Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil is probably the most famous cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. This is saying a lot knowing that there are over 3,000 cenotes in the Yucatan region. This cenote is located approximately 2 kilometers from Chichen Itza, Mexico’s most famous archaeological ruin. You can therefore visit this cenote as part of the tours to the said archaeological site.

Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil is arguably the most popular cenote in Mexico’s Yucatan region. It is probably the most photographed cenote, too.

The cenote is well-liked by tourists because it is the picture of a tropical hidden paradise. The vines and roots that hang from the ceiling of this cenote offers a picturesque view.

Due to its popularity, Cenote Ik Kil is also a common stop in the many tours that take place in the Yucatan Peninsula. Expect lots of tourists during peak season and on peak hours of the day. The cenote is visited by thousands of tourists each day. But despite the amount of tourists that come here, the beauty of the cenote is undeniable.

To access the water in the cenote, you must climb down a set of stairs for up to 26 meters. The sinkhole has a diameter of 60 meters and a depth of 40 meters (maximum). The waters of this cenote is considered sacred by the Mayans and there have been many sacrifices and rituals performed at this site to the rain god.

Aside from the gorgeous sinkhole that visitors love to swim in, Cenote Ik Kil is an archaeological gem. In fact, speleologists and archaeologists have been able to uncover bones and jewelries in the deep waters of the cenote.

The open ceiling allows natural light to come through to the water. This not only provides lighting for those who swim at the cenote, but also creates a picturesque scene.

The vines are not the only ones that hang from the ceiling, as there are also small waterfalls all over. Aside from the vines and verdant plants, you can also find black catfish swimming around the cenote.


  • Opening hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Entrance fee: 70 pesos 
  • Good for Scuba diving: Yes
  • Good for swimming: Yes
  • Facilities: Yes 
  • Car parking: Yes

cenote ik kil

Cenote Ik Kil is one of the prized gems of Yucatan Peninsula. This cenote is part of the Ik Kil Archaeological Park within close proximity to Chichen Itza. While this is a natural formation, it is a sacred site for the Mayans so it does have some archaeological value. A testament to this is the presence of fossils and other ancient Mayan objects on the site.

The most distinctive feature that sets this cenote apart from the others is the large opening on the ceiling, which opens up to the sky (whereas most cenotes are located in a cave with a small opening for the light). There is a carved stairway by the side that allows you access to the water.

There are adequate facilities on-site for tourists who come and visit Cenote Ik Kil. One of them is a restaurant that is ready to serve hungry tourists who went swimming and touring.

There are also overnight accommodations nearby for those who would like to spend extended time at the cenote or archaeological park. You can also rent life vests and lockers while you are there.

Aside from the beauty of the vines hanging from the open ceiling of the cenote, the cool water temperature is what draws tourists in. The water remains cool for the most part of the year, especially during spring months.

Cenote Ik Kil recently became even more popular as it is the site of global cliff diving competitions.


To get to Cenote Ik Kil from Tulum, you must travel via the Valladolid-Merida road. The drive will take approximately under 2 hours. If you are coming from Playa del Carmen or Cancun, the drive will take a little over 2 hours.

Since the cenote is popular, it is also a stop in many of the tours that will take tourists to Chichen Itza. Make sure you book one of those tours if you would like to explore the Mayan ruins, along with this cenote.


If you plan to include a visit to Cenote Ik Kil in your itinerary, there are plenty of overnight accommodations available near the cenote. But if you intend to make it a part of a day trip experience, you can find accommodations in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, or Cancun.

The travel time from these tourist hubs are essentially the same. So, feel free to choose which of these towns to find accommodations in based on which other sites you want to see or visit.


Chichen Itzá, Ik Kil and Coba Small Group Tour

Get the opportunity to explore the famous ancient Mayan sites in Coba and the popular Chichen Itza. Your tour will be accompanied by a tour guide who will share information about the culture and history of the Mayans. You can even have the chance to climb up the pyramids of Coba and enjoy panoramic views.

To end this tour, you will have the chance to visit Cenote Ik Kil. As one of the sacred sinkholes for the Mayans, relish the chance to swim in the sinkhole.

Chichen Itza, Ik Kil Cenote and Valladolid

Take a historical tour of the ancient Mayan sites including Chichen Itza. As part of the tour, you can visit the temples of Kulkulan and the Temple of a Thousand Warriors. You can cap off the tour with a relaxing swim at the Cenote Ik Kil, which is undeniably the most popular cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula. You not only enjoy a relaxing swim but also learn the sacred value of these sinkholes.

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