the Yucatán Peninsula is cenote diving, and the San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote, located just 10 minutes from picturesque Valladolid, is one of the gems we enjoyed visiting.

A unique feature of the San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote is that it’s part of a hacienda – the famous Hacienda San Lorenzo. This detail sets it apart from many other cenotes.

Day at the Hacienda

You can spend an entire day relaxing at this hacienda, enjoying the cenote – its waters, surroundings, and activities – and the on-site restaurant and outdoor pool. Interestingly, the pool is filled with the same water as the cenote.

In my opinion, San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote is an excellent choice if you prefer to avoid the crowds that you might encounter at more prevalent and frequently visited cenotes where groups of tourists arrive daily.

Peaceful Escape

This cenote is a fantastic alternative for those seeking a more peaceful and intimate experience. It’s a haven where you can truly appreciate the unique beauty of the cenote, the serene atmosphere, and the chance to disconnect.

Let’s explore why this cenote should be on your Yucatán itinerary.



➮ Cenote Hubiku

Cenote Hubiku Valladolid

One of the most popular and largest cenotes near Valladolid is the Hubiku Cenote.

This semi-open cenote has an opening in the roof that allows natural light to enter and illuminate the interior while long tree roots cascade into the water. It’s truly a sight to behold.

My experience at Hubiku Cenote

As I ventured into this semi-open cenote, I was in awe of the breathtaking sight. Sunlight poured through the opening above, casting shimmering rays onto the glistening water below. It was impressive to see long tree roots hanging down like a natural chandelier. The water was clear, and it took on a magical, almost ethereal quality when the light hit it.

In this guide to Hubiku Cenote, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to fully experience and enjoy it. Not only that, but I’ll also tell you about the Tequila Museum, which is located within this cenote area in Valladolid.

The Tequila Museum

Yes, you read that right. Within the Hubiku Cenote area, there is more than just the natural wonder of the cenote itself. There’s also the Tequila Museum, a fascinating place that offers insight into the history and production of this iconic Mexican spirit.

The next time you’re in Valladolid, take the opportunity to explore this incredible cenote and its accompanying museum. I guarantee it will be an experience you will never forget.

Stay tuned for more details about my unforgettable adventure at the Hubiku Cenote and Tequila Museum.



➮ Cenote Palomitas

Cenote Palomitas Valladolid

Cenote Palomitas: A Natural Reserve for the Adventurous Traveler

Located approximately 27 kilometers (16.5 miles) from Valladolid, Cenote Palomitas is a stunning natural reserve within El Rancho de Agua Dulce.

A visit to Cenote Palomitas is an adrenaline-filled adventure, as the site offers a variety of activities that will test your bravery and courage.

Rest assured that a supervisor will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have, such as about the location of the bathrooms or interesting information about the formation of the cenote itself.

Unlike other tourist destinations, you won’t find any itinerant vendors at Cenote Palomitas. The secluded location and limited walking space ensure that only one restaurant is available (and we are more than sure you will enjoy it!).



➮ Cenote Xcanche Ek Balam

cenote xcanche ek balam

Are you in the mood for a visit to a fantastic cenote in Valladolid? Have you heard of Cenote Ek Balam? Don’t miss it, it really is a beauty!

Cenote Xcanche is next to the famous Ek Balam Maya archaeological site, a must-see for tourists from all over the country, especially those on excursions from Cancun and Playa del Carmen to Merida.

IT’S BREATHTAKING. It’s an open-air cenote where you can enjoy swimming, rope jumping, and taking great photos of the waterfall and the nature that surrounds it.

Cenote Xcanche is next to the Ek Balam ruins, part of the famous Mayan archaeological site, and a must-see for tourists from all over the country, especially those on excursions from Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

The Ek Balam archaeological site is smaller than Chichen Itza, but the difference is that climbing the pyramids is allowed at Ek Balam.



➮ Cenote Zaci

Cascada del Cenote Zací

Cenote Zací Valladolid: A must for tourists

Cenote Zací in Valladolid is one of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the country and the world. If you visit Valladolid, you can’t miss the beauty of Cenote Zací.

This city receives thousands upon thousands of tourists every month, not only for the beauty of its colonial architecture, new cafes, craft shops, friendly locals, and beautiful haciendas but also because it is home to the most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula.

Visiting Zací Cenote is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Valladolid, especially on those scorching hot days when you need a cool and refreshing escape from the tropical heat.

Each of the 4 times we visited, the temperature hovered around 35º Celsius, making swimming in Zací Cenote an enriching experience.



➮ Cenote Suytun

Cenote Suytun Valladolid

Suytun Cenote is undoubtedly among Yucatan’s top 5 most famous cenotes in Valladolid.

This cenote is naturally stunning. A beam of light shines down from the opening at the top of the cavern, illuminating everything inside. Its stone platform leading down to the water makes it even more mysterious.

When I first saw a photo of Suytun Cenote, it reminded me of a scene from a Tomb Raider movie.

It’s a fantastic environment where you can capture unique photos for your social media or even a mural in your home.

Trust me, this cenote is the perfect place to take the best photos for your Instagram!



A city that breathes art

Walking through the vibrant streets of this city, you can’t help but feel immersed in the beauty of living art. Every nook and cranny here is a testament to its rich history, encapsulated in its unique colonial architecture.

Imagine gazing at majestic buildings, their antiquity evident in every brick and stone, each structure whispering tales of bygone eras. The old churches here bear the weight not only of years but of history, each a beautiful masterpiece of colonial artistry.

With streets awash in a riot of color, the city pulsates with life, a visual symphony that delights the senses. The houses, a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues, exude a unique energy that imbues the city with a spirit as dynamic as it is enchanting.

But the true artistry of this city goes beyond its mesmerizing aesthetics. Local artisans create exquisite handicrafts, each a labor of love and a testament to their unparalleled skill.

And then there’s the food. Oh, the food! The city’s culinary scene fills the air with tantalizing aromas, each whiff a promise of a feast for your taste buds. Each dish, steeped in the city’s rich culinary traditions, is a delicious saga that will leave you wanting more.

So take a stroll through these lively streets, soak up the history, appreciate the art, savor the food, and breathe in the vibrant spirit of this city. Trust me, it’s an experience your heart will cherish. ❤

World Heritage Site
Valladolid is undoubtedly a destination that you must visit and enjoy. Declared a World Heritage Site and a Magical Town.

If you’re planning your trip to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, or Tulum, then visiting the Cenotes Valladolid and its other beauties is a decision that will excite you.



Where to Stay in Valladolid: A Personal Guide for Your Cenote Trip

If you plan a trip to the beautiful city and region of Valladolid, famous for its cenotes, you’ll need a comfortable hotel to call home. After an exhilarating day exploring the cenotes, ruins, and all the other attractions the area offers, you’ll want a relaxing place to unwind and recharge.

But do all hotels feel the same? Or would you prefer a curated guide of recommended hotels to ensure no unpleasant surprises upon your arrival in Valladolid?

We’re here to help! This guide presents handpicked hotels in Valladolid that will satisfy you. Expect beautiful settings, excellent service, spacious rooms, and a relaxed atmosphere – ideal for your time in the city.

These hotels have the best references from hundreds of guests who have stayed there before you. Rest assured, these aren’t just hotels; they’re experiences that will add value to your visit. Let me share a few of my favorites with you.

Check out the Best Hotels in Valladolid

Check Out Affordable, Beautiful, and Safe Hotels in Valladolid


✅ Where is Valladolid, Mexico?

In this guide, we’re focusing on the main cenotes in Valladolid, a beautiful city in the center of the Yucatan Peninsula, located:

  • 100 km from the coast of Tulum
  • 140 km from Playa del Carmen
  • 160 km from Cancun
  • 160 km from the charming city of Merida, capital of Yucatan.

If you’re planning to visit the cenotes in Valladolid, now you know where to find this wonderful city in Mexico. Its central location makes it the perfect starting point for exploring the surrounding natural wonders.



✅ How to Get to Valladolid?

Are you planning your trip to Valladolid, Mexico and wondering how to get there from Merida, Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this section, we’ll quickly go over the three basic options you have to travel from any of those cities to Valladolid: renting a car, taking a bus, or joining a tour.

▶ How to Get to Valladolid from Cancun?

Traveling by Bus from Cancun to Valladolid

Most visitors arrive in Valladolid from Cancun. The best way to get to Valladolid from Cancun is by bus. There is a bus from Cancun to Valladolid about every hour until 5:30 pm, and then a final departure at 9:30 pm. The journey is 156 km (97 miles) and takes between 1 hour 10 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes by bus. The company that provides this service is ADO, which offers very comfortable and high-quality coaches.

Traveling from Cancun to Valladolid by Rental Car

The other option, also very popular among visitors, is to rent a car in Cancun, especially since it allows you to explore the most important destinations along the route and near Valladolid. The road from Cancun to Valladolid is 180 D, a straight and modern road that stretches along 156 km. The journey from Cancun to Valladolid takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes and is quite easy and comfortable to make.

Taking a Tour or Excursion from Cancun to Valladolid

Sometimes you just want someone else to take care of all the details, right? Well, in that case, consider taking a tour from Cancun to Valladolid. There are several options available at different prices. Most tour companies will pick you up from your hotel in Cancun, take you to Valladolid, and take care of all the details so you don’t have to worry about how to get from Cancun to Valladolid on your own. We suggest these options:

Chichen Itza Classic with Suytun Cenote and Valladolid City

Private Tour to Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Suytun, and Samula with a Local Expert

▶ How to Get from Merida to Valladolid?


Traveling by Bus from Merida to Valladolid

The best option for getting from Merida to Valladolid is by taking the ADO bus. The journey covers around 160 kilometers (99 miles), but it’s a comfortable trip that costs 226 pesos (around 10 dollars) to reach Valladolid. There are many scheduled departures throughout the day.

Traveling by Car from Merida to Valladolid

Alternatively, you can choose to rent a car if you prefer to drive and visit other tourist destinations on your way to Valladolid or past this colonial city. There are many car rental companies in Merida that you can turn to.

This 160-kilometer journey can be done by car in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.



▶ How to get from Playa del Carmen to Valladolid?


You can take the new toll road 305; this is a toll road but offers the fastest route to Valladolid (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes).

Another option is to drive to Tulum and then find the sign that leads to Valladolid, but it takes an additional 40 or 50 minutes.

You can also take the bus to get to Valladolid from Playa del Carmen, the ADO bus is the best option.

The bus journey takes between 1 and a half to 2 and a half hours, depending on the schedule and if the bus you take stops at towns along the way.

Make sure to check the bus schedule in advance to know when to take it.



▶ How to get from Mexico DF to Valladolid?

If you’re traveling from Mexico City to Valladolid, your best bet is to book a flight to Merida or Cancun and then take a bus. Unfortunately, Valladolid does not have its own airport.

Fortunately, you can book cheap flights in advance through these options:

Visiting Valladolid is an absolute must for anyone interested in art and culture. It’s one of those places that stays with you, so you’ll definitely remember it in the future.



✅ Best Time to Visit Valladolid Cenotes in Mexico

Like the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula, Valladolid experiences a tropical climate throughout the year. That makes it a great destination all year round.

However, if you want to make the most of your time in Valladolid, the best time is between November and March/April. These months offer the best conditions for travelling and sightseeing.

The hottest months of the year are from May to July. During this time, the average temperature reaches 37 degrees Celsius.
If you want to avoid rain, the best month to visit Valladolid is mid-December. On the other hand, the chances of rain increase when visiting in August, especially during the latter part of the month.



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