Cenote Zaci: A Complete Guide to the Valladolid Cenote

This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing products through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. If you would like to learn more, please read this Disclaimer for details.

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 Zaci is a sizeable, semi-open cenote found right in the middle of Valladolid, Mexico. Situated just a few blocks from the city, you can easily make the trip here at any time during the day.

While it’s not considered one of the best, its accessibility and location make it one of the favorites for tourists finding themselves in or around Valladolid.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know when making a trip to Cenote Zaci, and some tips and tricks that should come in handy as well.

Cenote Zaci is shown from a distance with tourists lining up to go diving.

Everything to Know about Cenote Zaci

Just two years ago, you could get into Cenote Zaci for just a dollar. However, cenote prices are on the rise. Nonetheless, if you are already in the area and want a place to stop for lunch and a relaxing swim, this cenote is a great choice.

There’s a nice restaurant close by, which was often frequented in conjunction with seeing the cenote. Just 10 minutes from the Cathedral, you can walk here for a meal and a swim with minimal effort.

Partially covered in a cave-like area, it’s a perfect place to stop on a hot day in the city. The water is chilly but not too cold, and activity here varies. One user reported that they stayed for 2 hours, and at times there were very few people around, making the experience quite nice.

There’s a place to jump into the water, and it’s quite high. If you’re adventurous, this might be a draw for you. Life jackets aren’t needed, but you might want to have one to be safe. With ropes and ledges at the sides of the cenote, you can easily jump in and climb back out to your heart’s content.

Tiny fish swim around the edges of the water, and there’s a palpable positive energy here.

An image shows the line leading into Cenote Zaci from a distance.

Drawbacks of Cenote Zaci

Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks here. There is no requirement to wash off before getting in the water, which inevitably leads to lazier visitors leaving trails of sunscreen in the water, as they do not always respect their environment.

The caretakers at Cenote Zaci do their best to clean up litter, but people will be people. Please do your part and clean up after yourselves if you visit any of the Mexican cenotes!

In addition, while every cenote is a nice and relaxing place to visit, this is not one of the best. The water isn’t as clear due to the pollution, and while it’s so close to the city, you will likely always run into a few people here. There are other cenotes where you may have a better chance of complete solitude, if that’s what you’re after. Consider Cenote Escondido and Cenote Cristal, which provide a two-for-one, more remote experience.

Cenote Zaci is sometimes closed, and may still be closed currently due to renovations. It was expected to be finished in the summer of 2022, but don’t quote us on a particular date. It may still be undergoing some minor construction.


Prices of cenotes have been rising, so at the time of this post, we expected prices to be about 150-300 MXN ($8-15). However, don’t be surprised if they are over 300 MXN by now.

Something nice about this cenote is that admission is free if you are a customer at the restaurant nearby. The food is tasty, and service is good. With drinks included, you can pay about 350 MXN for a full meal, and then enter the cenote shortly after to relax with your friends and family.

An image shows the deep blue waters of Cenote Zaci, and the stairs down to the water.

Cenote Zaci Tips & Tricks

As we mentioned earlier, utilize the restaurant with good service and food right by the cenote. Then, get access to the cenote for free! This is probably the best tip we can offer.

However, at the time of writing this article, Cenote Zaci was closed due to construction and/or contamination. What we have heard is that a theater had been constructed nearby, causing the cenote to require extensive cleaning.

Hopefully, this is resolved soon if it was not already taken care of.

The good thing is, you won’t be traveling very far from Valladolid to get there, so it wouldn’t ruin your day too much if you get unlucky. We are not 100% sure about the status of it right now, so call in advance.

Bring your sneakers with you because it’s a bit of a walk to get down into the water. You may regret going barefoot or wearing slippers for an extended uneven trek down to the cenote.

If you are at Chichén Itzá, Cenote Zaci is about 45 minutes away. However, I am sure you would enjoy the cenotes closer than Zaci, such as Cenote Sagrado. However, you will have to deal with more crowds around Chichén Itzá as well…

It seems like you have to make the best decision for you. The good news is that once construction and decontamination are finished, Cenote Zaci will be beautiful and a great respite from the heat in the city.

The Best Hotels near Cenote Zaci

As Cenote Zaci is located right in the center of Valladolid, you have a seemingly endless list of options for great hotels. We’ve included some of the top rated and best quality hotels here, so if you plan to stay somewhere in the city, you know where to go.

If you prefer to stay somewhere closer to the beach, it’s unlikely that you’ll make a special trip to Cenote Zaci, when there are several other cenotes in the area.

Either way, here’s some of our recommendations.

Real Hispano

Distance: 1800 feet (550 m)

Rating: 8.6/10 (800 reviews)

Hotel Meson del Marques

Distance: 1400 feet (450 m)

Rating: 8.4/10 (2600+ reviews)

Mayan Majesty Boutique Hotel

Distance: 1.1 miles (1.8 km)

Rating: 9.1 (550+ reviews)

Ecotel Quinta Regia

Distance: 1.0 miles (1.6 km)

Rating: 7.9/10 (200+ reviews)

Leave a comment