10 reasons to swim in the Cenote when you visit Chichen Itza

Top view of the Chichen Itza Cenote
March 22, 2016


A tour of Chichen Itza is one of the must-do things to do in Cancun, and when the tour is done you should definitely pay a visit to the beautiful cenote nearby!

What actually is a Cenote?

A Cenote is a deep natural pool, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock which has exposed the groundwater underneath.

The name “cenote” means “sacred well”; cenotes were revered by the Mayan people because they were a source of water in dry periods.

Here are 10 reasons you don’t want to miss this magical experience:

1. It’s like being in a fairyland grotto

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another time as you descend 85 feet to this freshwater pool hidden under a jungle-framed sky.

The Cenote from above

View of the Cenote from above!

2. It’s the perfect way to cool off after a tour of Chichen Itza

There’s not much in the way of shade at Chichen Itza, and the Mexican sun can get HOT, so you’ll by gasping for a refreshing swim by the end of your tour!

3. It’s #2 on Wanderlust Travel Magazine’s “loveliest natural swimming pools”

Coming second only to the incredible Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls in Zambia, the Ik Kil Cenote scores high on Wanderlust’s list of the world’s loveliest natural swimming pools

4. It doesn’t matter if you can’t swim

You’ll be given floats and lifejackets to wear, so you’ll have no problem staying afloat

Swimmers in the Cenote

Swimmers in the Cenote

5. Cenotes were used to communicate with the gods

The Mayans settled their villages around these spiritual wells, and believed that they were a portal to speak to the gods.

6. They were also used for Mayan sacrifices!

Because of their sacred significance, Cenotes were also sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings

7. How often do you get to swim in a “bottomless” natural pool?

The water is VERY deep (around 35 metres). You’re allowed to dive in (there’s a diving platform carved into the rock) and no-one has ever hit their head on the bottom!

Cenote Diving Platform

The diving platform

8. …Or swim with friendly Catfish?

Black catfish live in the pool and you might feel them as you’re swimming around, but don’t worry – they’re perfectly harmless and just add to the mystical experience.

9. It’ll hardly cost you anything!

You may be offered the chance to visit the cenote after doing your tour of Chichen Itza. The entrance fee is around 100 Mexican pesos (about £5) per person.

10. Your stuff is safe

Lockers are available to keep your clothes, shoes and valuables in for a small deposit.

View of the Cenote from pool

View of the Cenote from the pool

Looking forward to experiencing the magic of the Cenote? Make sure you bring your swimwear, flip flops and a towel when you visit Chichen Itza!

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About the author

Farrah Hedwat

Farrah is AttractionTix’s resident Copywriter. A city girl at heart, her best-loved travel moments are exploring new cities across the world like Barcelona or Los Angeles. Farrah’s favourite things are eating, sleeping, shopping and animals (but mostly animals). Her pet hates are bad grammar and other writing-based “offences”.

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