Skip to Content

Put this Valladolid cenote hopping itinerary on your Mexico bucket list

Going on a cenote hopping adventure in Valladolid wasn’t really part of my plans.

I originally decided to visit Valladolid for its colorful streets and because I’d heard it’s one of the best places to try authentic Yucatecan food (which is, by the way, considered one of the best cuisines in Mexico).

When I asked Elvia, the owner of the hotel I stayed at if she had any recommendations for things to do during my stay, the first thing she said was that I should check out a few of the cenotes near Valladolid.

Before I knew it, I was renting a bike in town and planning a full day of Valladolid cenote hopping, and let me tell you something, it became a highlight of my trip through the Yucatan peninsula!

☕ Do you like our content? Help us continue to do better! Support our honest and transparent journalism by donating to our coffee fund.

???? What is a cenote?

Cenotes are sinkholes on the earth that were created millions of years ago as a result of limestone collapsing and slowly exposing the water underneath it.

Cenotes are only found on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, which makes them a highlight of traveling to this area of the country. As a fun and interesting fact, most of the cenotes in Mexico are found around the Chicxulub crater, which is the spot the meteorite that wiped dinosaurs out is found!

Aside from being a complete natural wonder, cenotes also play an important role in ancient Mayan culture. Many cenotes were used for sacrificial rituals, so much that many artifacts and human remains have been found in several cenotes near Valladolid as well as all over the Yucatan peninsula.

???? Visiting the cenotes near Valladolid

The colorful city of Valladolid is a mecca for cenotes. In fact, many of the most amazing ones are found around it!

Because Valladolid is much less popular than Tulum or Cancun, this also means that you’re much more likely to find fewer crowds at any Valladolid cenote you visit than you would in the Yucatan Peninsula’s more popular destinations.

???? Where to rent a bike for your Valladolid cenote adventure

Most of the best cenotes near Valladolid are located pretty close to town and are easy to reach.

If you don’t have a car, the best way to do this Valladolid cenote hopping itinerary is by renting a bicycle and just riding your way to each cenote. There’s a bike lane on the side of the road and the way is pretty flat. Plus, the roads aren’t busy at all, so it’s a very pleasant route.

I really enjoyed having my own transport because it meant I could linger at each cenote however long I wanted without having the pressure of a tour schedule rushing me.

I rented my bike for 20 MXN an hour at this address right in the city center. My full Valladolid cenote adventure lasted 6 hours in total, which means I had a great day seeing a ton of things for just about US$6 + the entry fees to each cenote.

????️ Your Valladolid cenote hopping itinerary

This Valladolid cenote itinerary includes a total of four marvelous cenotes plus two extra ones you can visit if you have time to spare (or you can visit them the next day if you find yourself lingering a little too long at Oxman Cenote like I did ????).

Stop one: Oxman Cenote

valladolid cenote

Cenote Oxman

Oxman was my favorite Valladolid cenote not only because it’s absolutely beautiful, but also because it’s located inside a gorgeous hacienda that also features a restaurant and a pool visitors can use.

This Valladolid cenote is located 2.5 miles outside of downtown. I actually ended up at Oxman cenote completely by mistake because I took the wrong turn on my way to another cenote and I’m so glad that happened!

I recommend getting to Oxman as early as 8 am in order to get it all to yourself. They serve a breakfast package at the hacienda, which is a lovely way to start your day.

Moreover, they also have a pool in case you want to relax before moving on to the next stop on your Valladolid cenote itinerary. There’s also a rope swing you can use to plunge into the cenote’s water and feel like Tarzan for a second!

Things to know about this Valladolid cenote:

Opening times: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. I recommend visiting during the morning as it does get crowded later in the day by locals.

Cost: The entry fee is just 70 pesos if you only want to visit the cenote. However, I recommend going for their food package of 150 pesos which includes your entry and a coupon you can use at the restaurant (this was enough to buy chilaquiles and a cocktail).

Pin the image below on Pinterest and save it for later!

Stop two: Cenote Saamal

Located inside another hacienda called Selva Maya, this cenote is easy to spot because it’s located right on the main highway.

Much like Oxman, this cenote also features a restaurant where they serve buffet-style breakfast and lunch throughout the day.

Things to know about this Valladolid cenote:

Opening times: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: $80 pesos

Stop three: Cenote X’kekén & Cenote Samulá (inside Dzitnup)

valladolid cenote

Cenote X’kekén

These are two of the most popular Valladolid cenotes. They’re located on the same grounds, which means you can park your bike and visit them both in one go.

Even though they feel a bit more touristic than the other cenotes near Valladolid, they’re still worth visiting because they’re located completely underground rather than having “openings” at the top, which makes the experience completely different from most cenotes you may have visited before.

At the entrance, you’ll be touted by tour guides and shop owners trying to sell you stuff. Once you get past that, though, the place feels pretty tranquil.

Things to know about this Valladolid cenote:

Opening times: 8:00 am to 7:30 pm

Cost: $125 to enter both cenotes

???? Get genuine and honest content like this by subscribing to our newsletter. We send high-quality information once a month. NO SPAM. NEVER.

Bonus Valladolid cenote: Cenote Saytun

valladolid cenote

Cenote Saytun

Cenote Saytun is a bonus Valladolid cenote because it doesn’t really make sense to visit on the above itinerary as it’s located on a completely different side of Valladolid.

Still, if you have time after completing the route or you have an extra day in town, it’s absolutely worth a visit because it’s one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid.

Cenote Saytun (or Xibalba in the Mayan language) was a bit of a hidden gem for a while, but due to its unraveled beauty, it has become a very popular Instagram spot lately because it features a platform right in its center where light beams stream through a hole on the roof.

Opening times: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last access 4:00 pm)

Cost: $130 to enter both cenotes

✨ Insider Tip: There are cabins available for rent at Cenote Saytun! If you want to photograph this Valladolid cenote, we highly recommend spending a night here so you get access to the cenote before visitors start coming in.

Bonus Valladolid cenote: Cenote Zaci

Cenote Zaci is another amazing cenote worth visiting and one that you can easily include in your itinerary because it’s located right in the center of Valladolid.

If you’re staying in the city’s historical center (which you most likely will), you can probably just walk over to it or else take a taxi that should cost you no more than 30 pesos from anywhere in town.

This cenote is half-open, so there’s plenty of light throughout it that makes it easy to observe its geological features, including enormous stalagmites and stalactites!

Things to know about this Valladolid cenote:

Opening times: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm

Cost: The entry fee to this Valladolid cenote is 30 pesos, but if you eat at the restaurant, your entry fee is included.

????️ Valladolid cenote map route

Here’s the full Valladolid cenote route on Google Maps.

Make sure you save it and follow that exact same route, especially when going to Cenote Oxman. There’s a dirt road you can take to get to it which Google doesn’t see, so it will try leading you through a much longer route if you just search the cenote using its name.

???? Where to stay in Valladolid?

One of my favorite things about visiting Valladolid was how great accommodation options are here, especially when you take into account value for money.

I stayed at Casa Sisal, a family-owned boutique hotel right in the city center. They offer double rooms for as low as US$32 and fully-equipped apartments starting at US$42.

Another great option is Hotel Zentik Project & Saline Cave. This is one of the most popular hotels in Valladolid because it features an underground pool and a cave!

✈️ Ready for your trip to Valladolid? If you have any questions about visiting the cenotes in Valladolid, I’d be happy to update this post – just leave a comment below!

twelve + seven =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.