Cenote X’Canche, also known as the Ek Balam cenote, is located right at the heart of an archaeological zone. You will have the unique opportunity to explore the history and ruins of the Mayan civilization from above the ground and underneath it. There are many tours that operate in the site that includes a visit to the ruins and the cenote to maximize your time there.


The archaeological site of Ek Balam was recently restored, which means there are plenty of tourists who come here to explore the site. This area – including the ruins and the cenote – represents a party of Mayan city that dates back to the pre-historic times of Chichen Itza.

It is your chance to discover or transform back in time while exploring the beautiful rock formations within the cenote as you enjoy a dip in the natural pool that measures 80 meters in diameter.

The ruins and cenote of Ek Balam is located to the north of Valladolid within the Yucatan Peninsula. The term Ek Balam means ‘black panther’ in Mayan language. This cenote is popular with tourists because of the many eco-tourism offerings in the area. Aside from swimming in the cenote, you can do zip lining and camping.

Cenote X’Canche is 60 feet deep, which makes it suitable for swimming and diving. There is a trail that provides you access to the cenote, but for the thrill seekers, repelling down into the sinkhole is more fun.

If you are visiting the cenote, you should also spend some time exploring the Ek Balam ruins. A climb to the top of the structures is not to miss.

There are many restaurants near X’Canche that will enable you to grab some meal in between your explorations of the archaeological site and the cenote.

There are also many attractions near Cenote X’Canche and the ruins that makes it an ideal stop for a day trip. These other attractions include The Acropolis, Oval Palace, Twin Pyramids, San Roque Museum, and more.


  • Opening hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Entrance fee: 100 pesos for the cenote (additional 25 pesos for park admission)
  • Good for Scuba diving: Yes
  • Good for swimming: Yes
  • Facilities: Yes (there is even a camping site and restaurants near the cenote)
  • Car parking: Yes

cenote ek balam

The experience of exploring and swimming in the Cenote X’Canche is quite like no other. There are plenty of massive tree roots that drop down from an opening on the ceiling of the cenote.

This opening also allows rays of sunlight to provide lighting within the cenote during the day. Inside the cenote, you will be greeted by aquamarine and clear waters.

To get down to the water, you must navigate a flight of stairs, or, as mentioned above, you can also try rappelling down into the water, which is a more exciting way to do it.

There are masks available on-site for those who want to go snorkeling and experience the underwater formations.

The beauty of the cenote is just one of the reasons for the popularity of this cenote. The fact that you can also explore the Ek Balam village and the ruins featuring a collection of pyramids make for an interesting day.


The Cenote X’Canche and Ek Balam archaeological site is about a 20-minute drive from Valladolid, Mexico. You must travel north via Highway 295 towards Tizimin until you reach the Ek Balam Village.


A visit to X’Canche is a must when you want to go cenote hopping in the Yucatan Peninsula. The best place to stay for this one, is in Valladolid.

That way, you can get easy access to many other tourist destinations in this town in Yucatan Peninsula. The cenote can be easily reached by car or bus from the center of Valladolid, as is any other cenote or ruins in town.

There are many choices of accommodation for tourists staying in Valladolid, which includes luxury and budget-friendly options. Check below for option. 


Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and Ik Kil Cenote Day Trip

This is one of the must-try tours in the Yucatan Peninsula because you can experience some of the highlights of this region in one. Exploring the Chichen Itza and the Ek Balam village is a must because it provides a glimpse of how the ancient Mayans lived. You will get to explore the ruins of the Mayan civilization in these sites.

Plus, you can also explore and swim in the cenotes near Ek Balam. This is the perfect opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Mayan Riviera, which makes it a can’t-miss tour.

Rio Lagartos, Las Coloradas and Ek Balam Day Trip

Learn about the historic and natural history of the Yucatan Peninsula in this tour. This tour lasts for one full day with access to English-speaking guide. You will be visiting a few notable attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula such as the crocodile sanctuary and the pink lagoons of Rio Lagartos.

A visit to the sinkhole and cenote in Ek Balam is also another highlight of this tour. You will be able to swim in the cenote and marvel at the impressive rock formations above the cenote.

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