Cenote Ik Kil: The Place of the Winds

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Beware: You should never explore wild caves alone or without proper gear. Consider getting in touch with a Grotto of the National Speleological Society at www.caves.org or a qualified cave club. These groups are skilled and will train you. Without sufficient knowledge, preparation, and equipment, cave exploring can lead to serious injury or death.

Cenote Ik Kil is located around Valladolid in the Yucatán Peninsula. In Mayan, it translates roughly to “Place of the Winds”, and some would argue that it is the most beautiful cenote in the area.

As with other cenotes, you’ll get some of the same beautiful tropical and remote, mysterious aura. But there’s more to Ik Kil than that. In this article, you’ll see how you can get there, what you should do to make your trip most enjoyable, and what makes Cenote Ik Kil so uniquely beautiful.

In addition, we’ll share a tip on how to get this cenote all to yourself, in case you are interested in something fancy like an extended photoshoot (or even a proposal).

Everything to Know about Cenote Ik Kil

The Chichen Itza Pyramid from a distance, showing the great stone and green grass surrounding it.
Chichén Itzá pyramid

Cenote Ik Kil is located outside Pisté in the Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán, Mexico. It is part of an archaeological park near Chichén Itzá, which you likely have seen before.

Back when Mayans lived there, this cenote was considered sacred. Archaeologists have found bones and jewelry in the deep water here, proving its significance historically to the Mayans.

At about 200 feet (60m) in diameter, and about 160 feet (50m) deep, it’s quite a drop. You will have to climb down about 85 feet (26 meters) just to reach the water from above.

We mentioned earlier that we would share what makes this cenote so appealing. See the image below, and it should become quite apparent.

The vines that reach down from the opening all the way to the water, and adjacent waterfalls give this cenote a beauty unmatched by anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s unbelievable to witness firsthand. Green leaves decorate these vines, and seeing them droop down for several meters makes it look like it was designed by human hand.

While you may not find any human bones yourself, you can still enjoy the beautiful view, cool waters, and hopefully arrive before the crowds do.

Inside the water, you’ll find some black catfish, but not much else. In addition, some have said that over the years, as this cenote has become more popular, it turned into somewhat of a mini theme park. People were not as easily impressed by the management, and it felt like less of a remote location for some. We highly recommend reading on to see how you could remedy this, but either way, keep your expectations in check if you plan to visit during a busy time of the year.

Cenote Ik Kil shown from above with the vines, trees, and stairway visible, where people are waiting with towels.

Directions to Cenote Ik Kil

If you are heading here from Valladolid, it will take about 45 minutes driving west. East from Pisté, it’s about 10 minutes. There is a large parking lot, where parking is free.

When traveling by colectivo, you can easily find one on Calle 39, and between Calle 44 and Calle 46. This will likely be more convenient, as colectivos come and go often. They will also take you straight to the cenote entrance, along with other cenotes if you’d like to make stops.

This cenote is much further inland than the others we’ve covered so far. This has a twofold effect – first, there are way less tourists willing to travel this far for one remote cenote, and second, it’s much more refreshing when the beach is not 10 minutes away.

Price of Admission

The entrance fee is only 100-150 MXN ($5-$7.50), which is quite cheap if you’ve been reading about some of the more popular cenotes (like Gran Cenote at a whopping 500 MXN).

Some users have reported that the entrance cost does not cover life jackets. However, others said that all is included, besides the lockers. Life jackets are required to enter, so keep a few extra pesos on you just in case.

There are two separate tickets as well, to make things even more complicated. The first provides a life jacket and locker, and the other provides everything above and one of five meals plus a beverage. It turns into a great lunch experience for the early afternoon or evening, if you decide to show up late.

Towels are also available for renting at 30 MXN ($1.50) but who’s trying to rent a towel? Just bring your own.

An image showing the incredibly blue water and hanging vines at Cenote Ik Kil.

Cenote Ik Kil Tips & Tricks

Here are some quick tips and tricks to improve your time at Cenote Ik Kil!

You can stick around a little after the closing time, as they are quite lenient with forcing everyone to leave.

Tour busses come and go, dropping visitors to Cenote Ik Kil in the afternoon and early evening. As with most cenotes, mornings are ideal for having more time to yourself. But if you’re looking for real privacy, there’s something even better you can do.

There is a sign, but we’ll mention it anyway. Do not touch the vines! It is very tempting, but this is not permitted.

Jumping from the very top is also not allowed. The drop is quite steep, as we said earlier. You will also not get away with it because of the security guards.

Because there isn’t a whole lot to see under the water, snorkeling is something you can skip here. Unlike other cenotes where we highly recommend it, you’re better off leaving that gear at the hotel for this one.


While not exactly a tip or trick, it’s important to mention. If you read our guide on Cenote Cristalino, you may remember there were some reports of theft. Unfortunately, there were some thieves here during a few of our followers’ visits. Someone had their slippers (imagine) taken simply seconds after leaving them unattended. It may be a misunderstanding, but it’s always best to keep your belongings locked up or with you when you’re traveling.

How to get Cenote Ik Kil to Yourself

Remember the bit about extra privacy? What some visitors have discovered is that you can book Hotel Ik Kil right next to the cenote. Once everything is closed for the day after 5:00 PM, you are free to enjoy the site on your own. You must book with them directly, though the website is in Spanish. It mentions that access to the cenote is extended from 6 PM to 8 PM, when everyone is gone.

Cenote Ik Kil Guided Tours

Due to the lack of underwater adventure here, there aren’t many guided tours available. Snorkeling and diving aren’t done here. However, there is still at least one good guided tour that will let you experience the cenote, and then some.

Chichén Itzá, Cenote Ik kil and Cobá, Reduced Group (All Fees Included)

Price: $149.00

Location: Pickup from just about any hotel in the Riviera Maya area. Some areas may have a charge of 15-20 USD for pickup.

Time: Begins at 9:00 AM, for roughly 10 hours

Description: This tour takes you to Chichén Itzá at first, then a lunch by Cenote Ik Kil where you can go swimming or simply relax. Finally, you will experience some of the great archaeological sites in the Cobá area.

An image of the of the old buildings from Mayan history, as part of the Cenote Ik Kil Tour.

Hotels Near Cenote Ik Kil

Hotels near Cenote Ik Kil are all smaller, budget hotels. The larger, more commercial hotels are closer to the beach, which may be where you end up staying. But this list is all the nearby, great quality hotels for those who want to explore the cities inland more.

As you can see, however, there are only two good hotels here (besides Hotel Ik Kil which must be booked directly). Thus, it will be best to book a guided tour that will handle the transportation and day for you.

Mayan Bungalow Near Chichén 

Distance: 2.2 miles (3.5 km)

Rating: 9.6/10 (200+ reviews)

La Casa de las Lunas 

Distance:3.9 miles (6.3 km)

Rating: 8.8 (1800+ reviews)

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