There are a TON of amazing cenotes in Yucatán region (which includes Tulum, Cancun, Merida, Valladolid, etc), and they are fun and refreshing to visit. These three were our favorites during our family’s recent trip to the region.
If you swim in a cenote, keep in mind that this is a fresh drinking water reservoir. Do not wear sunblock when swimming in the cenotes and shower before you enter.
1️⃣ Top pick: Lol-Ha Yaxunah
This one is off the beaten path and located near Chichen Itza. It’s more frequented by locals than tourists— which makes it an A+ in our book. We arrived around 10 am and had the whole place to ourselves for about 30 minutes before a few other families arrived. It never felt too crowded and it definitely didn’t feel touristy. Lots of good jumping here. Clear, beautiful water and breathtaking views. You’ll need your own transportation to get this gem. If you’re planning a visit to this region, and planning to rent a car, we have some warnings and tips based on our recent experience which you can read about here.
2️⃣ Cenote Oxman
This is very close to the village of Valladolid and is located on a hotel grounds. There were more people here than Lol-Ha Yaxunah, but not too many (even during the height of spring break). If you’re staying in or around Valladolid this is an easy one to get to.
The key feature at Oxman is the rope swing, which our crew did many, many times. There is also a jumping platform.
The cost to visit Oxman is reasonable at about $7 US per person. It was nice an cool and the water was so refreshing on a very hot day.
3️⃣ Cenote Ik-Kil
There is just something so dreamy about the crystal clear water, the giant sink hole, and the flowing vines as you swing in this cool refreshing cenote. There are fun jumping platforms too.
This cenote is quite close to Chichen Itza and because of the proximity to the top tourist attraction, it is also a very touristed cenote, so expect more crowds at this one, but it wasn’t too bad, and the water was a much needed beat from the heat after touring the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza.