Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
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10 most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

Explore the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico! Located right on the perimeter of the Ring of Cenotes, Valladolid is the best place to embark on adventurous trips to some of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico!

Cenotes, water-filled natural sinkholes in the ground, are must-visit places when traveling to the Yucatán Peninsula. And we actually stayed in Valladolid for three weeks so that we could explore all the most beautiful cenotes all around the city.

In this post, you will find the best cenotes near Valladolid with descriptions, photos, and locations on Google Maps. We traveled everywhere by our rental car but some of the cenotes can be reached by public transportation or even by bike or on foot!

Tip! Not all cenotes accepted card payments so bring cash with you!

Read more » 20 bucket list things to do in Valladolid, Mexico

1. Cenote Saamal

Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Saamal

Located just 5 kilometers from the center of Valladolid, Cenote Samaal is not only one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid but also one of the closest. You can literally walk there on foot or easily get there by taxi or bicycle.

Cenote Samaal is one of those gorgeous semi-open cylindrical cenotes with crystal clear cool water and even a waterfall coming down from the top of the walls. Perfect place for a refreshing dip into the water!

Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Saamal
Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Saamal

Cenote Samaal is located within the grounds of Hacienda Selva Maya – a building complex of a rural estate that includes souvenir stores, a buffet-type restaurant, tequila tasting, and even a zip line. We paid 200 pesos per person for the entrance.

Overall this place felt like a magical garden – a jungle oasis. Just bear in mind that this cenote is a popular stop for tour buses just like other nearby cenotes – Cenote Oxman, Cenote Agua Dulce, Cenote Hubiku, and others. Arrive early to skip crowds!

Location: Cenote Saamal

2. Cenote Xcanahaltun

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
Cenote Xcanahaltun is one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid

Cenote Xcanahaltun was actually the last cenote we visited near Valladolid. We had already seen stunning caves and beautiful open cenotes with lush plants, stalagmites, and stalactites. I didn’t expect much about this cenote.

Before entering the cave I simply wanted to check this cenote off of my travel itinerary but as soon as I entered the cave I fell in love and this place immediately became one of my favorite places in Yucatán!

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
You can rent kayaks at Cenote Xcanahaltun
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
Stalactites at Cenote Xcanahaltun

The cenote is actually like a large underground lake with a small hole in the ceiling that lets natural light inside the cavern. The ceiling is adorned with icicle-type stalactites and looks absolutely spectacular.

You can enter the crystal clear water from a wooden platform located on one side of the ‘lake’. If you swim over the lake, you will reach an island-like piece of land that is not really accessible on dry foot.

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
Entrance to the Cenote Xcanahaltun
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
Parking lot at Cenote Xcanahaltun

They actually rent out kayaks for a small extra fee because the cenote is exactly that large, haha! We paid 230 pesos for entry but a kayak was 100 pesos extra if I remember correctly. Sadly we were in a rush so we couldn’t enjoy this place to the fullest.

We only met a small group of travelers when we visited but the lake is so large that you don’t even notice other people. The cenote is pretty remote and not easy to get to as you need a rental car or a motorbike but it is definitely worth the hassle!

Location: Cenote Xcanahaltun

3. Cenote Ik Kil

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

Cenote Ik Kil is an oasis in the jungle! This cylindrical cenote is one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico, and also one of the most visited places in the area. Especially thanks to its proximity to the famous Chichen Itza ruins.

The cenote stands out with its circular shape and 26-meter walls covered by hanging plants and tree roots. The cenote itself is 40 meters deep and served as a place for sacrifices for ancient Mayans a long time ago.

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Walls are covered with plants and tree roots
Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote was a place for sacrifices for Mayans

The cenote is located within the territory of a hotel and a restaurant so you can not only go for a swim here but buy a combined ticket that offers a buffet-type catering. That’s why it is a popular place amongst tour buses. Arrive early to avoid them!

Did you know? Ik Kil from Mayan means ‘place of the winds’.

We visited Ik Kil Cenote on the same day we went to Chichén Itzá. The entrance fee to the cenote was 200 pesos per person. At first, you can observe the cenote from above and then descend 90 steps through a tunnel to the water. It was gorgeous!

Location: Cenote Ik Kil

4. Cenote Suytun

Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Cenote Suytun is one of the most unique cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

Cenote Suytun is one of the most iconic cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico, and the whole Yucatan Peninsula. Nowhere else you will find a stone pathway leading into the middle of a large underground cenote with a hole in the ceiling right above it.

If you time your visit right, there will be a light beam shining through the hole and illuminating the whole place. Or maybe it will shine right onto the stone platform. We arrived in the morning so we did not see the light beam.

Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Entrance to Cenote Suytun
Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Stone platform under a hole in the ceiling

Cenote Suytun is one of the most iconic Instagram spots in Valladolid and the Yucatan Peninsula. The famous view of the stone platform and a large stalactite hanging from above is a sight you have probably seen all over the internet, haha!

Entrance to the cenote was 250 pesos per person when we visited. It is part of a building complex that includes a hotel, a restaurant, different facilities, and also another cenote (we did not visit the other cenote).

Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Inside the Cenote Suytun
Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Cenote Suytun is an iconic Instagram spot

Once you enter the cenote there is a guard that meets you and asks you to leave your shoes before you walk on the stone pathway. We were alone there but I have heard that time for taking photos is limited if there are other people waiting in line.

It is also a nice place to go for a swim but might be a bit off-putting if there are crowds of people constantly taking photos of the cenote. But overall I loved the uniqueness of this cenote plus it is located just a short 10-minute drive from Valladolid!

Tip! We visited this cenote on March 9th and the stone platform was dry. However, the water level can be higher or completely cover the platform after rainy periods. The best way to make sure how it looks is by checking recent reviews on Google Maps.

Location: Cenote Suytun

5. Cenote Choj Ha

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Cenote Choj Ha is one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

Oh, wow! Cenote Choj Ha truly took my breath away! It is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Imagine randomly walking around the jungle and finding a small hole in the ground…

Once you enter that small hole you are met with a magical discovery – an underground cave the size of a cathedral filled with long sharp icicles – stalactites – and bulky short poles – stalagmites – all floating in and above crystal clear water. Magical!

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Rock formations in Cenote Choj Ha
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Rock formations in Cenote Choj Ha

It was truly hard to believe our eyes when we entered the cave. Once you realize that all this beauty has been silently sitting down here for, probably, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, it really blows your mind.

Cenote Choj Ha is relatively unknown and is a true hidden gem in the Yucatán Peninsula. We paid 150 pesos each for the entrance and there were only a few people around but the cave is so big you don’t even notice other people. But bats are there, yes.

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Stalactites in Cenote Choj Ha
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Water is crystal clear in Cenote Choj Ha

Thanks to its remote location you can enjoy an unforgettable experience in the jungle almost alone. Cenote Choj Ha is located a 50-minute drive from Valladolid, a 1h 30min drive from Tulum and Cancun, and a 1h 20min drive from Playa del Carmen.

Because we travel so much I am quite often hard to impress but then there are times I lack words to describe how incredible something is. This cenote is the latter of those two situations. Truly an incredible place!

Location: Cenote Choj Ha

6. Cenote Zaci

Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Zaci
Cenote Zaci is one of the must-see places in Valladolid, Mexico

Cenote Zaci is a gorgeous cenote located in the center of Valladolid. Yes, right in the heart of the city just a short walk from the main plaza! Valladolid is quite far away from the sea so this cenote is the easiest way to get a refreshing swim for locals.

This beautiful cenote is also one of the cheapest places in the area – while we paid around 200 pesos each to enter the majority of other cenotes near Valladolid, Cenote Zaci only costs 60 pesos and a life jacket is included in the price.

Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Zaci
Cenote Zaci is 45 meters in diameter
Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Zaci
Waterfalls in Cenote Zaci

Mind you that this cenote gets busy so they have put time restrictions for swimmers – when we visited, you were allowed to swim one hour for that entry fee. There were only a few people in the morning but it gets crowded later in the day.

I read online that if you arrive during the busy hours you are put on a waitlist to enter – you have to wait before others finish swimming (at least you know it won’t be longer than 1 hour). Using life jackets is mandatory in this cenote.

Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Zaci
Pathway goes around the cenote
Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Zaci
Cenote Zaci features many jumping spots

The cenote features beautiful stalactites hanging from above and small waterfalls with water falling right in the middle of the cenote. There is a pathway all around the cenote with jumping platforms in many places so you can explore it from all sides.

The cenote is partly covered with the ceiling hanging 29 meters above the water. Water itself is mostly 25 to 30 meters deep but reaches 100 meters in depth in some places. Cenote Zaci is one of the must-see places in Valladolid, Mexico!

Location: Cenote Zaci

7. Cenote Palomitas

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Palomitas
Cenote Palomitas is a closed cenote
Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Palomitas
Cenote Palomitas is the size of a swimming pool

Cenote Palomitas is like an underground swimming pool the size of a Medieval cathedral. I was completely blown away by the size of this majestic cenote hidden deep in the jungle!

The cenote can be accessed through a small hole leading underground. The first thing I noticed was how big it is. The second thing was the ceiling – it is pierced with stalactites like the back of a hedgehog! Those stalactites are so long and sharp!

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Palomitas
Stalactites at Cenote Palomitas
Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Palomitas
Overview of the Cenote Palomitas

Finally, the third thing I noticed was crystal clear waters. The cenote is deep but you can see through the mirror-like calm waters super deep. I really loved this place – it is one of the best Valladolid cenotes for sure!

Entrance to the cenote costs 200 pesos per person. Getting there is a bit of an adventure as it is super remote but we had no problems at all. Just be patient with those roads. If you want to escape tour buses and city buzz, come straight here!

Location: Cenote Palomitas

8. Cenotes Dzitnup: Cenote Xkeken

Valladolid, Mexico - Cenote Xkeken
Cenote Xkeken features magnificent stalactites hanging from the ceiling

Cenotes Dzitnup are a pair of two cenotes – Cenote X’keken and Samula – located on the outskirts of the city of Valladolid about 7 kilometers from the city center. You can reach them by taxi or by bike (there is a bike lane all the way to the cenotes).

In order to visit one or both of them you have to get to the ticket office (there is a large parking lot as well) and pay the entrance fee (we paid around 200 pesos each for both cenotes). Both cenotes are located within walking distance (about 200 meters).

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Xkeken at Cenotes Dzitnup
Cenote is illuminated with lights
Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Xkeken at Cenotes Dzitnup
Mayan symbols on the street

For the same ticket you get to see and enjoy both cenotes. You can’t pay half of the price to visit only one of them. Cenote Xkeken is considered the most beautiful of the two cenotes and features magnificent stalactites hanging from the ceiling.

The water is warm and clear, plus there are some bats flying around. The whole place is illuminated with lights. We arrived here soon after it opened and there were zero people here. It is stunning and unique but the water and the air are veeery warm.

Location: Ticket office and parkingCenote Xkeken

9. Cenotes Dzitnup: Cenote Samula

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Samula at Cenotes Dzitnup
Cenote Samula is a beautiful closed cenote near Valladolid, Mexico

The second one of Cenotes Dzitnup is called Cenote Samula. It is also a closed cenote that you can access by stairs that go straight underground. The cenote features a cool hole in the ceiling with tree roots hanging from above.

Although this cenote does not have crazy stalactites and stalagmites it has its own beautiful features like the turquoise water and the little ‘island’ in the middle. Imagine floating there and looking at the sky through the hole! Simple and magical!

Location: Ticket office and parkingCenote Samula

10. Cenote Pueblo Fantasma

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Pueblo Fantasma, Xcatzin
Stalactites and light beams make cenotes more magical

Are you looking for one of those hidden gems somewhere deep in the jungle? Look no further as Cenote Pueblo Fantasma or Cenote Ghost might be something you are looking for.

The cenote is part of a bigger complex made for celebrations and events in the jungle. There are outdoor spaces for events, a local restaurant, souvenir shops, and animals roaming around. They even had beehives and, yes, we bought their honey!

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Pueblo Fantasma, Xcatzin
Inside Cenote Pueblo Fantasma
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Pueblo Fantasma, Xcatzin
Blue water in Cenote Pueblo Fantasma

The cenote itself is a unique one. It is located inside an underground cave and has a small opening in the ceiling. We visited the cenote some time around midday and a beautiful light beam illuminated the cave with natural light.

The underground cave was adorned with unique rock formations including stalactites and stalagmites. In the middle of the cave, there was a huge piece of rock that seemed to have fallen off one of the walls.

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Pueblo Fantasma, Xcatzin
Stalactites in Cenote Pueblo Fantasma
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Pueblo Fantasma, Xcatzin
Entrance to the Cenote Pueblo Fantasma

The water in the magical cave was crystal clear and super inviting. Unfortunately, we were on a quest to see as many cenotes as possible, and this time we skipped swimming. But this would have been a cool place to go for a swim.

Entrance to the cenote was 200 pesos per person. You can also buy a combined ticket with a catering option. Although it is a decent money the biggest plus is that you might as well be one of only a few visitors to this remote place in the jungle!

Location: Cenote Pueblo Fantasma

Happy exploring!

We stayed in Valladolid for three weeks so that we could explore the beautiful city as well as all the bucket list destinations around Valladolid, including the iconic Mayan ruins Chichén Itzá and Ek Balam as well as the numerous stunning cenotes.

Besides our stay in Valladolid, we also spent a couple of months traveling around the Yucatán Peninsula, including the states of Yucatán and Quintana Roo, and exploring everything this beautiful peninsula had to offer.

From white-sand beaches to dark underground cenotes, and ancient pyramids – there’s just so much to see! I hope you enjoy your time there as much as we did and I hope you get some travel inspiration from this blog post for your travels! Happy exploring!

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Most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico
Most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

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