Best Cenotes in Valladolid: Which ones should you visit?
Visiting the Cenotes in Valladolid is one of the best options to experience during your trip to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Valladolid’s cosy and colonial city is located in the centre of Yucatan. It’s an incredible city with many things to explore.
While the cenotes near Valladolid are a major attraction that draws thousands of tourists throughout the year, we also chose this city because we love its character and lifestyle, colonial architecture, colourful walls, friendly locals, handicrafts, and landscapes…
Many travellers 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 splendour of this magical town in Yucatan.
In this guide about the best cenotes in Valladolid, we’ll share with you all the necessary information to organize your visit to the local cenotes and give you our suggestions of the best places to discover and explore in the magical Valladolid.
A City Breathing Art
Walking down 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 by its unique colonial architecture.
Imagine gazing upon majestic buildings, their antiquity evident in every brick and stone, each structure whispering tales of bygone eras. The old churches here don’t just bear the weight of years; they bear the weight of history, each a beautiful masterpiece of colonial artistry.
With streets awash in a riot of colours, the city pulsates with life, a visual symphony that delights your senses. The houses, a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues, radiate a unique energy, imbuing the city with a spirit as dynamic as enchanting.
However, this city’s true artistry continues beyond its mesmerizing aesthetics. The local artisans create exquisite handicrafts, each a labour of love and a testimony to their unrivalled skills.
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. Every dish, steeped in the city’s rich culinary traditions, is a delicious saga that leaves you yearning for more.
So, take a stroll down these lively streets, soak up the history, appreciate the art, savour the food, and breathe in the vibrant spirit of this city. Trust me, it’s an experience your heart will cherish. ❤
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 cenotes, ruins, and all the other attractions this area offers, you’ll want a relaxing place to unwind and recharge.
But do all hotels seem the same to you? Or would you prefer a curated guide to recommended hotels, ensuring no unpleasant surprises upon your arrival in Valladolid?
We’re here to help! This guide features 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.
Moreover, these hotels come with the best-proven references from hundreds of guests who have stayed there before you. Rest assured, these are not just hotels; they’re experiences that will add value to your visit. Let me share some of my favourites with you.
✔️The Best Cenotes in 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, snorkelling, diving, rappelling, and zip-lining are the most common activities at the cenotes in Valladolid, Yucatan. So, let’s dive right into our adventure…
Planning a trip to the famed Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza? That’s fantastic! Because 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 jewellery from the bottom of 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
Every cenote has its unique charm, much like the beautiful SAC-AUA Cenote. Not only is it the only cenote in Yucatán with a tiny island nestled within, but it’s also a bit off the beaten path, which spares it from the tourist crowds that flood the more well-known cenotes.
I enjoy it when the cenote’s interior is serene and undisturbed. The fact that this particular cenote receives fewer visitors adds to its appeal for me.
Known also as “The Maiden’s Cenote,” it has an intriguing backstory suggesting it was once used for maiden sacrifices. Rumour has it; it’s even connected to an ancient Mayan temple.
Location and Serenity
The SAC-AUA Cenote is relatively secluded from the main tourist routes, which gives it a rare tranquillity that can be hard to find in more tourist-frequented locations. This cenote ticks all the boxes for those seeking a peaceful and less crowded experience.
The Maiden’s Cenote
SAC-AUA’s alternative name, “The Maiden’s Cenote,” is steeped in history. The cenote is rumoured to have been the site of maiden sacrifices, adding a layer of mystique to this already enchanting location.
Connection to the Mayan Civilization
What makes SAC-AUA even more captivating is the suggestion that it is linked to an ancient Mayan temple. This connection to the distant past adds another dimension to your visit, offering a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region.
Overall, if you seek a unique, calm, and history-rich cenote experience in the Yucatán, the SAC-AUA Cenote might be just what you’re looking for.
➮ San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote
Our favourite activity in the Yucatán Peninsula is swimming in cenotes, and the San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote, situated just 10 minutes away from picturesque Valladolid, is one of these gems that we had the pleasure to visit.
One unique feature of the San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote is that it’s part of a Hacienda – the renowned 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, not just enjoying the cenote – its waters, surroundings, and activities – but also the on-site restaurant and the outdoor pool. Intriguingly, the pool is filled with the same water from the cenote.
In my view, the San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote is an excellent choice if you prefer to avoid the crowds that you might encounter at more popular and frequently visited cenotes where groups of tourists arrive daily.
This cenote presents a fantastic alternative for those wanting a more tranquil 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
One of the most popular and largest cenotes you’ll find near the city of Valladolid is the Hubiku Cenote.
This semi-open cenote features an opening in the cave’s roof that lets natural light pour in, illuminating the interior while long tree roots cascade into the waters. It’s truly a sight to behold.
My Experience at the Hubiku Cenote
As I ventured into this semi-open cenote, I was in awe of the breathtaking sight. Sunlight pierced through the opening above, casting shimmering rays onto the glistening waters below. Seeing long tree roots draping down like a natural chandelier was an impressive spectacle. The waters were clear, and as the light hit them, they took on a magical, almost ethereal quality.
In this guide to the Hubiku Cenote, I’ll share with you everything you need to know to experience and enjoy it fully. Not only that, but I’ll also tell you about the Tequila Museum located within this cenote area in Valladolid.
The Tequila Museum
Yes, you read that right. Within the Hubiku Cenote area, there’s 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 making of this iconic Mexican spirit.
The next time you’re in Valladolid, take advantage of the chance to explore this incredible cenote and the museum accompanying it. I guarantee you; it’s an experience you will remember.
Stay tuned for more details on my unforgettable adventure at the Hubiku Cenote and the Tequila Museum.
➮ Cenote Palomitas
➮ Cenote Xcanche Ek Balam
Do you want to visit an impressive cenote? Have you heard about Cenote Ek Balam? Don’t miss it, it’s truly a beauty!
Cenote Xcanche is located next to the famous Ek Balam Maya archaeological site, a must-visit for tourists from all over the country, especially those on excursions from Cancun and Playa del Carmen to Merida.
IT’S BREATHTAKING, 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 located next to the Ek Balam ruins, which are part of the famous Maya archaeological site and a must-visit 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 Zací
Cenote Zací Valladolid: A Must-Visit 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’re visiting Valladolid, you simply cannot miss the beauty of Zací cenote.
This city receives thousands upon thousands of tourists every month, not only for the beauty of its colonial architecture, new cafes, craft shops, friendly local people, and magnificent haciendas, but also because here you can find the most beautiful cenotes in the entire 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.
Every one of the 4 times we visited, the temperature was hovering around 35º Celsius, which made swimming in the Zací cenote a truly rewarding experience.
➮ Cenote Suytun
The Suytun Cenote is, without a doubt, one of the top 5 most famous cenotes in Yucatan.
This cenote is naturally breathtaking, with a beam of light shining down from the opening at the top of its cavern, illuminating everything inside. Its stone platform that leads down to the water makes it all the more mysterious.
When I first saw a photo of the Suytun Cenote, it reminded me of a scene from a Tomb Raider movie.
It’s truly a fantastic environment that you can capture in unique photographs for your social media, or even for a mural in your home.
Trust me, this cenote is the perfect spot to take the best photos for your Instagram!
✅ Where to Eat in Valladolid
Restaurants in Valladolid are not lacking, offering a wide variety of options for you to try the local cuisine. Yucatecan food is one of the most popular, and you won’t be disappointed.
Just a heads up, as you may already know, Mexican food can be heavy on the stomach, so be careful with the excessive amount of spicy food, especially in this heat.
For vegetarians, there are a couple of places that will serve you well.
✔ Yerbabuena del Sisal
One of our favorite restaurants in Valladolid! We ate here twice and loved it! Yerbabuena is not a purely vegetarian restaurant, but the selection of meat-free and healthy dishes is fantastic.
The menu includes vegetarian burgers and lasagna, as well as a selection of Mexican dishes. Oh, and delicious homemade lemonades!
The tone of the original Spanish text is warm and positive, and I’ll do my best to maintain that in the English translation while keeping the original structure and format.
✔ Café del Profesor Pitágoras
This place has a cozy atmosphere: you can sit at the wooden tables in the bar entrance or on the green patio. The hospitality of the staff is amazing – we rarely encounter such a friendly place. Overall, highly recommended.
Prices: Lemonade 35 pesos ($1.65) Burger 90 pesos ($4.25) Espresso 40 pesos ($1.90)
Address: Calle 54A 217, next to the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena.
Inside and out, this is a delightful space with delicious freshly baked desserts and pastries. The coffee is magnificent. They have a very sweet and friendly kitten who adds value to the place.
The hibiscus tacos (tacos with hibiscus flower filling) were truly amazing. I didn’t know that hibiscus flowers could be used in savory dishes, but they worked so well in these tacos. They have a slightly tangy and salty taste with a fibrous texture, and they’re not sweet. The tacos come with a side of guacamole, chopped onions, and cilantro – truly delicious.
I also ordered the banana, strawberry, and coconut milk smoothie – very good. Honestly, I’m super impressed with this place in downtown Valladolid.
Address: Calle 37 187, 150 meters from the Central Plaza (almost in front of the Hotel Mesón del Marqués).
Located on the famous Calzada de los Frailes street, 2 streets before the San Bernardino de Siena convent, it’s open from 8am to 11pm. They have many electrical outlets to charge your devices and air conditioning.
The Wi-Fi here isn’t the fastest, especially when there are a lot of people around, but it doesn’t cut out.
You have to try the almond milk and coconut milk here – their chocolate chips and chocolate cheesecake are excellent. For a recommended drink, try the Chai Frappe with almond milk, whipped cream, and chocolate chips.
Address: Calzada de los Frailes, number 226, between 50 and 43A.
✔ Los Portales
Some might say this is the best place in town to eat and people-watch. Los Portales is the only restaurant with outdoor seating in the main square.
Take a seat outside and enjoy the daily life of Valladolid as it passes before your eyes.
Our suggestion is to skip the menu and head straight for the specials, such as the classic nachos for 88 pesos ($4.20) and the cochinita pibil tacos that always hit the spot.
Address: Calle 41 202 A. In the Central Plaza.
At Idilio, the craft beer brewing, tacos, and personal art gallery in memory of the owners’ artist father come together perfectly.
The atmosphere is absolutely charming in every way. Walk through the art gallery, pass by the craft brewery, and enter the restaurant located in a beautiful garden.
The list of craft beers is impressive, the jalapeño poppers are exciting, and the ambiance is magical.
Address: Calzada de Los Frailes 230a, almost in front of the famous Coqui Coqui Perfumeria and Hotel Spa.
✔ Conato Cultural 1910
This is a great option for vegetarians, especially in a city where beef is king.
Conato Cultural knew how to meet the needs of many of its visitors who were focused on vegetarian food, so they made an effort to include this type of cuisine by eliminating or replacing certain ingredients in some of their menu items and adding new options.
We tried the vegetarian nachos and they were fantastic, with fresh ingredients in a generous portion, and guacamole with crispy chips.
For those who are not vegetarian, the restaurant offers a wide menu with the usual options of meat and fish.
On the night we visited, there was a live jazz band that added to the already charming atmosphere. You can sit inside, on the rooftop terrace overlooking the stage and the garden, or in the garden itself.
✅ 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:
▶ 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.
✅ How to Get the Best Hotel Prices in Mexico?
When it comes to finding the best hotel prices in Mexico, our top pick is Booking.com. We’ve found that they consistently offer the best rates on the market.
To get started on your search, click on the link below to find the best hotel prices in Tulum, Mexico.
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