Cenote Chukum, together with Cenote Oxman and Cenote Suytun, are the three best cenotes near Valladolid, absolutely worth visiting. Exploring cenotes is one of the best things to do when staying in Valladolid Mexico, and Chukum Cenote could not be more perfect for fun-loving travellers.
Situated just over 15 km east of Valladolid city centre, Cenote Hacienda Chukum is the perfect day trip destination if you’re staying in one of the hotels in Valladolid. You can also visit it on a day tour from Cancun, Tulum or Playa del Carmen in combination with Chichen Itza!
Best Cenote Chukum Tours
Take a private all-inclusive excursion from any hotel in Riviera Maya, which includes a guided tour of Chichen Itza, a fun time at Cenote Chukum and a la carte lunch in the gorgeous Valladolid boasting picturesque colonial architecture.
If you have already decided to stay in Valladolid and looking for a hassle-free Valladolid cenote tour, this one is for you. This all-inclusive excursion includes a visit to Cenote Chukum, Cenote Chichikan and the Instagram-famous Cenote Suytun, where you will get the chance to take a photo standing on the epic circular platform illuminated by a light beam.
Cenote Chukum At A Glance
Best for | Ziplininig & cenote jumping
Location | 15 km east of Valladolid
Cenote Entrance fee | $10 or 210 pesos
Chukum Cenite Opening Hours | 9 am to 5 pm
Where Is Cenote Chukum?
You can find Cenote Chukum 15 km east of the Valladolid town centre. If you’re travelling from Valladolid, take the Carretera Costera del Golfo east (towards Tulum), and after around 12 km, turn left towards San Vincente. After another 3 km, you will reach Cenote Hacienda Chukum. On the same road – Carr Costera del Golfo- there is also the famous Cenote Suytun, and combining the two cenotes into one day trip makes a lot of sense.
From Valladolid | 15 km / 9 miles (19 minutes drive)
From Tulum | 94 km / 58 miles (1.25 hours drive)
From Playa del Carmen | 133 km / 83 miles ( 2 hours drive)
From Cancun | 169 km / 105 miles ( 2 hours 10 minutes)
From Merida | 171 km / 106 miles ( 2 hours 20 minutes drive)
What To Expect At Chukum Cenote?
Chukum Cenote was only opened to the public in 2019. The local community knew earlier about its existence, but for a long time, it was too challenging and costly to build a safe tunnel to access it due to its unique features. The cenote was named after chukum trees that grow locally.
Chukum is a cavern cenote with three small openings in the ceiling that let in the sunlight illuminating its intense blue water. The cenote cave is 59 feet or 18 meters tall and covered with interesting stalactite and stalagmite formations. The water pool itself is 65 feet (20 meters) deep and 48 meters long. Chukum is one of the biggest cenotes in this area of Yucatan.
A multilevel metal balcony has been built along one side of the cenote. There are three jumping platforms from 3 to 15 feet (1 – 4.9 meters) above the water for those seeking a little thrill. But the most fun activity at Chukum is the zipline that goes across the cenote. You can ride on the zipline to the middle of the pool and release the handle to jump into the refreshing water!
Life vests are mandatory if you want to swim in the cenote and are already included in the ticket cost of $10. For $25, the ticket also includes a buffet lunch. If you want to snorkel, you can rent out a snorkel mask for an additional cost.
Cenote Chukum was the most expensive cenote we have visited in this area, but it also was by far the best cenote Valladolid has to offer in terms of facilities. We visited late morning, and the cenote was completely empty, and we had the best time jumping from the platforms and riding the zipline! We also enjoyed the hammock area.
TIP | Make sure you check out the viewing platform that it’s situated at the top of the cenote’s roof. The view of the cenote from there is incredible!
Swimming at Cenote Chukum is a real treat! Since it’s a cave cenote, the water in the pool is crispy and refreshing and has an intense blue colour. If you’re a keen swimmer, you can really do some good laps here as the cenote is wide and long.
Cenote Divining Platforms
On the left, from the entrance to the cenote caves, you will find three jumping platforms varying in height from 3 to 15 feet (1 – 4.9 meters). The highest platform is really high, so expect a nice adrenaline surge! The shortest one is manageable even for swimmers like myself that are a little afraid of heights.
Facilities At Cenote Chukum
The car parking area is right in front of the entrance to the Hacienda Chukum. The parking is complimentary and large enough to find a space at any time of the day.
In front of the car park, you’ll find a paved path that leads to a small souvenir shop. The ticket office is located inside the shop.
There is a small souvenir store right where the ticket office is.
You will find the cenote restaurant, going through the ticket office, on the right. If you plan to eat after swimming in the cenote, purchase a combo ticket that includes a buffet-style lunch.
The hammocks are at Cenote Chukum is located to the right of the ticket office. The hammocks are under a large tree, and it is the perfect place to relax after your swim.
Lockers & Changing Rooms
After a mandatory shower, you can leave your belongings in the provided lockers and on your way out, there are also convenient changing rooms where you can change to dry clothes.
Lifejackets are mandatory, but the entrance ticket already includes the cost of the rental. You can find them inside the cenote. Unlike in other cenotes, these lifejackets are of outstanding quality.
How To Get To Cenote Hacienda Chukum Valladolid?
Cenote Chukum From Riviera Maya
For the best flexibility, especially if you’re travelling with a group of friends or family and can spread the cost between a few people, I recommend hiring a car and driving to Cenote Chukum Valladolid independently.
Having your own car will give you a lot of flexibility to create your own itinerary, spend as much time as you please at the cenotes and leave at the time that suits you most.
Renting a car in Mexico may be a little intimidating at first glance, but really the route between Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Cancun towards Valladolid is super simple.
For a hassle-free experience, to avoid hidden costs and scams, I recommend booking your car online from a recommended car comparison website such as Discover Cars. You can then easily collect the car at Cancun airport or get it delivered to your Cancun hotel.
If you’re staying in either Cancun, Tulum or Playa del Carmen, you can also take an organised tour to visit Cenote Chukum in combination with a guided tour of Chichen Itza and Valladolid.
Cenotes Chukum From Valladolid
If you’re staying in Valladolid and haven’t got a car, you can also rent a scooter in downtown Valladolid. Ask your hotel for a recommendation or search for scooter rental shops near your accommodation. We used K’ox Balak and had an excellent experience.
Expect to pay at least 500 pesos or $24 per day, and don’t forget to ask for a discount if you’re renting for more than one day.
My experience of riding a scooter around the Valladolid area was very good, with decent roads and not too much traffic.
You can also rent a car in Valladolid. Just remember to check the reviews and, ideally, get a recommendation from your hotel.
As Cenote Chukum is located just under 15 km or 9 miles away from the Valladolid town centre, it is possible to get there by taxi. Expect to pay around 200 pesos ($10) for a one-way trip. Most drivers will be happy to give you their WhatsApp number so that you can give them a call when you need a lift back to the city. Before you WhatsApp, the driver, check if there are no taxis available, which just brought people from the town.
More Tips For Visiting Cenote Chukum
What’s the Best Time to Visit Chukum Cenote?
As Cenote Chukum is a little more remote and it’s not as popular as Cenote Suytun or Cenote Oxman, you can visit any time of the day. However, come at around midday if you want to see the light beam shining through the ceiling hole.
How Much Time Do I Need for Cenote Hacienda Chukum?
Chukum Cenote is one of the most fun cenotes in the Valladolid area! If ziplining and jumping to the water, kayaking and swimming is your kind of fun, make sure you have at least 2-3 hours to take advantage of all the fantastic facilities at Chukum fully!
Cenote Packing List
Cash | Bring some cash with you to cover the ticket cost and lunch. Most Valladolid cenotes have remote locations, and although card machines are more common these days, there is always a possibility that the wifi connection won’t be strong enough to take your payment.
Action camera | Swimming in the cenotes is one of the best things to do in Mexico, and you may want to record some memories while you’re having fun! And, for that, there is no better camera than a Go Pro!
Well-fitted swimsuit | Visiting and swimming in Valladolid cenotes is definitely an adventure! As you’re likely to be jumping off the platforms, swinging into the water on a Tarzan robe or going on a zip line, I recommend wearing a well-fitted swimsuit that will stay in place while you’re having fun.
Fast-drying towel | You will also need a towel, and the best towels are the fast-drying ones made of microfibre, like the Fit-Flip Beach Towel.
Flip-flops | Since you’ll be swimming and getting wet at the cenote, the easiest shoes to wear are flip-flops! And there are no better flip-flops than a pair of Havaianas.
Thermal water bottle | Stay hydrated and bring with you a thermal water bottle to keep your water cool and help reduce the use of plastic. My favourite is Chilly’s Bottle. It’s a little more expensive, but the price comes with superb quality. Our water literally stays icy cold the whole day!
Other Nearby Valladolid Cenotes
Cenote Suytun | One of the most famous cenotes in Mexico, Cenote Suytun is a must-see place on your Yucatan itinerary! I bet you’ve seen a photo of it on Instagram! It’s the one with a circular platform in the middle of the cenote pool and impressive stalactites hanging from the cenote roof. Directly above the platform, there is a small opening in the cave roof, and at around midday on a sunny day, a beautiful sunbeam shines through the roof over the platform.
Cenote Oxman | Cenote Oxman is a semi-open cenote with lush lianas hanging from the top. Two sets of wooden stairs provide access to the cenote pool, and there is also a jumping platform with a Tarzan robe, which is the best part of Oxman Cenote. Oxman is also a lovely cenote to spend your whole day, there is a lovely pool and sunloungers area, which access is included in the standard ticket price. Cenote Oxman is located only a few kilometres away from the centre of Valladolid.
Cenote Dzitnup | Another great cenote to visit near (4 km) Oxman Cenote is Cenote Dzitnup. Dzitnup actually consists of two cenotes – Cenote Xkeken, which is a cavern cenote and a semi-open Cenote Samula, with crystal clear water and a large roof opening, which brings a beautiful light beam inside the cave.
Cenote Saamal | Cenote Saamal is also situated near (only 2.6 km) Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote, and you can combine the two cenotes into one visit! Saamal is an open cenote with a small waterfall feature and an awesome jumping platform.
Cenote Hubiku | Cenote Hubiku is a cavern cenote located 17 km north of Valladolid on the way to the ruins of Ek Balam. The cenote is 27 meters deep and has 20 meters high cave. The water in the cenote is super refreshing and has around 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). The water is super clear and chilly!
What Are Cenotes In Mexico?
Cenote Meaning – sinkhole
The term is mainly associated with the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, but you can find them worldwide. Cenotes are sinkholes formed by collapsed limestone rocks that expose groundwater. Swimming in cenotes is super delightful and very refreshing. The cenote water is typically fresh and clear, thanks to the water being filtered through the ground. The colour of the water varies from deep blue to bright emerald and depends on the rock type and fauna. Cenote depth also varies, ranging from a few metres up to hundreds of metres in depth!
Mexican Cenotes in Mayan Culture
The name cenote is derived from the Mayan word Dz’onot, which means “cave with water”. During the Mayan civilisation, cenotes were an essential source of water. Apart from having a practical meaning, Mayan cenotes also had a spiritual significance. They were considered to be the gateway to the underworld (Xibalba), a place where gods met and a sacred place of worship where Mayans had their spiritual ceremonies and left offerings.
Types of Cenotes
There are hundreds and hundreds of cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, and you’ll be pleased to know that some of the top Yucatan cenotes are located near Valladolid. If you want to explore some of the best cenotes near Valladolid, I highly recommend staying at least 3-4 days in the city. There are at least four types of cenotes Mexico is renowned for.
Underground cenotes in Mexico (cavern cenotes) | Underground cenotes are the youngest water wells that are entirely covered by rock mass, with only a small opening in the cave roof that lets in minimal sunlight. They are super interesting to visit, so make sure you include at least one cavern cenote during your visit. Cavern cenotes in Valladolid include Cenote Xkeken and Cenote Palomitas.
Semi-open cenotes | Semi-open cenotes are much older than cavern cenotes. For millions of years, part of the limestone that covered the well has been eroded and collapsed inside, exposing the underground water. These cenotes let in more light and have more vegetation. If you visit them at the right time, usually around midday, you can witness an amazing spectacle of light when a light beam comes through an opening in the roof, illuminating the water inside the cenote, creating an extraterrestrial-like effect. The best semi-open Valladolid Mexico cenotes include Cenote Suytun and Cenote Samula.
Open cenotes | Open cenotes are the ones where the cave roof entirely collapsed, exposing the whole water well to the outside environment. These cenotes have the lushest vegetation and are great for a day out. Xcache and Oxman cenotes Valladolid Yucatan are open.
Ancient Cenotes | Ancient cenotes are the oldest Riviera Maya cenotes that can even be 66 million years old! The roof, as well as the walls of the ancient cenote, are completely eroded, making ancient cenotes look more like lagoons. Most Bacalar cenotes are ancient cenotes.
Is Cenote Chukum Worth Visiting?
Cenote Chukum is one of the most fun Valladolid Cenotes out there! If you’re willing to spend a little extra, I guarantee you will spend a great day at Cenote Hacienda Chukum filled with excitement and laughter.