Visiting Cenote Oxman is one of the must things to do in Valladolid. This cenote is so much fun and beautiful to explore in every corner. We went to Cenote Oxman during our time in Valladolid and had lots of fun. Swinging into the pool with the rope swing was absolutely the highlight for us. The hanging vines and lots of greenery around gives this cenote a jungle feel. Besides exploring inside the cenote you can also have a look from above as top down view. Cenote Oxman is definitely a must visit in Yucatan, and in this ultimate guide you’ll find out why together with all the information you need to visit about Cenote Oxman Valladolid!
Things you need to know about Cenote Oxman
How much is Cenote Oxman? 80 MXN ($4,50) and gets you access into the cenote only.
Is Cenote Oxman crowded? During peak tourist season (typically from December to April), Cenote Oxman can be quite busy. Especially during the middle of the day. However, during the low season (May to November), the crowds tend to be smaller. This makes the cenote more tranquil and relaxing experience. Additionally, visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon can often provide a less crowded experience.
How deep is the water at Cenote Oxman? The depth of the water at Cenote Oxman can vary depending on the location within the cenote. In general, the water is quite deep, with some areas reaching depths of over 30 meters (100 feet). However, there are also shallower areas, with depths of around 1-2 meters (3-6 feet). These are suitable for children and less experienced swimmers.
Is there a restaurant at Cenote Oxman? The closest restaurant to Cenote Oxman is located near the entrance of the cenote. You can get here the traditional Mexican cuisine, vegetarian options, and refreshing beverages. The restaurant is open during regular hours of operation for the cenote.
Can I change clothes at Cenote Oxman? There are changing rooms and restroom facilities available at Cenote Oxman. Visitors can use the changing rooms to change into their swimwear before entering the cenote. The changing rooms are usually clean and well-maintained. I recommended to bring your own towel and toiletries as these may not be provided.
Do I need water shoes for Cenote Oxman? In general it’s not required to wear water shoes when visiting Cenote Oxman. This depends on your personal preference and the activities planned. The cenote’s rocky edges and bottom can be uneven and slippery in some areas. So wearing water shoes can provide better grip and protection for your feet. We only swam and used the rope swing without wearing water shoes and felt totally safe.
What is a cenote?
A cenote is a natural sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone rocks that exposes an underwater cave system. These are commonly found in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, where the groundwater is typically close to the surface. This underwater system is part of the two longest underground water systems in the world (Sac Actun 353 km and Ox Bel Ha 270 km) which was the reason why 13,000 years ago people settled in the Yucatan peninsula.
The term “cenote” is derived from the Mayan language. These ancient Mayas used the cenotes for sacrificial offerings. But nowadays, visiting cenotes is a fun experience and in most of the cenotes you can even swim or go scuba diving! If you have an underwater camera you can capture beautiful photos of the cenote, expecially when the sunlight is shining into the cenote and brighten up the water.
There are four different types of cenotes, the ones that are completely underground, semi-underground, cenotes at ground level such as a lake or pond and those that are open wells such as Cenote Ik Kil and this one, Cenote San Lorenzo Oxman.
How to get to Cenote Oxman
The Oxman cenote is just 4,5 kilometres outside of Valladolid located at Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman. The easiest way to get around in Yucatan is with a rental car which you can book here. We felt so much freedom by having our own rental car and the booking proces through Discover Cars is very easy and clear.
Book your rental car at Discover Cars here:
If you’re not comfortable driving yourself you can also arrange a taxi from Valladolid to Cenote Oxman for about 100 MXN pesos ($5). But there won’t be taxis waiting for you outside of Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman. So if you want to get back to town, they have to call a taxi from town to pick you up. Unfortunately a service such as Uber isn’t operating yet in Yucatan. So getting back to Valladolid can even cost you double the price.
In case you don’t want to rent a car the best option might be to book one of the Private Tours to visit the best Cenotes in Yucatan; Cenote Suytun & Oxman.
This tour has some great reviews and is popular for the ones who like to get some beautiful photos at Cenote Oxman and Cenote Suytun. You’ll leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds and get a better chance of getting photos without other people in it. The guides will explain the historical and cultural importance of the cenotes and will help you to take photos as well. As the guides are going there frequently they definitely will know the good angles for a perfect photo at Cenote Oxman!
How far is Cenote Oxman from Tulum?
Cenote Oxman is approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Tulum. The driving duration is around 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. You can choose to drive yourself if you rent a car or book a taxi. A taxi from Tulum to Cenote Oxman will cost you between 2500-3000 MXN ($135- $162 USD). A budget option to get to Cenote Oxman is he ADO bus which drives from Tulum to Valladolid for less than MXN 130 ($10).
If you book your accommodation in Tulum, it is recommended to join a guided tour for the most convenient and hassle-free experience. Many tour companies in Tulum offer day trips to Cenote Oxman, often combined with visits to other nearby attractions such as the Chichen Itza archaeological site or the colonial town of Valladolid.
Entrance fee Cenote Oxman and opening times
The entrance fee for Cenote Oxman depends on if you want something to eat at the restaurant as well. There are three different choices for entrance cost.
80 MXN ($4,50) for entrance to the Oxman cenote only.
The parking area is free.
The Cenote Oxman opening hours are currently from 7 AM to 5 PM daily. If you want to order food, make sure to do this before the kitchen closes at 4.30 PM.
Best time to visit Cenote Oxman
The best time to visit Cenote Oxman is in the morning if you want to have the cenote for yourself and spend some time by the pool without too much other people around. When we visited Cenote Oxman in 2018 it wasn’t that popular yet, but nowadays more and more tourists flock to this adventurous cenote because of the fun rope swing and beautiful surroundings. So there might be a chance that tour buses stop during midday and in the afternoon. So to avoid that, the morning is the best time to go to Cenote Oxman.
In terms of light for the best pictures you don’t have to be too picky. The open roof brings enough light in, but it’s too big to create a magical light ray as Cenote Suytun has. But, if it’s a super sunny day, the bright sunlight can can create a huge white, blown out spot on the water during midday. This isn’t what you want for a ‘technically beautiful’ picture. So in combination with the fact that the morning is quieter and better in terms of light, you have your answer in what the best time is to visit Cenote Oxman.
What to expect at Cenote Oxman
Once you’ve entered the Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman and payed the entrance fee, you will pass the tropical lush garden of the hotel until you reach the swimming pool with changing rooms. Here you will find a viewing platform from where you’ll have a super cool top down perspective of Cenote Oxman.
To get inside Cenote Oxman, you’ll have to shower first which is required at every cenote. With showering before swimming in a cenote, you help to preserve the water as you can damage the natural environment in a cenote with all the chemicals on your skin (such as oils, lotions, mosquito repellent etc). That’s why using biodegradable sunscreen is a must on your vacation!
After showering you can go straight into the cenote via a small staircase that’s leading you down in to the sinkhole. Here you will have a beautiful sight on the hanging vines, natural freshwater pool and the open roof. You can leave your stuff on the stone benches when you go swimming because there are no lockers on site.
For the adventure seekers there is a super fun rope swing in Cenote Oxman which we highly recommend to use! We haven’t seen another rope swing at other cenotes in Valladolid, so grab your chance here! The drop is about 3 meters, but that depends of course on how far you swing. Release your inner Tarzan and Jane, and swing as many times as you like from the rope swing into the cenote!
If you don’t like jumping in the water, you can also go snorkeling. The cenote is about 45 meters deep and especially on sunny days the water is super clear. So bring your snorkel and check out the underwater world of Cenote Oxman!
What to prepare and take with you to Cenote Oxman
If you plan on visiting a few cenotes and want to snorkel in them as well, you will be off cheaper (and more hygenic) if you just buy a snorkel and mask. Find here the other things we recommend taking with you to the cenotes:
- Biodegradable sunscreen. With this you help the fragile eco system of the cenotes stay healthy. But in some cenotes it is even forbidden to use any kind of sunscreen and mandatory to shower before you get into the water to wash off the oils and chemicals you have on your skin. Did you know there are lots of chemicals and other bad ingredients in some sunscreens? These chemicals do not only damage your skin, but also reefs, cenotes and more eco systems when they are often exposed to them. So be a conscious traveler and if you use sunscreen, make sure its biodegradable.
- Swimsuit. Make sure to bring this because you want to dip in that pool!
- A camera or GoPro
- Snorkel and mask
Other amazing cenotes to explore near Valladolid
Not only Oxman is a must visit cenote in Valladolid, but there are many more cenotes to explore in and near Valladolid, so hear a quick overview for the best 5 other cenotes to visit.
Cenote Suytun is definitely one of the most unique and magical cenotes because of the light beam and perfect platform in the middle of the cenote. And with a huge stalactite at the entrance, this cenote is also super photogenic. It almost feels as if you enter a cave when you make your way down into cenote Suytun. But luckily this cenote has very tall walls with its ceiling almost completely intact despite the small hole where the light shines through. This magical light beam is what makes Suytun so photogenic in combination with the stone pier which makes a perfect ‘catwalk’ or platform to put a person in frame.
Read in this blog post everything about Cenote Suytun
We found this a really pleasant cenote to swim in! The water was deep enough and crystal clear. You can even spot fish swimming around! Besides a rope to pull yourself up the slippery rocks, there is also a rope stretched underwater. This is actually the case in every cenote where you can swim in. It’s for safety because not all world citizens are good in swimming. So with this rope stretched underwater and attached on both side of the cenote, there is always something to grab on when you’re tired of swimming, get cramp, or just want to hang in the water and admire the beautiful cenote!
Cenote Ik Kil
Ik Kil cenote is one of the most popular cenotes in Yucatan. So you can be sure it is busy when you visit. Or you have to be there right after opening time. Cenote Ik Kil is another beautiful and big jungle feel cenote with crystal clear blue water and the option to swim. There is also a dive platform for the adventure seekers! The entrance fee is 80 MXN pesos and there are lots of restaurants and shops around.
On the same location as Samula, you will have 2 cenotes for the price of one. The interior of XKeken is also a cave kind of cenote with a hole in the roof and a swimming pool. If there is sunlight, you will also here have the chance of seeing the lightray.
Yucatan cenote tours
If you’re planning to explore some of the cenotes in Yucatan including the Coba ruins, Tulum archeological site or a Mayan village tour, then these are the best guided tours. All of these tours include air conditioned transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes also lunch and the entrance fees. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Guided tour to Valladolid including a visit to Cenote Oxman. Learn about the history and culture of the colonial city of Valladolid on this guided day trip with lunch and tequila tasting including visiting Oxman cenote.
- Four cenote adventure Tulum. Visit four beautiful Tulum cenotes and enjoy swimming, canoeing, zip-lines, and jungle trekking. After that you will head to a Mayan village to try some traditional Mayan cuisine.
- Tulum cenotes, ruins and Mystika museum. During this private tour you will visit the Tulum Archaeological site, take a dip in two cenotes near Tulum, eat some delicious Mayan tacos and visit the Mystica Mexican Artist museum.
- Visit Chichen Itza, Valladolid and a cenote from Tulum. See the best of Yucatan during this guided tour. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza, the colonial city of Valladolid and cool off at a cenote.
- Tulum cenote trail and bike tour. During this active tour you will explore secluded cenotes by bike, snorkel in the underground rivers, learn about the Prehistoric past of the Yucatan and walk through a dry cave full of stunning formations.
- Tulum and Cenote Chaak Tun tour. During this full-day tour you can explore the Tulum archeological site and learn about the Maya history and culture. Afterwards you can swim and cool off in the Chaak Tun cenote.
- Tulum, Coba, and Tulum Cenote Tour. This guided tour takes your to the Tulum ruins where you’ll learn more about the history of one of the largest cities built by the Maya civilization. In Coba you will visit the majestic Nohoch-Mul Temple which you can climb for panoramic views. After that you will have lunch and do a Mayan Chocolate experience. Then it’s time to go for a dip in the sacred Tankach-Ha cenote before going back to your hotel.
- Coba, Tulum Cenote and Mayan Village Tour. This complete tour gives you the best highlights of the Riveira Maya region. Climb the tallest pyramid in Coba, swim in a crystal clear cenote, see the Mayan lighthouse and Tulum archeological site.
- Tulum Cenote guided tour and visit the Tulum archeological site. During this tour you will learn about the Mayan civilization and their culture and visit some of the beautiful cenotes near Tulum to take a dip in.
More Mexico travel guides
We hope you enjoyed this blog post about Cenote Oxman! For more Mexico travel inspiration, head over to these blog posts: