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10 Worthwhile (& Easy To Reach) Valladolid Cenotes In Mexico

10 Worthwhile (& Easy To Reach) Valladolid Cenotes In Mexico

If you’re heading to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, then no doubt visiting a cenote, or two, is high on your to-do list. But where to start? With almost 10,000 scattered throughout this beautiful area of Mexico, it can be a bit overwhelming. But, visiting Valladolid is a good place to start. Indeed, some of the best Yucatan Peninsula cenotes are found near Valladolid. And so, in this guide, we’ll run through 10 of the best Valladolid Cenotes to visit, which are both easy to get to and completely breathtaking.

But first, what exactly is a cenote?

Read 21 Wonderful Things To Do In Valladolid Mexico

What Are Cenotes?

Cenotes are natural sinkholes typically found throughout Mexico. Although, the name is also used to describe similar sinkholes in places like the USA and Australia.

Cenotes usually form when limestone above an underground water chamber collapses, exposing the pool below. You’ll find the water in many of the underground cenotes to be crystal clear. This is because the cenotes are fed by rainwater that is naturally filtered through the above rocks before dripping into the pool below. Cenotes are also connected via underground stream systems, keeping the water moving and super fresh. It’s no wonder the ancient Maya used cenotes as water sources.

There are a few different types of cenotes found throughout Mexico.

  • Closed Cenotes: these are thought to be the youngest type of cenote and are still concealed within a cave. Many of the Valladolid Cenotes are closed cenotes.
  • Semi-open Cenotes: these cenotes are half concealed within a cave and half exposed to the outdoors. Generally, this means some of the limestone cave has collapsed.
  • Open Cenotes: here, the vaulted cave roof has collapsed, but the cenote is still surrounded by rock walls, on all or some of its sides.
  • Ancient Cenotes: these cenotes are the oldest and will more likely resemble lagoons or open swimming pools. They have no cave to conceal them. Some of the best examples on the Yucatan Peninsula can be found in Bacalar, Quintana Roo.

So, now you know what cenotes are, let’s take a look at where the Valladolid Cenotes are.

Where Is Valladolid and the Cenotes?

Valladolid is located in the east of the state of Yucatan in Mexico. It is about a two hour drive west of Cancun and a two hour drive east of Merida. The Valladolid Cenotes are generally on the outskirts of the town, with one falling within the city itself.

Valladolid Cenotes Map

The below map shows the locations of each of the Valladolid Cenotes we’ll discuss in this travel guide.

10 Best Cenotes in Valladolid

Below, we’ll give a brief overview of 10 of the best cenotes in Valladolid, Yucatan. They’re all super easy to reach from town, as well as further afield, if you’re not staying in Valladolid. But, since Valladolid is such a beautiful town, we highly recommend staying there to visit the Valladolid Cenotes.

1. Cenote Suytun

If there’s one definitive Valladolid Cenote to explore, then it’s surely Cenote Suytun. The brilliant turquoise water of Cenote Suytun shimmers within a vast cavernous expanse. Indeed, with an ancient-looking stone platform leading to a circular plinth in the centre of the pool, you’ll find this is one of the most visually stunning cenotes in Mexico and definitely one of the best in Valladolid in the Yucatan Peninsula.

  • Entry fee: $150MXN ($8.50USD)
  • Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week. The last entry permitted is at 4:30pm.
  • Distance from Valladolid: 9km // 15 minutes

Read more: Cenote Suytun, Valladolid: Visit Mexico’s Most Stunning Cenote

Cenote Suytun in Valladolid, Mexico

2. Cenote Xcanche (Ek Balam Cenote)

Cenote Xcanche (AKA the Ek Balam Cenote) is found at the Mayan ruins complex of Ek Balam, which you should totally explore as well. As cenotes served as water sources, as well as ceremonial and sacrificial sites to the Maya, it’s quite common to find a cenote close to a ruined site.

What awaits at Cenote Xcanche is a total oasis of rope swings and zip lines over a large open-air pool. This Valladolid Cenote is located away from the main ruins complex of Ek Balam and requires a separate ticket to enter. But, you can take bicycles from the main entrance to get to Cenote Xcanache, rather than take a long walk.

  • Entrance fee: $170MXN ($10USD)
  • Opening hours: 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 28km // 30 minutes
Ek Balam Ruins in Valladolid, Mexico
Be sure to visit the Ek Balam Ruins too!

3. Cenote Zaci

In the heart of central Valladolid is Cenote Zaci. In fact, Cenote Zaci is the only cenote in the city of Valladolid. This semi-open cenote is small but uber-picturesque. On-site is also a lovely outdoor restaurant and incredibly, Cenote Zaci is one of the cheapest cenotes in Valladolid Yucatan to visit. You can also walk to it from pretty much wherever you’re staying in central Valladolid and can find it located here on Google Maps.

  • Entrance fee: $30MXN ($1.80USD)
  • Opening hours: 8am to 5:30pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: located in the city

4. Cenote Xkeken

Cenote Xkeken is another of Valladolid’s stunning cenotes. It’s often mistaken as being one and the same as Cenote Dzitnup, but this is incorrect. Cenote Xkeken is actually one of two incredible cavern sinkholes found at the Cenote Dzitnup complex. The other is Cenote Samula.

Cenote Xkeken is a closed cenote, featuring long jagged stalactites protruding from the cavern ceiling. There’s also a small opening in the cave ceiling, creating a playful skylight that highlights different spots in the cenote as the sun moves overhead. Get there early to enjoy the mirror reflections before anyone gets in.

  • Entrance fee: $80MXN ($4.50USD) for only Cenote Xkeken, $125MXN ($7.50USD) for Cenote Samula as well.
  • Opening hours:  8am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 6km // 10 minutes

Read more: Cenote Xkeken – How To Visit The Dzitnup Cenotes In Mexico

Cenote Xkeken, Valladolid, Mexico

5. Cenote Samula

Cenote Samula, the second of the Dzitnup Cenotes, is a large cavernous cenote and easily one of our favourite Valladolid Cenotes. The incredible chamber space is vast and comes complete with dreamy turquoise waters, perfect for plunging into. There’s a skylight in the cave ceiling that projects the most incredible sunbeam across the cenote.

  • Entrance fee: $80MXN ($4.50USD) for only Cenote Samula, $125MXN ($7.50USD) for Cenote Xkeken as well.
  • Opening hours: 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 6km // 10 minutes

Read more: Cenote Samula – Discover The Dzitnup Cenotes In Valladolid

Cenote Samula at Dzitnup Valladoid

6. Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil is the quintessential Valladolid Cenote for hanging vines and green carpeted walls. A deep blue pool sits within tall cavern walls, with an open top. It’s completely breathtaking. Of course, Cenote Ik Kil’s proximity to the wondrous Chichen Itza means this is one of the busiest Valladolid Cenotes around. But, if you aim to arrive for 9am, you might be lucky enough to enjoy Cenote Ik Kil with a fraction of the usual numbers.

  • Entrance fee: $80 MXN ($4.70USD)
  • Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 40km // 45 minutes
Chichen Itza outside of Valladolid Mexico
Nearby Chichen Itza

7. Cenote Oxman

Located at the Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman, this Valladolid Cenote comes complete with a fun rope swing and a sinkhole that’s perfect for a bit of snorkelling. Cenote Oxman sits within the grounds of a former guava plantation and is one of the most picturesque of Valladolid’s Cenotes. The deep blue pool is surrounded by towering cave walls with a collapsed ceiling. It’s a true marvel. Also, on-site is a restaurant that does a mean buffet lunch.

  • Entrance fee: $80 MXN ($4.70USD)
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 6.5km // 10 minutes

8. Cenote Hubiku

Halfway between Valladolid centre and Ek Balam Ruins is Cenote Hubiku. This cave cenote has a large hole in the roof that occasionally features a small waterfall cascading through, showering those underneath. There are concrete steps leading down to a large purpose-built platform. From here, you can gain entry to the emerald waters of the cenote.

  • Entrance fee: $100MXN ($6USD)
  • Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 17km // 25 minutes

9. Cenote Xux Ha

For a bit of a hidden gem amongst Valladolid Cenotes, head to Cenote Xux Ha. Located just 20 minutes east out of Valladolid city centre, this extraordinary sinkhole has yet to gain the notoriety of other cenotes near Valladolid Yucatan. There are numerous holes in the cavern roof that create pretty little light shows across the intense turquoise hues of the pool. The adventurous can plunge into Cenote Xux Ha via different diving platforms, possibly enjoying this incredible underground world all to themselves.

  • Entrance fee: $150MXN ($9USD)
  • Opening hours: 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 15km // 20 minutes

10. Cenote Saamal

One of the nearest cenotes to Valladolid is Cenote Saamal. It’s part of the Hacienda Selva Maya estate and is a very popular Valladolid Cenote. This beautiful cenote is located very close to the Dzitnup Cenotes and so if you have your own car, you could easily visit all three Valladolid Cenotes on the same trip. Expect piercing blue waters, a small waterfall (if you’re lucky) and excellent facilities.

  • Entrance fee: $150MXN ($9USD)
  • Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Distance from Valladolid: 5km // 10 minutes

How to Get to Valladolid

So, now you know 10 of the best Valladolid Cenotes to visit whilst in Yucatan, Mexico, let’s take a look at how to get to Valladolid in the first place.

By Bus

Valladolid is very accessible from all other major towns and cities in the Yucatan Peninsula. One of the most reliable ways to get to Valladolid from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Merida is by taking the bus. Specifically, the ADO bus company is one of the safest and most reliable ways to travel to Valladolid Mexico and is the choice of many travellers, including Dan and myself.

Tickets can be purchased directly on the ADO website, using Busbud or by booking directly at the ADO bus terminal of each respective town. The approximate journey time from each town to Valladolid is as follows.

  • Cancun to Valladolid: 2.5 hours
  • Playa del Carmen to Valladolid: 2 hours
  • Tulum to Valladolid: 2 hours
  • Merida to Valladolid: 2.5 hours

Booking Buses


Busbud is one of the best online bus booking platforms. Wherever you’re travelling, you can easily compare bus tickets from different companies and book the best option for your trip. We highly recommend using Busbud to find the cheapest bus fares.

Rental Car

Of course, renting a car and driving yourself around the Yucatan to Valladolid Mexico is one of the easiest ways to visit. It’s also great for getting to all the Valladolid Cenotes too.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

How to Get to Valladolid Cenotes Independently

All of the Valladolid Cenotes listed in this guide are easy to reach independently. If you’ve rented a car to get to Valladolid in the first place, then great, you’re set! If not, then local taxis or Colectivos are your best choices.

Valladolid Cenotes By Taxi

Travelling from central Valladolid to the local cenotes is very straightforward with a taxi. Dan and I used taxis for the short drives, paying between $100MXN ($6USD) and $120MXN ($7USD) for each ride. You’ll find most hotels in Valladolid will happily book a taxi for you. Or, you’ll find plenty on the main streets and around the central plaza.

Valladolid Cenotes By Colectivo

Taking a Colectivo to Valladolid Cenotes is also very easy. The price for a Colectivo ride is around $20MXN ($1.50USD) per person. Of course, there’ll be a little more waiting involved as the vans usually don’t leave until they’re full.

Valladolid Cenotes By Bicycle

For some of the closest Valladolid Cenotes, like Xkeken and Samula (the Dzitnup Cenotes), it’s possible to hire a bicycle and cycle there. Bicycles are available to rent from many stores in the centre of Valladolid. Remember to ask for a bike lock too. Prices generally range from $100–150MXN ($6–9USD) per day.

Valladolid Cenotes Tours

If you’re not thinking of staying in Valladolid, but still want to sample some of the wonderful Valladolid Cenotes, then you can’t go wrong with a Valladolid Cenote tour. Often these full-day trips include visiting Mayan Ruins or multiple cenotes. Some of the most highly recommended from GetYourGuide include the Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour, Chichen Itza, Coba and Ik-Kil Cenote: Private Tour and the Cancún: Chichén Itzá, Cenote & Valladolid w/ Tequila & Lunch.

Where to Stay in Valladolid Mexico

Valladolid is one of the most beautiful cities to stay in throughout the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. And as you can see, Valladolid is a great base for exploring cenotes. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the best budget, mid-range and luxury options.

  • Budget – Hostel Candelaria: this highly-rated hostel in the heart of town features comfortable dorm rooms, a communal kitchen and a relaxing common space. The Hostel Candelaria is an excellent option for those on a budget.
  • Mid-range – Hotel Zazil-Naj: Dan and I stayed at Hotel Zazil-Naj. We loved the location. Plus, the room was massive, whilst the en suite bathroom was clean and modern. The hotel staff are also very attentive and helpful.
  • Luxury – Hotel Meson del Marques: you can look forward to authentic colonial-style decor and a truly luxurious stay at Hotel Meson del Marques. This five-star hotel features pretty gardens, a rooftop terrace with city views and a wonderful restaurant.


Can You Swim in Cenotes Valladolid?

Yes! Swimming in the Valladolid Cenotes is one of the best parts about visiting.

What Is the Most Famous Cenote in Valladolid?

Arguably the most famous Valladolid Cenote is Cenote Suytun.

Which Cenote Is in the Middle of Valladolid?

Cenote Zaci.

Travel Essentials For Valladolid Cenotes

These are our travel essentials for visiting Valladolid Cenotes in the Yucatan Mexico. Remember to pack your swimmers too.

Anker Portable Power Bank
Anker Portable Power Bank

Keep your phone, laptop and other accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker Portable Power Bank. We wouldn’t travel without this high-quality portable charger.

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is the best quick-dry microfibre towel. This compact, lightweight and super-absorbent towel is perfect for travel.

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter
EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Having an EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is one of the best accessories to travel with, especially if you’re travelling to multiple continents during your trip.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly yet high-quality noise-cancelling headphones for travel, then look no further than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45.

Wise Multi-Currency Card
Wise Multi-Currency Card

We use the Wise Multi-Currency Card to pay online and when we travel abroad. It’s really easy to use and a lot cheaper than using bank cards. To order a free card, click the button below.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite travel gear, camera gear and hiking gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a real necessity, especially when travelling through Central America and getting a little off the beaten track.

Heymondo is one of the best budget travel insurance providers on the market. They provide comprehensive travel and medical insurance that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s single trip insurance, annual multi-trip insurance or long stay insurance, Heymondo offers affordable travel and medical insurance to suit all of your needs. Personally, we use Heymondo travel insurance and highly recommend it. To find out more about Heymondo travel and medical insurance, read our Heymondo travel insurance review.

Travel Insurance

Heymondo Travel Insurance

Don’t leave for your trip without booking travel insurance. We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. Click the button below to receive a 5% discount!

Bonus Tips

  • Carry cash: many of the Valladolid Cenotes only accept cash, so be sure to carry plenty of pesos.
  • Facilities: the facilities at the Valladolid Cenotes are basic but sufficient. They’ll have toilets, changing blocks and some food and drink options. Life jackets and locker rentals will be an extra charge.
  • Shower: you MUST shower before entering any of the Valladolid Cenotes. This protects fragile ecosystems from harmful chemicals in any deodorant or sunscreen you may be wearing.
  • More Valladolid Cenotes: for those interested in more of the cenotes surrounding Valladolid, check out Cenote Agua Dulce, Cenote Chukum and Cenote Palomitas.
  • Other Yucatan cenotes: it’s not just Valladolid that’s known for its cenotes, the whole of the Yucatan is. Be sure to check out Bacalar and the Coba Cenotes for more dreamy sinkholes.

For more incredible places like the Valladolid Cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, then please check out our guides on Bacalar, Tulum Ruins and Coba Cenotes.

Beck Piggott

With an art and design based background, Beck uses photography and writing to help inspire readers to climb mountains, hike coastal trails and chase waterfalls around the globe.

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