You can’t even begin to imagine the magic of the beautiful cenotes in Yucatán, Mexico. This is the homeland of mermaids. Discover why the ancient Mayans considered cenotes sacred.
Both Merida and Tulum are excellent starting points for your cenote journey in Mexico. Cenote Kankirixche is closer to Merida, about 1 hour, and almost 4 hour from Tulum. The great thing about Cenote Kankirixche is that you will have the sun here until around 4-5 in the afternoon. That means you can easily end your cenote journey here, after visiting other cenotes that require early visits due to the sun.
Another great thing about Cenote Kankirixche is the absence of tourists. This cenote seems like (I don’t know this to be true, but from personal experience it seems like it) a place where more locals stop by to swim in fresh waters. Maybe it has something to due with the hassle of getting here – the last 2 km is bumpy, dirt road. Either way, it is definitely worth the trip.
The huge stones hanging from the roof of the cenote appears to be getting closer to you, when you float around, looking upward. When you are alone at Cenote Kankirixche, only accompanied by contrasting fish and other sea animals, it feels like the walls are singing. It’s a mystical, otherworldly experience.
Close to Cenote Kankirixche, about 15 minutes drive you have two other cenotes – at Cenote Hacienda Mucuyche. This place is more a historical place and henequen plantation dating back to the 17th century, like the name Hacienda refers to plantation in Spanish. Cenote Hacienda Mucuyche is preserved in its original state, with only a few restorations.
At Cenote Hacienda Mucuyche you will find two different cenotes. The Azul Maya is a caved cenote, while the Carlota is a semi-open type of cenote. Even though this place is beautiful and worth a visit, it is much more tourists here than any other cenote I’ve been to. That means more restrictions around the cenote and a mandatory guided tour. In my opion, the thing that made this visit worth it was the stunning ruins of the henequen plantation. The buildings resembles a fairytale castle – gaze in the scenery, it’s pretty mesmerizing.
If you stay in Tulum, you have easy access to cenotes in the Yucatán area. The first cenote is located about 10 minutes north from the city center of Tulum. You can easily ride your bike or drive. Just note that if you bike here, you will be on the high way and it can be a bit dangerous sometimes.
Grand Cenote is an open cenote and the sun makes the water so shiny! Prepare to get soaked in crystal. This is also one of the only cenotes with baby turtles (aww).
You can dive here and with such clear blue water you can really see everything. Make sure you don’t forget to swim through the cave on the right side. You will find a little cenote here as well.
You’ve probably browsed through Instagram and seen a ton of beautiful destinations and attractions. “Can it be real? No, probably not, today it’s all about filters and effects to make everything look perfect.” Well, this one is real, my friends.
At Ik Kil Cenote the wow-factor is huge. I mean come on – what is this amazing thing!? Do you believe me now? Okey, not yet – let’s move on further.
Ik Kil is about 2 hours from Tulum in the Yucatán district. This is close by one of Mexico’s must popular tourist attractions, Chichen Itza.
The cenote area opens at 10 am. This is around the same time as the sun is starting to spread over the open hole in the middle. This is also an open cenote, but the lushness around the hole makes this vary from the first cenote we visited, Grand Cenote.
When you go down the stairs and enter this spectacular cenote, you can here music of panpipes playing. This takes the experience to a higher level.
You have now gotten to know two of the most popular, but yet very beautiful cenotes in Yucatán, Mexico. We still have two more to discover.
About 1,5 hour from Tulum to city of Valladolid, Yucatán, you will find the beautiful Cenote Suytun. It’s easy to just drive past, so look out for the sign. This was the less crowded cenote we visited, which makes no sense.
Cenote Suytun is unlike the other two cenotes above. And that is the magic of the beautiful cenotes in Yucatán, Mexico. They offers something completely different, but at the same time just as mind-blowing.
Cenote Suytun is one huge cave. It is unbelievable that the water can be so crystal blue without any sunshine. To be honest it was actually a bit frightening to swim around in the water around the little round pier. In some way, you feel like entering another world that we as humans don’t know off. A real spiritual and amazing experience.
The last one of the most beautiful cenotes in Yucatán, Mexico is called Cenote Samula. You will find this one about 10 minuets from Cenote Suytun. At this property you can visit several cenotes, but if you want the most picturesque, you focus on Cenote Samula. Not too many people, even though we arrived around 12-ish.
The little hole on the top of the cenote creates stunning sunshine that lights up the crystal clear water. We instantly became mermaids at Cenote Samula. This half-open cenote was the perfect ending to the cenote voyage.