While staying in Valladolid, Mexico, we decided to go on road trips every day. We found Cenote X’Keken (pronounced “esh-ke-ken”) was just over a 10 minute drive from our hotel in central Valladolid, and there are many other cenotes nearby (such as Cenote Samula, on the same property). If you aren’t familiar with cenotes, they are water-filled sinkholes, known for their beautiful clear water and refreshing swimming.
We drove our rental car (from Avant car rental in Cancun) and used Google Maps to find the cenote without a problem. Keep in mind this is part of the Dznitup group of cenotes.
The roads are good here, and there is a large parking lot as well.
We paid for our tickets at the ticket booth. We actually visited Cenote Samula first, before walking over to X’Keken.
We were given mandatory life jackets, and as with most cenotes, you have to take a shower first to rinse off any bug spray, sunscreen, etc.
Note – the first cenote we walked to was Cenote Samula.
This is Cenote Samula:
Once we were done at Cenote Samula, we headed over to Cenote X’Keken. It is a short walk between the two cenotes.
It was pouring between our trips to the cenotes. However, we were already wet from swimming, and there were spots to stand out of the rain.
There are stairs leading down to the cenote.
The staircase isn’t long, and it is easy to get down to the cenote.
This cenote is mostly a cavern, although it does have some sunlight coming through a spot in the roof of the cave.
There are places to sit, although most everything is wet from people sitting and putting their wet life jackets.
The cenote was a little busy. It took me a while to get a photo without a lot of people in it.
People were mostly clustered in the light rays coming through the ceiling.
There is not much to do here, other than a little bit of swimming, as much of the area is roped off and contains formations in the water.
There are no spots to jump in, no zipline, etc. You are required to wear a life jacket as well.
Overall, this cenote was nice to visit, but not a favorite. There was not much as far as swimming, and it was tough to get to the spot with the ray of light amongst the other tourists. However, most cenotes we visit are predominantly open air (mostly open on top), so it was nice to see the cave formations. There are also shops, bathrooms, and showers here. I would recommend going earlier in the day to avoid any tourist crowds and tourist buses.
Pros: Easy to get to, near Valladolid, good roads and parking, easy walk from the ticket booth, unique cavern type cenote (with ceiling opening)
Cons: Not a lot of room for swimming, a little crowded, you can’t jump in, no zipline
Check out my Tips for Visiting Cenotes
Check out my other Mexico blog posts
Even though this wasn’t one of your favorites, it still looks like such a neat place. I hadn’t heard of cenotes before reading your posts and now I really want to take my boys to one!
I am sorry to hear that it was not one of your favorites. I do think that the case and everything are fascinating and hope that you found enough enjoyment to be worthwhile
Cenote XKeken, Valladolid, Mexico looks like such a wonderful place to visit. I would love to visit with my family.
Even though it’s not one of your favorites, this place still looks so amazing. I love the pictures. They are so refreshing. Would love visiting there sometime.
I like looking at the formations! I probably would not be doing that much swimming anyway. Even though there was not a lot of light, I think your pictures are great!
These swimming holes are awesome. I need to travel to see these places.
I’ve never been to a swimming hole and I wonder how it is to swim in such a place. Great experience!
I would love to do this one day. I’ve always heard about swimming holes but have never been able to go to one
Oh wow those are amazing rock formations.. Although i may not have enough courage to swim there too because the visibility is quite limited but i will surely marvel the view ❤️❤️
I love road trips and Cenote XKeken, Valladolid, Mexico looks a fab destination for a road trip. I would love to visit here one day.
Cenotes are so beautiful. We didn’t have one nearby, maybe I’ll just indulge myself with blog posts and pics like this one hehe
The Cenote Samula is one of the places my husband and I hope to visit when we visit Mexico. Such a beautiful place!
Amazing experience! Was the spot where there is a moon and a big cat really big? Are they sculptures? Looks very old and I love it!
I have never been to such a place and can imagine how much fun it would be visit such a place.
Wow! Cenote Samula looks really stunning and fun to explore. I will surely visit this place with my family.
i love how the water looks there! seems so cold! bet you guys had fun!!
I love all of these beautiful caves in Mexico. I saw one once but no swimming!
Wow, that looks like an amazing place. I am loving all these photos. I would sure like to check that place out sometime.
It looks really amazing place. Eventhough you don’t like this place.
Wow, looks like another nice place in Mexico! I’m getting more curious in that country!
Thanks for defining cenotes. I wasn’t exactly sure what they were. Your details are really useful as far as tips for visiting. I think it would be nice just to float around there just observing the surroundings.
Thanks for your honest review of the cenote xkeken. For me, wearing a life vest would definitely be a downer. I visited some cenotes in Mexico and got a thrill from the deep clear water. The rock formations look interesting though.
I am loving this look at different cenotes to visit in Mexico. Great to find one so close to your hotel. And to know that there were two within walking distance of each other. I might be frustrated that many areas are roped off at Cenote XKeken. But I do understand that often that is done to protect delicate formations.
There are lot of censored in Mexico but I haven’t been to any. These are amazing sink holes filled with water and natural rock formations and it’s nice to know that you can swim through them.
Is this the one super-famous cenote? Because we’ve been to Valladolid and went to a cenote, I only cannot remember the name. We also bought sandals as Valladolid is famous for their leather goods. And in a market, we purchased a traditional attire – I still treasure it 🙂 Yucatan is just wonderful!
I missed Cenote XKeken while visiting Valladolid, but I have seen other cenotes. I am delighted by cenotes. As I’m spending this winter in Yukatan, I’m going to go to XKeken. You provide great tips on how to visit this fabulous place.