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Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

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Baltimore, MD
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Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

We'll be spending a night at at Hacienda Chichen, arriving mid/late afternoon from Cancun Airport, and departing back to the Cancun area around noon the next day. We plan to stop off at the Ek Balam ruins on the way back.

What would be your recommendation for the best cenote to see and swim in, either close to Chichen Itza or on the way back on the second day. We are selfish enough to prefer not sharing our experience with a great mob of other tourists. Although we are reasonably mobile, we'd prefer that the access not be too much of an athletic adventure.

Merida, Mexico
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for Merida, Chichen Itza
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1. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

Hi there! Selfish is good, especially when avoiding the mobs and herds!

There is a cenote near Chichen Itza called Ik Kil which is quite spectacular, has stairs and everything and will probably have a mini-horde at least, although tourism is down at the moment. This is very accesible.

My esteemed colleague Mr. Albright mentions a new cenote attraction just outside of Valladolid called SuyTun; it's on the highway (libre) heading from Valladolid back towards Cancun.

There is a National Geographic cover photo cenote at Dzitnup (real name Xkeken, keken meaning 'pig' in Mayan), on the highway from Valladolid in the other direction, towards Merida, about 15-20 minutes out at the most. Access is good, somewhat slippery but you are on your feet the whole time. Also, horde-friendly.

If you are going to Ek Balam, there is a cenote nearby that I am dying to visit but haven't had the chance because the people I have taken there have had time constraints and I haven't gotten there on my own. I have no idea how the access is or anything, but I would hazard to guess that this cenote will be horde-free.

Hope this help!

Merida, Mexico
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for Merida, Chichen Itza
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2. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

Also, read the other post on the subject - their trip is almost identical.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150808-i1365-k289…

Baltimore, MD
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3. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

Thanks! That's very helpful.

I'm guessing that Ik Kil is relatively sane until late morning... then totally nuts until about 4:30... and then reverts to relatively sane (sort of like my understanding of the situation at CI itself). Does that sound accurate?

In a quick Google search, it appears that the cenote at Ek Balam - called Xcanche - is being promoted as an "adventure travel" situation... mountain biking and rappelling. But the pictures make it look like the kind of friendly and fun swimming-hole that's sometimes found at flooded rock quarries here in the States... complete with rope swing! It might be good to have it be our last activity before heading back (retuning the car at CUN and then making our way to our ultimate destination on Isla Mujeres).

Baltimore, MD
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356 posts
18 reviews
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4. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

Here’s the current short-list of the options, as far as I can tell –

- Ik Kil, in CI

- Dzitnup/Xkeken, near Valladolid

- Cenote Zaci, in Valladolid

- SuyTun, (not sure where)

- Xcanche, near Ek Balam

Which do you think would be the best combination of visual appeal, swimming, and crowd-avoidance? (For the third criterion, feel free to specify times-of-day if it’s applicable.)

Florida
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5. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

Near Chichen Itza you will find a wonderful cenote: Yodzonot, it is run by Mayan local females and the place is magical, read about this facinating cenote and eco-park dedicated to green awareness in http://www.yucatanadventure.com.mx/cenote.htm

Yodzonot cenote and eco-park offers eco-friendly clean facilities and small palapas for resting; plus good yucatecan food cooked with care by the same Mayan females that run this special place. We love the place and its wonderful people. It is not as crowded as Ik Kil which is dedicated to day-trip bus groups and another good choice but we like the solitute and beauty of Yodzonot more than any other cenote we have visited in the Yucatan.

FLORIDA1
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6. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

The comparisons of cenotes are fascinating. Will you let us know which one you chose, and how it was? Thanks!

7. Re: Best cenote near Chichen Itza (or en route)?

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