Most people come to the Riviera Maya for the white-sand beaches. They think of their holidays and picture themselves swimming in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. However, the Riviera Maya has one of the most complex and exciting underground river systems in the world. Continue reading
This could potentially be the most beautiful cenote, not only in Mexico but the whole world. Cenote Ik Kil is located in a close proximity to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza – just off the highway to Valladolid. Cenote Ik Kil is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, which is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes away from Playa del Carmen and under 2 hours from Tulum. This cenote is unique because of all its vines and plants that hang down into the water.
Cenote Ik Kil Opening Hours:
8:00am to 5:00pm
Adults: 70 MXN or $5.00 USD
Children 35 MXN or $2.50 USD
Highway 188, Km 122
If you want to swim in the cenote, you will have to climb down 26 meters to reach the water, which is 40 meters deep. If you would like to spend a few days here, there are some accommodations close by. There is also a delicious restaurant onsite where you can taste the local cuisine. The restaurant is included in many tour options, but if you come here without a tour you can pay $160 pesos to access the restaurant. There are around 11 different options for you to choose from, including fried fish and fruit.
This cenote is great for the adventurists mainly because you can choose to walk up a few extra steps and jump into the cenote a few feet above. Don’t worry, the water is at a great temperature to feel refreshed. There is also a lifeguard on duty for safety reasons. Go early in the morning if you want to beat the rush. There are many great places to take pictures, so make sure you bring your camera.
Each swimmer is required to take a shower before they enter the cenote. This is to keep the cenote clean. There are lockers to store all your belongings while you are swimming too.
You might have heard the word ‘cenote’ when traveling to Mexico, or even read about it on one of our other blog posts – and wondered what is a cenote. Well, a it is actually a natural-hole underground which was caused by limestone bedrock collapsing. Another term for cenote is a sinkhole.
Cenotes are a very popular attraction in Mexico, especially in the Riviera Maya. People go swimming in the cenotes, and use them for snorkeling and diving. If you get tired of spending every day at the beach, and need to escape the hot sun for a couple day, we would highly recommend visiting a few different cenotes. Each sinkhole has a different entrance price. However, this is well worth it! When you research as to which one you want to visit during your time in the Riviera Maya, we would recommend packing your snorkeling gear or renting some before you come. Some cenotes offer gear for rent but most of them requires you to bring your own.
Cenotes are amazing because the atmosphere is very natural
You are in the middle of nature, swimming in a natural sinkhole with hundreds of different fish swimming around you. It is definitely something you will want to experience during your time in Mexico. Depending on the cenote you decide to visit, there are cliffs that you can jump off of. This is for the daring travelers.
Packing list for a day at a Cenote:
- Snorkeling gear or diving gear
- Biodegradable sunscreen
- Water shoes
- Underwater camera or any camera
- Money for entrance fee
Top cenotes in the Riviera Maya:
- Cenote Azul
- Cenote Ponderosa
- Dos Ojos
- Gran Cenote
- Ik Il Cenote
- Rio Secreto
Each one of these cenotes is driving distance from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Rio Secreto is a neat sinkhole because it is actually connected by a river underground. Whether you want to experience this place on your own or book a tour and hear about the history, that’s totally up to you; nonetheless, we would recommend making time for this one. If you live in Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto is only five minutes outside of town. If you are on a tight budget and don’t have money to pay for entrance fee’s, there is a small cenote on the beach towards the north end of 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.
The Riviera Maya is home to beautiful attractions and wonderful activities that will provide you an excellent time. Needless to say, one of the main charms of the Riviera Maya are the sinkholes or cenotes. These breathtaking freshwater natural pools are just a small proportion of what nature has to offer.
Actually, if you’re looking to enjoy an amazing journey where cenotes are the main attraction, the Cenote route is for you. This attraction is located on the road that connects Puerto Morelos to Leona Vicario, and is a wonderful road that has plenty of cenotes to choose from. Each one will offer you a different adventure, and you will be surrounded by natural wonders.
The entrance to the cenote route is located in Puerto Morelos, which is located halfway from Playa del Carmen to Cancun. We highly recommend to live this experience and have fun while you admire the amazing landscape. You can visit them all or pick the ones that seem more appealing to you. To help you plan your trip, here’s a brief description of each cenote and what makes it special.
To begin your adventure, the cenote Mojarras will amaze you. This is an uncovered sinkhole where you can freely swim and snorkel. Some of the extra activities are a zip line, ATV road, horseback riding and there’s a restaurant where you can eat and have a little break from your adventure.
Boca del Puma
This sinkhole is located in a natural reserve in the middle of the Riviera Maya. Boca del Puma offers an amazing experience and a journey filled with entertainment. Also, take full advantage of other activities such as the magnificent zip lines and the incredible ATV tour. Most people consider this park as one of their favorites!
Cenote 7 Bocas is a beautiful cavern sinkhole which received its name due to the 7 holes that allow the light to enter. This is a covered cenote that offers a taste of what diving in caverns is. You will be amazed by the rock formations and the color of the water; to enjoy the place even more, consider bringing a waterproof flashlight so you can explore de depth of the water. This is a great experience for good swimmers, and there are life vests available for rent if you want. Being a more rustic and less- touristy cenote, this place offers a jungle vibe that is surely a worthwhile experience.
You will surely have a happy surprise as soon as you arrive to this sinkhole. Chilam Balam, is home to a beautiful cenote where you can definitely snorkel and get closer to nature. This place also offers more activities such as ATV rides, horseback riding and canopy lines. You can have a dreamy family day here by enjoying the open-air sinkhole and much more.
A little piece of paradise where you can freshen up and enjoy the crystal clear and cold water! This sinkhole is an amazing inexpensive experience. One of the main features is the zip line that drops you into the water. Besides being a peaceful and quiet cenote, Verde Lucero is a hidden jewel in the middle of the jungle.
This cenote is actually an awesome place to experience a sinkhole visit among other different activities. This place offers zip lines, cliff diving and mountain biking! Prepare yourself to have an extreme adventure at the surrounding jungle with a wonderful atmosphere.
Looking for a fun adventure? Then you will surely find it at cenote Kin-Ha. If you’re feeling adventurous, be ready to jump 25-ft. into a 72° F degree water! Also, explore the jungle while you ride a four-wheeler track to get to the 2 beautiful sinkholes. And to add more fun to your incredible journey, enjoy the dual zip lines and zip together with a friend!
Be ready to have an excellent day at this eco-park that not only has astounding surroundings but also incredible adventures. The first cenote has 10-ft. and 25-ft. jumping platforms. The second sinkhole offers a different adventure, being an underground cenote where you can see stalagmites and stalactites. The third and last cenote is a small deep sinkhole with two high jumping platforms. This place is waiting for any adventurous soul who’s ready for some action!
Remember that each cenote will offer you an amazing experience and they are all different from each other. Prices vary as well; if you’re planning to visit more than one cenote make sure to bring cash, since there are no ATM machines nearby. And while there are some small restaurants on the road, it’s a good idea to bring enough water and snacks to keep you energized during the day.
Consider visiting the cenote route… You won’t regret spending a day in these wonderful natural sinkholes doing eco-friendly activities!