💎 As far as a closed ceiling cenote goes, Xcanahaltun Cenote near Valladolid might just be the best one you’ll visit!
Trust me, I’ve visited just about ALL the cenotes near Valladolid… and Xcanahaltun Cenote was one of the BEST. Located 30 km outside Valladolid along the cenote route and nearby other stunning cenotes such as Secreto Maya Cenote, Sac Aua Cenote & Palomitas Cenote. Below we review Xcanahaltun Cenote, and explain all the need-to-know details.
If swimming in blue waters of a cave cenote, with stalactites overhead sounds like you’re idea of an adventure then read on. We tell you how to get to Xcanahaltun cenote from Valladolid, what the visit will cost you and even a guided tour that will get you there.
Xcanahaltun cenote is off the beaten track, and you certainly won’t find the tour buses here. It seems crazy, that a cenote so beautiful remains so unvisited. But fortunately for you and me it is… so ENJOY and you’re welcome ☺️
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Quick Facts on Xcanahaltun Cenote
🌀 Type of Cenote – closed ceiling
💰 Price – 200 MXN pesos per adult
➡️ Distance from Valladolid – 30 km
🚿 Amenities – changing facilities, showers, lockers free, life jacket optional
🛵 Best way to get there – scooter or rental car
⏰ Timings – 9.30am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week
🎒 What to Bring – towel & swimmers, Go-Pro, reusable water bottle
About Xcanahaltun Cenote
Walking towards the Xcanahaltun path we pass three visitors who walk away from their visit. “Enjoy” they say… “you have it all to yourself.”
And as we make our way down into the cenote, as we have with so many others now… I’m left speechless.
Rewind back to our second visit to Valladolid, a local told us about his favourite cenotes in and around town. On that list was Xcanahaltun Cenote. Unfortunately for us, during that visit we were restricted by time… so many cenotes and not enough time. Fast forward to our third visit to Valladolid, I wasn’t going to miss this one. And boy was I glad we eventually made it. Because Xcanahaltun made it straight to the top of my list of favourite cenotes in Valladolid.
The closed vaulted ceiling of Xcanahaltun Cenote, lets in a beam of light through the opening of the cenote. As a result the sunlight turns the cenote water an electric blue. And I can’t exactly put my finger on what makes this one extra special, it just is.
How to Get to Xcanahaltun Cenote from Valladolid
To the Northeast of Valladolid, Xcanahaltun is located along a quiet stretch of road a few kilometres beyond Yalcobá. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get to Xcanahaltun by car or an hour by scooter. And we have made the journey along this road by both modes of transport. Which we explain in more detail below.
What you will notice about visiting Xcanahaltun cenote and other cenotes in this area is the lack of public transport or taxis going this way. And it’s for this reason that the cenotes here are less frequently visited by tourists. A taxi from Valladolid to Xcanahaltun Cenote will cost about 300 MXN pesos one way. To call a taxi out for the return pickup, it will cost more.
🛵 Therefore we recommend a scooter or car rental and that way you can see several cenotes in a day.
Renting a Scooter from Valladolid
Scooter rental properties are a dime a dozen in Valladolid, as are bicycle rental outlets. And definitely, bicycle rental is great for the cenotes to the south of Valladolid, such as Saamal Cenote or Dzitnup Cenotes. However, if you’re planning a visit to the more remote cenotes, then renting a scooter is a better option.
The cost of scooter rental is between 500-550 MNX pesos for the day, which you can book ahead here with Viator.
In the beginning I was a little concerned about driving a scooter, as I have little to no experience on a scooter. Following a couple of trips around the block and I had it sorted, and it turned out to be one of the best adventures we had in Valladolid.
If you choose this option we recommend you combine Xcanahaltun Cenote with Secreto Maya Cenote. The cenotes are only a few kilometres apart and by visiting both you have the opportunity to see an open and closed cenote.
✨ You may also consider booking a night in one of the luxury bungalows of Secreto Maya Cenote. We stayed and thoroughly loved the experience… read about it here.
Renting a Car from Valladolid
Car rental in Valladolid used to be tricky, now with Ko’ox Balak Car Rental providing a great quality service, it’s easy peasy! Prices will depend on the season, but if you check the Google reviews you’ll see they come highly recommended.
AND if you do go down the road of car rental, we suggest you visit Ek’ Balam ruins before the cenote exploration. Ek’ Balam is in a similar area and one of our favourite ruins near Valladolid. We also wrote a self-guided tour to Ek’ Balam if you want to visit without a tour guide.
What to Expect at Xcanahaltun Cenote
Now… what to expect and how to be a respectful visitor to Xcanahaltun Cenote?
Xcanahaltun is a family run cenote and prices are slightly more expensive than other cenotes in the area. But given its specialness we can understand the slight extra. Just think about the local community this money goes to support.
Following the turnoff from the main road, there is a short drive to the large carpark. You’ll know you’re in the right location by the large Xcanahaltun sign. Walk a little further to the ticket office to be met by the friendly staff. Nearby are the changing rooms, with lockers which are free to use. And outside are the showers.
It is SO important that visitors showed before entering the water. The cenotes connect to underground water caves, linking to a network of underground rivers running through the Yucatan.
🔍 To understand more about cenotes and how they exist and what they are, then read my post here on Valladolid Cenotes.
Can You Swim at Xcanahaltun Cenote
💯 Yes you can swim in Xcanahaltun and life jackets are optional, which can be rented at the ticket office. You can also rent a kayak! But honestly the magic is simply in the serenity of swimming in the bright blue water of Xcanahaltun under the beam of light.
There is a large wooden platform over the water, on which to put your belongings inside the cenote. Though I was a bit sketched out about loosing my mobile phone into the water below.
And if you sit on the platform, small fish approach your toes for a gentle nibble. Naturally this keeps the kids entertained for ages!
If you’re wondering if the water is cold, then I have to be honest. Yes it is! But not too cold that you wouldn’t jump in for a dip. Personally I’m not a fan of cold water temperatures, and the cool water of Xcanahaltun wasn’t enough to see me miss out on the fun.
Xcanahaltun Cenote Tickets
The price to enter Xcanahaltun cenote is 200 MXN pesos per adult. But the price for kids was a little unclear. The price displayed in the office claimed 175 pesos per child, but we were charged less than this.
I did find it was a good idea to question cenote prices in Valladolid as often we were automatically quoted the adult price for children. When I began questioning, I found generally there was a discounted price or even better children under a certain age were free. As such, if you’re visiting with kids I strongly recommend you ask.
Amenities at Xcanahaltun
In the central area is a small restaurant to grab some lunch. There are also hammocks positioned under a Mexican style palapa for relaxing.
Cenote Tours from Valladolid
There are a few guided tours and day trips to the cenotes in and around Valladolid. Many are connected to tours combined with a visit to Chichén Itzá or Ek’ Balam ruins. Also some tours can be arranged from Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
Below we have hand selected the best cenote tours we think you’ll like from Valladolid. The second on the list includes a visit to Xcanahaltun cenote and can also be taken from locations beyond Valladolid on the Riviera Maya.
More on Valladolid
And there we go! That wraps up our post on Xcanahaltun Cenote near Valladolid, and easily one of our family favourites.
There is a lot more content where this came from! After visiting multiple times throughout our 6 months of slow travel in the south of Mexico, we came to know Valladolid very well.
- Read here for the best things to do in Valladolid (post coming soon)
- Click here to get our self-guided tours of Chichén Itzá and Ek’ Balam
- For our ultimate list of cenotes near Valladolid then don’t miss this post
- Is Suytun Cenote really worth it – read our review here
Don’t forget to save or pin this post for later! And let us know in the comments below about your experience of Xcanahaltun cenote near Valladolid.
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