Simply put, Sac Aua Cenote near Valladolid, IS one of the best in the area! Read our guide to this less frequented cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
Despite being one of the best, this cenote is still one of the quieter cenotes for your visit to Valladolid. And its beauty is almost hard to believe. We were fortunate to learn about Sac Aua, from a local who recommended that we go check it out… and I’m so glad we did. Read our review, to find out everything you need to know.
Below you’ll find all the up to date information for visiting the magical Cenote of Sac Aua, north of Valladolid. Including the best way to get there and what you’ll need to pay to enter both Sac Aua and the onsite caves. I also explain the facilities and what activities are available.
Our complete guide, identifies what makes Sac Aua so special and how it differs to other cenotes. Not just another cenote, Sac Aua has a magic. This unique, jungle-like sink hole has irresistible blue water, tortoises, dramatic scenery and all without the crowds.
Read on, to discover why you need to add Sac Aua cenote to your must see list, for your trip to Valladolid and the Yucatan.
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At a Glance – Sac Aua Cenote, Valladolid
🌀 Type of Cenote – open ceiling
💰 Price – 150 MXN pesos adults / 75 MXN pesos kids
🚿 Amenities – changing facilities, showers, life jacket optional
🚲 Best way to get there – scooter or taxi
⏰ Timings – 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week
🎒 What to Bring – towel & swimmers, Go-Pro, reusable water bottle, snorkel & mask
About Sac Aua Cenote, Valladolid
This cenote is pretty… one of the best and my personal favourites in Valladolid. The unique donut shape makes it an immediately intriguing cenote. As you descend down the multi-storied stair case, you have an incredible view of the blue coloured water.
The large ring of water and the tree roots that hang from the cenotes upper edge down into the centre island are something of a sight. It could be a scene straight out of jungle book!
The Sac Aua Cenote is one of the best cenotes very near of Valladolid, in which you could easily combine a visit to several in one day drip. There are others nearby such as Cenote Secreto Maya or Agua Dulce. Alternatively, you might prefer to visit the ruins at Ek Balam and follow it up with a cenote swim at Sac Aua. There are so many options and if you read on we can help you decide what to do and how to get there.
Getting to Sac Aua Cenote & Map
Sac Aua is located on one of the main cenote routes 30km north of Valladolid. And on this route are a collection of the regions best. This is great news if you are looking for beautiful secluded cenotes, off the beaten trail and you want to see a few.
In a day for example, you could see the Ek Balam Ruins along with two cenotes, which is what we did. Or you could go for a full day of cenote hunting and visit four or if you were on a mission, even five.
Literally spoilt for choice, in this area you’ll find Cenote Sac Aua, Cenote Agua Dulce and Cenote Palomitas, Cenote Xcanahaltun and Cenote Secreto Maya. And these cenotes, are some of the best of the best – recommended by our local friend from Valladolid.
And if you ask my opinion about the best way to get there… I’ll give you just one answer. Rent a scooter! This is what we did and I promise you won’t regret it. Read below for all the details. Of course if you have a car, then you can skip the next section.
Renting a Scooter from Valladolid
There are many scooter rental outlets available in Valladolid as this is one of the best ways to visit a more remote cenote. For a day it costs around 500-550 MXN pesos, from 8am to 5pm. But if you are travelling as a couple, or group of four then this is an economical way of getting around. In addition, there is a freedom on the scooter, that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Scooter rental places require that drivers have experience. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve never driven a scooter in my life! Yes, I know, I’m a terrible person, I told a little white lie. To prepare myself for the day ahead I did a couple loops around the block and what do you know… I was an expert. That said, I’m a good driver and safe behind the wheel.
Logistically speaking, with a scooter it’s easy to do a loop of the cenote route I speak of above. So in the morning start at one side and finish the day returning to Valladolid at the other end.
We wanted to visit Ek Balam ruins so started our day heading north out of town on Highway 295, through Temozón. Then returned back into Valladolid, via Yalcobá, turning right onto Highway 180 and through Tikuch as shown on the map above. As a reference it took 55 minutes from Cenote Secreto Maya through Tikuch back to Valladolid.
Driving on the main highways with the scooter is relatively easy, it’s a little unnerving perhaps when a truck passes. But there is a wide lane between the road and ditch that is perfect to ride a scooter on. While on the country road along the cenote route to Sac Aua, you won’t see many cars and the roads are great!
Taking a Taxi from Valladolid
This one is tricky. Taking a taxi is not as straight forward, given that Sac Aua and many other of the cenotes of this area are not centrally located. There is no need for a taxi to be in the vicinity, so you won’t be able to wave one down.
My suggestion, if you’re unsure about renting a scooter is chat to a few taxi drivers in Valladolid. They might wait for an extra fee. Or perhaps you might be able to arrange a time for them to return for a pickup.
If you’re having no luck with that angle, then I have another solution. Rent a bicycle instead or take a taxi to the more frequented – but just as beautiful – Cenote Saamal at Hacienda Selva Maya or Cenotes Xkeken and Samula at Dzitnup.
Sac Aua Cenote – What to Expect
Tickets to Sac Aua Cenote
When you get to the village of Dzalbay the directions are a little confusing. You’ll start to see signs and directions to different cenotes all over the show. In our case, there were even a couple of kids on the street trying to get us to follow them.
Shortly after you arrive in the town, look for the speed bumps and a sign to Sac Aua to the left. Make the left turn, then shortly after a right turn. Continue around 250m until you see the entrance gate on the left.
In the car park is the ticketing booth. This is simply one person handling the funds and tearing out tickets from a little book. From this point, it’s a 5 to 7 minute walk along a shaded path to the changing facilities and shower.
This is where you need to wash off all lotions and repellants from your body. As it’s important to swim in the fresh cenote water without any contaminants on your skin.
Swimming in Sac Aua Cenote
In the same area, the life jackets are hanging ready for visitors. They aren’t compulsory here like they are at another cenotes in Valladolid. Find your size and follow the path towards Sac Aua Cenote. We took everything with us down into the cenote, as there are plenty of little rocks in which you can put your belongings.
One of my favourite things about Sac Aua was the walk down in. In other cenotes we’d visited the entrance hugs the side of the cenote all the way down to the water’s edge. However, in Sac Aua you descend down a wooden spiralling structure into the large island at the centre of the cenote. This provides epic views of the cenote, catching the brilliant blues from every angle. What a magic place!
There is a small jump which is fun if travelling with kids. And inside the cenote there are kayaks which you can use for free. If you happen to have a snorkel and mask we recommend packing them as well. There are little fish swimming around inside Sac Aua which are interesting to see. Also keep a close eye out for the resident tortoises on the island, they like to hide among the greenery.
How Much Does Entrance to Sac Aua Cenote Cost
The entrance for Sac Aua costs 150 MXN pesos per person, this covers the price of the life jacket. An additional option at Sac Aua is to include the onsite cave tour. If you are interested in combining the two be sure to ask at the ticket desk. We were on a mission to find the best cenotes, so didn’t visit the cave on our visit. Prices for the cenote with cave tour is 230 MXN per person.
Note: I was originally quoted 150 MXN pesos per child, but when I questioned it they lowered the price to 50% for each child. So it’s worth mentioning at the ticket desk if you’re travelling with kids.
Another Cenote Tip: If you’re travelling by scooter, ask the rental operator if they have any deals with local cenotes. At Sac Aua we claimed an extra discount through our scooter rental company. And every little bit counts when you plan to visit several in a day!
Best Cenote Guided Tours Near Valladolid
The good news, is that there are no tours to Sac Aua Cenote… that means it remains off the beaten track. So you’ll just have to rent that scooter after all!
Though if you are looking for guided tours along the cenote route, then we’ve hand picked a few of the best for you. As well as local cenotes, these tours include some of the best attractions in and around Valladolid such as Chichén Itzá or Ek Balam ruins.
All tours include a hotel pickup. But check the fine print for the extra costs such as which require additional cenote or ruin entrance fees.
Review of Sac Aua Cenote, Valladolid
Swimming at Sac Aua is one of those experiences you’ll remember forever. While you float in the stunning clear water, your mind wanders. For just a minute you have to stop to consider the rich Mayan history that must be connected to such a location.
Go swim, experience and enjoy! Then jump on your scooter and go hunt some more of the best swimming holes, along the cenote route outside Valladolid. I recommend you don’t miss Cenote Secreto Maya, my MOST favourite.
Then click through to our other posts in and around Valladolid in Mexico!
- Complete guide and list of things to do in Valladolid – post coming soon
- The best hostel in Valladolid for location and boho vibes – read our review of Oryx Hostel
- How to visit & get to Chichen Itza from Valladolid & a self-guided tour with map
- How to visit & get to Ek’ Balam from Valladolid & a self-guided tour with map – post coming soon
- Guides to more of the best cenotes near Valladolid – Saamal, Dzitnup & Secreto Maya.
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