We visited Ik Kil after a tour of Chichen Itza. If you have the option to do this (sometimes your tour will offer the stop), go for it! It was one of the highlights of our entire trip.
I think entry was only $7 or $10.
A pleasant cool freshwater swim after sweating like crazy and climbing around the dusty ruins was perfect.
You decend to the cenote by a rock staircase. There are a few fish in the water and a small shower of water decends to the pool from the roof of the cave.
I heard later that two Japanese tourists has been killed here the year before we visited when a piece of the cave ceiling fell down after a storm.
Ik-Kil Eco-archaeological Park is located 5 kilometers from Chichen Itza along Highway 180. Check their web site for more specific directions.
See my Chichen Itza Travelogues for more photos of Ik Kil.
I don't suppose this is unconventional really, but I cannot recommend the Cenote system within easy driving distance of Cancun fondly enough. They are wonders of the earth. My family took a trip to Chichen Itza and one of the grand cenotes was just a "lunch stop" for us...but I took almost as many pictures there as anywhere else. The way the vines hang down into the deep well, the way the steps were carved using just obsidian knives...the feeling of spiritual history affected me deeply. On another trip a friend and I snorkeled another of the local cenotes as part of the "yoongle adwenture" (Jungle Adventure) tour and we had so much fun. Of course the places like Xel-Ha and the others are also special in their own ways. Cancun isn't just parties and the night life...it is a vast area enriched by diversity and with an endless variety of things to do. I have stayed at the Oasis Cancun, the Grand Oasis, Fiesta Americana Condesa, and the now demolished Sheraton Cancun. All were wonderful experiences, especially for Mexico. It is NOT too Americanized, it's just safe, comfortable and FUN!
There are no rivers in Yucatan since the peninsula is made of limestone. Instead, there are hundreds of underground rivers, which on occasion form a small cavern with a lake inside. These caverns are often exposed to the surface through a whole or passageway. These small caverns with lakes (water wholes) are called cenotes. Since the limestone serves as an excellent filter system, the cenote water is crystalline and pure. The Cenote Dzitnup is no exception to this rule. The combined environment of a cavern, with stalactites, and the small hole allowing light to venture inside, makes this place a great swimming experience. Check my Cenote Dzitnup page for more details.
as you drive up and down the Yucatan Peninsula you will see signs of diferent CENOTES this are spring holes that lead to giant cave sistem...before free and in the jungle now you must pay to get in...it up set every one but after sometime we relize that now that it is a cover charge the place is being mantain and keep clean of garbage...so gladly pay.
When we came back from our visit of Chichen Itza, the bus driver took us to a cenote in Ik Kil Eco-archaeological Park. This park is located within a few kilometres of the major archaeological site of Chichen Itza, in the heart of the Maya Yucatan. It is real Maya paradises were their Kings and courtesans revelled in direct contact with nature through meditation and relaxation. The wonderful nature and the sacred blue cenote, whose transparent water keeps the secret of the baths of the Maya kings and their courtesans, is the focus of the developing eco-archaeological park. If you are in the neighbourhood, you have to visit this wonderful place, and take a swim in the cenote as the Maya Kings did in the past.
See for more pictures and info in my Ik Kil travelogue please…
Visit the geological forms called 'Cenotes': It's a particular place where underground water makes a particular work.
This is X'Keken Cenote, outside the city of Valladolid, 250 Kilometres to the West of Cancún, in the way of Chichen Itzá.
This is the enter to the Cenote a explaines before.
This places are full of children asking for money.
Two children looked after the car during my visit to the Cenote and and gave them a great present: two caps. If you are planning to go out of tourist zones, you can carry some usefull thing for them like sweets, pencils, balls...
A little effort can let them a great smile!!
The Coba/Pac-Chen tour isn't one of the more popular ones, but it's certainly one of the more amusing, challenging but also relaxing. It incorporates :
- visit to the highest pyramid (Coba) of the Yucatan peninsula (yes, it's higher than Chitchen-Itza, but is more damaged)
- lunch at ancient mayan pueblo, near a fantastic lagoon
- 30 minute rest in a net, with a view of the lagoon
- canoeing in the lagoon
- 'sliding' from a high cliff to a lower lake
- rappel to a very dark, but beautiful cave, which has a lake inside it.