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About millions of years ago, the Yucatan peninsula was a massive reef until the sea level dropped, this peninsula eventually became a flat piece of limestone. The area is composed of a boatload of caves and sinkholes also known as cenotes. A cenote is an underground chamber or cave filled with permanent water, in other words, it is a natural sinkhole, whereby the ceiling of the cave has collapsed. There are different types of cenotes in Mexico, and the most common ones are the semi-open and open cenotes. The oldest cenotes are those, where the ceilings have already been collapsed, while the youngest ones are known as cave cenotes.


Mexico offers a plethora of beautiful cenote excursions, and Ik-Kil cenote is one of the magical places to visit. One can also combine an excursion by visiting the ancient Maya remnants of Chichen Itza to learn lots of interesting facts. Tucked 1.5 miles east of the majestic Chichén Itzá ruins, cenote Ik-Kil is a blissful sanctuary, where one can take a deep dive. What makes Ik-Kil magical is the light which filters in from above and thus illuminating the waterfalls. The long vines wrap their way around the edges of the cenote and hang down like a curtain, which makes this place more enticing.

How Deep Is The Water At Cenote Ik-Kil?

To reach down the sinkhole one will have to take the carved winding stone staircase, which leads down about 85 feet to the swimming platform. The cenote measures about 200 feet in diameter and is about 157 feet deep. From the swimming platform, daredevils can take a refreshing plunge. But before one can enter the sinkhole, rinsing off at the outdoor showers is important as this will prevent any unwanted chemicals from polluting the water ecosystem. Such action will not only preserve the ecosystem of the attraction but will also ensure its existence for future generations.

Is Cenote Ik-Kil Worth Visiting?

The obvious answer is yes. Cenote Ik-Kil is firstly adorned with green vines which hang down from the top of the sinkhole, and this adds to the beauty of the attraction. The dramatic depth of the cenote and the refreshing water are also some reasons why people come here. One doesn’t get to swim in a stunning sinkhole every day, so this place serves as one a lifetime opportunity for avid travelers. And in addition, swimmers will find a range of black catfish swimming alongside. Because of its many features, Cenote Ik-Kil was titled a ‘ Red Bull Cliff Diving venue’ in 2010, 2011, and 2014.

While in the present time the cenote has claimed its fame thanks to the marketing campaigns, it was also a well-visited site back in the ancient time as well. The cenote was considered a sacred site by the Mayans who would use the spot for human sacrifice to honor their rain god, Chacc. Archeologists and speleologists found several bones and pieces of jewelry deep inside the sinkhole during the expedition trips.

  • Note: One can also find some amenities such as a restaurant, and overnight accommodations as well. There are lockers and life vests for those who wish to swim.

Related: 10 Most Amazing Cenotes In Mexico You Should Visit

Things To Know Before Visiting Cenote Ik-Kil

It is important to know that there are limited spots along the cenote walls to hang onto provided that one is an experienced swimmer who would like to stay longer in the water. Life vests and lockers are available at an extra cost besides the ticket. Visitors will find the ticket office on the left close to the car park.

While every visitor would like to make the most of this pristine sinkhole, it is forbidden to touch the vines or do any damage to the natural setting. There are lifeguards and security officers who would make sure that everything goes on smoothly.

  • Entrance Ticket: $5
  • Life jacket: $2
  • Locker: $1.25
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m
  • Amenities: restaurant, changing rooms, lockers, accommodations, and free parking area
  • Water Temperature: The water in the sinkhole remains cool throughout the spring.
  • Note: This attraction is not suitable for very young children

Related: Explore Mexico's Xcaret Park With This Travel Guide

How To Get To Cenote Ik-Kil?

Situated between Piste and Valladolid, Cenote Ik-Kil is easy to reach. One should take Highway 180. The distance from Piste to Ik Kil is about four miles and from Chichen Itza is approximately two miles. One can also consider taking a taxi if there is no private transport available.

  • Taxi Cost: As from $5