Cenote Sac-Aua

Every place has something unique about it. For example, the amazing Cenote Sac-Aua is not only the only cenote in Yucatan, but it also has a small island nestled in its heart.

Moreover, it is off the beaten tourist track, making it blissfully free of the crowds that typically throng the more famous cenotes. Without a doubt, it is one of the best cenotes in Valladolid.

I love how peaceful it is inside this cenote! I love how peaceful it is inside this cenote! I love how peaceful it is inside this cenote! And it’s even better that there aren’t many tourists around.

Do you want to learn more? Let’s keep exploring…

Cenote Sac-AUA Valladolid
When we entered Cenote SAC-AUA the first thing that caught our attention was this natural island in the middle of the cenote.

About Sac-Aua Cenote Dzalbay Yucatán

It is also known as “The Cenote of the Maidens” due to the history that supports it and says that it was used for maiden sacrifices. It is also said to be connected to an ancient Mayan temple.

When we entered Cenote SAC-AUA the first thing that caught our attention was this natural island in the middle of the cenote.

Discover Cenote Sac-Aua

Entering SAC-AUA Cenote is like stepping into a scene from a movie. The feeling of looking at the natural island in the center, surrounded by a few scattered rocks and towering trees on the sand, is something that is hard to put into words.

✅ Thousands of years ago, Sac Aua Cenote was closed, but after the roof almost completely collapsed, it became an open air cenote. The roof fell in such a perfect circle that it formed a round island in the middle of the cenote. It seems unreal, absolutely unbelievable. It is about 30 meters from the ceiling to the island.

The light of SAC-AUA

Above this intriguing little island, a ray of sunlight filters through an opening, casting an ethereal glow over the cenote. As your eyes adjust, you notice the delicate stalactite formations dangling from the ceiling, their crystalline shapes reflecting the light.

A story told through time

Cenote Sac-Aua has an intriguing history associated with virgin sacrifices and an ancient Mayan temple. Imagine standing where people from thousands of years ago once stood, a place of significant cultural and historical significance.

The history of the Cenote changes your perception and makes your visit more than just a tour – it’s an immersive journey through time.

Cenote Sac-AUA Valladolid

What struck me most when I visited Cenote Sac-Aua was the eclectic mix of visitors, from couples to families with children, enjoying the stunning scenery.

But let me reassure you before any food concerns arise, there’s an on-site restaurant for you to satisfy your cravings with delicious home-cooked meals. I highly recommend it for the authentic flavors it offers.

Dive into the shallow depths of Cenote SAC-AUA

Unlike other cenotes that are quite deep, SAC-AUA has a comfortable depth of about 8 meters. This feature makes it an ideal spot for families with young children to enjoy a safe, historic and paradisiacal vacation.

Diving in the clear water won’t be a challenge as the depth is perfect for swimming from one spot to another.

How to get to Cenote SAC-AUA

The cenote is located a short distance from the center of Dzalbay, a small village northeast of Valladolid. By car it’s about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Valladolid and takes about 30 minutes to reach, and only 15 kilometers from the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam.

The problem is that you won’t find a car rental company in Valladolid – you’ll have to rent in Mérida, Cancún or Playa del Carmen before heading to Valladolid.

However, you can rent a scooter in Valladolid. They cost about 100 pesos ($5) per hour or 500 pesos ($25) for the day. If you’re feeling adventurous, look for a ‘colectivo’ (shared van) near Valladolid’s main bus station that goes to Dzalbay. The fare is about 35 pesos ($2) per person.

If you rent a car or have your own, you can visit the ruins of Ek Balam, Xcanché Cenote and Cenote SAC-AUA.

Parking is available at the cenote. After parking you’ll walk about 400 or 500 meters to Cenote SAC-AUA. The path is a well-marked trail that you can walk on (about a 15 minute walk) or rent a bike if you prefer to get there faster.

Visit Cenote SAC – AUA Valladolid

When you visit Cenote Sac Aua Valladolid, you’ll find a sense of tranquility and connection to history and nature. In addition, there are many services and activities you can enjoy with your family, friends, or partner.

The entrance to the cenote is a massive hole in the ground secured by a wooden handrail and steps. This is a precautionary measure to prevent accidents and make the entrance more accessible and safer.


But that’s not all! This haven also offers various activities to make your visit unforgettable. Here are some of the additional services you can enjoy:

  • Restaurant: Treat yourself to a meal after your adventure.
  • Bicycle Tours: Experience the natural beauty of the area on two wheels.
  • Rappelling: Get your adrenaline pumping with an exhilarating abseil.
  • Kayaking: Paddle along the calm waters for a peaceful experience.

SAC-AUA Cenote Schedule

The staff at SAC-AUA Cenote opens the gates early at 9:00 am and closes at 6:00 pm. However, be sure to arrive by 5:30 pm for the last entry.

Remember that SAC-AUA Cenote is about 30 km from Valladolid, so we recommend getting there early to take in the whole experience.

SAC-AUA Cenote Prices

Entering this natural paradise comes with a price that varies depending on your nationality. Yes, it sounds a little strange, but that’s the way it is.

Let me explain: There are two different prices at the ticket counter. One is for foreigners and the other is for Mexican locals.

  • Foreigners: 100 pesos (about $5)
  • Locals: 70 pesos (about $3.50)

*Note: It is important that you confirm the price before you go because the prices listed are the prices at the time we visited: Phone: +52 985 125 5944

The difference in cost is not racial in nature. Rather, it’s a strategy to maintain the premises and support the staff.

Now, these prices only cover the entrance to the cenote. Activities are charged separately and range from 70 pesos ($3.35) to 170 pesos ($8.50), depending on your choice.

cenote sac aua valladolid

Parking Lot

As mentioned before, the place has a parking lot if you’re driving, which is highly recommended. They have attendants who will take care of the security of your vehicle.

Best time to visit SAC-AUA Cenote

We’ve visited other cenotes where you have to arrive at a certain time to really enjoy the place. This is not the case here as it’s generally less crowded. However, the number of visitors can vary greatly depending on the season. We recommend getting there early to make the most of it, but there isn’t a specific “best” time.

Rappelling and Kayaking

These are undoubtedly some of the most popular services offered at the site. If you’re an adventurer, you’ll really enjoy this experience. As we’ve mentioned before, there is an additional cost for each activity.

Rappelling is available for 50 pesos (approximately $2.51). This activity involves scaling up and down the walls of the cave, all under the watchful eye of a professional. It’s priced by the hour, but we recommend trying it at least once.


Kayaking: Fun for the kids

Kayaking is an excellent choice for children as it is a fun little trip that provides some exercise. While this service tends to be expensive at many cenotes, you’ll find the most affordable rate at SAC-AUA: just 50 pesos (about $2.50) for an hour.

Swimming in SAC-AUA Cenote

The cenote is quite shallow, which makes it a great choice for family outings. Whether you’re an experienced swimmer or prefer to rent a life jacket, depending on where you are in the cenote, you may even find areas where you can comfortably stand or even sit.

If you are concerned about safety, rest assured that one of the services available is a lifeguard who constantly monitors all activities in the cenote. It’s worth noting that swimming in the cenote is at your own risk.

What to bring

As mentioned above, you’ll need to walk (or rent a bike if you prefer) along a trail that winds through the wilderness to reach the cenote. We chose to walk to better appreciate the environment and realized that there are three essential things: comfortable clothing as you’ll be walking for a while, and comfort is crucial even if you choose to bike. It is also advisable to wear light-colored clothing as it tends to reflect the heat.

The other two must-haves are a hat for protection from the sun, and sunscreen to apply after each dive, as the SAC-AUA has an opening that allows sunlight to enter. Other items include comfortable closed-toe shoes, mosquito repellent, and personal bathing items such as a towel and swimsuit.

Locker rooms and restrooms

The most important service that many visitors worry about is hygiene. At SAC-AUA you’ll find toilets, showers and changing rooms. After your dip in the clear, refreshing waters of the cenote, you can shower in comfort, change out of your swimsuit, and change into clean clothes.

This service guarantees you the necessary comfort and cleanliness during your visit and before you leave the cenote.

Cenote Sac-Aua Restaurant

Finally, we have the most delicious part of the whole trip. While it’s true that you can bring a small snack, it’s always a good idea to broaden your palate and try the cuisine offered by the restaurants located at the cenotes, which mainly serve traditional local dishes.

The restaurant is called Places Dzalbay and serves homemade Yucatecan food. It’s not the only place to grab a bite, as you’ll also find vendors along the white trail to the cenote selling drinks, coconuts and delicious snacks.

What we loved and found most surprising were the handmade tortillas we were served, which had an authentic, homey flavor. The staff are incredibly friendly and check in regularly to see how you’re enjoying your meal and if you’d like anything else. Without a doubt, it’s an experience we’d do a thousand times over.



How to become a real cenote connoisseur!

When visiting any of the cenotes in Yucatan, there are certain things you should avoid. The following items are a no-go:

  • Make-up
  • Skin products
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen

Cenotes are a source of fresh water that are part of the underground rivers. At SAC-AUA Cenote, you won’t find signs reminding you to protect this natural treasure. But as dedicated cenote enthusiasts, we are committed to preserving it by any means necessary. We invite you to do the same and join this great imaginary club of Cenote Connoisseurs♡.

Note: If you found this guide to Cenote Sac Aua Yucatan helpful, we would be very grateful if you could share it with others. Your help would mean the world to us! Thank you very much!


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