The Top 5 Cenotes Near Chichen Itza That You Must Visit in 2023

There are so many cenotes near the Chichen Itza archeological site because it’s located in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula, where you will find a major concentration of these sacred sinkholes.

In this post, I will tell you about all the cenotes near Chichen Itza that you can visit during your trip and how to get there.

There’s no doubt that Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archeological sites, receiving up to 15,000 visits per day in the high season. It’s a lot.

The site is incredibly appealing for the majestic building of el Castillo and all the other huge temples from the ancient Mayan civilization. And the heat and the huge crowds shouldn’t stop you from visiting this historical wonder.

You can visit Chichen Itza in several ways, either with an organized tour, by bus, or by car rental (which I always recommend).

Whether you are coming from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or Merida, a visit to Chichen Itza is a full day trip, and it’s always a good idea to include a visit to one of the spectacular cenotes near Chichen Itza and a visit to Valladolid while you are there.

All the organized tours combine a visit to Chichen Itza with a stop at a cenote and a quick visit to the charming Valladolid historical center, the gateway to the Colonial Yucatan.

👉 Planning on joining a tour to Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour – Book the most highly rated tour ahead of time on VIATOR.

The Top 5 Cenotes near Chichen Itza

1. Cenote IK Kil

Ik Kil Cenote

Cenote IK Kil is one of the most popular cenotes near Valladolid and THE MOST popular. It is included in almost all the Chichen Itza tours. There are two reasons why it’s the most popular.

  1. It’s the closest to Chichen Itza.
  2. It’s spectacular

In fact, it’s considered one of the best cenotes near Chichen Itza, although one of the most crowded, unfortunately.

Although it’s a natural cenote the owners have grown an incredible natural landscape around it with lush vegetation and plants cascading down the cenote hole creating some of the most Instaworthy pictures.

You also have fancy facilities that you can enjoy, such as showers, lockers, bathrooms and a restaurant.

Although it’s beautiful, it’s always crowded unless you go first thing in the morning before Chichen Itza.

If you are in the area for a few days and you are visiting on your own, I would visit this cenote, not on the same day you are visiting Chichen Itza, so you can visit them both first thing in the morning and avoid the crowds.

This place really gets packed.

Entry fees – 180 MXN

Opening hours – 9 am to 5 pm

Insider tip – The Cenote Ik Kil is also a hotel. So you can stay there and have access to the cenote outside the opening hours. Rates start from 60 USD. You must book on their website.

Or you can check out other hotels in the area on

2. Cenote Yokdzonot

Cenote Yokdzonot - cenotes near chichen itza

Cenote Yokdzonot is a spectacular, huge open Cenote about 30 minute drive from Chichen Itza. It’s usually also considered a great day trip from Merida for its closeness.

The cenote takes its name from the town where it’s located and is managed by a local community well engaged in keeping the cenote clean and worth visiting.

They also offer a zipline, rappelling, and a great restaurant serving simple local dishes

Access to this cenote is very easy with wooden stairs, but for the more adventurous, there are jumping platforms as well.

There is a cord to help you cross the huge cenote; life jackets are mandatory for your safety.

You can also find a small artisan shop where you can purchase some local products as authentic Mexican souvenirs.

Entrance fee 150 MXN

Opening hours – 9 am to 5 pm

Zip Line – 70 MXN

Rappelling – 70 MXN

3. Tsukán Santuario de Vida

Tzukan Cenote

Located only 20 minutes from Chichen Itza, Tsukan is a private cenote that has recently opened. It’s located in a beautiful park with interpretative paths and great facilities.

You can find a restaurant serving local dishes, an ice cream bar, elegant showers and bathrooms, and a shop with some t-shirts and accessories.

The cenote itself is a spectacular cave cenote with incredibly turquoise water. The platform from where you access is quite small, so it’s not suitable for big groups, and when it gets crowded, it could be a problem.

Tzukan trail
Tzukan cenote trail
Tzukan Cenote Entrance

However, I believe the high price keeps many people away.

You have to climb 180 stairs, but they are not steep and very easy to walk.

The cenote is often home to the beautiful Mot Mot bird, which is said to be a sacred bird for the Mayans. It has colorful plumage and a long tail that resembles a pendulum.

I saw three of them while there, but they were too far for my camera to catch them.

Entrance fee: 230 MXN

Opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm

Life Jacket is mandatory and included in the price for safety reasons because the cenote is deep, and you must sign a responsibility release form when you enter.

4. Cenote Kax Ek

Kax-ek cenote valladolid

Cenote Kax Ek is quite a detour from the usual Chichen Itza route, 40 minutes from the archeological site and 30 minutes from Valladolid.

It’s less popular than the above-mentioned cenotes, probably because of the bad condition of the dirt road in the last 5 km before reaching the cenote. So keep that in mind.

Also, dogs are not allowed if you are traveling with a pet (just like in most cenotes).

The Cenote Kax Ek is huge, and although the water doesn’t seem as transparent as you would expect, it gets quite clear once you are inside, depending on the weather.

Although the cenote is quite isolated, it offers all the necessary facilities, showers, changing rooms, toilets, and a tidy and clean environment.

And, of course, there are guards there, so if you feel uncomfortable driving alone in the middle of nowhere, know that you are not alone in the cenote.

Entrance fee: 150 MX

Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm

Cenote Lol-ha

You can visit another spectacular cenote near Chichen Itza during your day trip. Cenote Lol Ha is located in the town of Yaxuna, where you can appreciate an authentic Mayan community.

It’s another open cenote with easy access to the water but also a couple of platforms for the more adventurous who love to jump into the underworld.

I haven’t been there yet, but I will go soon and will share pictures. I wanted to include them here for the sake of information.

In the cenote, there are toilets but no showers, although I hope they change that soon because. As an important rule, you should always shower when you enter a cenote to rinse off any residual chemicals from body lotions that may pollute the water.

Entrance fee – 100 MXN

Opening hours – 10 am to 5 pm

Life jacket rental available

Chichen Itza Cenotes – Cenote Xcolot and Sacred Cenote

There are two cenotes in the archeological site of Chichen Itza. One is barely visible and almost abandoned, close to the prestigious Mayaland Hotel.

It’s called Cenote Xcolot, and it’s hidden beyond the thick vegetation.

The other more popular one is the Sacred Cenote (cenote Sagrado).

Although you can’t swim in it, it is a beautiful site and fits very well within the majestic complex of the ancient Mayan city.

All the cenotes were sacred to the Mayans and used both for ceremonial purposes and as water wells. It seems that Chichen Itza Cenote was particularly used for human sacrifices.

If you are wrenching now, you may be relieved to know that for the ancient Mayan culture, it was a great honor to be sacrificed for the Gods. Difficult for us to understand.

Anyway, from the Castillo you have to walk for about 1 km to reach the sacred cenote. It’s kind of the walk of shame because your path is lined with many different vendors calling you and trying to sell you stuff.

So, instead of being a spiritual walk to the Sacred Cenote, it becomes a challenge to get to the cenote without buying anything.

Once you arrive, sit in the shade of the secular trees for a few minutes and look for the precious Mot Mot bird.

It was also considered a sacred bird for the Mayans, and there are many around the area.

The previous time I was in Chichen Itza, I was lucky enough to spot some (see picture below). Not this time, though.

Mot Mot Bird in the Sacred Cenote

More Cenotes near Valladolid

These above-mentioned cenotes are the ones that are closest to Chichen Itza. However, if you are looking for more cenotes closer to Valladolid, this list of the best Valladolid Cenotes will certainly help you find more.


Visiting the Chichen Itza Cenotes on Your Own by Car

I always suggest renting a car in Mexico if you want to explore the Yucatan Peninsula because it’s one of the safest areas, and you will have the opportunity to discover amazing hidden treasures that local transportation won’t get.

When it comes to renting a car in Mexico, or anywhere, I recommend checking on discover cars site because there you can compare different prices from various international and local car rental companies.

If you get a Mexican SIM card (which I highly recommend), you can download Google Maps to get anywhere you want without getting lost. Find nearby places where to stay and where to eat, and you are going to have a blast.

Car rental

Discover Cars Mexico Review

Browse through international and local car rentals and find the best deal.

I’ve always had great service from Discover Cars. They always respond quickly if there’s a problem of any kind…I would never use any other car rental company as my many experiences with have been 100% positive.


Find a Tour That Includes Cenotes near Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza tours are some of the most popular in the Yucatan Peninsula, and they all include a visit to one of the cenotes near Chichen Itza.

Below, I am listing the ones that are more highly rated from each major city.

👉The Best Chichen Itza + Cenote Tour from Merida

5⭐ 174 Reviews

This full day Yucatan tour from Mérida offers stopovers to the Chichen Itza and the Izamal, filled with architectural wonders. If you book a schedule earlier, you can stroll the UNESCO World Heritage Site with fewer people.

Finally, cool off in a local cenote owned by a local family. It also comes with air-conditioned transportation.

Delio was a terrific guide, please ask for him!!!!!!!!! He was very professional, attentive and informative.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Don_M, Jul 2023

👉 The Best Chichen Itza + Cenote Tour from Cancun


Take this full day tour for an incredible journey beginning at the Chichen Itza while guides explain its deep history. The next stop is a break in Valladolid to take photos and walk around the town.

The final destination is the Mayan Cenote in the lush Mayan jungle. Take a swim in the crystal clear and fresh water!


👉 The Best Chichen Itza + Cenote Tour from Playa Del Carmen

5⭐ 89 Reviews

The private tour to Chichén Itzá and a Mayan cenote was a true gem! Our guide was incredibly personable and clearly had a deep love for his homeland, which made the tour even more enjoyable.

Plus, the delicious meals like mole and comfy transportation added to the experience.

Our guide, Limbert, was very knowledgeable of Chichen Itza. He could answer our many questions. He explained what the stone carvings and iconography were, what they meant and why they were import to the Mayans. We left, thanks to Limbert, knowing who the Mayans were and what was important to them.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Steve_S, Apr 2023
Kax-ek cenote valladolid

👉The Best Chichen Itza+ Cenote Tour from Tulum

3.5⭐ 3 Reviews

This small-group Yucatán tour was an absolute delight! The guide was excellent in adding knowledge to every stop.

Exploring Chichén Itzá’s magnificent ruins, taking a dip in the cenote, and strolling through charming Valladolid make this tour an excellent experience. It also comes with a delicious buffet lunch and hassle free transportation.

We had a guide called viktor he was amazing has been doing it for 35 years, he literally made the whole experience. There was another rep there that wasn’t half as good, didn’t understand a word he said on coach and had a slight attitude. If I went with him I would have given a 3 star but viktor was out of this world and I would highly recommend to anyone.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Emma_T, Feb 2022
Grand Cenote Tulum

More Chichenitza + Cenote Tours

➡️ Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid Small Group Day Trip

➡️ Chichen Itza All-Inclusive, Buffet Lunch, Cenote,Tequila tasting & Valladolid

➡️ Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid Small Group Day Trip

How to Get To Chichen Itza

Chichen itza

I am working on detailed articles on the different ways to get to Chichen Itza from the most popular cities and towns in the Yucatan Peninsula.

✔️ How to get to Chichen Itza from Cancun in 2023 (info and prices)

✔️ How to get to Chichen Itza from Tulum in 2023

✔️ How to get to Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen in 2023

✔️ How to get to Chichen Itza from Merida in 2023

Is It Safe to Visit the Chichen Itza Cenote on Your Own?

Chichen itza

Yes, it is totally safe to visit Chichen Itza, just like all the major tourist sites in Mexico.

You will find a lot of people around you, all visitors like you.

The only issue may be the pickpocketers, although it’s rare to find them on the site. Just ensure you keep your personal belongings on you or lock them in the lockers at the entrance.

My Mexico packing list will help you pick up what you really need for your trip and leave the unnecessary items behind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Cenotes Near Chichen Itza

Which Cenote Is Best near Chichen Itza?

Cenote Ik Kil is the most famous cenote near Chichen Itza and is mostly included in tours. It has incredible facilities like bathrooms, restaurants, hotels, and more!

But it’s often crowded due to its popularity so I suggest visiting in the morning.

How Far Are the Cenotes near Chichen Itza from the Archaeological Site?

The cenotes are located between a 20-minute to nearly an hour’s drive from Chichen Itza. The closest option is Tsukán Santuario de Vida, a private cenote boasting modern amenities and a restaurant.

It’s a peaceful choice with fewer crowds, but the higher cost might not be suitable for travelers on a budget.

How Do I Get to the Cenotes near Chichen Itza from the Archaeological Site?

If you have a specific cenote near Chichen Itza in mind, renting a car is a great option for getting there. Alternatively, consider guided tours for a stress-free experience that often includes extra special stops to enhance your adventure.

Can You Swim in All the Cenotes near Chichen Itza?

You can swim in most cenotes near Chichen Itza, especially the ones I recommended, while others are for diving only. So always check, read the signs, and ask your guide.

Mayan families also own some cenotes for religious ceremonies, such as Cenote Xcolot and the Sacred Cenote.

The Basic Cenote Rules

There are simple rules to follow when visiting a cenote.

✅ Always shower before entering a cenote, and if there is no shower in the premises, make sure you know it in advance and avoid using any body lotions or repellent that may damage the environment.

✅ Do not hold on to tree roots or stalactites, and stalagmites.

✅ Do not take away anything from the natural environment.

✅ Do not trash. Take your trash with you.

✅ Do not shout or be loud. Respect your surroundings and fellow travelers’ space.

✅ Let’s respect the precious and fragile natural environment.

✅ Ask permission from the Aluxes. You can do it in your mind, of course. The Aluxes are tiny creatures and guardians of nature, especially cenotes. and caves. They are quite mischievous and can hurt you if you don’t behave correctly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

Tzukan Cenote
Cenote Tzukan

Before You Go…

Here are some useful posts that you may be interested in!

✨ Mexico Travel Planning Guide ✨

👉 Do I Need Travel Insurance to Travel to Mexico?

I would do it if I were you. You never know what can happen and know that no matter what, you will be covered with any expenses will give you peace of mind, and make your travel worry-free. You can check out SafetyWing which I have used and find it affordable and comprehensive and also Travel Insurance Master which is great because you can insert all your information and what kind of insurance you need and their system will pull out the best insurance for your need.

🚰 Can I Drink Tap Water in Mexico?

No, you can’t! Maybe in some areas or in some homes where they have installed water filters but to be on the safe side, I would say, never drink tap water in Mexico. Carry a water bottle with you and fill it up where you find available potable water sources. Most of the hotels have those.

🚗 Is It Safe to Drive in Mexico?

The short answer is: depending on where you are. Although in general if you stick to the main roads and don’t drive at night you should probably be safe. In lesser tourist areas you should probably check the local news to stay up to date. Driving in the Yucatan Peninsula is easy everywhere, even at night, although I would still avoid it. I recommend Discover Cars because the site offers the option to compare prices among different car rentals and you can add their own full coverage.

Read more on my guide on Renting a car in Mexico.

📱 Will My Phone Work in Mexico?

It will probably work, especially if you have a European or US phone, but your roaming rates may be to the stars (check with your SIM provider). Even if have an affordable international rate, you will be much better off by buying a Mexican SIM Card. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and it will keep you connected with your friends, family, and, more important, google Maps so you will never get lost!

🤕 Is It Safe to Travel to Mexico Right Now?

The short answer is, yes it is. However, there are parts of Mexico that are indeed troubled and you should avoid for now, and others that are super safe and easy to travel around.

Regardless of where you are you should always use some common sense rules such as, never flaunting expensive clothing, accessories, electronics, or money and keeping a low profile.

Read more on my detailed guide on safety in Mexico. If you are traveling to a specific destination I have got you covered as well:

💉 Do I Need Any Vaccine to Travel to Mexico?

No, there is no vaccine requirement (of any kind) to travel to Mexico

🇲🇽 Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Mexico?

If you are coming from the US or Europe you don’t need a VISA to enter Mexico. Once you get in you need to fill out a form that you need to keep with you until you leave. If you don’t have it you will pay a fine.

Although the tourist visa for US and European travelers used to be 6 months long which you could easily renew by leaving the country for a couple of days and going back, nowadays they have been stricter. You may be asked how you would sustain your living and other similar questions. Sometimes they even ask you to show your credit cards.

It seems odd but they can do that. If you intend to stay longer than a usual couple of weeks’ vacation time, just be honest and explain your plans. If you are not from the US, check this site to see if you need a visa

💸 Where Do I Find the Best Travel Deals for Mexico? 💸

A trip to Mexico can be expensive if you love to travel with all the comforts (like I do). There are a few tricks that will help you find the best deals. Here are my tips:

👉 DON’T travel in the high season, which is Holy week, Christmas and winter in general, and August.
👉 Book months in advance to find early booking discounts
👉 Use aggregators such as Discover Cars to find price comparisons and VRBO for vacation rentals!
👉 Look for packages flights+hotels on Expedia.
👉 Check on or for hotel deals

Happy travels!!