Cenote Suytun is probably the most Insta-famous cenote in the world.
If you don’t already know what a cenote is, then let me explain it in basic terms.
It’s basically land that has fallen away, like a sinkhole, and in most cases they are filled with water and fish.
This makes for great swimming opportunities and unique sights.
What’s really unique about Cenote Suytun is that it’s a cave cenote and it has one spark of light coming down the middle.
The government built a little platform that you can walk out onto and I have to say, it makes for some great photo opportunities.
In general it’s crazy beautiful too.
So, below I present to you, a complete guide to visiting the Cenote Suytun, and some suggestions on other cenotes to see nearby.
It’s located around a 15 minute drive outside the beautiful town of Valladolid in Mexico.
The best time to visit the Cenote Suytun will be when the weather is drier in Mexico.
This tends to be December through till May.
In general the Cenote Suytun does get pretty busy, so if you want a picture with no one else in it, then you’re going to have to go when it first opens.
*BTW, Valladolid is an hour ahead of Cancun/Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, so keep that in mind when setting your clocks*
Bradley and I went when it first opened and there was only one other couple there.
We actually took pictures of each other so it worked out quite well. (Or you can use a tripod!)
However, if you’re aim is to see the beam of light hitting through, then it’s best to going around lunch time as that’s when the sun shines through.
But if it’s cloudy all day, you won’t see the light beam.
It’s really popular around this time because everyone wants to get the light beam shot.
But we didn’t see it and thought it was just as amazing.
A standard phone that doesn’t work well in the dark might not be the best choice for getting a great pic at Cenote Suytun. Even using the flash ruins it.
Because you’ll be working in darker conditions, it’s best to use a camera that can support these conditions. I used a Canon G7 Mark ii and it struggled in the lighting because I didn’t have it on the right setting.
But I shoot in raw anyway so that I can edit my pics better, and the result is below. I think it looks pretty cool!
There are a variety of different “angles” to get your shot.
You can take your photo on the stairs to get a complete view of the ledge and the water.
Or you can head over to the bench on the other side and get your pics from there.
Remember that when it’s crowded, people won’t be happy with you spending loads of time on the platform.
I know some people get annoyed at people taking pictures because apparently they think it’s pathetic and just for Instagram.
Well, I can tell you now, I don’t take pics specifically for “Instagram”, I take them so I can then print them out and frame them, and this is one photo you’re going to want to frame.
So don’t let anyone make you feel awkward for wanting to get your cool pic!
So, people often forget, or ignore that there are 2 cenotes in the complex!
Don’t forget about the second before you leave.
It’s to the left of where you pay your tickets, and you can simply ask one of the people there to point you in the right direction should you get lost.
It’s underground, so you climb down a few flights of stairs then you’ll be greeted with a large cenote surrounded by greenery!
You can’t swim in this one (as far as I’m aware) as the platform is kind of above it, so you would need to jump. But it’s worth checking this one out.
Beware there are weird little biting flies and they get stuck in your hair and bite...after little panic attacks Brad and I removed ours haha
This will all depend on where you stay exactly, but you have a few options!
Valladolid is a wonderful little town located just a couple of hours from Cancun.
Actually you may find it’s a popular offer of excursion if you’re visiting Cancun.
It’s certainly worth a visit and there are lots of things to see and do, including seeing the awesome Cenote Suytun.
The best way to get to Cenote Suytun from Valladolid is by renting a moped. You can rent a moped from “Scooter Rental Valladolid”, which is a hotel as well btw.
You can rent the moped per hour, but it’s $20 for a full 24 hours and this will give you the chance to see Cenote Suytun, other amazing cenotes and even a visit to Chichen Itza.
The Suytun cenote is only around 15 minutes from Valladolid, so this is a great option if you want to be one of the first there.
Your other option is to get a taxi.
There are plenty of taxis in the town and many of them will take. I’m not sure what the cost is, but for a 15 minute drive, I wouldn’t presume anything too expensive.
When you’ve flown into this coastal area of Mexico, it’s likely you will have landed in Cancun. It’s an amazing place with lots of great things to do. It’s around 2 hours to Valladolid from Cancun.
You can get the ADO bus to Valladolid for around £6-7 and once there, you can get a taxi to the cenote.
You can’t buy your bus tickets in advance unless you have a Mexican credit card. So just head to one of the tickets offices when you can.
They leave quite regularly. If you don’t want to stay overnight in Valladolid, you can just get a bus home.
Your second option is to get an organised tour which takes the hassle out of planning it, and typically includes other stops such as Chichen Itza.
Below are some tour recommendations.
Alternatively, why not rent a car and drive yourself there. Giving you ultimate flexibility to explore more of the surrounding area as well. Check out our guide on the best car rentals in Cancun for more info on how to do this.
Playa del carmen is another popular spot for visitors in Mexico.
It’s only 1 hour from Cancun and 1 hour 50 mins to Valladolid.
The best way to get to Cenote Suytun from Playa Del Carmen is via bus or organised tour.
You can get the ADO bus from Playa to Valladolid. It’s similar price to the Cancun option and if you wish, you can get a return journey.
If not, look for an organised tour like this one to take you.
You could also book a taxi, but taxis in the Quintana Roo state are very expensive.
Tulum is another popular coastal town and it’s the closest coastal town to Cenote Suytun.
If you’re wondering how far is Cenote Suytun from Tulum, well it’s only an hour and 20 minutes to the cenote.
The best way to get to Cenote Suytun from Tulum is either by taxi, bus or organised tour.
Firstly, what I will say is that the taxis in Tulum are ridiculous. They are set by the taxi firms which are independent, so they basically rack the price up shockingly!
There are many tour operators who organise tours to the cenotes in Valladolid.
Or you can make your way there yourself via ADO bus!
The price tends to rise as the destination gets more popular, but it cost us 100 Mexican pesos to get into Cenote Suytun.
Remember this includes entrance to two cenotes.
Parking is free if you’re bringing your own moped.
Bradley and I spent around 1 hour at Cenote Suytun but this included visits to both cenotes and getting pictures. You could spend less if you’re in a rush, and perhaps longer if you are grabbing a bite to eat, or even checking out the gift shop.
Yes! There are toilet facilities which are quite decent, and there is a gift shop to buy souvenirs. There are also one or two places to eat if you need to catch breakfast/lunch or a snack!
Yes! You can easily spend the day exploring the beautiful town of Valladolid after you’ve seen Suytun Cenote, or you can visit nearby cenotes, which I’ve included at the bottom of this post alongside a little route.
Yes you can! Actually, when you enter you will be given the opportunity to take a life jacket if you want to swim. These are complementary, so it’s up to you (Even though it says it’s required)
The water is filled with medium sized black fish, and you can’t see underneath you and that freaks me out, so I didn’t swim! But swim if you wish.
Okay, so after visiting the awesome Cenote Suytun, you may as well visit some awesome cenotes that are near you! Trust me, once you’ve done one, you’ll want to see another.
And if you didn’t fancy swimming in Cenote Suytun, there are lots which have rope swings simply made for swimming. Below I explore my favourites!
Located around 5 km from Valladolid. This is a cenote with a difference, you could spend all day here. And actually, they encourage it.
The cenote is housed in sort of all old house estate and they have a restaurant, a swimming pool, changing rooms and of course, a cenote.
The cenote is for swimming too and they have an awesome rope swing for fun. You have to go down around 5 flights of stairs to reach the cenote.
You used to be able to fly your travel drones in the cenote, but they’ve stopped that because almost every drone they allowed down there ended up just breaking down and falling into the water.
So it must be something with the cave that affect the mechanics of a drone, and they are just too expensive to loose! Haha
Anyway, there are a variety of pricing structures for this cenote.
You can pay $75 MXN for entry to just the cenote
$100 MXN for entrance and get 50 back to use towards food at the restaurant
OR pay $150 MXN and get the full amount to spend on food...so essentially the cenote and swimming pool are free.
We did the 3rd option because we intended on having lunch anyway. The amount covered lunch and a drink and it was quite pleasant!
You can get to cenote san lorenzo via moped rental from Valladolid, bicycle rental if you so wish, or just get a taxi.
If you go via moped, don’t follow the route set by Google maps, it will take you through a garbage site, which as you can imagine, is disgusting and stinks, not like a small one, like a landfill site….it was interesting, but we soon realised the actual entrance was just a few 100m up the road...thank you google haha.
This cenote is located within Valladolid town, so it’s super easy to visit if you’re staying in Valladolid, or you’re just visiting for a day trip.
It’s a semi-open cenote with a hanging roof and easy access via a restaurant. You can swim in there and it’s quite popular. Cost of entrance is 30 MXN peso and it’s only around a 10 minute walk from the centre.
This cenote is located close to Chichen Itza so it’s very popular with tour buses. Actually, if you want to see if without the crowds, it’s probably better to go very early, or very late.
Either way, it’s a pretty cool cenote with clear water and the chance to swim (a dive platform is also there!). It costs 80 MXN pesos for entrance, and there were lots of restaurants and shops around it.
Last but not least, after visiting cenote Suyun, you should definitely make a stop at cenote Xkeken (only 18 minutes apart!).
It’s a popular swimming cenote but less crowded than others. It’s housed in a cavern with light beaming in, so you can imagine, it’s quite beautiful!
It costs $80 MXN pesos for entrance and there are life jackets, shops etc on site for your convenience.
So there you have it, my 4 other top cenotes near Cenote Suytun...if you’re wondering what sort of route you should take to cover all these cenotes, then I suggest this one.
So there you have it, my ultimate guide to visiting Cenote Suytun and 4 more awesome cenotes close to Valladolid.
I definitely suggest staying a night in Valladolid if you have time. It’s got lots of lovely restaurants and other things to see and it’s 50% cheaper than Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Madeira, or even Tulum.
If you’ve got any more questions or extra information on Cenote Suytun that you think I should add in, then don’t hesitate to comment below.