Before we start, I know what you’re thinking: a cenote swim…in winter? Olivia, are you crazy? Olivia is not crazy (yet). In fact, I have good news for you. Yucatán is the land of eternal summer. Therefore, you can enjoy all the aquatic experiences even in the middle of January, including the unique and amazing cenote Sac Aua.
This cenote is located near (29 km) Valladolid, in the village of Dzalbay, and even closer to the archaeological site of Ek Balam. If you are in the area with friends or your family enjoying a holiday, consider it a must. The Sac Aua cenote may owe its name (sacred tree) to one of the trees in there, but its hallmark is the impressive island inside. Without a doubt, you won’t find another one like it!
Millennia ago the roof that once covered the cavern of Sac Aua collapsed. Today, as you approach its wooden stairs, vegetation peeks out from the edge of the cenote. And as you look down (or don’t if you’re afraid of heights), clinging to the handrail, you’ll see a sand platform surrounded by crystal-clear water. It’s a jaw-dropping sight; remember to descend carefully.
The island is home to a couple of trees, including one shaped like a Christmas pine tree. You’ll want to hang a couple of ornaments on it! But the place’s charm comes from the lack of intervention. That’s why we recommend going into the water with non-biodegradable products. You can leave your backpack on the platform, either on the ground or on benches, away from the water.
The water is likely to feel warm, which I am told is a peculiarity of cenotes. Also, the Sac Aua cenote has shallow water areas for the kids to have fun; pay attention to them and never leave them alone! If you’d prefer to stay dry, opt for one of the kayaks available and explore every corner.
In addition to the attraction of the cenote and the island in the center, Sac Aua has options for rappelling, hiking, a cave with remains, and a restaurant with typical Yucatecan dishes. It also has showers, restrooms, and parking.
Mon. – Sun. 9 am – 5 pm
FB: Cenote Sac Aua
Entry: $190 pesos
Editorial by Olivia Camarena
Yucatecan communicologist. Your favorite Assistant Editor. Writer, blogger, and bookstagrammer in her spare time. She also experiments with TikTok.
Photography by Mike Díaz for its use in Yucatán Today.
How to get there?
Location: 30 minutes by car from Valladolid. Once in Valladolid, it is necessary to take a cab or drive to Dzalbay.
To get to Valladolid:
+ By car: Take the Mérida-Cancún highway, either the free road to go through the towns or the toll highway for $196 pesos. If you take the latter, you will see the turnoff to Valladolid a couple of kilometers after the service island on the highway.
+ By public transportation: ADO CAME has departures all day long; the cost starts at $192 pesos. There are also Colectivos leaving from Calle 52 x 63 and 61.
Where to spend the night?
FB: Coqui Coqui
Calle 41 x 64 y 66, Bacalar
FB: Hotel 41 Valladolid
Le Muuch Hotel
Calle 42 x 35 y 33, Centro
FB: Le Muuch Hotel
Mesón del Marqués
Calle 39 x 40 y 42, Centro
FB: Hotel El Meson del Marques
Calle 30 x 27 y 29, Col. Fernando Novelo
FB: Zentik Project
Include in your itinerary:
FB: Cenotes Agua Dulce Aventurass
FB: Cenote Xcanahaltun
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