Cenote Ik Kil

Last Updated Oct 18, 2023

Cenote Ik Kil is an open air cenote of extraordinary beauty, fascinating history and with an strategic location just a few minutes away from the most popular archaeological site im Cancun and the Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá.

Put all together, this mix of outstanding features make of Ik Kil one of the most interesting and popular cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Let me tell you a little more about this amazing cenote.

Plan your visit to Cenote Ik Kil

Where is cenote Ik Kil?

Located just 2 miles (3 km) away from Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza, which is one of UNESCO’s World Site Heritage and has been named as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, and has undoubtedly played a role in Cenote Ik Kil becoming one of the most visited cenotes of the Riviera Maya.

For more information on how to visit Chichén Itzá: click here!

Is it possible to go both to Chichén Itzá and Cenote Ik Kil?

Absolutely! This is, withoout a doubt, one of the most popular excursions among visitors to the Riviera Maya.

A one-day excursion that combines a tour to Chichén Itzá archaeological site and a swim in the refreshing waters of the Ik KIl cenote. For visitors coming to Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum, many tour agencies offer one day tours that can also be combined with a stop in the colonial city of Valladolid or an encounter with a Mayan community.

These different options can be done with a private tour or you can also do it in a collective tour where you will go with other tourists.

👉 Check out this tour: Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil
How long does a tour to discover Cenote Ik Kil last?

The duration of these tours is variable depending on what you want and your budget. It may last a few hours or a day or two.

We advise you to spend at least one night in the center of the Yucatan peninsula, if you want to take advantage of your stay to visit the surroundings of Chichén Itzá (Izamal; Valladolid, Ek Balam…).

For those who prefer a shorter excursion, it is also possible to go there and back during the day.

What kind of facilities does Cenote Ik Kil have?

Unlike many cenotes, left in a fairly natural and austere state, Cenote Ik Kil has different facilities that allow tourists to enjoy the place with all comfort. Among the facilities that contribute greatly to the comfort of the site, you will find: changing rooms, toilets, showers, a restaurant, parking lot, lockers to keep your belongings while you are swimming, life jackets...

Another facility on site, a small hotel made up of charming bungalows available for those who wish to spend the night in this magical place and have a longer experience in the Mayan jungle.

Cenote Ik Kil
What are the hours and prices of Cenote Ik Kil?

Cenote Ik Kil is open from 9 am to 5 pm and it is recommended to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds of tourists who come to discover this extraordinary cenote. Rush hour usually starts around noon.

Admission to cenote Ik kil costs 150 pesos or about 7 US dollars. It is possible to choose a complete formula that includes a meal and a drink on the spot for 350 pesos or about 17 dollars.

How to get to cenote Ik Kil?

You can get to Cenote Ik Kil on your own if you have chosen to rent a car for your vacation in the Riviera Maya. You can also take a taxi to get to the cenote, always remember to negotiate the price before getting on the taxi. Buses or "combis" (vans) can also drop you off near cenote ik kil from the entrance to Chichén Itzá site. This option is certainly very cheap, but it takes more time... a lot more.

Another option is to rent a car with a driver. The advantage of this last option, unlike a taxi or a "combis", is that your driver will be waiting for you throughout your visit.

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What should you know before visiting cenote Ik Kil?

Why cenote Ik Kil is so special?

Cenote Ik Kil is an oustanding cenote due to its exceptional features.

First, its natural beauty is simply spectacular. As an open air cenote, Ik Kil consists of a almost perfectly rounded 200-feet (60-meter) wide sinkhole with walls going under ground level for about 30 meters before reaching the water level. This means, that you’ll need to climb down a quite slippery stairway before being able to enter the cenote waters which, by the way, have a depth of 50 meters. If you’re counting, that makes of Ik Kil a sinkhole of 80 meters or 240 feet deep in total. What’s more, on ground level, the sinkhole is surrounded by lush vegetation and lots of vines which go down all the way to the water level. This makes for a marvelous postcard-like effect, which adds to the beauty and popularity of Ik Kil. It’s important to mention that touching the vines is prohibited, in order to protect them from the massive amounts of visitors the cenote receives every day. Once you’ve walked down the steps that take you to the water level of the cenote, you can enter the water either by using the set of wooden ladders made up for that purpose or you can choose to jump from one of the two different jumping platforms of 10 and 20 feet (3 and 6 meters) high that you can reach by a separat set of stairs built around the cenote. Once in the water, you’ll notice that in contrast with the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, cenotes water is cold and refreshing. However, this is a welcomed feeling that helps to cool visitors a bit and make them forget about the high temperatures usually felt in the Riviera Maya.

Is cenote Ik Kil safe??

Yes, you can swim safely.

Although there are always two lifeguard on duty, there are also a couple of ropes in the water that visitors use to sit on it or simply grab it to take a respite from the constant swimming. Keep in mind that even if you’re an expert swimmer, this is a 50-meter deep cenote and if you suffer any muscle cramp or some kind of accident this could be dangerous. Lifejackets are available for rent at the entrance and are always a good idea.

Some important recommendations

Be careful, the steps that go down to the cenote can be slippery and it is recommended that families with children keep a close eye on them.

Remember that it is absolutely prohibited to touch the vines and even more so to hang from them. This measure is in order to protect them from the large number of visitors who come every year to discover this extraordinary site.

What are the rules for swimming in the cenotes?

Cenotes are extremely fragile ecosystems. Therefore, it is essential to respect very strict hygiene measures before swimming to avoid contaminating the waters of the cenotes.

It is prohibited to use sunscreen or mosquito repellent before entering the water.

A shower before entering the cenote is mandatory to remove all traces of these highly polluting products from your body.

People with dyed hair are asked not to get into the cenote because dyes are highly polluting. It is important to respect these measures to preserve the cenotes that are under strong tourist pressure and risk of contamination.

Fun fact about Cenote Ik Kl

It's a cenote for athletes!

To finish this post, one fun fact about Cenote Ik Kil.

Ik Kil has hosted the adrenaline-high Red Bull cliff diving events in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Although the event is quite popular and helped to make Ik Kil even more famous, cliff diving from the top isn’t allowed at Ik Kil. One thing is for professional divers to perform highly trained and choreographed jumps and quite a different story is for an amateur tourist trying to dive into a rocky cenote from a height of 30 meters.

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