The Yucatan Peninsula is known for its numerous Cenotes, natural caves filled with crystalline waters, and which are stunning natural pools.
The Yucatan Peninsula is made mostly with limestone, so water seeps down and creates spectacular underground rivers and caves that cross the peninsula in every direction.
Limestone is porous and fragile, and over time, the roof of some of these caves collapses and allows access to these magnificent places.
In some cases the whole roof collapses, and this is known as an “Open cenote”, sometimes there is only a little entrance and not a lot of light, and this is known as “Closed cenotes.”
Valladolid has plenty of cenotes, and on these hot summer days, a visit to a cenote might be just the thing you need to cool down and relax.
Some cenotes near Valladolid are:
- X’kekén and Samula
These cenotes are quite popular and you can find plenty of information online, like this great post by No Man Before.
But there are also a few cenotes off the beaten path. Here we are sharing two of them in hopes you find your favorite!
Cenote Sac Aua
This Cenote is located in the small village of Dzilbay, only 30-40 minutes away from Valladolid. It has a big parking lot, restaurant, bathroom, and other services.
It is an open cenote, and it has some of the roof material still in the center, forming a little island where it is possible to bring a chair, hammock, icebox, etc. It’s a very nice place, and not very crowded, so it’s a great option if you want to relax.
The name of the cenote, Sac-Aua means “sacred tree” in Mayan. It was named like this due to the huge tree located on the opening of the cenote.
Cenote Pueblo Fantasma
Cenote Pueblo Fantasma is part of the neighboring county of Chemax, and only about 20 minutes away from Valladolid.
This place is far away from the crowds and offers a restaurant, palapas to hang your hammock and have a lovely picnic, and also a little shop for beers, sodas and chips.
Visiting this place is kind of an adventure, since they don’t have a website or facebook page (not anymore) and there’s only a bit of information available online right now. So, you can always head to Chemax and look for the signs when you get to town!
We love Cenotes that are a little bit further, as there is something sacred about them. Remember to avoid wearing chemical repellent, body lotion and hair products or have a rinse before jumping in the cenote.